Lawton Elementary School



Direct Drive Annual Appeal Update

Enrich Our Community
Lawton Elementary School  Annual Appeal

Lawton Community, we want to take this opportunity to update you on the progress of the ENRICH OUR COMMUNITY DIRECT DRIVE. We are at the half way point of the drive. We have received a show of support from 112 of our 336 families. A third is a good start, but we know we can do better! The funds we are raising this month are used to support activities for this school year. Listed below are just some of the things your donations are used to support:

  • Science Week-$3,000.00
  • World Cultures-$5,000.00
  • Visiting Authors-$2,500.00
  • Library Materials-$4,000.00
  • Computer Licenses-$4,000.00
  • Art Docent Program-$3,500.00
  • Classroom Resources-$2,000.00
  • PE Program Materials-$3,000.00
  • Playground Supervision-$3,654.00
  • Math and Mingle Night-$1,000.00
  • Music Program Materials-$3,000.00
  • Science/Social Study Field Trips-$4,230.00

Add your show of support of the Lawton PTA and school programs, return a pledge card today!

To date we have pledged donations and matching grants of $56, 765.00 which is 39% of the way to our goal of


Please show your support in any way you can by returning your Pledge Card and help impact your child’s life. All Pledge Cards are Due October 31st.

The PTA would also like to thank the following families for returning their Pledge Cards.


Your Lawton PTA

Lawton’s 1st “STEAM” Challenge – Friday, October 24th

This Friday, October 24th will be Lawton’s 1st STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) Challenge This first one is called the “Cardboard Challenge” and was inspired by “Caine’s Arcade”. For more information about this challenge, click here.

Students participating should bring their projects to their classrooms on Thursday, the 23rd or Friday, the 24th.

Transportation Issues

Principal Manza realizes that there has been many challenges related to the bus, primarily with Bus 755.  Our wonderful office staff, Laura Thomas and Annette Godon, have been working and sharing concerns with transportation.  However, it is important parents have the opportunity to express concerns with transportation directly as that is the department that schedules, handles, and fields all concerns related to transportation.  If you have concerns regarding your child’s bus please contact:

Michele Drorbaugh
Transportation Manager

Direct Drive Update – Thank You!

We would like to give a sincere THANK YOU to the following 56 families who have returned Direct Drive Pledge Cards during the first 11 days of the campaign. We are pleased with your show of support for the Lawton PTA and Lawton Elementary. We have 19% participation to date and have reached 23% of our total goal! To date we have raised a total of $32,665.00 + $1200.00 from matching grants for a  grand total of $33, 865.00

Add your show of support today of the Lawton PTA and school programs!

We are moving towards our goal of $145,000 but still have a ways to go. Remember that your support helps support the following:

  • ART EDUCATION – Ask your child if they are working with watercolor artist Carol McKinney!
  • VISITING ARTISTS - Ask you child about the one we just had on Thursday!
  • VISITING AUTHORS – Ask your child about visiting authors Tom Watson and Janet Wong!
  • COMMUNITY AND FAMILY EVENTS – Did you come to Family Health and Fitness Night? – PTA sponsored!
  • PLAYGROUND SUPERVISION – We have been able to hire one new supervisor!
  • STUDENT SUPPORT – Supporting our primary classes!
  • And much, much more!!

We have 19 more days! Please return your Pledge Card today and help impact your child’s life.


Your Lawton PTA



Support Lawton’s Direct Drive

The 2014-15 school year is off to a great start and we hope your children have been enjoying their time back. We have had change in leadership and staffing but the one constant we’ve always had at Lawton has been the parent and community support. With this support we are able to enrich the lives of our students in ways we wouldn’t be able to without your support. Please take a moment to read the letter explaining what the Direct Drive is and how it it funds the many wonderful things that Lawton does for all it’s students.

Click here to read the letter from Principal Manza and our two PTA Co- Presidents Carrie Wheeler and Kathryn Ficarra.

Click here to view the Direct Drive pamphlet and see the many ways the Direct Drive supports our school.

Join Us for “It Takes A Village” General Membership PTA Meeting

Please join us for our first General Membership PTA meeting this Thursday, October 2nd from 6:30 – 8:00. Childcare is available for children who are 4 years old and up (must be potty trained).

Agenda for the evening:

6:30-7:30 – PTA general membership meeting

  • Our first guest will be former Seattle School Board member Michael DeBell who will share information on the measure for early childhood education.
  • Next, Principal Manza will be there for meet and greet and to provide an overview of the year and how to be actively involved in the PTA this year.

