For children to receive the benefits of a good education, it's important that they have the opportunity to learn in a safe, comfortable environment. The Public Schools of Robeson County provide such an atmosphere in its 36 schools.

A recent state bond referendum has contributed to the updating of many of those schools in addition to the construction of new facilities to accommodate a growing enrollment which currently approximates 24,000. Classrooms are air-conditioned to provide comfort during our warm days. On hand are resource officers whose presence contributes to the desired safe and orderly environment. These officers also present programs on safety and drugs to the students.

All of our schools have Internet access which allows students to research information on any subject they need for their school work.

Each high school is equipped with two-way video interactive classrooms allowing a course to be taught in two schools simultaneously by the same teacher. This allows courses with insufficient enrollment in either school to justify assigning a teacher to that course to have one teacher serve students in both schools.

A Director of Technology is employed by the system to oversee its Technology Plan which involves making teachers effective users of ideas and information. Students and staff are also provided training to use various forms of technology in support of the educational process.

There is a networked computer lab for teachers with twenty-five work stations for the purpose of technology staff development. The upgrading of business labs enables students to perform tasks similar to what they would be exposed to when entering the work force. Also, all workforce development teachers in the middle and high schools have hardware and software for a Computerized Instructional Management System.

As part of the No Child Left Behind Legislation, the federal government sets standards that schools must obtain and then measures their success. The key measure of success is called Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). This requires two things: The school's test results on the State ABC testing must show satisfactory growth; and each subgroup in the school must show satisfactory growth. Targets must be met in Reading and Mathematics in grades 3 through 8. The subgroups include White, Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Multiracial, Economically Disadvantaged Students, Limited English Proficient Students, and Students with Disabilities. Failure to meet satisfactory growth by a school or a subgroup within that school means the school did not meet AYP. This year, 25 schools met AYP and 15 did not. That compares to 2002-2003 when 14 schools met AYP and 26 did not - a substantial improvement.

Despite the improvement in the quality of the education we provide, the Public Schools of Robeson County continues to seek out innovative programs to help us to offer even more to our students.