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  **************

 

 

School News – 11/17/2021

School News – 11/3/2021

   

Get Ready, Get Set, POUR! A Solid Foundation for 2022

The plans are approved, the land is clear, and construction is underway on the much anticipated Classical Charter Schools of Southport Middle School! Developed as the natural progression from the elementary program, Southport Middle School will join the Leland and Whiteville Middle School academic programs. With a focus on core subjects, students will deeply explore an advanced curriculum while developing the knowledge and skills not only necessary in high school, but for life-long learning. Students will have the opportunity to challenge themselves with exploratory labs, projects, service-learning activities, and more! Southport Middle School will be up and running for the 2022-2023 school year for 300 students. Mark your calendars,

Open Enrollment begins December 1st! CCS-Southport Enrollment

 

Archery: On Target for Life

Would it surprise you to know that the CCS-A offers our students the opportunity to shoot target archery in school? Since 2010, our schools have competed in the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) which has put a bow in the hands of over 18 million students! Target archery improves a student’s educational performance by enhancing their focus and concentration, leading to a noticeable improvement in attention and behavior. Many NASP schools also conclude that the archery program builds confidence and self-esteem, and helps students become more connected with their school.   In just the 11 years we have participated, we have captured eight state championships, two runner-up performances, and countless CCS-A students have been recognized for being the top shooter in their grade, and even top in the state.

Archery at CCS-Leland NASP 

 

The Quest for Knowledge. Can It Be Fun?

For a child, seeing their teacher off campus is like spotting a celebrity. Going on an adventure with your teacher and peers to experience new sensations creates memories that last a lifetime.  For Classical Charter Schools of America, field trip venues are reopening, and we couldn’t be more excited! On top of spectacular memories, we have selected places that relate to each grade’s curriculum. This enhances the experience because they are applying concepts that they are currently studying. Our first trips are already taking place as restrictions have eased; and the enthusiastic children, teachers, and parents remind us just how much we’ve missed these adventures! Peek at some of our kindergarteners and first graders venturing forth on a variety of quests.

Photos of Students on their search for knowledge  

 

Heroes Among Us

Veterans Day is observed annually on November 11 to honor and show appreciation for all who have served in the United States military. At Classical Charter Schools of America and The Roger Bacon Academy, we are fortunate to be in the presence of many veteran heroes. We are honored to have 13 veterans on our staff. Not only have they bravely answered the call to duty and defended our liberty; but, they have continued to dedicate their lives by serving as educators. To our courageous veterans, we are infinitely grateful for your service and sacrifice and all you do for our students.

See Who Our CCS Heroes Are Here! History of Veterans Day 

 

Unmasking, The Data

North Carolina’s rapid progression to normalcy was shown by data presented by Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), at a news conference on October 27.  Her data demonstrated that over 84% of the state’s older population had now been vaccinated, that ER visits for COVID-like symptoms were “down significantly” to the 5% range, that the new cases trending downward are “great progress,” and that she was “seeing good news” in decreasing hospitalizations. Despite the overall transmission rate still being classified as “high,” the state data echoed our local experience across all CCS-America schools -there was only one case out on quarantine. The Board of Trustees voted after extensive discussion to make masks optional at all schools beginning November 1. If the number of quarantined students climbs to over 5% of enrollment at a school, that school will return to mandatory masking. The Board greatly appreciates the vigilance of parents and staff in continuing to promote safe education of the children in the least restrictive manner. Numerous other COVID practices such as temperature checks, hand sanitizing, and room cleaning will remain in effect at all schools.

Classical Charter Schools of America COVID Information  **************  

Click here to Enroll in a Classical Charter School  

Thank you for your interest and please forward this newsletter to your friends and neighbors. Over 90% of our growth is from word-of-mouth among parents.

 

 

 

 

School News – 11/17/2021

School News – 10/20/2021

 

 

How did Classical Charter Schools of America score in the recently announced End-of-Grade (EOG) testing?

If the four Classical Charter Schools of America were combined as a single school district, the CCS-A schools would have ranked 21st of 116 North Carolina districts in the 2020-2021 EOG testing!  So congratulations to your children for their hard work and a job well done. The ranking they earned puts our family of schools in the top 18% of all districts in the state! How can CCS-A students possibly do so well on the EOG tests when we do not teach to the state’s Common Core standards? The short answer is that our classical curriculum prepares every student with a broad set of skills and knowledge that can be applied to any test. We continue to prove this year-in and year-out.

