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Carolina International School

Preschool | Grades K-10 | Carolina International School
8424 Piccadily Lane
Harrisburg, NC 28075
(704) 455-3847

About This School

Carolina International School is located in Harrisburg, NC and is in Carolina International School District. It is a charter school that serves 512 students in grades K-10.

Charter schools are public schools, but differ from traditional public schools in that they are independent and are operated by educators, parents, community leaders, educational entrepreneurs, or others. Funding for charter schools is based on designated local or state educational organizations. Those organizations are responsible for monitoring and assessing the quality and effectiveness of education, but permit the schools to operate outside of the traditional public school education system. See Carolina International School's test results to learn more about school performance.

In 2011, Carolina International School had 14 students for every full-time equivalent teacher. The North Carolina average is 15 students per full-time equivalent teacher.

Student Ethnicity (2011)

Students (2011)


Students Per Teacher (2011)

Female/Male (2011)

48% 52%

District Spending (2010)

per student
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Carolina International School Reviews

Be careful in choosing this school.  It is not what it seems.

By a Parent on

This is my child's first year at Carolina International School and we will not be returning. We were thrilled and thought we had found the perfect secondary school for our child. We were told many great things about the school, but have experienced something completely different. Please read previous reviews. We wished we had. Though much has changed, even with a new building, it is not better. It can't be! Current administration is still a problem. They don't seem to know what they are doing or are quite overwhelmed with the tasks of their job in a new building. Communication is terrible. Parents are not welcome in the classrooms. Student records are not accurate. Class options are very limited. Students have very few choices, if given any. Sports and extra-curricular activities are minimum at best. On the flip side, there are many good teachers who do a great job, but are bullied by administration. Apparently there was a large exit of some very good and beloved teachers last year due issues with administration. Good teachers were hired to replace them. I don't expect most of them to stay. The active PTSO does a lot for the elementary school, not for Secondary.

Great School!

By a Parent on

This is our first year at CIS and so far I am very pleased with the quality of education (teachers and curriculum). The school definitely challenges the children and has a rigorous program which I think is absolutely necessary in preparing children for the next level. I am also pleased to know that the school is implementing AP/IB courses for the higher grades within the coming year......that's always a plus!!!! So glad to be a part of the CIS family.

Poor leadership...Academically not impressed

By a Parent on

I was warned about this school from a parent that had pulled her two children out, but I wanted to have my own experience. She was right. My children were in the lower school and I will tell you, if you are looking for a loving, nurturing and understanding environment, please do not waste you time and attend this school. I was warned about all the fundraising. It is overkill. The committee will make you believe that fundraising is more important than academics. This is not a school that thinks of the child first, if they considered the things that they did and ask themselves, "how will this impact our children?' I believe they could be better.

Overall, this school has a LOT of work to do, but it will not be on my kid's time.  Save yourself the stress, do not apply!

Fabulous School

By a Parent on

Absolutely love this school!!  Teachers and staff are amazing and ALWAYS willing to help whenever needed.  

By a Former Student on

I was a student at Carolina International School from 2005-2010. From my experiences at CIS, everything was quite excellent up until 2009. I am surprised the school still holds such a high rating. The teachers were top-notch.  There were a number of afterschool activities I could choose from and the class size (19-21) was ideal for being able to make and maintain relationships with friends and still be able to interact with a number of other people.  The original director, Richard Beall left the 2007-2008 school year. After that, things at the school went downhill. Afterschool opportunities were very much cut down for older students and there was a great exodus of many students because of the downfall in the quality of education. When I left in 2010, my siblings continued to attend CIS. The new management was atrocious and was not capable handling crises and the quality of education for middle and high school students is dropping. The new administration was bit difficult work with and the teachers steadily seemed to be less interested in students. Overall, I feel that Carolina International School today, is not an ideal choice for older students in particular. The quality of education for the elementary seems to be quite good, but I would never recommend this school for a student over the fifth grade level.

By , a Parent on

We are very happy with CIS. We moved our son from his local elementary school last year. His teacher was so welcoming and made it a very easy transition. He received excellent instruction and we had great communication from the teacher. I don't know the reason for the location of the new school but the current campus while small is in a beautiful natural setting. I have had good rapport with the administration and front office. We are looking forward to another great year.

By a Parent on

We too will not return next year unless there is a serious overhaul of leadership.  The principal appears to have little experience in working with students, parents and staff and her methods of handling issues with this same group of people is troubling to us.  Unfortunately there is little help...the Board turns a deaf ear when concerns are brought to its attention and the state of NC has limited authority in its charter school involvement. We all have a responsibility to our children in working towards giving them the best educational experience possible, but feel that we, as parents, have gone as far as we can. With regard to these concerns, in an interview the principal gave to the Independent Tribune, “A lot of these issues are not substantial,” Nelmes said. “We are a school of choice. If you’re not happy, please return to your neighborhood school.”  Obviously, those who brought up these issues felt that they WERE substantial, but this response is typical of what we've come to expect. Her suggestion, however, of returning to our neighborhood schools is now what many CIS families have already done and will undoubtedly continue to do.

