School News – 9/20/2023

School News – 9/20/2023

Constitution Day

Last Friday, CCS-America students observed Constitution Day, commemorating the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. Students celebrated by participating in parades and activities focused on the importance of the Constitution. Each campus even had a special visitor, the Father of the Constitution, James Madison!

Click the links below to see pictures from the CCS-America Parades.

CCS-Leland Pictures

CCS-Southport Pictures

CCS-Whiteville Pictures

CCS-Wilmington Pictures

Classical Curriculum Highlight: Latin

A core aspect of CCS-America’s Classical Curriculum is instruction in Latin. Here are a few reasons we teach it:

  1. Some 60% to 80% of English words come from Latin, so it helps expand vocabulary.
  2. Latin is at the root of languages spoken in 57 countries, so other languages are more-easily accessible.
  3. Latin is also the language of law, medicine, science, and many other important fields.
  4. Latin helps us understand English grammar, which improves writing skills.
  5. Students who have studied Latin outscore students of Spanish and French on college admission tests.

CCS-America students begin learning Latin in 4th grade and continue through 8th grade. Students even learn how to say the Pledge of Allegiance in Latin!

Learn more about why Latin is part of our Curriculum

The Roger Bacon Academy’s Three Laws 

The Roger Bacon Academy and teachers at our four CCS-America campuses follow three laws that lead to the continued success of our schools and students.

Law 1: Reward good behavior – you’ll get more of it.

This law lays the foundation for the other laws. When a student receives specific praise or reward, other students are encouraged to follow that behavior. Students are rewarded for showing respect, good penmanship, correct answers, and being in correct uniform.

Law 2: Teach each step to mastery – every child will learn.

The skill or knowledge being taught is divided into small parts and students learn each part in sequence. They do this by Model, Lead, Test:

  • The teacher models and demonstrates the skill or knowledge. “Watch me do it.”
  • The teacher leads in performing the skill. “Let’s all do it.”
  • The students demonstrate the skill. “Now, show me how you can do it.”
  • This process is repeated and practiced to mastery.

Law 3: Watch the Children. If they are not behaving or learning, you are not following the first two laws.

If students are rewarded for good behavior and have the appropriate learning material to challenge them, they will behave and learn in the classroom. A teacher must watch the children to apply positive reinforcement (Motivation- Law 1) and to guarantee mastery at each step in the curriculum (Mastery- Law 2).

These three laws are time-tested and field-proven. They set the tone for an orderly learning environment and pave the way to success!

Learn more about our three laws

School News – 9/6/2023

School News – 9/6/2023

K-9 Training at CCS-Leland

On Wednesday, August 23rd, the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and their K-9 trainees ran a practice search at the CCS-Leland Middle School. The dogs sniffed lockers, classrooms, and the courtyards as part of their training.

CCS-Leland’s Assistant Headmaster, Mrs. Crawford, said, ” It was a privilege to host the Brunswick County Sheriff Department K-9 Unit on our campus for their training. We appreciate their continuous support to ensure our campus remains a safe environment for our staff and students.”

CCS-America is always happy to help the community and Sherriff’s department! Plus, all our students and staff love seeing the dogs in action!

Charter Schools in the News

Check out the links below to see what is happening with charter schools throughout the country!

Two members of the North Carolina House of Representatives, John Torbett and Tricia Cotham, were given the 2023 Champion for Charter Schools Award last month for their push for legislation that advances school choice and access to charter schools. Read more here.

A University of Arkansas study has found that charter schools, despite receiving significantly less money than traditional public schools, produce better results. While funding is important, the study confirms that other factors, including curriculum, teaching methods, and charter-school accountability, are more directly responsible for student and school success. Read more here.

Dress for Success

Thank you to all our students and parents who participated in the first Dress for Success Day! It was wonderful to see the confidence and pride each student displayed.

Students will have lots of opportunities to wear their Dress for Success outfits this year. The next optional Dress for Success Day is Thursday, September 21st. Visit to get your student’s Dress for Success items!

Students of the Month 

Virtue is an important part of CCS-America’s classical 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.

August’s character trait was Responsibility. Students who are responsible take ownership of their thoughts, words, and actions. Responsibility is seen in the Pledge as “I Pledge to keep myself healthy in body, mind, and spirit.” Students apply these words to their everyday lives by taking care of themselves, doing their best, and fulfilling their duties.