7:30-8:00 – Room Parent Training


Reward for the class that gets the most parents to the PTA meeting!

Lawton Family Health, Fitness & Fun Night – October 9, 2014 – 6-8 p.m.

Join us for an evening of fun, fitness, and health as you explore the different ways you and your family can lead a healthier, holistic, and fun lifestyle. This fall event is not to be missed because it’s for the whole family!

In addition to local health and wellness providers in our community, the Lawton PTA is proud to be bringing you the fun and entertaining W.E. C.A.R.E. Sports. Our students will be receiving lessons in juggling and perseverance throughout the day on October 9th in P.E. classes from W.E. C.A.R.E. Sports and the fun will continue throughout the evening.

Come dressed & ready to move!! No watching from the sidelines this night! Click here for a quick glimpse of guests.

In order to get an early start, please consider bringing a nonperishable food donation for the food drive, which benefits Lawton families in need. We will have a collection box at the front entrance. See you there!


Before and After School Enrichment classes updates

If you haven’t registered your child for an enrichment class there is still time.  The deadline for the PTA sponsored programs is September 26th but the sooner you do it the better. Several of our classes are already full and others are getting close. Click here for the most recent class information.

Good news regarding the Creative Coding class. Because of the high interest, we were able to add second class on Friday. If you were interested and Wednesdays didn’t work for you, Friday is now an option.

Language Link is proud to be offering Spanish Language class again. Click here for more information.

Chess4Life is also back with Chess before school. Click here for more information.

Chess Club back at Lawton!

Chess4Life is excited to be back at Lawton to offer Chess club to our students. Please click here to view information on how to register for this before school class.



Spanish Language Class

The Language Link is proud to be able to offer Spanish to Lawton students during the 2014-15 school year. Click here for more information about the class and registration.

2014-15 PTA Fall/Winter Before and After School Enrichment Classes

The  long awaited registration packet with the PTA  before and after school enrichment offerings is ready to go!  We are pleased to say that we have 19 different classes to choose from and 3 new ones.

Please click here to view the full offering of classes plus registration information.

A message from Principal Manza

Dear Lawton Families, Staff, and Community Members,

It is with great pride and excitement that I am writing this letter to you as the newly appointed Interim Principal at Lawton Elementary School.  The opportunity to learn and lead at Lawton was an offer that I welcomed.   My wife Merrill, our eighteen month old daughter Penelope and I cannot wait to become Lawton Dolphins!

I am starting my eleventh year in education, and my fundamental goal has not changed since the first day I stepped into the classroom as a teacher.  I want to have a lasting positive impact on the lives of students.  As teachers and building leaders we have a profound responsibility to educate children from a holistic approach including reading and writing, math and science, health and fitness, the arts, and social-emotional development.  I look forward to learning from the Lawton staff and leading the educators to continue improving student learning for all students in every classroom every day.  In addition, I anticipate working side by side with families and community members to provide the best elementary experience a student can have, enabling our students to leave Lawton highly prepared for middle school and beyond.

I grew up in a family of teachers, and I knew that I would eventually follow in the footsteps of my parents.  My father taught at the elementary and middle school grade levels for twenty years.  Furthermore, my mother just retired after thirty-nine years in education fulfilling the role of a teacher, administrator, and finally a professor.  This upbringing helped me understand at an early age how important an excellent education is for students, families, and a community.

At the family and community level, it is crucial to build rich and inclusive relationships. I am currently working with our PTA president Carrie Wheeler to ensure a smooth transition and set up time for me to meet the students and families of Lawton Elementary.  I look forward to my first opportunity to meet families at “Popsicles in the Park” on Monday, August 18th.   The communication between families, the community, and the building principal is critical, and I will be sure to provide open lines of communication that are positive and transparent.

At the classroom level, clear learning targets and objectives are crucial in establishing a framework for successful academic programs. Students need to know what they are learning and perhaps more importantly why they are learning specific content.  School leadership must establish clear learning targets and objectives by aligning them with the Common Core State Standards.  Moreover, effective intervention strategies need to be in place for students who are struggling and for students who need a greater challenge. This can be done by effective use of professional development days and consistent monitoring of teaching and learning.  I look forward to working with the staff to enrich instruction and learning.

I want to thank Dr. Gerrans for his leadership and dedication to Lawton Elementary.  I am excited about the opportunity to serve the students, staff, and community of Lawton Elementary School.  I am committed to developing positive and lasting relationships. I will work toward supporting an instructional program and school climate that continue to result in high academic achievement of all students.  I look forward to working with you and the children.



