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    The Hamilton Weekly News

    January 19, 2017

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    Calendar of Upcoming Events

    1/21 (Saturday)

    • Junior Thespian Festival (9 am–4 pm in the Commons/Stage)

    1/22 (Sunday)

    • PTSA Mini Grants Committee Meeting (11 am)

    1/23 (Monday)

    • Winter HOST begins

    1/26 (Thursday)

    • PTSA Winter Membership Meeting (7–9 pm in the HIMS library)

    1/28 (Saturday)

    • Option school choice fair (10 am–2 pm at Cleveland STEM)

    1/31 (Tuesday)

    • Hamilton Open House (6:30–8:30 pm in the Commons)

    2/1 (Wednesday)

    • Day between semesters (no school)

    2/6 (Monday)

    2/9 (Thursday)

    • Music-a-thon (all day on the stage and in the Commons and conference room)

    • Young Musician’s Concert (7–9 pm in the Commons)

    2/13 (Monday)

    • Open enrollment begins (apply by walk in, mail, or online)

    2/24 (Friday)

    • Open enrollment ends


    PTSA News

    PTSA Winter Membership Meeting: Thurs., Jan. 26


    Does your child struggle with impulse control, organization or emotional control? You’re not alone! Come find out how you can help your child with these and other executive functions.

    All Hamilton parents and community members are invited to join us for this second PTSA Membership meeting of the school year! At the meeting, we’ll be joined by Megan Reimann, coach and learning specialist at the Hallowell Todaro Center. Megan will speak on executive function development, the learning brain and executive functions, and will delve into the rationale behind E.F. strategies, particularly for individuals with learning differences, dyslexia, stress and anxiety, ADHD, etc. Everyone will leave armed with specific strategies, tips, and tools for helping their growing middle schooler.

    Before the speaker, the PTSA will conduct some important business items, such as:

    • Budget and Fall Fund Drive Update

    • Approving Expenditures w/Membership Vote

    • Updating Standing Rules w/Membership vote

    (Only registered PTSA Members will be able to vote. Register online at

    Please join us Thurs., Jan. 26 in the Hamilton Commons from 7–9pm.  All are welcome to attend, PTSA member or not.  Childcare is available.

    RSVP for childcare:


    New★ PTSA Mini Grant Committee: Get involved!

    Sun., Jan. 22 at 11 am (please email for location)

    Every year the PTSA allocates funds for small grants to teachers and faculty, and then decides who has a project that deserves the dough! This is one of the best ways to make a real, immediate difference for our teachers and classrooms. The PTSA Mini Grant application process has closed, but we still have room on the Mini Grants Committee. Our small but mighty mini grant committee welcomes you! Please email Mini Grant Co-Chairs Elizabeth Sorby ( or Maria Gingerich ( for more info and the meeting's address (just blocks from Hamilton). Thank you!


    Follow Up to PTSA Meeting with Mayor Murray

    At our November PTSA Board Meeting, we were joined by Mayor Ed Murray, who came to share information about his Education Summit and glean feedback from our community. At the meeting, Wallingford residents also questioned Mayor Murray about the proposed upzoning and how it would affect the neighborhood. Mayor Murray followed up by sending us a link with the most up-to-date drafts of the proposed zoning changes, which can be found at On that page, if you click on “Draft zoning changes,” you’ll find a pull down menu for neighborhoods across the City, including Wallingford.

    For more information on his Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), and how you can give feedback, visit:


    Assistant Principal’s Letter

    Hamilton Families,

    Hamilton students put on a great event last Friday to celebrate and honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Numerous students who are members of a group called “H.A.R.” (short for Hamilton Against Racism) put in a great deal of time and effort to plan the presentation. Their hard work was realized in a wonderful presentation in the gym to the rest of the student body.  Students answered difficult questions about how racism can affect others and named what they each could do to carry on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Special thanks also to the choir and jazz band for their performances during the assembly.

