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SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – The Floral Street School PTO voted to make a major financial donation to the Floral Street School on Wednesday, January 15th which enables the school to meet its goal of employing interactive technology across 100% of the core classrooms.
Floral Principal Lisa McCubrey noted that “The PTO’s purchase of 17 interactive whiteboards means that every student at Floral Street School, all 790 of them, will have universal access to the interactive and engaging learning experiences made possible through use of this technology. Teachers will be able to design lessons where the whole class can have access to digital content and opportunities to interact with content and concepts in ways not previously possible. We are so grateful to the PTO executive board and its members for their vision, tenacity, and tireless fundraising efforts that made this investment in our students’ education possible.”
The PTO has been working tenaciously for many years to be able to maintain annual funding of educational programs and resources (such as enrichment programs and field trips, classroom print and digital resources, and playground repairs and replacements) while also saving for a capital investment that would have the largest scope of impact on teaching and learning conditions possible and align with school and district improvement goals and strategic priorities. An opportunity to make such an investment presented itself this year given Floral Street School’s urgency to move towards the goal of employing use of interactive technology across 100% of core elementary classrooms – an opportunity that allows for all students to have access to content with one click or tap as well as interactive learning experiences not possible without the technology.
With 16 whiteboards already installed and in use in Floral core classrooms, many Floral teachers and students presently experience the powerful impact this technology has on teaching and learning. Floral was slightly less than halfway towards the goal of equipping all 33 core classrooms. With the PTO’s purchase of 17 whiteboards this week, Floral Street School will reach its goal of 100% installation. PTO President Hannah Kane stated “this investment represents years of planning and saving and would not have been possible without the leadership and commitment from all PTO members that have served at Floral since it opened, and we are grateful to the Floral parents both past and present who donated time and funds to PTO efforts that allowed us to make this substantial and significant investment. The PTO Executive Board felt strongly that all elementary students in Shrewsbury should have the same access to technology in their classrooms and we are excited that Floral students will all now benefit from the enhanced learning opportunities through use of interactive white boards.”
Shrewsbury Superintendent of Schools Joseph Sawyer met the news with deep gratitude, stating “Challenging financial times have made the implementation of the school district’s technology goals difficult. I am very thankful for the generosity of the Floral Street School PTO for financing the installation of 17 interactive whiteboards, which will move us much closer to meeting our goal of every elementary school student having access to interactive technology tools in each core classroom. This significant contribution will enhance learning opportunities for all of our Floral Street students by providing our teachers with access to powerful teaching tools. Our community is extremely fortunate to have parent groups like the Floral Street PTO who work very hard to provide critical resources to our schools.”
The installation of the boards is now tentatively scheduled to take place over the February break. Also underway is planning professional development for all teachers who will be receiving the whiteboards.
“We are so very grateful to the PTO executive board – President Hannah Kane, Vice President Kim Lipka, Treasurer Michelle Biscotti, and Secretary Jennifer Basgaard, and to the committee chairs and active members who work to organize and coordinate essential fundraising and community-building events at Floral Street School. We also wish to thank all Floral families and neighbors who have supported the fundraising efforts this year and in past years, through their volunteerism, participation, and financial support. Our students directly benefit from this high level of participation and support. We are proud to be part of a school community that places such a high value on their children’s learning,” stated Lisa McCubrey.