“Nothing is more active than thought, for it flies over the whole universe.” These are the words of Thales of Miletus, a Greek philosopher regarded by many as the Father of the Sciences and Western Philosophy. A master of thought, Thales saw education to be more than just a destination or mere accumulation of facts; rather, he viewed it as a lifelong journey in which students come to know and pursue truth. It is by emulating this model of excellence that Thales Academy has emerged as an immersive, effective educational experience—and it makes the school a perfect fit for the forward-thinking community of Chatham Park.
Founded in 2007, Thales Academy has very quickly gained a reputation for consistently outranking nationwide peers on standardized tests, resulting in heightened demand for the successful school model. Thales Academy opened the doors to their Pittsboro campus located in Chatham Park in April 2022, and is among eleven other campus spread throughout the southeast. Located in the Vineyards section of Chatham Park, the campus is directly south of the 10-acres that make up Knight Farm Community Park, making the school central and accessible to current and future residents.
According to Thales Academy Founder and Chairman Bob Luddy, each campus operates under the same underlying mission to cultivate tomorrow’s leaders by teaching students how to think, rather than telling them what to think. It does this specifically through its research-based method of direct instruction. The carefully planned approach to teaching, referred to by most faculty as simply “DI,” is a hallmark of Thales Academy. Although it is fast-paced and rigorous, the program is proven to effectively teach all types of learners at all ability levels by encouraging high engagement and expecting vocal participation. The program also reinforces individualized education in the following ways:
- Students take a placement test to determine appropriate placement in the core subjects of Reading, Math, Spelling and Language Arts.
- All students of one single skill level are placed in a classroom together and taught at a pace and level appropriate for their abilities.
- Informal assessments are given daily throughout each lesson to determine immediate retention.
- Formal assessments are given every 5 to 10 lessons to determine full comprehension.
- Formal and informal tutoring and extra practice are administered as needed to most effectively help students reach mastery before advancing to the next lesson.
- Teachers meet frequently to assess student progress and determine whether additional actions should be taken to help students succeed, including shifting students to different skill level groupings as needed.
This process allows students to rapidly gain and retain a wealth of knowledge while building self-confidence and competency in their abilities. In short, direct instruction ensures that students are prepared for success in college and well beyond.
“Thales Academy is one of many excellent institutions in the Chatham County Schools network,” said Administrator of Thales Academy Pittsboro Stefanie Glahn. “We felt it was important to offer the community a high quality, affordable education for students in Pre-K to 6th grades (with future plans to offer through 12th grade) through the use of Direct Instruction and a Classical Curriculum to ensure students are well prepared to succeed in higher education, career, and life while positively impacting the world around them. The location of Thales Academy Pittsboro provides a fully immersive living and learning experience for the residents of Chatham Park.”
At Chatham Park, the standard is always excellence, and as the first of many schools to become established in its area, Thales Academy is presenting students with a unique opportunity to receive a high-quality education while experiencing the innovation of a constantly changing and growing community. With community-building events and after-school activities offered year-round, students can truly
“live, work, play and learn” in Chatham Park, both in and out of the classroom. It’s a great jumping off point—and only the beginning for the community, which has also committed to making a school seat available to every child who lives in the development.
For more information about Thales Academy, visit thaesacademy.org. You can also listen to the “Thales Academy” episode of Chatham Park’s podcast—the go-to resource that give you a behind the scenes look at the people, places and projects that are coming together to create the perfect community.