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9545 Poplar Tent Rd
Concord, NC 28027

School website
(704) 455-3847
(704) 455-4672
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Map of Carolina International School address.

May 12, 2015
Carolina International School was a great school when it was at the other location, but since the move, it has become concerning if you are a parent of a middle or high school student. While the elementary school remains strong due to the right teachers and principal, the middle and high struggles to keep good teachers and students. No sports, 3-4 elective classes and very little middle and high school students only activities are concerns. But, discipline is my main concern. Discipline of some students is a joke, as some students continue to misbehave in my child's classes without anything happening to them.The middle/high principal and her dean have favorite students who do not get suspended for behaviors that would cause regular public schools to send them home. The children come back to class and cause more disruptions. This makes it hard for mine and other children to learn and causes them to be frustrated. Many parents that I have talked with have told me they are happy with the teachers but they are not sending their children back next year because of the discipline concerns and because of the high school principal. My family may have to make that hard choice too.

- submitted by a parent

April 20, 2015
My children have attended Carolina International School for the past four years. My husband and I choose to send our kids here because of the academics and small atmosphere. The school is lacking in the extracurricular activities for the Middle/High School but that is a double edge sword. For those that want to complain please be aware that usually when something is offered for the kids in the MS/HS they choose not to participate. The turnover rate last year, some were let go and some decided the commute to the new campus was not something they wanted to do. There have been teachers leaving this year for personal reasons and some have been let go. We have to trust our administration to hire and fire as needed to make the best school possible.

- submitted by a parent

April 20, 2015
Horrible experience for us & child (9th grader). Like other parents, I think the school has potential if they hired the right administration. Do your research before enrolling your child at this school. The board needs to review the staff and make changes. That's the only way this school will succeed.

- submitted by a parent

April 17, 2015
This has been a very disappointing year. New building and grounds not maintained. No thought put into low maintenance and natural landscaping. Such a waste. Secondary administration out of touch with discipline strategies for a diverse population and frequently bullies staff . The School Board is aware of what is going on but has made no steps toward improvement. No after school activities for secondary. No sports for high school. Few elective choices. No active PTSO for secondary. All fundraising goes to elementary curriculum and activities. The majority of students who attend for elementary go elsewhere for middle and high school. Insane amount of homework each night. Projects and HW over breaks during family time. This is not a school for any child who has an IEP or 504 plan. Appropriate modifications to support children are not being made. School cannot keep good teachers. They have already lost several during this school year. Administration is not honest, organized, or accurate - only telling you what they think you want to hear instead of the truth. Many issues with keeping accurate records including something as simple as attendance.

- submitted by a parent

April 17, 2015
CIS .... I have mixed reviews. The elementary is solid. Middle and high leave a lot to be desired. It is important to understand that elementary and secondary are run by 2 completely different administrations. I believe that Ms. Reynolds who is the secondary principal has no idea what she is doing. Each time I go into that school she has hired a new person to add to her admin team. There have been teachers that have left already this year, probably due to her. The teachers that left last year, left due to her. CIS has lost a lot of good teachers all because they have not let her go. Despite efforts of teachers and parents telling the board this. That is sad. My children will attend until 4th grade. As I have said elementary is solid. However, I want much more for my children, in their education as well as role models to look up to. Therefore we will not stay past elementary.

- submitted by a parent

March 19, 2015
This is my daughter's first year at CIS. We really struggled with decision of switching schools, but we had heard nothing but good things ... and they all were true. What a wonderful surprise. We previously came from another Charter School in the area - and the first thing we noticed was how welcoming, friendly, and organized the staff was! My daughter has drastically improved with her schooling, and I believe it is because there are no unnecessary distractions (ie - weekly and never-ending fundraisers, non communication between teachers and parents, parent/staff drama, etc). At our old school we often felt that we had no idea what was going on. At CIS, we know every week what our daughter is studying. We have great communication with the teachers and staff and all are willing to help if you have any questions. The new facility is state of the art, and the classrooms are HUGE! We have been pleasantly surprised by CIS!

