Payne PTSA 2022 Annual Meeting Minutes

Members attending: Rebecca Bell, Becky Shyovitz, Cara Camacho, Jessica Tillipman, Adam Wyrick, Carolyn Bowen, Steve Bowen, Michelle Chapman, Rachel Dancy, Adam Dancy, Alison Mitchell, Mark Jordan, Tony Lombardo, Melissa Baggett, Lexi Smith, Caitlin Coogan Sherman, Narissa Cooper, Rebecca Hunt, Krista Zuzenak

  • Welcome – (Michelle Chapman, President) convened meeting at 6:06pm June 16, 2022
  • Membership check – link is in the zoom chat if you aren’t sure you signed up yet. 
  • Spring Festival round up (Alison Mitchell, Fundraising Chair)
    • Made $5,000 from the festival through combination of ticket sales, auction items, food sales. 
    • Dunk tank was a huge success with teachers and students volunteering to be dunked. 
    • Extra water helped ensure no one overheated. 
    • Auction/Raffle was great, we should check with more businesses or corporations for more donations next year.
  • Other Fundraising
    • Payne Nights at local businesses are easy to organize and typically raise a few hundred dollars. Recent nights include:
      • East City Book Fair – still waiting on final take home number, several dozen books were also purchased and donated to teachers and the library by parents. 
      • Capital Candy Jar night was a big success raising a few hundred dollars for Payne. 
      • Mr. Henry’s night also raised a few hundred dollars. 
    • Safeway donating round up $ from shoppers during all of the month of August 2022.
  • Next year ideas
    • Movie nights in fall
    • Next Grade level parent chats in the spring
  • LSAT info and vote (Liz Aloi, LSAT Chair)
    • LSAT vote will be send out via email
  • Vote for PTSA Board members (Cara Camacho, Parliamentarian)
    • Running for election is Krista Zuzenak for Vice President and Caitlin Coogan Sherman for Treasurer. Per bylaws only a voice vote is required when a person is running unopposed. 
    • Cara Camacho nominated Krista Zuzenak for Vice President, unanimous voice vote of PTA members confirmed. 
    • Cara Camacho nominated Caitlin Sherman for Treasures, unanimous voice vote of PTA members confirmed. 
    • New officers were congratulated, departing officers, Cassie Carrington ( Vice President) and Carolyn Bowen (Treasurer)  thanked. 
  • Meeting adjourned.

LSAT Meeting Minutes – January 2022

Payne LSAT Meeting

January 11, 2022

Agenda and Notes (Italicized)

Present:  Michelle Chapman, Mr. Gordon, Steve Bowen, Liz Aloi, Michelle Tissue, Donna Smith, Mr. Creef

Back to School/Covid Surge

  • Anything we can do?

-Kids don’t have quality masks. PTA looking into options.  Unclear if DCPS will provide.  Maybe at  minimum we could circulate some suggestions for parents?  Supply chain driving up prices. 

  • Feedback on how it’s going?

So far so good except for the mask issue.

  • Device distribution/tech support


Teachers report that problems go back to November and prior years. Brainstormed whether it is helpful for parents to apply pressure. Need a long term solution- one-off private contractors are not working. Problems going back as far as November 3rd

DEI Brainstorm

  • Update: DEI Group taking lead on training, LSAT will focus on event, maybe late March, outdoor volunteering, coupled with an opportunity for recruitment and retention outreach.  Maybe roller skating?  What are the Covid limitations on this?  If big gathering should do it before break so there will be testing prior to return to school. Anacostia skate park still closed.
  • Teacher Gifts: Best practice is to have all donations be voluntary, and gift come from the whole class. Propose we generate a few bullets and circulate to class parents. 
  • Birthday Parties 


Lottery thoughts?

Budget process/strategy discussion.

Did a quick and dirty overview, and highlighted some of the decision points from prior years (drama? Art versus music?).  Can expect next meeting to get the proposal.

LSAT Meeting Minutes – May 2021


As a reminder, Principal Byrd challenged us to assist in two separate areas: 

1. Build Payne’s community, in part by addressing the challenge of gentrification and with an eye to ensuring that all members feel included/supported. 

2. Help Payne overcome its technology challenges. 

OK, let’s get started. Below is a UPDATED list of the ideas and initiatives we discussed and possible next steps. 

