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Captiveaire's Academic Involvement

Our goal is to build an American education model that develops students to their highest possible potential at the lowest possible cost.

- Bob Luddy, Founder of CaptiveAire & Thales Academy
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The Thales Way

A strong advocate of excellent education, Bob Luddy founds schools which help youth develop exceptional character and reasoning skills. In 2007, Thales Academy was incubated in a temporary facility in the back of the CaptiveAire corporate office in Raleigh, NC. The Thales concept quickly evolved and we now instruct over 3,600 students across 10 campuses throughout North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. We plan to continue expanding the Academy each year.

High Quality, Affordable Education

At CaptiveAire, our mission is to maximize quality while minimizing costs. We designed Thales Academy around the same principle, emphasizing academics and strictly limiting central office administration, bureaucracy, and construction costs. Thales remains far below the current spending trends in American education, and we ensure that our education is attainable by all students, providing tuition scholarships as needed.

Education Costs Comparison(Source: The US Census Bureau via Governing Magazine, 2020)

Thales Academy Tuition Tuition per Pupil, 2020
State Average Cost Spending per Pupil, 2016
(Includes Washington, D.C.)
National Average Cost Spending per Pupil, 2016

Note: Thales’ tuition provides for all building and construction expenditures, while national and state averages do not factor in these costs.

Direct Instruction

In grades Pre-K-5, we use a research-based teaching method known as Direct Instruction (DI), which employs rapid pacing, grouping by ability level, and teaching to mastery so teachers can lead classes more efficiently and students can learn more effectively. Invented in the 1960's by Siegfried Engelmann, Direct Instruction has consistently been shown to enhance academic performance and increase learning potential.

Student Performance

Iowa Tests of Basic Skills
Actual Grade Level
End of Year Tested Performance Level

Grade equivalencies compare a student's actual grade level to his or her tested performance level. E.g., At the end of the 2014-2015 school year, an average Thales 2nd grade student tested at the level at which an average US 4th grade student performed.

Classical Curriculum

The Thales JH/HS curriculum combines an in-depth study of primary texts with Latin, logic, and rhetoric to develop critical thinkers who are eager to investigate the world around them. With our complementary offerings of advanced science and mathematics, Thales students are well-equipped to excel in the modern workplace. We maintain very high expectations, but our students readily rise to the task, consistently progressing and performing regardless of previous skill level.

Student Performance

PSAT 8/9
Reading & Writing

Percentiles indicate the national average percentage of PSAT 8/9 test takers whose scores fell below the average Thales student score in 2015-2016. E.g., Thales 9th grade students scored higher on the Math section than 77% of 9th graders nationally.

Reading & Writing

Percentiles indicate the national average percentage of PSAT/NMSQT test takers whose scores fell below the average Thales student score in 2015-2016. E.g., Thales 11th grade students scored higher on the Evidence-Based Reading & Writing section than 82% of 11th graders nationally.

Class of 2016
Critical Reading

Percentiles indicate the national average percentage of SAT test takers whose scores fell below the average Thales student score in 2015. E.g., the Thales Class of 2016 scored higher on the Math section than 95% of SAT test takers nationally.

Luddy Institute of Technology

Equipping our students for today's world, we offer a pre-engineering program for high school students interested in technical careers. Students who choose to participate in the Luddy Institute of Technology (LIT) take electives in fundamental engineering, earn a Certified Solidworks Associate certification, and complete a capstone design project or participate in an industrial apprenticeship. LIT places students far ahead of their peers, preparing them to succeed in college and in a competitive job market.

Character Education

Equally important in student formation is the development of character and skills that encompass academic aptitudes, work practices, and social interaction. We encourage our students to strengthen virtues and skills such as self-discipline, perseverance, humility, planning, critical thinking, and prudent risk-taking. These concepts are solidified daily through positive interactions with teachers and fellow students and weekly through lessons in the classroom.


Thales seeks the best possible outcomes in every situation. We outfit each of our classrooms with extensive Apple technology and we provide iPads for all of our students in order to stimulate an active and engaged learning experience. Teachers are supplied with iPads as well, ensuring that they may easily lead classroom discussions, demonstrate step-by-step problem solving, deploy interactive media, and facilitate question and answer sessions from any classroom location.

Wholesome Environment

A culture of honesty and integrity permeates our hallways. Students are taught to respect each other at all times, which is why we do not hesitate to utilize unlocked lockers with clear windows. Beauty and truth also receive a special focus at Thales. Details are emphasized in every aspect of our campuses, including landscaping, technology, and interior design.

Extracurricular Activities

Thales Academy students are highly engaged both inside and outside of the classroom. Through activities such as team sports, after-school clubs, language courses, and regional competitions, our students are honing social skills, thinking creatively, and preparing for a lifetime of successful participation in any career they choose.

Thales Academy was founded to improve the quality of education in the United States. Thales develops exceptional thinkers and leaders who are grounded in traditional American values such as honesty, respect, work ethic, and responsibility. When these traits are combined with rigorous mathematics, science, and engineering courses, graduates are well-prepared to operate in today's modern world. Thales Academy aims to inspire others, promoting positive change and providing a model for other schools that hope to achieve educational success.

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Top 15 Outcomes of a Thales Academy Student

We have an exceptional culture of civility, fairness, and respect at Thales Academy. By graduation, each of our students will have mastered all fifteen of these outcomes:

  • Unfailing Integrity compels a person to follow a strong code of ethics with honesty in all situations.
  • A Virtuous Leader with Well-Developed Judgment combines thinking skills and traits such as humility, generosity, and courage.
  • Self-Reliance creates confidence to depend on one's own powers and resources to meet all of one's needs.
  • A Truth Seeker searches for the correct, right, or accurate explanation of reality, following the scientific method.
  • A Critical Thinker discerns the truth of a statement or observation through questioning and examination.
  • A Continuous Learner takes lessons from all aspects of life and work, learns from mistakes, and adapts to change.
  • Competent Technical Skills allow individuals to join modern technological industries and navigate modern life.
  • Astute Problem Solving leads one to identify the solutions to a problem, evaluate likely outcomes, assess risk, and choose correctly.
  • A Cooperative and Contributive Team Member knows how to collaborate to achieve successful results.
  • A Strong Work Ethic links perseverance, reliability, and honesty.
  • Dreams and Aspirations to Change the World help us remember that directed efforts bring us closer to our goals.
  • Traditional American Values and Entrepreneurialism drive a leader to build and sustain a thriving economy.
  • Well-Developed People & Communication Skills promote effective sharing with a clear message.
  • Gratitude acknowledges the gifts one has been given and the contributions of others.
  • A Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit offer the freedom to operate at an optimal level and achieve a higher sense of fulfillment.
Proudly Serving North Carolina, Tennessee, & Virginia
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