- submitted by a parent

March 19, 2015
A phenomenal atmosphere for children to learn. All 3 of my children attend or have attended CIS. All 3 of my children have been enriched by the experience. Wonderful teachers. Competent and hard working administration. New school leadership that reflects the excitement for growth and opportunities that you want to see in a school. A very positive and nurturing environment with a focus on academics, global citizenship, and our day to day impact on our environment.

- submitted by a parent

March 01, 2015
I love this school! The teachers and administration are very attentive to my children and do a great job communicating with my husband and me. I have had nothing but positive experiences at CIS. I have two children at the school and I have always volunteered in their classrooms and teachers always make me feel welcome. The communication at the school is awesome too.....for example, there is an application that you can load onto your smart phone and both of my kids teachers use this app to communicate with me daily. I am a big fan of email and the teachers as well as administration have always answered all of inquiries (promptly). Overall, my husband and I are very please with the quality of education, teachers and administration.

- submitted by a parent

February 17, 2015
We love Carolina International! Both of our kids now go to CIS and we are delighted! The school has a wonderful community spirit while truly raising the bar on education. I also very much enjoy that our kids are allowed the opportunity to move forward at their pace, ensuing they can excel when appropriate but also have the needed guidance on the subjects where they may fall short. 5 stars!

- submitted by a parent
no rating
February 12, 2015
In the fall of 2004 Carolina International School opened in Harrisburg, NC as Cabarrus County's first Charter School. We opened with Kindergarten through Seventh Grade. Our charter was renewed for 10 years in 2014. In fall of 2014, we moved into our current campus located 2.5 miles West of Interstate 85 on 82 acres near the corner of Poplar Tent and Cox Mill Rd.; we are now K-11 and will add 12th grade in the upcoming 2015-16 school year. Our international and environmental focus provides the framework for learning to ignite interest, relevance, and significance for learning. Our teachers, staff and administration continually strive to garner the resources needed to perfect our professional practice, and thus each individual's access to a high quality education. INTERNATIONAL FOCUS We strive to deepen our school community's understanding of our individual and collective place in the world. The international framework provides a context to explore educational standards within various cultures and traditions. These comparisons and contrasts create relevance, interest and understanding. ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS Our new eighty-two (82) acre campus affords our students the opportunity to beautiful scenery atop a hill overlooking vast expanses of greenery - within an urban zone. Beyond the beauty, however, students have an opportunity to apply concepts and skills to attain greater understanding. We have three (3) ponds, wooded areas, and access to a variety of insects and creatures. This allows for unrivaled opportunties for observation, testing, and written description that cross all disciplines.

- submitted by a school leader

February 11, 2015
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.

- submitted by a parent

January 28, 2015
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 it 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.

- submitted by a parent

January 26, 2015
This is my son's 2nd year at CIS (in 2nd grade) and he is thriving and being challenged. I love that it is a diverse and truly international community. The teachers and administration are committed to providing students with a quality education, and now they are in a beautiful new facility. The school has gone through some transitions, and several of the previous comments and ratings refer to a different time for the school. CIS hired its first headmaster this year and is evaluating programs (AP, IB) that could make it an even stronger school.

- submitted by a parent

January 13, 2015
Great school! Both child and myself are happy with administration, and teachers. I love the science component and the way it has been set up. Children get to go on nature walks for science at the school and much more. The way the school was built is based partly on this concept. The teachers are good. However, I would like to see more clubs at the school but this is in the works and the administration has showed and proved. Lastly, next year they are adding the final grade....12!!

- submitted by a parent

March 04, 2014
This is a great school. My child has been attending it for 2 years and is very happy and academically strong. We love it!

- submitted by a parent

January 30, 2014
I also have a child at CIS and overall we are very happy! I will say that I have seen some very positive improvements, particularly regarding communication with the recent change in leadership. I do challenge the school though to increase the overall academic rigor for our children. Most of us seek out specialty skills because we are looking for something "more". While the diversity can not be beat I do believe that increasing the baseline challenge learning particularly in the younger grades can be improved. I will say that the most of the teachers and it seems now that administration as well are willing to work with parents to see the children excel and exceed! At the end of the day we are glad we are apart of the CIS family!!

