The Parent Teacher Student Organization at Ardrey Kell High School is raising funds to purchase 15 interactive whiteboards and four presentation carts complete with laptops and LCD projectors.
The PTSO will send letters to the parents of students and rising eighth-graders next week asking for donations. The goal is to raise $75,000, and all donations are tax deductible.
Parents can donate by filling out the forms provided with the letters, attaching donations and mailing them to the school. The deadline is April 15.
The PTSO provides parent volunteers, sends information to student homes and raises money for the school. In 2010, the organization was able to raise $40,000 to purchase 10 interactive whiteboards, which cost $4,000 each.
The whiteboards help teachers reach students on a multimedia platform.
Lisa Kelly is the school's PTSO president, and her sons Matthew, 17, and Michael, 15, attend Ardrey Kell. Kelly believes having the whiteboards enhances the students' desire to participate in class.
"Even the kids who before would fall asleep in class want to work with the boards," said Kelly.
Kelly said that after the first 10 whiteboards were purchased last year, the teachers gave the PTSO a presentation to demonstrate the whiteboard's capabilities.
"It was amazing to see the different things they could do," she said. "It really pulls the kids into the lesson and invites them to participate."
The high school determined it needed more whiteboards after a technology evaluation in 2010.
"We have a lot of technology needs in this school," said Kelly. "We decided to do one big push to purchase the technology so every teacher who wants a board can have one."
Kelly also hopes the whiteboards will help teachers engage students who are in new, larger classes. After the 2010 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools budget cuts, class sizes at the high school increased to 35 students per class. Kelly said that when her son, Matthew, began his freshman year in 2007 at Ardrey Kell, he had no more than 25 students in each class.
"Kids want to come to Ardrey Kell because we have excellent teachers, a caring staff and a great student body," said Kelly. "With the larger class sizes, the boards will really help teachers be a little more creative and keep the kids interested."
The PTSO hopes to raise enough to purchase all 15 boards and four presentation carts by this summer, to be installed and ready for use in the 2011-12 school year.