School News – 6/22/2022

School News – 6/22/2022


Dear Parents and Friends of Classical Charter Schools of America,

As you may know, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (in Richmond) ruled against Charter Day School (CCS-Leland) on June 14, in a 10-6 decision saying in a remarkable 51-plus-page majority opinion that our dress code, in effect, is unlawful. Ten judges supported this decision, while six judges dissented as explained in their 46 pages.

While the majority’s ruling itself is disturbing–and in our opinion wrongheaded and incorrect–what’s more disturbing is its possible consequence as explained in the dissent: the undermining of charter schools, not only here in Southeastern North Carolina, but elsewhere in the state and, indeed, across the country.

That’s because the Court’s majority based its determination on a finding that Charter Day School [and presumably, by extension, all charter schools] is a so-called “state actor.” If this is true, the state can soon be telling us how to teach, what to teach, what textbooks and workbooks we must use, who we can hire to teach, when our schooldays must begin and end, and on and on and on. In other words, schools like ours will eventually become exactly like the mainstream public schools you chose NOT to send your children to. Charter schools, in effect, will disappear.

This is not the end of our fight to remain independent and different (and, we hope you will agree, BETTER). On Thursday, June 23, the Classical Charter Schools of America board of trustees voted unanimously to appeal this erroneous decision to the Supreme Court of the United States.

In the meantime, thank you for your continued encouragement and support. 

We will keep you appraised of events as they unfold.

Best Regards,

Baker Mitchell, Founder




Court Ruling on Dress Code: Ten Majority p. 5-56, Six Dissenting p. 57-83, Three Dissenting p. 84-103

Link to Court Ruling




What Some “Contributors” are Contributing

Response to Forbes Article




Fair Coverage

Arleen Richards from NTD News

New York Post

Washington Examiner




RBA Attorney, Aaron Streett’s Statement

We respectfully disagree with the majority’s opinion. As the six dissenting judges powerfully explain, the majority opinion contradicts Supreme Court precedent on state action, splits with every other circuit to consider the issue, and limits the ability of parents to choose the best education for their children. CDS will continue to provide an excellent education to its students, even as it evaluates the next steps in challenging this mistaken and harmful ruling.



School News – 5/25/2022

School News – 5/25/2022

Parents & Friends of Classical Charter Schools of America,

As we wrap up the 2021-2022 academic year, I’d like to reflect on the accomplishments of our students, staff, and teachers. For 22 years, our schools — beginning with our flagship school, CCS-Leland — have demonstrated that every child can learn when properly taught and given the proper tools to do so. Again this year, CCS-America has provided those tools to more than 2,200 students across our four top-performing schools by means of our traditional curriculum with its classical focus. This past year, students at our schools welcomed the return of Boosterthons, FASTAR, NASP archery, and RBA Cheerleading. They celebrated their knowledge with “I Can Read” ceremonies, pep rallies, and parades. Students not only competed against each other in events such as The History Bowl and FASTAR, but brought their talents to the local and state levels in the Science Olympiad and Beta Club competitions. Looking to the future, our campuses saw lots of construction with the highly anticipated auditoriums, new parking lots, and the CCS-Southport Middle School. We thank you for your patience with these exciting changes, and we look forward to the ribbon-cuttings in the 2022-2023 school year.  Thank you for entrusting us with the education of your children and for your support as our campuses continue to grow. Congratulations to our staff, teachers, and students on another great year. We wish our 8th grade class of 2022 all the success of which they are capable as they progress into high school.  Have a fabulous summer break. We look forward to greeting both our new and returning students when the 2022-2023 school year begins with the same enthusiasm and dedication that have been hallmarks of The Roger Bacon Academy and our classical charter schools for more than two decades.   

Best Regards,  Baker Mitchell, Founder




FASTAR, Race of Champions

Competitors were ready to battle in the eighth FASTAR, Race of Champions! K-5 school teams from all CCS-America schools raced against each other at Town Creek Park in Winnabow for the fastest times in math facts and reading. The overall time was totaled, and CCS-Leland was victorious over CCS-Southport by a mere nine seconds! “This was the closest race we have ever had!” exclaimed Penny Perry who is part of the RBA Data Department that calculates and tracks the data for FASTAR.   Congratulations to all champion racers and especially the CCS-Leland team for its fierce competition and speedy win!