- submitted by a parent

January 30, 2014
I have two children in CIS ands we love it. The teachers are awesome. The school has recently gone through a leadership change that I am hoping will only improve the quality of learning. The diversity of education received at CIS is just not something you will find at the local county schools. I can only speak for K-5 but with the current change of leadership I will continue to send my student because I believe things are going in the right direction. Over 500 applicator for the new school year. Let the demand speak for itself!

- submitted by a parent

December 30, 2013
This school could have received 5 stars. Now that Ms. Nelmes has been released, this school may gain some type of unity considering close to 25 teachers have left in 2.5 years. That school had excellent teachers and an excellent assistant principal, Ms. Hoyle. Ms. Hoyle should have been the principal. That school lacked leadership and was ruled through fear and control. I hope the next leader that comes on board will help those teachers who are left to rebuild and get back to the main focus, teaching and developing. Power and control does not lead to successful students or raise teacher morale. Teachers teach because they love to teach. Hoping things will turn around for students and staff now that Ms. Nelmes is gone.

- submitted by a parent

December 12, 2013
We have had 3 kids in CIS. At first when Mr. Beall was the administrator the School was wonderful and the teachers were a breath of fresh air compared to CMS. The teachers gave full attention to the students and met them at their competence level. Since the Board fired Mr. Beall and the princeple and replaced them the school is now giving an education that is sub par to even some public schools. We finally moved and withdrew our kids to the local county public schools where many of their former CIS teachers escaped to. Though a public school there is less stress and favoritism than there was at the private fiefdom known as CIS. The good news is that the NCGA has loosened the number of Charter Schools that can be formed in NC and this may force CIS' Board to make changes to keep students. The current administration should not even be trusted with managing the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm Obedience School..

- submitted by a parent

October 01, 2013
I do not understand why quality teachers who genuinely care and understand individual students are constantly being let go and/or fired. Beginning in about 2011, the quality of the administration has been atrocious. I do not understand how these people were chosen to manage a school. I do not get any answers from anyone and there seems to be sort favoritism for students whose parents donate and volunteer often. One year is enough for my student.

- submitted by a parent

October 01, 2013
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. Overall, I feel that Carolina International School today, is not an ideal choice for any student. 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.

- submitted by a community member

August 22, 2013
I must admit the experience has been far better than I expected. After a year in private school, we were somewhat reluctant to make the leap to CIS. I have not been overly impressed with the administration, yet our experience with our classroom teachers more than makes up the difference thus far. Simple logistics like drop off and pick up assistance is often times lacking depending on the morning and the teachers assigned to the area. Overall, I am greatly pleased with our decision, and hope that the administration and core staff recognize opportunities for improvement and are committed to them. Lastly, the PTSO is very impactful and strong, despite the fact that only a few parents display the commitment to keep the organizations sound.

- submitted by a parent

August 01, 2013
Nepotism runs this school. If you are not in the click the rumors will be abound. It is sad because it can be a great school but instead it is all about telling people what they want to hear rather than the truth.

- submitted by a community member

June 04, 2013
Received an excellent education in the 7th on par with the previous private school education since K4 but will not be returning in the fall from our experience in the 8th! This year has been both a loss of returning & mass exodus of great teachers, leaving mostly 'lemons' to educate (some excellent teachers remain for elective courses). Reasons of budgeting has been the continued explanation provided as to why so many teachers have left. The week prior to EOC's, we were informed of the termination of the math teacher after receiving an email from said teacher that 14 of 20 chapters were not covered for the year. Administration is disorganized and non-informative. You will receive news through your child or the PTSO before hearing from school admin. I've given 2 stars because the PTSO is wonderfully managed with up to date information provided through their website and Facebook page and some teachers strive to do their best to educate children despite the lack of assistance. Overall, this school is extremely lacking in funding for efficient teachers, resources and organized administration which translates to a poorly managed middle and high school education for your child.

