School News – 1/19/2022

School News – 1/19/2022


How to Make Better Readers

The word “cursive” comes from a Latin word meaning “to run” and is the form of writing that quickly connects separate letters together to form a smooth, flowing writing motion. Many historical documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, are written cursively so studying them requires that we be skilled in cursive. Most importantly, continuously blending letter shapes together as we write a word is like blending letter sounds together as we speak a word. Many studies have shown that pairing cursive writing with reading aloud increases the performance of both skills and that they should progress hand-in-hand throughout a curriculum. Both block printing and keyboard typing disconnect letters from one another and cannot promote the sequential relationships established by the blending that occurs in cursive writing with oral reading as taught in all Classical Charter Schools of America.

Latest Research on Cursive Handwriting

Just Write!

National Handwriting Day was founded 45 years ago by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) to keep the enthusiasm of handwriting and handwritten materials alive. It is celebrated each year on January 23, John Hancock’s birthday. He is best known for having the first and most prominent signature on the Declaration of Independence, and as a result, a person’s signature is sometimes referred to as a “John Hancock.” After teaching cursive for many years, CCS-America began hosting a Handwriting Competition in 2019. Students in all grades are given a phrase to copy and a prompt to answer in their neatest handwriting with a cursive requirement in grades 4-8. First-place winners and honorable mentions will receive a cash prize! Additionally, classrooms that display overall handwriting excellence receive a door medallion. Our judges this year are Stephanie Fisher (K-3 Dean), Jessica Lopez (Dean of Classical Humanities), and Baker Mitchell (Founder and CEO). According to WIMA, “The benefits from handwriting are numerous, ranging from information retention and creativity to socialization and intelligence.” Read more about how handwriting helps memory and cognitive development here.

See Previous Competition Winners

1992: Parents Revolt

As we approach School Choice Week, let’s reflect on the history of the charter school movement. In 1992, parents revolted against the failing Minnesota state-run schools and the first charter school was established in St. Paul. The legislature allowed privately operated groups to establish schools under a contract or “charter” with the state. In 1996, North Carolina approved its own charter school law. What started as a small, local citizens’ revolt has blossomed into a national movement. Presently, 45 states and the District of Columbia permit charter schools, which provide education to approximately 3.3 million students. COVID-19 and opposition to Critical Race Theory have accelerated the charter school movement. Charter schools offer parents a voice in what type of education their child receives. At state-run schools, parents often have no choice in what or how their students learn. For 20 years parents have been choosing our schools. Thank you; and we appreciate YOUR CHOICE. 

Charter Schools Data

CCS-Wilmington Participates in the MLK Parade

Classical Charter Schools of Wilmington, formally Douglass Academy, strives to make a positive impact in our community. Our founder, Baker Mitchell, wanted to open a school that would provide an exemplary education to every child regardless of their socioeconomic status. Since our doors opened in 2013 it has been our privilege to serve our community.  One way our school gives back is to participate in celebrating the birthday of a true American hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King’s contributions have positively shaped our country. In homage to his life, for the past 9 years we have been honored to walk in the MLK Jr. Day parade and teach our children about the positive impact he has had on our lives.

Parade Photos

Students of the Month

Character education is an important part of the CCS-America curriculum. Each month, students are recognized for displaying a specific character trait that they are not only learning and practicing, but also recite daily in our Pledge. December’s character trait was Generosity. Students who shows generosity are careful with what they have so they can share with others. Generosity is seen in the School Pledge as “I pledge to be virtuous in all my deeds”. These students apply these words to their everyday lives and do good for others without seeking anything in return. Congratulations to all of these students who demonstrated exemplary generosity. Check them out on the links below!








School News – 1/5/2022

School News – 1/5/2022



Advantages of a CCS-A Education

Check out parent perspectives on what CCS-A schools accomplish for their children.