    As I have been visiting the science labs recently, I have witnessed many classes that are participating in some new and additional curriculum that has a focus on engineering. No longer are students getting a set of materials with instructions and simply following each step to the end. No, these students are designing their own labs and learning a great deal about what it means to design an experiment themselves and have ownership when they test their hypothesis. Students are deciding what to test and working together to find creative ways to test that.  

    Maybe, being a former Chemistry teacher, I am biased on just how cool these projects are, but the students seem to love it. Our science teachers have worked together very hard to create and plan activities for students to not only do the science, but also to have the opportunity to create their own experiments and explore the results of their own creation.   We hope these units with an emphasis on student-centered projects will allow students to think deeper and come away with an appreciation of how difficult, yet rewarding, the study of various sciences can be.  

    Scott Reisinger

    Assistant Principal


    Hamilton News

    New★ Goodbye and Thanks to Mr. Yeda

    Last Friday was my last day to be a Hamilton Hawk after 22 years!  My only regret is that I am leaving in the middle of the school year.  You are very lucky to have a very talented and caring staff here and I am sure that your students will be well taken care of.  I am relocating to Orlando, FL because my wife was offered a great job opportunity.  So together we begin a new adventure.  I wish you all the very best.

    Neil S. Yeda, 7th grade and Head Counselor



    New★ Reminder to Keep Sick Kids Home to Stay Home

    It’s flu season! Students need to stay home when sick with fevers and aches and pains both to slow the spread of illness to other students and to recover faster.

    Read more about the flu from the Centers for Disease Control.

    Also read these guidelinesWhen To Stay Home.pdf about when to stay at home.

    Thank You!!!

    Anne Fote

    Your school nurse



    Mumps Update

    Dear School Community,

    As you may know, many cases of mumps are showing up in King County. Please watch your students closely for signs and symptoms, including: fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and/or swollen, tender salivary glands under the ears on one or both sides. If you notice these in your student, please contact their health care provider immediately. Fortunately, students who have been vaccinated are far less likely to get mumps, and if they do, are less likely to have a severe case. Please ensure that your student has been thoroughly vaccinated. Be advised: there is a possibility that if a case occurs in our school community, students who have not been fully vaccinated may need to be excluded from school for at least 25 days for their own and the community’s safety. Thank you for your attention. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    In health,

    Anne Fote

    Your school nurse



    No Grandfathering of Rising 8th Graders & Unclear Impact to Hamilton of Massive Budget Cuts

    At the Jan. 11 meeting of the Seattle Public Schools, grandfathering of rising 8th graders was voted down. In part, the vote was a result of the large budget deficit expected for the next fiscal year. Based on the presentation by Superintendent Nyland, the schools expect the levies to be re-authorized by the Washington State Legislature. That still leaves a $44M hole in the budget. We will share more information as we better understand the impact to Hamilton.

    Here's the presentation by the Superintendent on the proposed cuts:

    The Washington State Legislature is currently debating how to resolve the overall funding crisis of education. You can learn more about the current state of negotiations in this Seattle Times Op-Ed:

    We encourage you to make your voice heard. The Hamilton PTSA has passed motions supporting Washington's Paramount Duty. More on this lobbying group can be found here:

    Or you can email them at

    We expect updated fall 2017 enrollment numbers for Hamilton later this month.


    PTSA Staff Luncheon: Please Sign Up to Contribute

    There are just a few slots left on the sign-up for our staff lunch next week on Wed., Jan. 25.  This is the second of five PTSA-organized lunches and will be an Asian buffet to celebrate Chinese New Year with Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese cuisines.

    Sign up here!

    (Our next staff appreciation event will be a dessert spread on Valentine’s Day.)

    Thank you so much for your contributions!

    —Chappell Barber, Staff Appreciation Coordinator


    HIMS to host Junior Thespian Festival

    Sat., Jan. 21 from 9 am–4 pm at HIMS

    Hamilton International Middle School will be hosting this year’s Washington Junior Thespian Festival. This was a last minute opportunity we could not pass up! Advanced Drama students are invited to attend the event as workshop participants to see if they would be interested in competing in future years.

