Seaton PTO Meeting Minutes

October 22, 2015

Questions/Comments? Contact:


1) Welcome

2) PTO status update

3) Officers

4) Committees

5) Events/Fundraising Overview

6) Principal’s Corner

7) Parent Survey

8) Questions

1) Welcome by Shereen Williams, PTO President

2) PTO Status Update

What’s new? We used to be a PTA, or Parent Teacher Association. We have formally incorporated the Seaton Parent Teacher Organization (“PTO”) as an independent, DC non-profit corporation. We are applying to the IRS for tax exempt status.

Why are we doing this? The Seaton PTA was part of a larger, multi-school PTA group. If we are an independent, tax exempt organization, individuals and businesses can make tax-deductible donations to the Seaton PTO directly. Our understanding is that otherwise, donations would have to funnel through DCPS and/or the broader PTA group.

How can I help? Contact us if you know of any businesses or grant-making organizations that might be interested in supporting Seaton.

New contact: Andy Genz

3) Officers

President: Shereen Williams

Vice President: Nadene Price

Treasurer: Althea Smith

Secretary: Carmen Ramirez

Upper Grade Rep: Tunisia Alston

Lower Grade Rep: Vacant- Needs a Volunteer! Contact to find out more.

4) Committees

Please consider joining one of our committees.

a) Communications Committee

  • Responsible for creating all of the print and digital communications for the Seaton ES parent community. Also helping to increase the amount of digital communications used across the school community.
  • We are improving our website,
  • We want to make it easier to update, and to make it mobile-friendly
  • We’re also transitioning to WordPress

Contact: Becky Bowers, Erica Jarboe

b) Events and Fundraising Committee

  • Responsible for planning and executing events that help build community and raise money to support the PTO’s initiatives.
  • Book Fair, tentatively scheduled for December 7-11, in the lobby (Contact Naomi Morgulis to help with the event)
  • Other events in the works:
    • Claire’s Gourmet fundraising sale
    • March or April: Healthy Living event
    • May: Teacher Appreciation Event
    • June: PTO Elections

Contact: Sal Brugman, Naomi Morgulis, Nadene Price, Sara Reid

c) Grants Committee

  • Responsible for finding and responding to grant opportunities that will enhance the Seaton community.
  • Contact: Kristin Abbot

d) Volunteer Committee

  • Responsible for organizing parent volunteers to support Seaton school wide events.
  • OPEN: please contact if you can help on this committee!

4) Principal’s Corner

a) Building evacuation: Principal Jackson directed the recent evacuation after staff detected a strong smell from the boiler room. Unusual smells or other small problems are common each year when the heating system is turned on. The evacuation was purely a precautionary measure: the boilers were quickly inspected and found to be in safe working order.

b) Achievement goals: Principal Jackson reviewed Seaton progress from last year on the goals the school set for itself in reading, math, writing, and English language learning. Seaton improved in each area, including the percentage of K-5th students reading at grade level, and the percentage of 2nd-5th students meeting grade level in math. Separately, the percentage of surveyed students (3rd-5th) grade who enjoyed aftercare increased from 90% to 96%.

c) Evaluations: Assistant Principal for Literacy Suzanne Peters Jacobs provided a summary of Seaton’s results. Here is background on two key measures:

  • TRC

“The mCLASS®: Reading 3DTM – Text Reading and Comprehension (TRC) measure is based on an assessment approach developed by Marie Clay, author of An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement (1993). TRC is a running record assessment (alternately known as a reading record) of reading performance that allows teachers to evaluate a student’s foundational skills, which are necessary to become a fluent reader, and the ability to apply those skills to increasingly complex texts. TRC assesses oral reading accuracy and comprehension using a set of calibrated benchmark books. Using TRC, a teacher determines each student’s instructional reading level at three benchmark administration periods during the school year and monitors student reading performance between those periods.”


“The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) are a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills from kindergarten through sixth grade. They are designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills.

DIBELS are comprised of seven measures to function as indicators of phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, accuracy and fluency with connected text, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. DIBELS were designed for use in identifying children experiencing difficulty in acquisition of basic early literacy skills in order to provide support early and prevent the occurrence of later reading difficulties.​”

5) Other

a) Healthy Living programming:

  • Ms. Dunlap gave a brief presentation about Seaton’s healthy living initiatives.

b) School start time, entrance information:

  • In response to questions, Principal Jackson clarified that the back door and parking lot area are closed to students starting at 8:15 am. In the past students have tried to enter through the staff parking lot, but this poses safety issues. Students should use the front door only.
  • Principal Jackson also explained that tardiness has been an issuer. The school day starts at 8:45, not 9:00 am.
  • Parents later raised a concern about problems parking to drop off students; nearby streets have very limited non-resident parking. Principal Jackson offered to try to follow up with DC to determine if there was a solution.

c) Parent surveys: [We have a little less than 50 responses to our parent surveys. If you haven’t completed the survey, it can be found at:

d) Finances:

  • The outgoing treasurer, Mr. Pineda, has been serving temporarily. Althea Smith will serve as treasurer going forward.
  • PTO funds available as of 1/1/2015: $2,405.80
  • PTO funds available as of 9/30/2015: $4,531.29