Dorian Manza

Lawton PTA welcomes Mr. Manza!

Many people have reached out to the PTA leadership regarding the change in leadership.  Dr. Gerrans has provided consistent leadership at Lawton for the past three years. He has worked hard to provide stability at Lawton after inconsistent leadership in the 3 years prior to his tenure. We have shared our thanks and gratitude for his dedication to our school.  We wish him the best at Salmon Bay and know he will bring stability and high expectations to his new school home through his leadership.While the timing of the transition is difficult, Lawton is a great school with a strong community. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Manza into our thriving and energetic school family. The Lawton staff is already working with Mr. Manza and he is enthusiastic and excited about being a part of the Lawton community.
Mr. Manza has reached out to the PTA board about creating opportunities to meet the broader Lawton community. Mr. Manza will be available to meet families this month at the popsicles in the park.  We have two scheduled in the next 2 weeks.  Typically these events are for new families and incoming kindergarteners, however, Mr. Manza asked that these events be opened up to the entire Lawton community.  Please join us on the Lawton playground to meet Mr. Manza, enjoys a few last moments of summer, and see old school friends.  The two popsicles in the park are scheduled:

  • Monday August 18th at Noon
  • Wednesday August 27th at 6:30pm
There will also be two opportunities in the first month of school to meet Mr. Manza and help him to get to know Lawton. The Back to School Bash for the whole family is scheduled for Friday September 12th. In addition, the PTA will host a fall PTA general membership meeting for parents and teachers on Thursday October 2nd. Both events will be in the evening. We hope many of you can join us on both occasions.
Welcome Mr. Manza to the Lawton family!  
Looking forward to another great year!  
Carrie Wheeler and Kathryn Ficarra
Lawton PTA Co-Presidents

Leadership change message from the Superintendent

Dear Lawton Elementary community,

Today I’m announcing a leadership change at Lawton. Your principal, Dr. Neil Gerrans, has been appointed to serve as the principal of Salmon Bay K-8. I know asking a principal to leave a building right before the school year is difficult for staff and families. However, I believe this decision is in the best interest of all of our students.

I am pleased we are able to announce that Dorian Manza will serve as your Interim Principal. Mr. Manza comes to Lawton Elementary from Whitman Middle School, where he served as Assistant Principal. He starts immediately and will be working with staff this month to make sure we are ready for our first day of school.

At Whitman, Mr. Manza led building-wide professional development in positive discipline and school safety and collaborated with the Building Leadership Team to develop annual school improvement plans. Before joining Whitman, he was the Dean of Students at Alderwood Middle School, where he started his career in education teaching history, health and fitness.

Mr. Manza has a Bachelor’s degree from Washington State University and his Master’s in Education and principal certification from City University. He said he is eager to meet students and collaborate with both staff and families to ensure student success.

As is our practice with an interim appointment, Sarah Pritchett, Executive Director of Schools for the Central Region, will work with the Lawton community in deciding if the position will become a full appointment or if we will go through a formal interview process. That engagement process will take place this winter.

Thank you for the high expectations that you set for every student, and for all that you do. And please join me in welcoming Mr. Manza to Lawton!



Dr. Larry Nyland

Interim Superintendent

Seattle Public Schools

New Volunteer Requirements

See new volunteer criteria below.  As volunteers complete these new requirements, they must provide Annette with a copy via email/in-person that they have completed the online course and the hand book.


All volunteers must complete the online course on Adult Sexual Misconduct Prevention: and sign off on the Volunteer Hand Book.  Because we are transitioning into this new online requirement phase, existing volunteers have until the end of the school year to view the Adult Sexual Misconduct Prevention video and complete the online course.  This requirement regarding the online course is new as of Feb. 1, 2014.  All volunteers are required to read and sign the Volunteer Handbook at the time they sign up to volunteer.  Reading and signing-off on the Volunteer Handbook is not a new requirement.

The volunteer is required to take the online course on Adult Sexual Misconduct Prevention only once.   If an existing volunteer plans to continue as a  volunteer at SPS,  they will need to complete the online course by next school year. It will be helpful for the volunteer to complete the course sooner rather than later.  There is very helpful information in the video that protects them as a volunteer.

The volunteer will provide you with a copy via email/in-person that they completed the online course.  I hope this helps and please let me know if I can answer any additional questions.   Thanks!

Ronald I. McGlone
District Ombudsman
Office of the Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools
2445 3rd Ave South, Seattle, WA 98124
206.252.0529 phone
206.743.3000 fax

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