Race of Champions pictures




Alumni Spotlight

Meet Madison Harvey! Ms. Harvey attended the Leland campus and is now a student at UNC-Wilmington. Learn about Ms. Harvey and how her CCS-America education prepared her for high school and college here! **************



Five Reasons Why Our Year Round Schedule is the Best!

Ever wonder why CCS-America students attend school year-round? Here’s why: 1) More frequent breaks reduce absences and burnout Instead of going nearly four months without any breaks at the start of the school year (August-December), students with year-round calendars have a fall break, in September. This helps reduce absences since it allows time for teachers and students to rest and recharge before returning to school. 2) Parents can plan better Year-round calendars also give parents a chance to better plan medical appointments and vacations! Vacations tend to be more expensive during peak summer and winter break times, so this gives families the flexibility to travel when places tend to be less busy and costly.  3) Campus improvements and teacher development is prioritized during breaks When possible, CCS-America school improvements are scheduled during breaks so they’re ready for students when they return! Teachers also receive training during this time, so there are limited teacher workdays that interrupt the calendar, which allows for a consistent schedule for families. 4) Eliminates the boredom of an extended school break Although the prospect of a long summer vacation seems inviting, many students become bored. Even families who have their students engaged in multiple activities can struggle to keep their children fully engaged during a three month break. With year-round school, breaks are just long enough for students to recharge before embarking on their new school year. 5) Helps combat learning loss Last but most important, there is a significant academic benefit to the schedule. During the traditional summer vacation, students can lose much of the information they learned from the previous grade. Therefore, students at year- round schools are at an advantage because they retain more of what they learned. CCS-America also uses the breaks for supplemental learning with camps where students receive additional individualized academic support.

Link to CCS-America’s 22-23 School Calendar Link to Local Summer Activity Ideas




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. April’s character trait was Respect. Students who show respect treat others with honor and dignity. Respect is seen in the Pledge as “I pledge to be obedient and loyal to those in authority.” CCS-America students apply these words to their everyday lives by treating adults with courtesy. They also use good manners and treat their peers the way they want to be treated. Congratulations to all of these students who demonstrated exemplary respect. Check them out on the links below!



CCS-Whiteville Elementary & Middle




Classical Charter Schools of Wilmington Names New Headmaster

Classical Charter Schools of Wilmington Names New Headmaster


Contact: Madeleine Hale,

Classical Charter Schools of Wilmington Names New Headmaster

Wilmington, NC— Classical Charter Schools of Wilmington, one of four area Classical Charter Schools of America (CCS-A) elementary schools managed by The Roger Bacon Academy in Leland, has named 16-year CCS-A administrator Steve Smith as its new Headmaster. Mr. Smith, former Headmaster of CCS-A’s Whiteville school, succeeds Nikki Chaney, who will apply her talents at the Leland campus when CCS-A’s 2022-23 school year begins in July. “Nikki Chaney has led CCS-Wilmington for four years and guided it to become the highest scoring public elementary school in the downtown neighborhood of Wilmington,” said Baker Mitchell, The Roger Bacon Academy founder. “Mrs. Chaney will now put her skills and talents to use at one of CCS-A’s larger schools and Steve Smith—a veteran administrator—will guide CCS-Wilmington in its next stage of growth.”

Classical Charter Schools of Wilmington is conveniently located just blocks from Downtown Wilmington’s Historic District. As a state-approved charter school, it is tuition-free, open enrollment, and (space permitting) accepts applicants in all grades regardless of income, ability, or where they live. The school currently serves students in grades kindergarten through 5. As a member of The Roger Bacon Academy managed family of charter schools, Classical Charter Schools of Wilmington follows the disciplined and traditional Classical Curriculum, offering parents and students in Southeastern North Carolina what Mr. Smith describes as “a proven, 24-year track record of excellence and achievement as a unique alternative to district public schools.”

After 26 years in the Marine Corps as a decorated leader, Mr. Smith has played a key role during the last 16 years as a CCS-A administrator, overseeing the opening of Classical Charter Schools of Whiteville in 2008 and serving as its Headmaster through 2020, then becoming Lead Headmaster of all four CCS-A schools with their combined 2,800 students. “In addition to our unique Classical Curriculum which includes Latin instruction beginning in 5th grade, CCS-Wilmington and our other elementary schools also offer a wide range of choices in elective courses, such as music, art, chess club, dance, and cheerleading,” Mr. Smith stated.