    You can find more information and directions for signing up on the Washington Thespian Society’s webpage Click on Junior Thespians and Events.

    We are looking forward to this fun event!

    —Julia Leonas and Tara Sullivan


    Order Your HIMS Spirit Wear!

    Looking for Hamilton t-shirts, fleece jackets, caps, and more? Order your spirit wear for home delivery from


    SPS News

    Open Enrollment Period Begins Feb. 13

    Open Enrollment is the annual two-week period during which students may first apply to attend a school or program different from their assigned pathway school for the next academic year. Applications may be made by walk in, mail, and online.

    Open enrollment dates are:

    • Mon., Feb. 6, 2017: School choice forms available online

    • Mon., Feb. 13, 2017: Open enrollment begins

    • Fri., Feb. 24, 2017: Open enrollment ends

    • Mon., Apr. 17, 2017: Assignment lookup tool available online

    • Wed., May 31, 2017: School choice for 2017–18 ends

    Click here for more information on open enrollment.

    Please note: Students interested in Ingraham’s IB program must apply and will be admitted on a space available basis.


    Option School Choice Fair

    Sat., Jan. 28 from 10 am–2 pm at Cleveland STEM High School (5511 15th Ave. S)

    The Seattle Public Schools Admissions Office will host the second annual Option School Choice Fair. Representatives from all option schools and Advanced Learning, Nutrition Services, Transportation, Enrollment Planning, many other SPS departments will be present to answer your questions!

    This event will offer perspective on the SPS school choice process, unique offerings at each option school, new schools opening, school boundary changes, and other key information to help you choose the right school for your student.

    • Bring your documents to enroll your students

    • Discover alternative learning experience options

    • Learn about school boundary changes and new schools

    • Enjoy refreshments

    • Meet other families and students

    To attend an option school, a student must apply during Open Enrollment, Feb. 13–Feb. 24. School choice forms will be available beginning Feb. 6.

    SPS Option High Schools:


    School Messenger Changes

    A change has been made to the Parent/Guardian contact data that is sent to School Messenger every evening. Previously only contacts who were checked as Parent/Guardian and who were specific contact types (mother, father, grandmother, etc.) were sent to School Messenger.

    Now all contacts checked as Parent/Guardian are being sent with the following requirements:

    • Same as Student’s Address is checked

    • Or Emergency is checked

    • Or Lives With is checked

    • Or Copy of Correspondence is checked

    Also, contacts marked as Parent/Guardian must have a phone number and/or e-mail address.


    Updated★ Upcoming High School Open Houses


    • 8th Grade Tours

    Wed., Feb. 8

    8 am–8:45 am (meet in the auditorium)

    8:45 am–9:30 am (meet in the auditorium)

    9:30 am (Q&A)

    • 8th Grade Choice Night

    Thurs., Feb. 9

    6:30 pm (tables to visit in Commons)

    7 pm (presentation begins in gym)

    • 8th Grade Tours

    Thurs., Feb. 16

    8 am–8:45 am (meet in the auditorium)

    8:45 am–9:30 am (meet in the auditorium)

    9:30 am (Q&A)

    Center School

    • Thurs., Jan. 19, 6 to 7:30 pm in Armory Loft, 305 Harrison Street, on the Seattle Center campus.


    • Tour: Thurs., Jan. 19 from 9:45–10:40 am in the Garfield Quincy Jones Auditorium

    • Parent Night: Thurs., Jan. 19 at 6 pm


    • Open House for incoming students: Thurs., Feb. 2 at 7 pm in the library

    • Day Time Tour: Weds., Feb. 8 from 9–10:45 am (tour begins in the school library; parents must accompany students)

    • IB Information Night: Weds., Feb. 8 at 7 pm in the library

    Nathan Hale

    Thurs., Feb. 2 from 6–8:30 pm

    • Information Tables and Tours: 6–7 pm in the Commons

    • Presentation & Questions: 7–8:30 pm in the Performing Arts Center


    • Open House: Thurs., Jan. 26 from 6–8 pm


    • Open House:  Thurs., Feb. 2 at 7 pm.