Guest Perspective: Kelly Mann, Locke Foundation Exodus from Traditional Public Schools Likely Will Continue Unless They Refocus on Truly Educating our Children

For years, traditional public schools have been on a path less focused on educating successful learners than on a path more focused on odd, agenda-driven curricula. Parents have never been more aware of the failures and misdirection of traditional public schools, and they are demanding choice. Parents feel duped, and rightfully so. This is most evident at district school board meetings where parents are learning that their voices don’t matter.  Parents want options with funding that follows their students and not the institution, and the legislature has responded with charter schools and Opportunity Scholarships. Because of this development – along with home-schools and private schools – enrollment numbers in two of North Carolina’s largest districts are down. According to a recent poll of 500 likely voters by Parents for Educational Freedom in NC, only 38% of respondents would choose a traditional public school for their child if money and distance weren’t factors, while 52% would choose a charter school or other option. Pre-pandemic, I was a public-school lifer. Today, two of my three girls are in non-district schools that better serve their educational needs.  I recently toured Classical Charter Schools of Leland and was impressed by the approach and academic success. All students and families deserve a K-12 education that meets their needs.

Guest Bio Read More 



King: A Classical Inspiration

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was classically educated. He understood that for people truly to be free, they need to be able to think for themselves. King thoroughly studied the teachings of India’s celebrated civil rights leader, Mahatma Gandhi prior to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which ignited the Civil Rights Movement. Studying others’ works and being an avid reader are two cornerstones of a classical education which Dr. King embodied. He was also a master of classical rhetoric seen in his speeches and writings. Each day we can honor the memory and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by seeking knowledge and being virtuous, “the goal of a true education!” Letters from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. MLK Jr. Keep Moving, Dr. MLK Jr. 




New Year, Same Pledge

For many, the start of a new calendar year is a time for reflection and new beginnings. It encourages us to re-evaluate how we make choices and spend our time, and helps us prioritize what matters most to us. At CCS-A, we know New Year’s resolutions can be challenging to maintain. Therefore, to avoid temporary nature, we say our School Pledge every day. Our Pledge focuses on health, truth, and virtue, so it’s easy to connect your resolutions to our Pledge! If one of your resolutions this year is to become “physically fit,” provide “charity towards my neighbor,”, or even to exemplify “prudence in new undertakings,” our School Pledge can be a daily reminder of your goals. No matter what you decide, we encourage you to discuss the tenets of the Pledge with your student and how both of you can apply it to your goals for this year!

Link to School Pledge











School News – 12/15/2021

School News – 12/15/2021


School News – 12/15/2021  

Happy Holidays In celebration of the Christmas season, check out the Art of Christmas gallery at CCS-Leland and your responses from the December 1st survey on Favorite Traditions! We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

The Art of Christmas Display Responses from 12/01: Favorite Family Traditions   


Topics YOU want to see!

Please complete the one question survey below to help us focus on the topics that are of most interest to you. You can also help by telling your friends and family about our unique family of schools and suggesting they visit to learn more!

Click here for the Survey!

Leland Beta Does it Betta!

Achievement, character, leadership, and service. Certainly these qualities are found among all of the CCS-Leland student body, but the scholars in the National Junior Beta Club are taking it one step further. Since August, the Beta Club members have made an impact of over 400 hours of community service in the Cape Fear region. Students in 6th-8th have participated in food drives, packed backpacks with supplies for students in need, campus cleanup initiatives, and even a charity lemonade stand that raised over $1,200.00 for Canine Angels! These students have worked hard not only to maintain the requirements of a NJBC member (93+ grade average and 3+ on EOGs) but also to make a lasting and positive impact on the community around them. Bravo to Beta Club!

Learn about Beta Club!

16-Judge Court Eyes Restricting Parent Choice: We Object

If you wish to send your children to a school that holds traditional values, you should have the freedom to do so. That’s at the heart of a nearly six-year-old legal fight that, in effect, challenges Charter Day School’s [now Classical Charter Schools of Leland] right to establish traditional policies in the first place. Media attention has, since 2016, focused on our traditional policies – particularly our dress code, which the plaintiffs have attacked. “This case … goes right to the heart of parents’ choice and choosing whichever school best matches their educational philosophy and … will best suit their children,” Constitutional Law Attorney Aaron Streett representing CDS told WECT television on Monday.   As WECT’s Ann McAdams explained, “Charter Day School takes a traditional approach to teaching, promoting traditional values, manners and respect. They believe their gender specific dress code instills mutual respect, discipline and order. Boys cannot wear jewelry, must wear a belt, and have to keep their hair neatly trimmed. Except for gym class and field trips, girls are required to wear some form of a skirt, and may not wear pants.” The case, Streett says, is about much more than just the dress code. “This is the kind of choice that could affect any charter school, no matter what educational philosophy. If the Court of Appeals or any other court say that charter schools are essentially state actors, they will be back in many ways on a level playing field with [the more powerful] traditional government run public schools, which is exactly what the North Carolina legislature was trying to move away from in charter schools.”