Mr. Mitchell added, “After last week’s National Charter Schools Week celebrations, we look forward to an exciting culmination of the school year, and a great start to the 2022-2023 school year with Mr. Smith at Classical Charter Schools of Wilmington.”

According to Mitchell, CCS-Wilmington is still accepting students for the 2022-2023 school year. Parents and guardians can take a virtual tour of CCS-Wilmington and visit for more information. ###


School News – 5/11/2022

School News – 5/11/2022

Happy Mother’s Day!

In honor of Mother’s Day, we want to recognize the wonderful Mother and Daughter/Son duos who work together every day at Classical Charter Schools of America. Mrs. Sherwood and Mrs. Reid at CCS-Leland Mrs. Thompson and Mr. Thompson at RBA and CCS-Leland Mrs. Kilpatrick and Mrs. Weaver at CCS-Southport Mrs. Walters and Mrs. Mash at CCS-Whiteville We hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day Weekend! Thank you, moms and parent figures for your continuous support for our students here at CCS-America!





Foundations of Poetry with the Founder

Baker Mitchell, the Founder and CEO of The Roger Bacon Academy, has stepped back into the classroom after twenty years to teach the art of writing poetry to Mrs. Jones’ fourth-grade English class at CCS-Leland. Learning to write poetry allows students to understand the meaning behind a poet’s words and meter, or rhythmic structure. Students are taught to write poetry using proper meter and rhyme, a lost skill not taught in many of today’s classrooms. Students are taught that “we write poetry because it is a challenge and is fun.”  Students have thoroughly enjoyed having Mr. Mitchell as their poetry teacher. He teaches for twenty minutes each Tuesday and Thursday at the end of English class. The students have learned everything from how to count syllables to the difference between the various metric forms. Here is an example of a student’s iambic couplet after reading Robert Frost’s, Stopping by Woods: Can I, at least, have something good To bring into this scary wood? Click on the links below to read some of the poetry written by Mr. Mitchell, also read by CCS-America students in sixth-grade history.

Leonardo Da Vinci: “Knowing How to See” Roger Bacon: Bringing Peace to the Mind **************




What Was the American State Named for Charles I, King of England from 1625 to 1649?

North Carolina. This question was among one of the nearly 1,400 questions that students potentially could have been asked at our 6th Annual History Bowl!  On Friday, April 29th, teams of students in grades 5-8 came from each CCS district school to compete in the final History Bowl Competition. These students have competed in two mock bowls and studied countless hours in preparation for this event. With this level of commitment and dedication, each team undoubtedly brought out their best effort and it resulted in a fierce competition. We even had two grade levels tie and advance to a Sudden-Death round! We are so impressed by the wealth of historical knowledge, sportsmanship, and professional attire students displayed during the event.  If your student is interested in a higher level of competition and has a sincere interest in history, consider joining our History Bowl Team for the 22-23 school year!

Click to see our CCS-America History Bowl Champions!




EOG Tips & Tricks

The end-of-grade (EOG) testing period begins a week from today for grades at CCS-America’s four campuses. In order for students to do their best, consider the following: Set aside a quiet place and time for your child to complete and review homework. Ask your student to teach you what they learned in school. Have your student go to bed early and reduce late night activities. Help your student review any classwork or study review materials. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, especially for breakfast. Manage stress and anxiety by giving your child the opportunity to talk about expectations, fears, and hopes. Start the testing day in a calm manner. Remind your student to take the test seriously and to listen carefully to all instructions. If your student feels anxious during tests, remind them to take a few deep breaths to ease nerves and to take advantage of the test breaks. When the test is done, your student should feel good about a job well done! Help them celebrate, and encourage them to enjoy their favorite activities.

NC DPI EOG Information







School News – 4/27/2022

School News – 4/27/2022

Teaching is Heart Work

We are incredibly proud and grateful to all of our extraordinary educators who have worked tirelessly with students and families to ensure every student has the tools to learn, grow, and thrive. We wanted to give a special shout-out to our 20-21 RBA Top Performers. Last year, these teachers and their hardworking students earned the overall highest growth out of our RBA school district! Specifically, these classes displayed ten or more points of growth overall in a whole group setting with all of their students (online and on campus) combined.  Kathryn Bannerman, CCS-Leland, 8th Grade Lisa Fairweather, CCS-Southport, 1st Grade Amanda Sauls, CCS-Wilmington, 4th Grade Stefanie Smith, CCS-Southport, 3rd Grade Nora Terry, CCS-Whiteville, 1st Grade Katherine Tripp, CCS-Leland, 4th Grade Teacher Appreciation Week at CCS-America will take place on May 2-6. We are using this time to honor teachers and recognize the lasting contributions they make to students’ lives. Check your school’s calendar, Facebook, or reach out to your child’s teacher directly to see how you can participate!

