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In Reidsville, the Conversation on Education Starts and Ends with the Student

Here in Reidsville, we have always been focused on education. In fact, we are home to the first public school in North Carolina, Williamsburg Elementary. You may recognize that name as this year the school was hand-picked by NC to represent the state in the annual Easter Egg Roll in Washington, DC for that exact reason. It is our history of “first in education” that drives Reidsville to continuously provide the best for our students both inside and outside the classroom.

Another first came in May of 1996 when Reidsville High School became one of the first public high schools in North Carolina authorized by the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization to offer the IB Diploma Programme. There were only three other public high schools in the state that received this honor.

The IB programme offers a quality curriculum that encourages critical thinking by the study of traditional disciplines while encouraging a global perspective. It is designed for the academically motivated student who can function independently and has learned the value of time management.

More than 4,000 schools, across the nation, have chosen to teach International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes, with their unique academic rigor and their emphasis on students’ personal development. Those schools employ over 70,000 educators, teaching more than one million students worldwide.

“We not only like to “Rise Up” in our commitment to Reidsville, we “Rise Up” to education for the betterment of our community”, says Dr. Rodney Shotwell, Superintendent of Rockingham County Schools. “With the International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes it aims to do more than other curricula by developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed in Reidsville.”

At present, “Reidsville High is in its 22nd year of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, for 11th and 12th graders and has recently added the Middle Years Program for 9th and 10th graders. The IB program is the most rigorous academic program in the world. Students are evaluated against students around the globe, not just in Rockingham County or the state. Over the past three years the graduating class of IB seniors have received over $5 million in scholarships and have an average of 97% college acceptance rate. The program is still growing and evolving each year with new courses and opportunities for students. The IB program is a holistic approach to education. Students are expected to be involved in the school and the greater community giving back.” - Nancy C. Towler, Director of Instructional Programs (Rockingham County Schools)

The IB programme is not the only focus at Reidsville High School, as they go above and beyond to encourage and support all of their students, including those that are looking at careers that require a different type of post-secondary education after graduation. Recently the school has partnered with Rockingham Community College to extend their offering in vocational trades such as machining and drafting.

In conjunction to offering a different type of post-secondary option, the Rockingham Apprentice and Technical Opportunities Partnership (RockATOP) was formed in 2013 by Rockingham County Schools (RCS). It was established by RCC staff, local business and community leaders with the purpose of developing a comprehensive career pathway system. The RockATOP partnership consists of work based experience opportunities such as internships and apprenticeships that not only give them education in their chosen career field, but also a guaranteed job once they finish their studies. Visit for more information on RockATop.

Continuing in its efforts to emphasize the value and importance of education in science, technology, engineering and math, Reidsville High School (RHS) has recently partnered with the North Carolina School of Science and Math to offer live streaming and video conferencing of courses into RHS for students.

Rockingham County Schools also understands the importance of a good foundation in education. That is why in 2017 they announced plans to partner with UNCG in opening the UNCG-RCS Partnership School at Moss Street Elementary in Reidsville. The Partnership School - also called a “Lab School” - features innovative approaches in curriculum and instruction, hands-on teaching and learning and professional development opportunities for area educators. The school serves approximately 400 students in Kindergarten through 5th grade and will provide a measurable positive impact on children and families in the Reidsville community and surrounding area.

“Education is the most powerful tool in which you can use to change the world” - Nelson Mandela.

Education in Reidsville is known to inspire young minds, engage innovative approaches to teaching and learning while building countless paths of opportunities. Whether on the traditional college prep path or a more vocational one, the schools in Reidsville can help students achieve their dreams and careers regardless of what they choose to pursue.

“For us, it’s about the student. Educating our youth and preparing them for the future is one of the most powerful tools we can give them. Here in Reidsville, we want to make sure every student in our community has the resources available to pursue their dreams,” remarked Mayor Jay Donecker of Reidsville.

Strategically located near some of the top universities, colleges and vocational training institutes in the state such as UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, Duke University, Wake Forest University and more, educational opportunities in Reidsville extend beyond city limits. Take a closer look at Reidsville, not only for a solid foundation in education, but as a location to grow, learn and be successful both now and into the future through the support of a community that is behind you every step of the way.

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