Read WECT Report Read T74 Article

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer is *Reciting* Aloud for All to Hear!

Each year, select students in 5th-8th grade get the opportunity to work on their oratorical skills whilst spreading holiday cheer! For a few weeks, these students are tasked with immersing themselves in a classical Christmas poem. They annotate the poem, learn about the author, memorize the poem, discover the importance of public speaking, and even participate in diction exercises. Students learn that oratory skills are essential in business, education, and the public arena. They realize that it also increases self-confidence and makes them more comfortable around people. As a culminating activity, students first recite the poem individually for a grade. Then as a class, they recite the poems together in a caroling manner to students in primary grades!

See the student performances here!

Happy 225th Birthday to the Bill of Rights

“A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on Earth,” declared Thomas Jefferson. The Bill of Rights embodies the cause of America and humankind. It is a document securing inalienable rights, or God-given rights. The Constitution would not have been ratified without the adoption of the Bill of Rights as the first Ten Amendments. The Bill of Rights: The First Amendment includes the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion, and petition. The Second Amendment secures the right to bear arms.  The Third Amendment prohibits the government from housing soldiers in citizens’ homes. The Fourth Amendment prohibits the government from unreasonable search and seizure of a citizen’s private property. The Fifth Amendment secures due process of the law, prohibits a person to be tried for the same crime twice, and negates self-incrimination. The Sixth Amendment secures the right to a speedy, public trial by an impartial jury. The Seventh Amendment extends the sixth amendment to federal civil cases. The Eighth Amendment bars excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment.  The Ninth Amendment gives all rights to the people that are not specifically stated in the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment limits the federal government to only those powers delegated in the Constitution; all other powers belong to the states and to the people. What do all Ten Amendments have in common? They limit governmental power and safeguard states’ and citizens’ rights. Happy Birthday Bill of Rights and thank you for preserving our rights for the past 225 years!

The Bill of Rights at the National Archives Learn more at the Bill of Rights Institute


Students of the Month: Our Pledge in Action

Character education is an important part of the CCS-A curriculum. Each month, students are recognized for displaying a specific character trait that they are not only learning and practicing, but also recite daily in our Pledge. November’s character trait was Self Control. A student who shows self control chooses to do what is right, even if it is not the easiest choice. Self control is seen in the Pledge as “I pledge to be virtuous in all my deeds”. Each Student of the Month applies these words to their everyday lives. Self control is exemplified by being calm and respectful in class, using good manners, and making good decisions. Congratulations to all of the students who demonstrated exemplary self control. Check them out on the links below!








School News – 12/1/2021

School News – 12/1/2021

A Gift to Last a Lifetime

Give your child the gift that will last a lifetime this holiday season, a classical education. A classical education teaches children how to think, not what to think. It is an education that exemplifies truth, goodness, and beauty. And most importantly provides wisdom and teaches virtue.  Students who receive a classical education score higher on the ACTs and SATs in reading, writing, and math. Students’ minds are challenged by reading the great works of literature, learning the history of Western Civilization, and deciphering arithmetic, all while fostering virtue. Don’t wait; enroll your child today! Give them the timeless gift of a classical education: rooted in western ideology and embedded with virtue.

Enroll your student today!    

CCS-A Parent Perspectives

Check out what just a few Classical Charter Schools of America parents are saying about their child’s enrollment!  

Changing “I think I can” to “I know I can”

Reading, mathematics, science, and history. These automatically come to mind when thinking about education. In addition to academics, students are also becoming more self-sufficient. Young children, especially students beginning school for the first time, are experiencing a new and exciting world. Kindergarteners learning to tie their shoes, advocating for themselves, opening lunches, and eating in a set amount of time. These are some of the many obstacles students are conquering as they become more independent.  At Classical Charter Schools of America, our teachers are passionate and here to help students through these adjustments while guiding them in becoming more self-reliant. Positive reinforcement, motivation, and “model-lead-test” techniques help our students to adjust in a nurturing environment where they become confident individuals ready to take on the next challenge! 

10 Steps to Make Your Child Self-Reliant 

No TV? No Photos? So how else can you Inform with Pictures?

