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

OpEd: Public Schools Make Excuses; Charter ‘Gap Busters’ Get Results

OpEd: Public Schools Make Excuses; Charter ‘Gap Busters’ Get Results

Public Schools Make Excuses; Charter ‘Gap Busters’ Get Results

(Globalstock/Getty Images)

By Baker A. Mitchell Jr. 

August 2, 2023 6:30 AM

In many school districts, the learning gap remains a persistent, serious concern. Meanwhile, charter schools are closing that gap.

Public-school administrators across the country are still lamenting their students’ pandemic-related “learning losses.” But the 2,700 students in our four schools are a different story.

Our kindergarten students already are being introduced to reading and most will be reading on their own by next spring, and often much sooner. Our fifth-grade students are beginning Latin, the root of many other languages and the language of science, medicine, and law.

If the 2023–24 school year is anything like last year (and virtually every other year since we welcomed our first students in 2000), our student test scores on North Carolina’s required end-of-grade exams next spring will eclipse those of nearby district schools. That’s always a point of pride, since the state tests are based on a curriculum we don’t use. Our classical curriculum and instructional methods, dare I say, are better, because the skills they teach allow generalized application to any test.

Yet, many educational elites look down their noses at us. We’re that regressive, backwater charter-school outfit that uses phonics — sounding out the letters — to teach beginners how to read; we teach our students to write in cursive; we even require rote memorization of math facts; we have a code of conduct that our students are expected to observe; and, yes, our students wear uniforms and recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning.

Despite our critics, hundreds of parents from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds continue to entrust us with the education of their children. We rarely disappoint them — nor do the vast majority of charter schools nationwide, according to an important new study published in June.

The voluminous study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University compared student academic growth in three groups of schools: stand-alone charter schools; charter schools managed in a network by a charter-management organization; and traditional public schools.

The Stanford researchers gathered test results from 2.7 million students at 7,300 charter schools in 31 states and studied the academic achievement and advancement of the 1.8 million students for whom they had four complete years of data.

But they didn’t do this in a vacuum. For each charter student, they also compiled data on a peer student in a nearby traditional public school — students who were virtually identical to their charter “twins” in grade, race, sex, zip code, income, disabilities, and so forth. This enabled them to compare the academic progress of each charter student with their traditional public-school twin over the four-year study period.

The researchers found that “in both reading and math charter schools provide students with stronger learning” than the traditional public schools they ordinarily would have attended. Among charters, those in group networks administered by charter-management organizations generally did best.

Apologists for the education establishment try to dismiss such findings by accusing charter schools of “cherry-picking” the best students, leaving the others behind for the district schools to deal with. The Stanford researchers tested for this and found the opposite to be true: that more charter students start at lower placement levels — and fewer start at higher placement levels — than their virtual-twin students in traditional public schools, the reverse of “cherry-picking.” As the Stanford researchers reported, “Charter schools produce superior student gains despite enrolling a more challenging student population than their adjacent [traditional public schools].”

The Stanford researchers used a clear-cut method of measuring student progress: the expectation that in 180 days of school, a student will gain on average 180 days of learning from one year’s test to the next. If a student’s score advance is above average, the student would have gained the equivalent of additional days of learning above the 180-day threshold. If a student’s advance is below average, the student would be credited with minus days of learning.

Of the three school groupings studied, students at charter schools managed by a network organization did the best, achieving 27 additional days of learning in reading and 23 additional days of learning in math above the expected 180-day baseline — more than an entire extra month of learning at no added cost.

While the overall results should be enough to shake up the education bureaucracy, “the real surprise of the study,” the researchers reported, was “the number of charter schools that . . . achieved educational equity for their students” — eliminating, for all practical purposes, the achievement gap between white students and “minority and poverty students.” They coined the term “gap busters” to describe such schools.

Charter-management-organization networks were credited with being “gap busters” if (1) the network’s average achievement percentages were above their state’s traditional school averages, and (2) the added days of learning above the traditional schools was as strong for disadvantaged students as for non-disadvantaged students. Of the 378 networks the researchers evaluated, the Roger Bacon Academy, I’m proud to say, was among the highest rated.

Several years ago, I wrote to the new superintendent of a local school district suggesting we get together and discuss ways to collaborate. I never received a reply.

In many school districts, the learning gap remains a persistent, serious concern. The Stanford researchers endorse the idea of “collaborations between charter schools and local school districts.” The former superintendent recently left. Perhaps his successor will have a different response?

School News – 7/26/2023

School News – 7/26/2023


First Week of School Pictures!