See DPI Scores    **************

 

 

 

What is a classical school? A short overview with our Dean of Classical Humanities Jessica Lopez

Some people think a classical school is one that teaches Latin, but that is not all that is needed for a classical education. Latin, which we start teaching to every student in the fourth grade, is essential because 80% of the words we use in English, French, Spanish, and other languages is derived from Latin. And Latin is essential for future study in science, medicine, law, and other fields. But other topics and important instructional techniques – such as cursive handwriting – are critical elements of a true, classical education as well. For example, research has shown that with cursive handwriting, your children benefit with better reading and comprehension. Also taking notes in cursive enhances retention and understanding compared to keyboarding or printing by children who don’t learn cursive. We’ll discuss how your children benefit from other classical education features in future newsletters.

See Research on Cursive  **************

 

 

News From Raleigh: What is going on with the Legislature and why it matters!

In the late 1980’s, the General Assembly empowered the state Public Health Commission to change recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into mandates with the force of law. For example, if CDC recommends at-home isolation for close contacts unless all are masked, the health commission rules make that mandatory throughout NC, with severe penalties for non-compliance. While particular recommendations may be debated, we should not abdicate our state’s sovereignty and automatically mandate a federal recommendation throughout the state. The General Assembly needs to consider changing this law to allow more local control – not the one-size-fits-all that we have now.

Read more for the latest COVID data. See Health Director’s Powers  **************

 

 

Dear Parents & Friends of CCS-America

Welcome to this first issue of a new newsletter for parents and friends of Classical Charter Schools of America. We want this newsletter to better acquaint you with the people with whom your children spend much of their days and provide you with a deeper understanding of the many educational and social benefits your children receive at our unique schools. We are grateful for the extra time you take to partner with us in supporting your child’s education. If you have specific topics that you would like to see addressed, please email us. In future issues, we will address more of our unique instructional techniques, how our character education classes synchronize with other courses, and why field trips are a vital component of the classical experience, among other topics. In the meantime, please know that we appreciate your entrusting your child’s education to us. Best Regards, Baker Mitchell, Secretary Classical Charter Schools of America, Inc. An NC 501c3 nonprofit corporation **************

 

 

 

 

Wilmington-Area Charter Schools Network Has New Name; Eyes Further Growth and Expansion

Wilmington-Area Charter Schools Network Has New Name; Eyes Further Growth and Expansion

LELAND, North Carolina –The Charter Day School network of charter schools, anticipating further growth and heightened enrollment demands, is adopting a new name reflecting the schools’ unique classical curriculum and emphasis on civic virtue: Classical Charter Schools of America. The new names will be phased-in for the network and each of its schools beginning immediately.

Charter Day School, Inc. Board Chairman Robert Spencer said the name change was prompted by “the need to clarify what makes our schools different and better” and a desire to “bring unity and uniformity to our family of schools” at a time when charter school popularity has been rapidly accelerating.

Headquartered in Leland, a Wilmington neighbor, the Charter Day School, Inc. network began 20 years ago with a single charter school in grades K-5. Today, the network includes four schools—in Leland, Southport, Whiteville and Wilmington—enrolling more than 2,500 students. Spencer said Classical Charter Schools of America will likely apply for a fifth area school in the next 18-24 months and is planning additional schools elsewhere in the state “and even in other states.”

In North Carolina, charter schools became law on June 22, 1996 as independently controlled, tuition-free schools open to the public.  Charter school boards are accountable to the state for maintaining high academic performance and financial stability.

Spencer said the network’s first school, Charter Day School, opened in 2000 in Leland. Just five years later the State Board of Education recognized its academic success, designating Charter Day School one of the Top-25 elementary schools out of 1,800 in North Carolina.

As a result of this success, a second school was established in 2007: Columbus Charter School in Whiteville. A third school was added in 2013—Douglass Academy in downtown Wilmington—and a fourth in 2014, South Brunswick Charter School in Southport. All four schools will be renamed. Columbus Charter School, for example, is becoming Classical Charter Schools of Whiteville and Douglass Academy is becoming Classical Charter Schools of Wilmington.  All schools will continue to be under the central control of Charter Day School, Inc. which is becoming Classical Charter Schools of America.

“While all of these schools share the same management team and use the same time-tested, field-proven classical curricula and instructional methods, their legacy names didn’t reflect that fact,” Spencer said, “the new names do.”  Spencer also noted that uniforms and other materials bearing the old names would be grandfathered.

Spencer said that renaming the network and its schools is one of several steps the Board is taking. The second step, which is ongoing, will be to evaluate future locations for possible expansion. “We have a terrific educational model as our wait lists attest; we want to share this model,” he said.