- submitted by a parent

April 26, 2013
Our school is excellent. Our administration and staff are effective, efficient, and supportive. We have 2 children who attend the school. We are in our 3rd year. We have received wonderful support from all areas for our child who has different needs to support her learning style. Ms. Nelmes & Mrs. Harkey truly know the children and provide a supportive learning environment in conjunction with the staff. My only reservations are with the BoD pushing so hard with regard to testing & the changes to the grading scale. We chose CIS because of the International, community school approach, as well as the open door policy for parental involvement. We still love the school & hope to see a return to the 10 point grading scale through out the school & a return to emphasis on the 1-4 scale through 6th grade! 1= no mastery & 4= to above grade level.

- submitted by a parent

February 22, 2013
I have a first-grader at CIS. Because CIS is a charter school, parents choose the school. Parents generally are concerned and have a strong interest in their's child's success. I believe this makes the student body more focused and disciplined compared to most public schools. This helps create a positive atmosphere for learning. The teachers are generally professional and dedicated. The principal is certainly qualified on paper, but there's something about her approach and management style that always makes me scratch my head and wonder how she made it this far. The reality does not quite match the resume. The website is fabulous-looking, extremely attractive, well-designed and informative. However, I am almost certain the student photos are not really photos of CIS students. I have never seen any of them before and they are not wearing the CIS uniforms. If they are not CIS students, it seems misleading at best and dishonest at worst. Overall, we are happy with the school and want to see it continue to succeed.

- submitted by a parent

January 13, 2013
My daughter is in Kindergarten this year. We were lucky enough to be the LAST person admitted to the school. My occupation is in creating Learning Strategy for a large global company so needless to say, I am very particular about where I send my child. I can honestly say I am very pleased with CIS. We have a wonderful teacher and are always impressed by all faculty that we come in contact with. There is plenty of opportunity to be an involved parent.

- submitted by a parent

January 03, 2013
Fantastic School. Three of my children attend there. One for 8 years, one for 4 years, and one for 2 years. Exceptional program and allows for children to not only obtain the required test score education but also added focus on international and environment awareness. It's great knowing my children can speak chinese and spanish at early age. I can't say enough about the school and how wells its done for my children!

- submitted by a parent

October 17, 2012
Just awful, needs much work 21 teachers left in under 6 months. The principal Ms. Nelmes needs to be fired!

- submitted by a parent

August 18, 2012
I removed my child this year, because so many wonderful teachers have left or been fired for no reason. A school is only as good as its teachers!

- submitted by a parent

July 19, 2012
We have been with the school for 3 years now and we could not ask for better teachers or administration. Mrs. Nelmes always has a kind word and a hug for my kids. My son and daughter have learned so much and can explore their environment with teachers that encourage them to learn from all that is around them. We love CIS!!!!!

- submitted by a parent

February 06, 2012
I have two children here doing extremely well. I have one 3rd grader who does "study island" and one in kindergarten. They both have excellent teachers.

- submitted by a parent

December 08, 2010
I had two children who attended here. They do not differentiate with students---so if your child is behind in a subject matter they do not assist. We struggled for 3 years to get a IEP---they help gifted but not those below grade average. New administrator- focuses on mission instead of individual children and there needs. Since my two children have transferred to another school- they have been thriving- new school focuses on different learning styles and teaches at different levels. Concept of school is good- culture and environment but should not come at a detriment to reading, writing and arithmetic.

- submitted by a teacher
no rating
October 13, 2010
This school embraces each student to enable them to reach their full potential. The culture is also very in-line with nature and they have outdoor classes and eco-friendly studies as part of their normal routine!

- submitted by a parent

October 13, 2010
Fantastic school and we are blessed to have our daughter attend! Excellent communication between school and families!

- submitted by a parent
no rating
October 13, 2010
Carolina International School focus is on the Whole child. They strive to integrate technology, the environment and the world community into the curriculum. The teachers are top notch.

- submitted by a parent

July 21, 2010
Carolina International School teaches to the student, not the test. CIS has passionate teachers and families.

- submitted by a teacher

June 30, 2010
This is our first year at this school. I am very pleased with this school! The teachers are great! I would like to see them get a building and continue to add the 11th and 12 grades.