    Parents who are starting to think about the high school transition will find tips and ideas about how to prepare their student(s) at this website:


    Education Funding Crisis

    The Seattle Public Schools district is facing an estimated $74 million shortfall for school year 2017–18. This shortfall is 10% of the budget and will impact the entire district including central office supports (maintenance, programs, and services), teaching and learning, educators, school leaders, and support staff. The District anticipates being forced to lay off approximately 440 staff positions for next school year, and the process for those "Reductions In Force" will start in March/April of 2017. This crisis is the result of two legislative inactions:

    1. The state has failed to fully fund basic education, as mandated by the Washington State Supreme Court in the McCleary decision, based on the Paramount Duty clause in the state constitution. Click here to learn more about McCleary, the Paramount Duty clause in Washington’s constitution, and how Washington has underfunded public education for decades.

    2. The state has failed to reauthorize our district to use all of the voter-approved levy funds. For Seattle, these levies provide a much greater percentage of school funding than in many school districts. Unfortunately, the state legislature has not re-authorized the bill allowing levies and, since Seattle Public Schools must maintain a balanced budget, the district is planning for cuts.

    Please Call Your Elected Officials

    Every person in our community is encouraged to make calls and send emails to your elected officials asking them to take steps to extend the “Levy Cliff” through the end of 2018 and commit to full funding of staff compensation for the 2017–2018 school year. These steps are imperative so that districts across the state won’t be forced to lay off teachers this spring.

    Three action steps you can take immediately:

    1. Contact the three Seattle Public Schools Board Members in charge of government relations: Directors Betty Patu, Sue Peters, and Leslie Harris. Ask them to continue talks with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who has told the Hamilton PTSA that he is very interested in assisting financially to ensure continuity until the Legislature has re-approved the levies.

    2. Call or email Governor Inslee and ask him to fully fund public schools so they don’t lay off teachers this spring: 360-902-4111 and/or

    3. Email or call your legislators to act by March 2017 to extend the "levy cliff" and fully fund education. Look up your legislators here: Find their contact information here:

    Follow the Conversation with Washington's Paramount Duty

    Last year the Hamilton PTSA signed a petition by the advocacy group, Washington's Paramount Duty, to fully fund education in Washington State. You can join Washington's Paramount Duty Facebook group to join the discussion on how we can advocate for full funding for public schools:

    You can also sign up for email alerts here:


    Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee Meeting Schedule

    The 2016–17 meeting schedule for the Highly Capable Services Advisory Committee is listed below. All meetings are on Tuesdays and run from 6:30 until 8 pm.

    Meeting Schedule

    • Feb. 7, Washington Middle School Library

    • March 7, Cascadia (Lincoln) Library

    • April 4, Garfield High School Library

    • May 2, Hamilton International Middle School Library

    • June 6, Madison Middle School Library

    Parent Representative Open Positions

    There are currently several vacant positions on the committee. Parents seeking to fill these positions must be the parent of a highly capable student who attends the school you wish to represent. The requirements of the parent reps are to attend the monthly meetings of the committee (listed above). Click here to read more. If you are interested in filling the open position for HIMS, please complete the nomination form and return it to the committee chair Jeanne Thompson.

    Click here to viHCS AC Nomination Form_2016_17.pdfew the nomination form.


    Music & Art

    Fomahi News

    Upcoming events:

    • Jan. 27: Vocal Jazz will participate in the Bellevue College Jazz Fest

    • Feb. 3: Senior Jazz will participate in the Bellevue College Jazz Festival

    • Feb. 9: The 8th Annual Music-a-thon fundraiser

    Solo and Ensemble Registration Deadline is Coming Up Fast!