RBA Top Performers Slideshow



Alumni Spotlight

Meet Crystal Payne! Mrs. Payne graduated from the Leland campus in 2011, and has returned to Classical Charter Schools of Leland as the Computer Teacher. Her son is also following in her footsteps, and is enrolled in Kindergarten at CCS-Leland. Learn more about Mrs. Payne and her CCS-America experience as a student, parent, and teacher here



Earth Day Celebrations at CCS-America

Students at CCS-America celebrated Earth Day by learning about our environment and participating in fun activities. Students tidied up and beautified our campuses, planted flowers, learned about the animals in our environment, painted rocks, and so much more! Earth Day is a wonderful reason to celebrate our beautiful campuses and to remember to take care of them so that we can provide our students with the best learning environment possible! Thank you to the parents who joined us and enjoyed these celebrations at each CCS-America school! Happy Earth Day from







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. March’s character trait was Gratefulness. Students who are grateful show appreciation for what they have and do. Gratefulness is seen in the Pledge as “I Pledge to be virtuous in all my deeds.” These students apply these words to their everyday lives by appreciating the people in their lives. And by saying “please” and “thank you”, and enjoying what they have instead of wanting what someone else has. Congratulations to all of these students who demonstrated exemplary gratefulness. Check them out on the links below!






School News – 4/13/2022

School News – 4/13/2022



Electives… Educational and Fun!

At Classical Charter Schools of America, we value extracurricular activities as part of a well-rounded education. Electives provide many educational opportunities that allow students to learn skills, work together, and sometimes even compete. Our electives include the fine arts, life skills, and academic and athletic competitions. Each year our CCS-America Middle School students participate in at least two electives. During winter break, they have the opportunity to stay where they are or switch to a new elective. This allows students to partake in a variety of electives to explore their interests. If you have any questions about our elective programs, please contact our Dean of Resources and electives, Mrs. LaFave at

Elective Descriptions




Employees Celebrate Good Times and Invite You to Join Our Team

The Roger Bacon Academy hosted, celebrated, and honored its 371 employees with a fun-filled night of dancing, dinner, and friendship March 26 at the Wilmington Convention Center. This tradition has occurred every other year since CCS-Leland’s opening in 1999. During the event, employees were acknowledged for their years of dedicated service and the growing list of names is a testament both to The Roger Bacon Academy’s commitment to its employees and the employees’ commitment to our mission and to CCS-America students. Teachers of high growth were recognized, as well as the schools’ Teachers of the Year. Not only were there drawings for gift cards throughout the evening; but each guest received a golf umbrella and polo shirt as a party favor to end the night.  “This is my fifth gala and each time it is fun to see the event grow in size, the same way our schools have grown over the years!” exclaimed, Dean Heather Greco.  Please consider joining our team for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year!

Employment at CCS-America Years of Employment 



Staff Spotlight

All four CCS-America schools recently named their Teacher of the Year, Beginning Teacher of the Year, and Teacher Assistant of the Year, all of whom were honored at RBA’s Gala on March 26. The Teachers of the Year are nominated by their colleagues for embodying the high ideals of The Roger Bacon Academy. At CCS-America schools, we are fortunate to have a richly-talented group of individuals who serve as excellent role models for our students. This makes the awards highly competitive, and we are so proud to recognize these remarkable teachers.

The CCS-America Teachers of the Year 



I Pledge to Keep Myself Healthy in Body, Mind, and Spirit

Students recite these words every morning in The School Pledge. However, it is important to go beyond reciting and apply these words to daily life. Especially as students approach the end-of-grade (EOG) testing period, self-care makes all the difference in handling school and personal stressors. Keeping students and ourselves healthy in body, mind, and spirit is, as The Pledge states, staying physically fit, mentally awake, and morally straight. How can we do this? Follow these steps for a great start: Get an adequate amount of sleep. Eat a healthy breakfast. Have a technology “curfew”. Encourage students to talk to a parent, trusted adult, or friend. Have FUN! As stressful as testing and school can be, encourage your student to participate in activities that bring them joy.

More ways for your student to improve on self-care!