Mission: Engage At-Risk Students
Camelot Education touts itself as a national leader in alternative education, and runs a variety of schools tailored to give students of all types the guidance and support they need to succeed academically while gaining the life skills for success outside the classroom.
Among its education facilities around the country, Camelot operates four of its Excel academies in the Chicago area. These accelerated schools give near-dropout students ages 16 to 21 an encouraging environment in which they can earn the credits they need to obtain their high school diploma.
To engage those students, Camelot would continue its investment in the interactive SMART Boards that had been used successfully at its other schools.
“AVI-SPL and SMART Technologies are definitely a great partner. They bring life to the classroom.” – Kevin Sweetland, executive director, Chicago Excel Academy
“The SMART Boards and software increase student engagement,” says Kevin Sweetland, executive director of the Chicago Excel Academy in Englewood. “So when we opened the Englewood location, one of my first priorities was to have them implemented.”
Action: Taking the SMART Approach
AVI-SPL integrated the SMART Boards with Notebook software for multiple rooms at the Excel Academy. It also integrated the boards at the Camelot Academy of the Quad Cities in Moline, Il, which is one of Camelot’s Therapeutic Day Schools for students who may be on the autism spectrum or are developmentally delayed.
Those boards allow students in various classes — math, science, English, and social studies — to take hands-on participation in the curriculum. Multiple students can use the board at once, working through lessons that their teachers created using Notebook. AVI-SPL staff trained teachers at both campuses in best practices for using the SMART Boards.
Impact: Bringing Life to the Classroom
“When we first got [the SMART Boards], the response was very positive from the students,” says Sweetland.
The use of the interactive boards varies depending on what the teacher wants to do.
“They can be used for functions, graphs, and charts to bring to life what students would normally only see on paper,” says Sweetland. “Plus they can see embedded video clips.
“AVI-SPL and SMART Technologies are definitely a great partner. They bring life to the classroom and make it a little bit easier on our teachers on our staff and a little more engaging for our students every day.”