Photography and TV are used to inform us with their pictures, but these media have existed only for a relatively few decades compared to the long arc of history. For most of civilization from cavemen 10,000 years ago to the artists of the 1850’s, pictures were painted on walls or canvas using natural dyes and stains from plants and minerals. Like any human endeavor, artists gradually got better at making paintings more realistic and informative as the centuries progressed. But for nearly the entire 10,000 year period, paintings were almost cartoon-like with even lighting over a flat one-dimensional, static scene until an Italian painter named Caravaggio [Care-ah-vag-ee-o] revolutionized painting in the late 1500’s. To illustrate for your children how Caravaggio forever transformed art, there is an exhibit with life-sized reproductions of famous paintings both before and after Caravaggio. The differences in lighting, depth, and timing are stark.   The exhibit in the shelter on Old Maco Road is open to the public just outside the campus entrance. Link to the suggested lesson plans for the exhibit below.  

The Art of Christmas Teacher’s Guide  

Traditions in Our Community

This time of year is sure to bring warm and fuzzy memories of traditions with family, friends, and even classmates and teachers! At CCS-A, we are lovers of tradition and relish the involvement of our families. Holiday celebrations and traditions are often amongst the most exciting part of the school year for students and teachers alike. Although they may all look a little different at each campus, we always get the “warm and fuzzies” knowing students are playing a significant part in building a sense of unity and community with their peers, teachers, and families through our schools’ traditions. What are some holiday-related traditions that you enjoy with your family?

Click this link to share your family’s favorite holiday tradition!

We will share the results in the December 15th newsletter!    

School News – 11/17/2021

School News – 11/17/2021


Gaining Gratitude through Literature

“I am happy. I am very happy. This morning when I woke up, I felt good because the sun was shining.” This message of gratitude from Frog and Toad is read in our first-grade classrooms. We can all learn a lesson in gratitude from Frog this Thanksgiving. Like Frog, we are grateful to be alive, feel the warmth of sunshine, and experience friendship. Classical education is centered in virtue and many of the novels in the RBA canon teach the virtue of gratitude. Some of these novels are Because of Winn Dixie, Heidi, Charlotte’s Web, and Swiss Family Robinson. This Thanksgiving, read a classical novel and see how it teaches and celebrates virtue. We are grateful for our families, staff, and students! We wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

Classical Novels Reading List for Adults Classical Novels Reading List for Children    **************




Joy: The Secret to a Productive Class

“This is the first school he has really loved,” the mother of a transfer student reported. “How do you do it?” she asked. Achieving happiness in the classroom is very straightforward and is embodied in our First Law: Reward good behavior; you’ll get more of it. Positive rewards of praise such as “Jill, you are sitting up so nicely” or “Thank you for walking quietly to your desk, Jason” create a constructive atmosphere where students feel appreciated and respected for their good behaviors. Students hungry for recognition will quickly realize what to do. Frequent corrections such as, “Don’t slouch in your seat” or “Stop running” create adversarial relationships between the teacher and the students. And some students welcome the attention, so they act out to get more. Since we opened in 2000, our teachers have been taught to give at least 4 positive compliments for each 1 correction. Extensive research shows the 4:1 formula works. Ask your child. BTW, it can work at home, too!

Classroom Improvements Research  **************




Saluting Our Veterans!

Veterans Day provides an excellent opportunity to teach students about veterans and even learn some of our nation’s history along the way. Our lessons focus on understanding what a veteran is, how to show respect and gratitude for them, and the origin of Veterans Day. We believe that in doing this, students will gain a better understanding of the sacrifice veterans and their families make, and instill a sense of pride and respect in students for our veterans. Some activities our students participated in: Performed patriotic songs and poems Learned proper etiquette for the National Anthem Wrote letters to veterans that were delivered to local VA hospitals

See our talented students’ performances here! **************




Students of the Month: Our Pledge in Action

Character education is an important part of the CCS-A curriculum. Each month, students are recognized for displaying a specific character trait that they are not only learning and practicing, but also recite daily in our Pledge.  October’s character trait was determination. A student who shows determination overcomes obstacles to reach a goal and shows commitment during difficult times. Determination is seen in the Pledge as “I pledge to keep myself healthy in body, mind, and spirit”. Each Student of the Month not only says these words but applies them in their everyday lives. Congratulations to all of the students who demonstrated exemplary determination. Check them out on the links below!

CCS-Leland CCS-Southport CCS-Whiteville CCS-Wilmington  **************