    The 2017 Solo and Ensemble will be held Sat., March 11 from 9 am – 4 pm at HIMS. This annual event gives students a chance to practice and perform a piece in front of a friendly adjudicator who will provide feedback on all areas of their performance. Students may perform solo or as part of a group. Complete information including FAQ, plus registration information, can be found at Registration deadline is Tues., Jan. 31, 2017.

    Orchestra: Camp Burton Payments due Fri., Jan 20 TOMORROW

    Camp Burton registration packets were sent home with Junior and Senior Orchestra students recently. Trip payment is due ONLINE by Tomorrow, January 20. Packets are due to Ms. Armaly by tomorrow, Jan. 20. Go to for more information or to make your payment.

    The 8th Annual Music-a-thon is coming on Thurs., Feb. 9!

    The Music-a-thon is an 11+ hour marathon of music provided by HIMS student musicians and ending with a Young Musician’s Concert in the evening. Music-a-thon donations will fund instrument and sheet music purchases; provide financial assistance to students for festival trips and lessons; and cover festival fees, teacher grants, and workshops: all for the students involved in our award-winning music programs this school year. Our goal is to raise at least $25,000 to support this year’s music students at Hamilton.

    To do this, we need your help: We are asking our music community (students, parents, guardians, grandparents, and friends) for donations in support of the Music-a-thon.  Donation forms and envelopes will be coming home the week of Jan. 23. Students are not required to get donations, but we hope most will! To participate, donors can pay with cash, checks (payable to FOMAHI, 1610 N. 41st, Seattle, WA 98103), or online via credit card  

    Students who turn in their Music-a-thon Donation & Participation Form (no donations required) with their parent’s or guardian’s signature by 4  pm, Thurs., Feb. 9 are eligible for a special FOMAHI prize drawing. The class with the highest percentage of participating students will win a class pizza party. Go to for more info.

    Click HERE TO DONATE now to the Music-a-thon!

    Help FOMAHI When You Shop at

    AmazonSmile is a simple way to make a big difference to the Hamilton music program when you shop at! Just go to and enter FOMAHI in the search box. After that, simply start your shopping at Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of your purchases to FOMAHI automatically. Thank you!

    Join the Board! Get Trained Now for 2017–18 Treasurer Role

    Hamilton Music Parents: Interested in being a treasurer in training? Our current board treasurer, Eileen Carroll, is looking for a music parent to succeed her as treasurer next fall.  It would be great to have her successor learn the position this year for an easier transition.  If you’re interested, please email Eileen at or Christian at  


    HOST After-School Programs

    2017 Winter HOST registration is almost here!

    Winter HOST offerings are now posted! Registration begins on Fri., Jan. 13 at 6:30 pm. Our winter HOST session runs from Mon., Jan. 23 through Thurs., March 30. Scholarships are available. Please contact the HIMS YMCA office for more details.

    Click Here for Winter HOST Program Offerings and Class Descriptions!

    Click here to register for winter HOST.

    Please contact the YMCA office for any and all HOST related questions!

    YMCA Director of Education & Leadership

    Liz Abbott (Chase)




    Girl’s JV Basketball Schedule

    • Jan. 21, 12 pm at Madison (vs. Madison)

    • Jan. 28, 2:30 pm at Jane Addams (vs. Eckstein #2)

    • Feb. 4, 10:30 am at Madison (vs. Eckstein #2)

    • Feb. 11, 10:00 am at Jane Addams (vs. McClure)

    • Feb 18, 11:30 am at Jane Addams (vs. Denny)

    • Mar. 4, 2:30 pm at Jane Addams (vs. Eckstein)

    • Mar. 11 11:30 am at Franklin (vs. Aki Kurose)

    Boy’s JV Basketball Schedule

    • Jan. 21, 11:30 am at Chief Sealth (vs. Denny)

    • Jan. 28, 12:00 pm at Jane Addams (vs. Washington)

    • Feb. 4, 10:00 am at Chief Sealth (vs. Mercer)