1. Challenge: How to spend additional American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding: LSAT heard from Principal Byrd’s delegate for the meeting, Mr. Eskay, that the pre-COVID vision for Payne involved increased focus on project-based tasks, math/science, and mining staff interests for use in the classroom (school newspaper, etc…). Mr. Eskay described that focus on these areas is still possible but there will also need to be time for remediation to catch kids up after COVID. LSAT also heard that Mr. Eskay and Principal Byrd have not yet heard details on the amount or specifications for the ARP funding. LSAT had a healthy discussion on the utility of spending more money on social/emotional support vs. academics post pandemic. Some teachers observed that the kids have shown resilience since back in school. 

Possible Next Steps:  LSAT agreed that a simple survey of the community’s preferences for how to spend the additional funding would be a good idea. 

Action:  Becky Bell, Liz Aloi, Mr. Gordon and I provided input which Mr. Eskay endorsed. Survey and email are ready to be sent. 

2. Challenge: Recruitment and Retention. LSAT members got a readout from Liz Aloi who organized a successful event at the RFK Fields where Payne LSAT and volunteers spoke to numerous families that are matched with Payne. Mr. Creef and another volunteer organized a subsequent event though there was less traffic for that one, perhaps because of shorter notice. 

Possible Next Steps:  LSAT could consider organizing one more event before the end of the year, perhaps early June? 

Action:  Mr. Creef described an outdoor science event he is planning to do, could that be on a Saturday and double as a recruitment/retention event?

3. Challenge: Communication During COVID. LSAT members briefly touched on previous discussions around communication between the school and parents and how all our inboxes are slammed. 

Possible Next Steps: There was agreement that making these LSAT notes public, in addition to Principal Byrd’s more recent zoom calls and the improved Payne Post format/content could help make parents feel more connected to Payne during the pandemic. 

Action: Principal Byrd/Mr. Eskay- please have a look at these notes in the next few days and let me know if you have any adjustments before i send to the Payne community and post on the Payne PTA website. Principal Byrd/Mr. Eskay/Liz–can we include the POC chart as a standard addition to the Payne Post and post it other places like the PTA website, etc…? 

4. Challenge: Address gentrification to build school community

Possible Next Steps:  Chris Tissue provided a summary of the Payne Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) group’s various initiatives. Good to hear that Ms. Bannister will play a central role in Payne’s DEI efforts for next year. DEI group has had some success in finding a more diverse group of parents to join PTA and consider running for PTA and/or. Another idea surfaced on big brother/big sister programs, possibly around reading help or other useful mentoring opportunities.

Action: All:  PTA President Deidre Duffy, Ms. Bannister, and Becky Bell raised their hands to work on what a big brother/big sister program at Payne might look like. Payne’s DEI group will continue to report back to the LSAT on activities and for more ideas. Others are welcome to join. Please contact Chris Tissue from our LSAT at 

5. Challenge: LSAT Organization for Next Year. LSAT members discussed timing of next LSAT elections and considered 2 year terms. 

Possible Next Steps: LSAT members approved postponing LSAT elections to the Fall (same as PTA) to take advantage of parent excitement regarding return to school/in person learning. LSAT members considered merits of making two year LSAT terms noting that it would be great for consistency and an even more experienced LSAT cadre, though there may be some risk in not finding enough volunteers. 

Action: Further consider the merits of 2-year terms, perhaps for Payne staff as well and chime in with your thoughts. 

6. Challenge: Find community representatives to provide advice and support.  LB and Robyn from NRG which runs “The Roost”  on Penn Ave and 15th SE– are willing to work with Payne. 

Possible Next Steps: Bekcy Bell is willing to assist Liz Aloi in contacting NRG about a “Payne day” fundraiser and to ensure that we are spreading the word about their generosity in our community (PTA newsletter). 

Action All: Please think about other local businesses we could partner with. Safeway? 

7. Challenge: DCPS computers are not working for Teachers. Thanks to Ms. Randolph we know that teachers are using 2-3 devices and more often those are problematic personal devices. We have recruited an “IT Squad” of 4 dads who are willing to help right away. 

Possible Next Steps:  The IT Squad is still willing to help teachers. Let’s please keep spreading the word. Any teacher who is having IT problems you can email them at and one of the dads will contact them. 

Action:  Principal Byrd/Teachers–Please continue to encourage your fellow Payne Staff to take up the IT Squad on their offer and let’s think of what else we might do to help.