By a Parent on

The school has a few exceptional teachers, however the administration is incredibly negligent in its concern for education and progress. Additionally, I have often been concerned with the well being of my child and their safety from their inattentive staff. There are several teachers, along with the administration that are also very difficult to work with, unwilling to develop a professional relationship with parents and work toward the celebration of learning. Instead many teachers and the administration seem to be focused on their assumed expertise, which is arrogant at best and mostly a distraction to actual teaching.  The board also voted to purchase land 15-20 miles away from their current location with haste and little transparency. Their move is not only irresponsible fiscally, but also narrow-minded leaving many parents challenged. The school continues to use manipulation to raise funds from parents and has zero creativity in fundraising from other sources. The school lacks clear focus and purpose and our child now suffers as a result. I write this as a warning not only to parents but also to gifted teachers - stay away.

By a Parent on

will not return next year unless the current principal is replaced.

By a Parent on

Very poorly run since the new principal came on board during the 2010-11 school year.  The Board of Directors has not addressed serious parent concerns about the principal and most parents seemingly have given up trying to get help from them.  The Board is more concerned about building a new school, and while this is important, it should not come at the cost of the student's educational and emotional well-being.  There is no accountability for the principal's questionable decisions or integrity. The teaching staff is lacking direction and needs mentoring but has no where to turn for it. Please do your research before considering this school. We're hopeful to get into another charter but will even go to CMS as even this would be a better situation.

By a Parent on

We're pulling our child out....horrible leadership.

By , a Parent on

i give the school 5 stars - happy parent

By a Parent on

The new principal has taken on the reins to make this school better. Emphasis on technology and conservation enables my kids to do whats right for the home and the world. They do keep pushing the gifted children but don't overly tax the parents to do the projects which is good.  I am very happy with what my daughters are learning. The teachers work late nights to send out information regarding my child's progress. I don't think the teachers here view it as a job to teach. They are very passionate about what they do. Hopefully this remains for a long time and is the culture they promote to new teachers as well.

By , a Parent on

The school has made an offer on 80+ acres at corner of Poplar Tent &Cox Mill.  Cannot wait till we start building

By a Parent on

I have (2) kids at CIS one in 1st grade and one in 3rd.  Great school!  Glad to see this year the push into technology.  Didn't really have the money for the 3rd grader too have a laptop, but it's a must have skill these days.  The sooner they can learn the basics the better.  Having them learn Chinese and Spanish along with the core subjects is one of my favorite things about the school.  They hold the students to a higher standard than the regular grade school down the street.

By a Parent on

My son started CIS in 1st grade and just completed 6th grade there.  He was reading Harry Potter books in kindergarten and the standard public schools did not know what to do with him and this is why we joined the lottery for CIS and thankfully made it into the school.  We have been extremely pleased with his educational experience.  At CIS, he has had schoolmates that are his academic peers.  He has always been challenged there and has been encouraged by his teachers and schoolmates to rise to that challenge. We are considering moving to a local private school for later grades due to sports programs and lab facilities and have recently had him take the Independent School Entrance Exam where he scored in the 99th percentile in Math and 95th in Verbal Comprehension.  With the results of this test came a letter explaining that children who might normally score in the 99th percentile on state standardized tests could only score in the 50th percentile due to the caliber of students taking this exam.  This affirmation of the quality education available at CIS makes it difficult to consider leaving the school.

By , a Parent on

Although Carolina International School has had it's share of challenges, the teachers have remained top notch.  This school does not teach to the test but rather to the children!  Almost every year we have achieved top ranking by the state based on eog scores, check it out for yourself.  I love the environmental and international focus including, recycling, composting, zero waste lunch challenges, Chinese and Spanish (plus music and art).  Our children are outside a lot and enjoy learning in the fresh air.  My daughter has made some really good friends during her 3 years at this school.  

By a Parent on

My child has been enrolled in this school since Kindergarten.  He has a mild case of ADHD and although academically he has done very well, he has had his share of challenges because of his problems with being impulsive/lack of self control.  Never in his history of being there has his teachers nor administration come up with anything to help him.  It has gotten to the point where my child is being affected emotionally because of being singled out as a problem instead of being given a plan to help him succeed.  I am very disappointed with this school and would not recommend it to anyone.

By a Parent on

The kids are taught no personal responsibility. Kids are able to test and retest over an over in fear of the kids getting bad grades. Its truly sad. A child we know was selected for honors classes even though his gpa is below a 2.5

By , a Parent on

My children attended this school last year during the whole school embezzlement mess that almost resulted in the  Carolina International School closing.  Many students left and almost half of the staff left because of poor management and poor administration support.  After all was said and done, I was thankful for the school year to be over.  I would never recommend that charter school to anyone.   I saw first hand how many of the parents were hostile and hateful and did not support the teachers who had to left CIS in order to do what was best for their families.  I am thankful to have  my family out of that situation.      

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