Literacy Instruction Standards

About the Literacy Instruction Standards

On October 7, 2021, the North Carolina State Board of Education approved the Literacy Instruction Standards (LIS) as outlined in Section V of SB 387: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021. The LIS serve as a framework for the development and alignment of curriculum and instruction for all public schools. These standards are defined as a level of quality and equity to be used consistently within core literacy instruction statewide. While the NC Standard Course of Study (NCSCOS) sets student expectations, the LIS and their associated instructional practices set expectations for teaching literacy.  The LIS are organized by grade-band and can be used to ensure that all teachers across North Carolina have a common understanding and delivery of literacy instruction.

While the LIS have been developed by grade bands, they should be used in tandem with appropriate grade-level texts of increasing complexity in order for students to fully meet the demands of the NCSCOS. This LIS framework does not indicate an exhaustive list of literacy instruction practices and may not fully capture all instructional practices that have the potential to positively impact students’ literacy achievement in K-12. New literacy research could modify and/or add to the instructional practices listed.

View the LIS and their associated instructional practices below.


Grades K-2

Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12

Modifying Local Curriculum and Instruction

In December 2022, districts were required to complete a form regarding the measures taken by each LEA to implement the requirements regarding the Literacy Instruction Standards (LIS) and literacy implementation plan pursuant to SB387.  NCDPI's review of these forms will be completed no later than November 15, 2023. According to SB387, modifications shall be implemented into curriculum and instruction as soon as possible, and all modified curriculum and instruction shall be in place beginning with the 2024-2025 school year. 


December 15, 2022 PSUs review and modify curriculum and instruction; PSUs submit form
November 15, 2023 NCDPI completes review of forms
2024-2025 SY All modified PSU curriculum and instruction in place



LIS Resources

View the installation timeline and resources in the LIS Toolkit (LIST). Please check back often for updates. In an effort to keep stakeholders informed, the NCDPI ELA Team provides monthly updates that contain the latest announcements and current news regarding the Literacy Instruction Standards. These updates are sent every first Friday of the month. To receive these updates straight to your inbox, be sure to subscribe to our listserv. To view past updates, click on the links below.

August 2022

September 2022

October 2022

November 2022

December 2022

January 2023

February 2023

March 2023

April 2023

May 2023