    • Feb. 11, 10:00 am at Jane Addams (vs. McClure)

    • Feb 18, 11:30 am at Jane Addams (vs. Denny)

    • Mar. 4, 2:30 pm at Jane Addams (vs. Eckstein)

    • Mar. 11 8:30 am at Franklin (vs. Aki Kurose)

    Girl’s Varsity Basketball Schedule

    • Jan. 21, 1:00 pm at Denny (vs. Madison)

    • Jan. 28, 1:00 pm at Chief Sealth (vs. Washington)

    • Feb. 4, 11:30 am at Denny (vs. Mercer)

    • Feb. 11, 1:30 pm at Nathan Hale (vs. McClure)

    • Feb 18, 3:00 pm at Nathan Hale (vs. Denny)

    • Mar. 4, 11:30 am at Ingraham (vs. Eckstein)

    • Mar. 11 10:00 am at Franklin (vs. Aki Kurose)

    Boys Varsity Basketball Schedule

    • Jan. 21, 1:00 pm at Denny (vs. Madison)

    • Jan. 28, 1:00 pm at Denny (vs. Washington)

    • Feb. 4, 11:30 am at Chief Sealth (vs. Mercer)

    • Feb. 11, 1:30 pm at Nathan Hale (vs. McClure)

    • Feb 18, 3:00 pm at Nathan Hale (vs. Denny)

    • Mar. 4, 11:30 am at Ingraham (vs. Eckstein)

    • Mar. 11 10:00 am at Franklin (vs. Aki Kurose)


    Parenting Corner

    Thank you to HIMS School psychologist, Judith Ferguson, for providing us with periodic parenting resources! Look here for articles on topics pertinent to parents of middle school students.

    Middle School: The New High School for Moms

    Are you finding middle school stressful? You’re not alone! Research shows that parenting a middle schooler is more stressful than parenting an infant. This article discusses the rapid changes (social, emotional, and physical) that make middle schoolers confounding to parents, while giving practical advice and resources for maintaining a solid connection when kids need it most. Read more→

    Kids’ Allowance: You’re Doing Allowance Wrong

    We all know how important it is to teach our kids the money-management skills that will help them to grow into responsible, independent adults. This article discusses how an allowance can help us teach our kids about healthy saving, spending, and giving, whatever our family budget is. Read more→



    Camp Sparkle

    Four, free, week-long day camps, 9:30 am–4:00 pm, for kids ages 6–12 (participants must have completed kindergarten) who have a loved one with cancer, who have cancer themselves, or who have lost someone to cancer.

    2017 camp locations and dates:

    • Seattle: June 26–30

    • Tacoma: July 10–14

    • Everett: July 24–28

    • Bellevue: August 7–11

    Click here to view t4 camp flyer 2017.pdfhe Camp Sparkle flyer.


    Moonjar Discounts for HIMS Families

    Seattle company, Moonjar, makes tools to help parents talk to kids about money and to help kids set financial habits that will last a lifetime. HIMS PTSA members can receive a 10% discount on all Moonjar products by using the coupon code HIMSPTSA when ordering on the Moonjar website.


    2017 General & Special Education Conference: Brain-Based Science, Learning, & Achievement, Pre-K through 12th Grade

    March 8–10, 2017 at the Washington State Convention Center (705 Pike St.)

    Twenty-four, full-day courses will be offered on a variety of topics by some of the giants in educational research. Courses are designed for general education teachers, special education teachers, school psychologists, therapists, professional support staff, and administrators.  Parents are also encouraged to attend.

    Click here to read more.



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    The Hamilton Weekly News is emailed on Thursdays to those who have opted in to receive the newsletter at If you have comments, corrections or additions to the Hamilton Weekly News, please contact Monica Payson at We welcome your feedback! Please submit content for inclusion by Wednesday afternoon. Click here for full submission guidelines.

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    Hamilton International Middle School

    1610 North 41st St., Seattle, WA 98103


    Main Office: 252-5810 / Attendance: 252-5814

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