- submitted by a parent

June 03, 2010
I am blessed to have the opportunity to give my children such a wonderful and enriching learning environment. Campus needs work, but with no federal money. They provide what the kids need to learn.

- submitted by a parent

March 08, 2010
Our daughter entered kindergarten this year, and academically, this school goes above and beyond. I am quite impressed by the curriculum. I did not give it 5 stars due to the campus needing major updating. Being that the school does not have a gym, children are outside in cold weather for PE. Considering our daughter suffers from allergies, this is not a good thing either.

- submitted by a parent

February 25, 2010
I have two children at CIS in 5th and in 7th.This school is doing and 'OK' job in the lower grades but a terrible job in the 7th +. They have all new teachers this year for the upper grades which makes me think there was a mass exodus last year. Two teachers were either let go or quit mid-year this year! Maybe there's a problem with administration? The curriculum has been remedial at best for my older child, compared to where we came from. My child is bored and losing interest in school. We've communicated with the teachers and principal numerous times but nothing has been done. At the informational meeting they make it sound as if they make an individual lesson plan for each kid. No. Also, they have the same teachers from 7th -10th, over and over. Looking elsewhere next year.

- submitted by a parent

January 07, 2010
I have two children at CIS (5th and 2nd) and another entering kindergarten in the fall. We have been at CIS for 5 years. Our children are very good students and considered 'gifted' by most IQ standards. We have been extremely pleased with their education and find the teachers enagaging, entertaining and very challenging. Our kids love school. They especially enjoy learning Spanish and Chinese. And, their piano teacher was extremely impressed at how much they had learned in their music classes. Small class size and emphasis on the outdoors is a major plus!

- submitted by a parent

December 14, 2009
We have a 1st grader at CIS and we are homeschoolers at heart. But I find that CIS is an exceptional school. Their teachers are educated, kind, patient and communicate with the parents. The administration is receptive to parents. My daughter is very active and loves her new school.The students get a lot of outside time compared to regular public schools. The uniform is reasonable. I feel the environment is also safe and I am welcome to come to the school to help in many venues.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
November 24, 2009
We are the parents of a kindergartener in the 2009-2010 school year and went in with low expectations. Needless to say, our expectations have been exceeded. We have found the teaching staff to be excellent and the overall quality of students superb.

- submitted by a parent

April 26, 2009
I have 2 children a CIS. We are disapointed the the school has not met up to it's promise of expanding to 11th and 12th grade. It seems their priorities have been put more on the lower grades (lots of playground equipment). I think they will have a hard time retaining quality students after the eighth grade.

- submitted by a parent

August 23, 2008
CIS is a strong academic school. The teachers are superior and create an excellent learning environment for our students. I have two children at the school and we have been there since the very beginning. I was please with the past director and also optimistic with the interim director of the school. Although our former Finance Officer put the school in severe financial difficulty due to mismanagement of funds and embezzlement, the community banded together and raised money to keep the school open. Even through this time of turmoil, the school meet it's AYP and scored high on the EOG and EOC test. If you can get in.... take advantage of this exceptional school!

- submitted by a parent

May 16, 2008
Although CIS is struggling financially due to the gross mishandling of funds by a former (now incarcerated) finace officer, we continue to be pleased and impressed with the superioir academics and exceptionally warm learning environment the school provides. We are going through (and will survivie) this period of transition as the community of parents, students, and teachers are strong and committed to excellence.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
March 27, 2008
They have had some good teachers but cannot hold onto them because of the director. He turned out not to have the credentials he claimed to have. This school has been a disappointment to me.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
February 29, 2008
I have 3 children in this school and they love it.. The teachers are the best and principles and director are outstanding. Due to certain circumstances they are struggling but the focus is still on the students. Rating 5 stars!

- submitted by a parent

January 29, 2008
The school is struggling under the leadership of the director. It is very disappointing. teachers are great.

- submitted by a parent

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Carolina International School
9545 Poplar Tent Rd, Concord, NC  28027
(704) 455-3847
Last modified Carolina International School is a Charter school that serves grades K-11. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Carolina International School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 53 reviews. Top