The Board also is looking at ways to “further differentiate the way our schools teach citizenship and life lessons to impressionable young students as distinct from the highly politicized ways many traditional public schools have been adopting,” Spencer said. “We teach students to work hard, do their best, respect their teachers and each other and to love their country; the contrast with what’s going on in many traditional public schools couldn’t be greater, and many parents are choosing our educational model.” 

Schools in the Classical Charter Schools of America network are managed by The Roger Bacon Academy charter school management firm, which provides the schools’ curriculum, instructional, and operational services—including professional development for teaching staff, accounting, human resources, recruiting, IT, maintenance, and security.

For virtual tours of the network and its schools visit www.CCSAM.net and select the location of interest for enrollment and employment opportunities, or contact The Roger Bacon Academy, 3610 Thaddeus Lott Lane, Leland, NC 28451. Phone: (910) 655-3600.

Op-Ed from Baker A. Mitchell recently published on FoxNews.com

Op-Ed from Baker A. Mitchell recently published on FoxNews.com

A recent headline in the Arizona Republic newspaper said it all: “Across the U.S., charter schools are growing — and teachers unions are trying to stop them.”

Charter schools are growing, both nationally and in my home state of North Carolina, because they offer parents an alternative to the traditional government-run public schools — schools in which many children, for various reasons, feel ignored, unsafe, or unchallenged.

The National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, and their state and local union affiliates are trying to curtail charter schools because they consider them a threat. Truth be told, so do many public-school administrators.

The reason is understandable. Charter schools, which are largely non-unionized and don’t answer to the local school superintendent, have proven they can educate America’s children as well as, or better than, local district schools, and at a lower cost. As a result, taxpayers are starting to ask questions about the school systems’ and unions’ never-ending demands for bigger budgets, higher pay, smaller classes, additional classroom aides and, lest we forget, fewer charters.

Unionized teachers, in their “Red for Ed” demonstrations and strikes during the past two years, have been unwavering in their claim that they’re taking to the streets “for the children.” We saw that in Raleigh. Yet, what activist teachers have been demanding will do little to help students.

Benefits and pay may increase, but it’s unclear how that helps the children. Student achievement probably will stay about the same. Schools that already are doing well will continue to do OK, while “underperforming” schools will continue to struggle.

Meanwhile, parents looking for alternatives to underperforming schools — especially low-income parents who can’t afford private schools — will be out of luck if independently run charters are unavailable. That’s a net loss.

American taxpayers already spend a fortune on education — much of which is devoured by the gluttonous bureaucracy. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, annual public spending on K-12 education increased from $593.8 billion in fiscal year 2012 to $694 billion in fiscal 2017 (the last year for which reliable data are available).

U.S. spending on K-12 education is greater than the gross domestic products (GDP) of most of the world’s countries. Yet, on international learning tests, students in much poorer countries outperform U.S. students by significant margins.

So what is the problem?

One problem is the public-school establishment’s non-competitive attitude. This bias against choice and competition was woven deeply into the education establishment’s DNA in the 1840s by Horace Mann, who started the new “common school movement” as superintendent of education in Massachusetts. He embedded the anti-choice gene in his declaration, “We who are engaged in the sacred cause of education are entitled to look upon all parents as having given hostages to our cause.” Competition from charter schools is setting these hostages free.

Another problem is the teachers’ unions. Though the education establishment doesn’t like to talk about it, research shows that children in unionized school districts, where the fight against charters is most intense, “have slightly higher dropout rates and slightly lower rates of math and reading proficiency” than students in nonunion school districts.

The source for this is not a charter advocacy organization, but “Journalist’s Resource,” a project of the Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. In North Carolina, a right-to-work state, charter students in every demographic group outscore their peers in the traditional government-run schools.

What traditional public schools are lacking is exactly what attracts many parents to charter schools: orderly classrooms, a solid no-nonsense curriculum, and teachers and administrators who recognize that helping children feel good about themselves is meaningless if you haven’t also helped them learn what they need to know.

For these and other reasons, the parents of some 3.2 million children in 44 states and the District of Columbia now choose charter schools over traditional public schools to educate their children.

Charter schools are proving that success is possible even with fewer resources than traditional public schools enjoy, and even with children the traditional schools have given up on. Though the unions and education establishment will continue to fight charters, parents will continue to choose them.

(To view/comment on this post on FoxNews.com, please visit: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/baker-mitchell-why-charter-schools-keep-growing )