We are almost one full week into the 2023-2024 school year, and students are already hard at work! Take a look into our classrooms and see what students have been working on at the links below:






CCS-Leland Named A “2023 Exceptional Charter School in Special Education” 

Classical Charter Schools of Leland has been recognized as a “2023 Exceptional Charter School in Special Education” by the National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET). CCS-Leland is one of only two dozen charter schools in the country to receive this designation, and was the only school in North Carolina!

Learn more about this honor and the criteria met at the links below. We are so grateful to the amazing staff who work everyday to make CCS-America schools a welcoming place for all students to learn, regardless of any special needs.

Press Release

Eligibility Criteria


Background on CCS-America Schools

The Roger Bacon Academy was founded in 1999 by Baker Mitchell. After applying for a charter from the State of North Carolina, he started the first school, now CCS-Leland, with only 53 students in kindergarten through second grade. Today, RBA’s four Classical Charter Schools of America campuses serve nearly 2,700 students in grades kindergarten through eighth.

High expectations, the highest quality teachers, and our traditional, Classical Curriculum keep CCS-America students thriving. We use Direct Instruction, modern technology, and verified educational research to maximize teacher effectiveness and improve student learning.

Thank you for entrusting your student’s education with us. We are looking forward to another successful year of learning!

RBA History


Important Links

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Stay in Touch! 

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Classical Charter Schools of Leland Named A “2023 Exceptional Charter School in Special Education”

Classical Charter Schools of Leland Named A “2023 Exceptional Charter School in Special Education”

For Immediate Release

Contact: Madeleine Hale

 More Kudos for the RBA Schools

Classical Charter Schools of Leland Named 

A “2023 Exceptional Charter School in Special Education”

Leland, NC – Classical Charter Schools of America’s Leland campus (CCS-Leland) announced today that the school has been named a “2023 Exceptional Charter School in Special Education” by the National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET). CCS-Leland was one of only two dozen charter schools in the country to receive the designation, and the only school in North Carolina.

According to NASET executives, CCS-Leland met “rigorous professional criteria” and “demonstrated truly exceptional dedication, commitment and achievement in the field of special education.”

“We’re grateful and proud to receive this special recognition for our efforts to ensure all of our students receive the best education possible, regardless of their special needs,” said CCS-Leland Headmaster Laurie Benton.

“About 15% of CCS-Leland’s student population are special-education students and they are thriving due to the conducive learning environment we provide,” added Heather Greco, Dean of Exceptional Children for the Roger Bacon Academy (RBA), which manages the four schools in the Classical Charter Schools of America family.  “We hope to offer additional students in Southeastern North Carolina the same opportunities in the future.”

The honor comes just weeks after a new, exhaustive report from Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) showed that the four CCS-A schools run by the Roger Bacon Academy, including CCS-Leland, were in the top 10 percent of charter schools nationwide that qualified as “gap-busters” in both reading and math, meaning the schools were able to close the learning gap between student groups based on race and income.


School News – 7/13/2023

School News – 7/13/2023

Dear Classical Charter Schools of America parents, families, and friends,

On behalf of the Roger Bacon Academy and CCS-America’s teachers, administrators, and staff, I am excited to welcome new and returning students back to school next Thursday, July 20th. We look forward to an exciting and productive 2023-24 school year.

To begin the year, I want to share some exciting news with you: A new national study by the prestigious Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University in California, published just a few weeks ago, identifies our family of schools as an educational top performer in the country. We couldn’t be more proud!

The Stanford study gives high grades overall to charter schools generally and indicates that charter schools managed by Charter Management Organizations (such as RBA) typically get even better results. Not only that, but it specifically identifies our family of schools as among the best in the nation at seeing that students from all ethnic, racial and economic backgrounds succeed in school. They call such schools “gap busters.” 

A copy of our News Release highlighting the Stanford study follows. 

Wishing you and your students the very best,

Baker A. Mitchell, Founder

“Gap Busters” News Release

CCS-America Staff Professional Development

Although school doesn’t start until next Thursday, nearly 400 CCS-America staff members returned this week for the annual new year’s intensive Professional Development.

From Monday, July 10th through Wednesday, July 19th, all CCS-America teachers and staff participate in numerous training sessions led by Academic Deans and Coaches, senior staff members, and guest speakers to prepare for a successful 2023-2024 school year. Throughout these eight days, teachers learn and collaborate on topics ranging from classroom management and school safety to Latin, cursive, and all aspects of CCS-America’s classical curriculum.

Each year our staff and teachers complete this training individualized for each grade and subject to ensure confidence and expertise in the new school year. By continuing to refine all classroom skills, our teachers are fully prepared to give the best possible education to all CCS-America students!

Click the link below to see pictures from yesterday’s staff welcome.