PSRC officials stand with NCSSM officials

Caption: Following an informative meeting this month, Dr. Ray Spain, a member of the NCSSM Board of Trustees, left, and NCSSM Vice Chancellor for Extended Learning Dr. Jamie Lathan, right, stand with PSRC officials including PSRC Director for Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability Andrew Davis, second from left, and others. The meeting included talks of an educational partnership that could benefit PSRC students in the future. 

LUMBERTON —  A recent meeting held at the Public Schools of Robeson County Central Office marked the beginning of a partnership that will benefit students in the days ahead.

 PSRC Superintendent Dr. Freddie Williamson joined other PSRC officials in a meeting with North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Vice Chancellor for Extended Learning Dr. Jamie Lathan and Dr. Ray Spain, an NCSSM Board trustee.

The meeting included information about online programs for students that could be taken tuition free at the school level.

The NCSSM was recently ranked as the top public high school in the country, according to 

“NCSSM provides live, synchronous distance education courses to students across North Carolina through partnerships with local public high schools. Students can take honors- and AP-level courses online, tuition-free,” according to NCSSM’s website.

Partnering with NCSSM to provide those Advanced Placement courses could better prepare students for college, as noted during the discussion.

In Robeson County, “354 high school students took at least one AP Course (6%) versus 7% in peer counties (2021),” according to MyFutureNC data.

Andrew Davis, director for PSRC Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability, said a partnership with NCSSM could open up more opportunities for students and build even more academic rigor in high schools. Such rigor could mirror the academic standards put in place through recently implemented math and English Language Arts curricula.

“This is just another example of that shift in rigor that we are experiencing,” Davis said.

A follow-up meeting will take place in December with principals. The meeting will determine the next steps and possible courses of study for students to enroll in.

“The Public Schools of Robeson County is pleased to engage in these meaningful discussions for the benefit of our students’ education. We look forward to meeting again with NCSSM representatives and discussing a possible course of action in the days ahead,” said PSRC Superintendent Dr. Freddie Williamson.

Robeson County native and NCSSM graduate Erin Locklear knows the value of NCSSM.

“I was lucky enough to have amazing experiences at Fairmont (now Rosenwald) Elementary, Middle, and High Schools that set me up for success at the NC School of Science and Math and beyond. The faculty, staff, and administration in Fairmont were supportive of me and invested in my success,” she said.

“They helped me firmly plant my roots in well-tended and fertilized soil, from which I was able to continue to grow at the NC School of Science and Math.  NCSSM broadened my horizons and gave me the academic experiences and the confidence to implement the dreams Fairmont schools instilled in me, and I was able to go on to graduate from Princeton University and UNC School of Law,” she added.

Locklear, who now serves as General Counsel at Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority said NCSSM can help other Robeson County students “achieve their dreams too.”

Caption: NCSSM Vice Chancellor for Extended Learning Dr. Jamie Lathan speaks to PSRC officials recently during a meeting between NCSSM representatives and district members about an educational partnership to benefit PSRC students.