PTSO in need of membership, donations to fund grants

December 5, 2008 — by Alicia Lee

As the school year eases in, the Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) has had to make important decisions that affect the whole school’s education programs. Grant requests for the 2008-2009 school year added to more than $47,000. While all grant requests were taken into consideration, the PTSO was only able to fund $29,000 toward staff and student grants, with some help from the school’s supplies fund.

In picking which programs to fund, PTSO members particularly focused on “seeing the number of students that will benefit from a specific grant, educational value for the students and what tools a teacher may use to evaluate effectiveness of the grant material,” according to PTSO co-president Shinku Sharma.

A few of the programs funded include the AP Biology classes, which received new equipment for Biotech labs; the MAP program, which got money to help pay for 35 new iMac computers and the poetry classes, which hired two mentors for coaching students individually in the course.

Other teachers and programs received grants for equipment to supplement their classes as well. PTSO also approved requests for two computers, which will be paid under the district’s general plan for technology and a Smart Board, which was approved by the School Site Council.

These grants were made possible largely because of the new PTSO initiative “Just Do It.”

In this drive, the members pay $100 per family as their share for materials and programs that benefit their students in all classrooms. So far this year, 30 percent, 366 families, of our school families have contributed to this important fund.

However, Sharma said some important programs, including the library and other student activities, are still not fully funded. The library hopes to launch a reading campaign with new books for recreational and pleasure reading, but at the moment, there are not enough quality books to begin a campaign. This is in part because of the lack of membership in the “Just Do It” initiative. Without the necessary membership donations, not enough funds will be able to reach the school.

The school goal is to have 75 percent of SHS families involved in PTSO through “Just Do It” and other contribution levels because it is currently short at 64 percent.

PTSO hopes that more families will get involved in PTSO and donate money for the school’s programs.

For more information about PTSO, visit www.saratogahighptso.org.

2 views this week