Inside PTSO funding

Alice Stillerman, Junior Editor

The Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) is one of the main funders of many Jackson-Reed programs, clubs, and extracurriculars.

“The Jackson-Reed Parent Teacher Student Organization embraces our community and helps support the many needs that exceed our school budget from DCPS. The PTSO raises funds to ensure that we can meet the needs of the administrators, teachers and students as they arise,” PTSO president Heather Powers said. 

Donations to the PTSO made by community members are directly sent to teachers, administrators, staff, and students that submit funding requests through grants. For example, last year an $180 donation provided a chemistry class with 10 brand new copies of the textbook “Alchemy and Air” while another donation provided students taking the in-school SAT with snacks for the day. The PTSO also funds Jackson-Reed’s Student Government Association (SGA). 

The PTSO is made up of a board and collaborates with the Local School Advisory Team (LSAT) and Athletic Boosters. “The Board is elected in May and begins transitioning immediately. Our efforts really pick up in July, planning for the year and August activities such as orientations, summer mailings, and principal meet and greets,” Powers said. 

The PTSO also encourages building community. 

“We are active with Back to School nights, academy nights, La Noche de Familias, Tenleytown Art All Night, and other events to connect the community with the school,” Powers said. 

The PTSO this year has already had many successful donation campaigns. So far, they have provided new pieces of equipment for 500 lab students, supplied the embroidery club with the needed funds to create a club, and provided professional development for social studies teachers, among other initiatives. After portable trailers were installed in the staff parking lot, the PTSO contributed $2000 for staff parking permits. 

Their most recent campaign, the Inaugural Jackson-Reed PTSO Fundraising Campaign, has a goal of $150,000 and has raised $54,897 with 144 donors as of October 19. Donors also were entered in for a chance to win a Microsoft surface laptop and any donations exceeding $1,000 receive Jackson-Reed merchandise, Jackson-Reed performance tickets, and a Beacon subscription. 

The PTSO board meets monthly and reviews all grant requests. If a grant request is over $1,000, a formal presentation is required. Grant requests include funding for field trips, supplies for research and labs, and learning subscriptions. “We are focused on efforts that help enrich students’ experiences in the classroom and in extracurricular activities, and aid the teachers who continue to do amazing work in a large, overcrowded school,” Powers said. 

Clubs and academies such as the Biomedical Sciences Academy receive an allotment of funding and a budget each year from the PTSO to help fund their various activities. “​​Other efforts we expect to support this year include the theater productions, robotics team, debate team, and many other club efforts,” Powers said. 

The PTSO also has an Amazon Smile account, a certain portion of any purchase made through Amazon that has the Jackson-Reed PTSO listed as a charitable donor will go to the PTSO. 

“As the elected president this year, I work with our amazing board, our new principal, the director of strategy and logistics, and others who are committed to making Jackson-Reed a safe learning experience for all 2100+ students,” Powers said.