Congratulations to all of these students who demonstrated exemplary responsibility. Check them out on the links below!





OpEd: Thaddeus Lott’s neglected formula student success

By Baker A. Mitchell Jr. August 23, 2023 06:00 AM

A new “ Report on the Condition of Education ” from the National Center on Education Statistics shows a significant increase in the percentage of school teachers with advanced degrees, which in many districts will earn them extra pay.

What the report doesn’t show, however, is that the increase in advanced teaching degrees has been accompanied by corresponding decreases in student achievement in reading , math , civics , and U.S. history .

How can this be? According to NCES, “the number of master’s degrees conferred in education” jumped 5% from the 2018-19 school year to the 2020-21 school year. Yet, the increased percentage of supposedly better-educated and better-prepared teachers seems to be producing increased numbers of poorly educated and poorly prepared students.

The problem doesn’t lie primarily with America’s 4 million teachers , though some certainly appear more interested in union activism than teaching. The problem lies with 1) school administrators who seem averse to time-tested, effective curricula and teaching methods and 2) the 1,300-plus colleges and universities that offer teacher-certification degrees , which are failing, and in some cases refusing, to focus teacher education on the most critical elements of student success: order in the classroom, the need for an effective curriculum, and reading proficiency.

I separated reading out because it is arguably the most critical skill for students to master. If students can’t read proficiently (and in some cases read at all) by the fourth grade, they’ll likely struggle in life. As the Annie E. Casey Foundation has noted, “Third grade has been identified as important to reading literacy because it is the final year children are learning to read.” After that, “students are ‘reading to learn.’”

Teaching reading successfully is a straightforward, well-documented process, and most children, with proper instruction, should be successful readers by the end of kindergarten. Most of the kindergarten students in our charter school network will be reading before then.

The federal government began a 10-year, billion-dollar effort called Project Follow Through in 1968 that tested various methods for teaching reading to at-risk children in grades K-3. It compared 22 curriculum models in 178 communities with 200,000 children. The “Direct Instruction” model, the study found, “produced the best results in all areas.” The findings were further validated in a 2000 follow-up report from the National Reading Panel , an expert advisory group convened by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with the Department of Education, to study “the effectiveness of various approaches to teaching children to read.”

Yet instead of embracing direct instruction, which has been widely available for decades and is integral to the curriculum of our schools, most school systems and, as they are taught, most teachers snub direct instruction. As a result, year-after-year significant numbers of nonreaders advance through traditional public schools. These aren’t just students who can’t read at grade level; many can’t read at any level.

We have first-hand knowledge of this. When the 2020-21 school year began, the four charter schools our organization manages received record numbers of transfer applications from parents of children who had been attending traditional public schools, which remained closed due to COVID-19 fears.

Reading problems surfaced immediately. Of the 168 first- and second grade transfer students who joined us, 51 first graders and 24 second graders were unable to pass the basic readiness assessment to begin kindergarten-level reading instruction. Not only could they not read at any level, their vocabularies were so limited they wouldn’t be able to understand basic reading instruction. So, we enrolled the 75 students in a direct instruction kindergarten preparatory course called “ Language for Learning ,” which they had to complete before reading instruction could begin.

The youngest transfer students weren’t the only ones unable to read. Many newly enrolled students in grades three to seven also couldn’t read or write. So, instead of wasting their time (and their teachers’) by having them sit through grammar or history lessons that required reading, we assigned them to Language for Learning classes as well.

The problem I just described isn’t a local one. State and national testing indicates that large numbers of students are pushed through the public education system every year without being able to read. On last year’s NAEP reading test, fewer than one-third (32%) of North Carolina’s public school fourth graders performed at or above the “proficient” level, exactly matching the national average . Students in just eight states exceeded that average.

Yet most of the education establishment ignores Language for Learning, “ Reading Mastery ,” and other direct instruction programs because to embrace them would shift blame for nonreaders to teachers, administrators, schools of education, and the lawmakers who ignore, or make excuses for, widespread public school failings.

Two decades ago, I was a volunteer science instructor in a low-income inner-city Houston elementary school run by Dr. Thaddeus Lott, one of public education’s most successful innovators. His innovation, bucking popular trends that continue to this day, was to emphasize student behavior, reading, and direct instruction.

His students thrived and excelled — so much so that Lott was persecuted by higher-ups in the school system and accused of cheating. Lott stood up to the bullies and won. He was then given three additional hard-luck schools to manage; they thrived as well.

My friend and mentor has since died. But his formula for student success lives on: orderly classrooms, direct instruction, and reading proficiency.

Baker A. Mitchell Jr. is the founder of the Roger Bacon Academy in Leland, North Carolina, a former member of the North Carolina Public Charter School Advisory Council, the state Charter School Advisory Board, and past chairman of the North Carolina Alliance for Public Charter Schools. The Roger Bacon Academy manages the Classical Charter Schools of America in southeastern North Carolina.

School News – 8/23/2023

School News – 8/23/2023

Alumni Spotlight

The 2023-2024 school year marks a new milestone for Classical Charter Schools of America as nine CCS-A alumni return to three of our campuses to teach! Their students undoubtedly will benefit from the unique perspectives and first-hand experiences the former students bring to the classroom.

Their success stories also may serve as a vital motivator for students, showing that a CCS-America education leads to achievement.

We are honored to have these nine former students return to teach. We know they have a deep commitment to our schools and our students, and we hope you will join us in welcoming them back to campus!

Learn more about our Staff Alumni here!

Classical Curriculum Highlight: History

CCS-America students begin a detailed History curriculum in 1st grade. Students memorize the names, dates, places, and general events with a heavy emphasis on geographic knowledge. In each grade level, literature, art, music, and drama exercises also correspond with the historical period of study.

Our Classical Curriculum follows a four year, repetitive pattern where students receive each cycle twice.


Why Dress for Success? 

Throughout the school year, students will have optional Dress for Success days. These voluntary “dress up” days add formality to school celebrations, presentations, or any day a student chooses to look his or her best.

Teaching students to dress for success lays a crucial foundation for their future endeavors. It shows students the importance of presentation and how looking your best leads to life-long respect, self-respect, and confidence.

Uniforms give our students a common purpose, unity, and togetherness. Dress for Success days take that a little further, and encourage students to get into a habit that will significantly impact their performance and attitude throughout life!

Dress for Success Letter and Approved Clothing

School News – 8/9/2023

School News – 8/9/2023

A Thriving Learning Environment

In CCS-America classrooms, you will find structure and order, where instructional time is maximized, and disruptions are held to a minimum. Here are a few things we do in our classrooms to keep students thriving:

  • Each classroom has a clear set of rules and expectations for acceptable conduct.
  • Our student character-development program uses incentive rewards to encourage good behavior. These behaviors are reinforced on a ratio of 4:1 positive-to-negative interactions.
  • Students requiring additional help receive individualized behavioral guidance tailored to meet their specific needs.

Our schools strive to increase the effectiveness of everyone, and by using modern technology and verified scientific educational research, our students continue to thrive.

Learn more about CCS-America’s Learning Environment here

Why Thaddeus Lott Lane?

If you have been to our CCS-Leland campus, you may have noticed that the first turn to The Roger Bacon Academy corporate office is on Thaddeus Lott Lane. This road is dedicated to Dr. Thaddeus Lott who pioneered the Direct Instruction educational model used by RBA and its four CCS-America schools.

In 1975, Dr. Lott became the Principal of a Houston elementary school where only 18% of third graders could read on grade level. By 1980, Dr. Lott had increased that number to 85%, which then climbed to 100% in 1996. Parents from neighboring communities wanted the same educational outcome for their children, so they petitioned the Houston school board to allow Dr. Lott to take over three additional schools in the area. This was granted, and they created the first charter school district in Texas.

RBA founder Baker Mitchell was so impressed by Dr. Lott’s approach to education, that he came out of retirement in 1998 to replicate Lott’s model in North Carolina. Dr. Lott improved the lives of thousands of children in Houston, and although he passed away in 2015, his legacy continues with current and past CCS-America students. 

Learn more about Dr. Lott here

School Safety

Last week, RBA staff members attended the 2023 RISE Back to School Safety Summit put on by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI). This training covered common issues found in school settings and focused on how to support students through difficult situations.

RBA Social Worker, Mrs. Boyce attended the Summit and says, “Having the opportunity to attend the RISE Back to School Safety Summit has provided me with tools I am excited to share with our staff, so we can best support our students and our families here at Classical Charter Schools of America.”

Staff members attended a range of sessions covering emergency management, crisis response and recovery, systems of support in the school climate, and more.

Learn more about the RISE Safety Summit here