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    The Hamilton Weekly News
    Back-to-School Edition
    September 4, 2015

    Newsletters are emailed every Thursday morning. During the school year, a limited number of printed copies will also be available in the main office.

    Know of someone not receiving the newsletter? Please email

    Daily Schedule/Bell times

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

    School website:


    The SPS 2014-15 Academic Calendar is available here:




    Wed. 9/9

    First day of school!

    Wed. 9/9

    Welcome coffee for 6th grade families, 7:50-9:00 am
    See more info below

    Sat. 9/19

    Annual Parent Fall Kick-Off Party | Volunteers needed!

    6:30-9:30 p.m., Phinney Neighborhood Center (more info below)

    Wed. 9/23

    2-hour early dismissal


    Thurs. 10/1

    Curriculum night (all grades)


    Fri. 10/9
    No school (teacher work day)


    Wed. 10/28
    2-hour early dismissal

    Fri 10/30

    Reflections art contest deadline (more info below)




    Dear Hamilton Community,

    Welcome to the 2015-16 school year. Though it only really starts on the 9th, I’ve been lucky to get small tastes of what the school year is like. Last week, a group of amazing 8th graders came in to help us design a welcome day for our newest 6th-grade students. This building is not a school until there are young people in it, and hearing the voices of students ringing around the commons and in classrooms was a small reminder of why we are all here. Then this week, teachers came back to work. I’m a little gung-ho about the school year and asked teachers to dive straight into important and what I expect will be impactful work.

    We’re beginning to explore what Hamilton could be and should be in five years – the year 2020.

    It was heartening to hear teachers express a desire to more fully embrace the “international” that is at the center of what we call our school. There was also a desire to continue and build on the extraordinary music programs that we have at Hamilton, which is as much a part of what makes us who we are today as anything. Teachers also noted and expressed a vision that Hamilton is a place that reaches all of our students in a personal and meaningful way. We have a long commitment as adults and it’s present in our students to include and create rich learning experiences for students regardless of ability and background.

    This was both a celebration of the many successes at Hamilton as well as an acknowledgement that we have areas toward which we need to grow.

    I personally believe that Hamilton is a middle school that should be a model middle school. In some areas we are. And part of our work is to identify those areas where we need to grow, build on our strengths, and be honest and transparent about where we fall short.

    That said, we also spent time looking at some preliminary results of our students did last year on the Smarter Balanced Assessments. It seems our students did amazingly well as a whole. We are proud of our students, and we are proud of our teachers’ work.

    As we are looking more closely at this and other pieces of information from last year, it’s helping us shape this year. Teachers will be planning their courses building on their own expertise and the results that are now trickling in.

    The richest part of that work will start next week when all of our students turn this building into a school – Hamilton International Middle School. 

    One last note: by the time you’re reading this, we may know more about whether our teachers and support staff have reached an agreement with Seattle Public Schools. Everyone at Hamilton is hopeful that both sides will find the last bits of common ground that will result in a great start on Wednesday. 

    I so looking forward to seeing our building fill with students. 

    Go Hawks!

    Tipton Blish





    We’re saving trees! Please fill out your school forms online as soon as you can. Visit the
    HIMS website for details.



    Sept. 9, from 7:45-9:00 a.m., on the sport court patio behind Hamilton. After seeing off your new-to-HIMS student, please plan to stay for coffee, mingle with other new parents and meet Principal Blish. PTSA Board members will also be on hand to answer your questions.



    From Sam Bell, PTSA Legislative Liaison:

    As the volunteer Legislative Liaison, my role is to keep the board and Hamilton parents informed about public school topics and initiatives at the state and local level as well as assisting the PTSA in advocating for our children. Here’s the latest:

    • Negotiations between the teachers, represented by the Seattle Education Association (SEA), and the Seattle Public Schools remain in stalemate. By the time you read this newsletter, the SEA will have voted on whether or not to strike. To stay abreast of the latest, you can subscribe to text messages from them at Updates from the Seattle Public Schools are less frequent and can be found at Across both parties, the primary issues are pay and workload. The SEA also highlights employee evaluations, recess time, testing, and equity issues. The PTSA has not taken a stand on their priorities in these negotiations.
    • At the state level, our Supreme Court began fining the state legislature $100,000 per day until it complies with the McCleary case to meet the constitutional requirements for education. The legislature is working to figure out a plan.

    Once the kids are back in school, I’ll be diving into concerns expressed by parents around class size, testing and facilities. I’d love to have other parents participating in this process. If you are interested, I can be reached at


    The Counseling Team is very excited about this upcoming school year. 

    Your Counseling Team:

    Mr. Neil Yeda—6th grade Counselor
    206 252-5828

    Mrs. Lilia Elena Goldsmith—7th grade Counselor

    206 252-5843 

    Mrs. Kelli Colleran—8th grade Counselor
    206 252-5830

    Mr. Luke Sworts—Neighborcare Counselor
    206 940-2582

    We’re fortunate to have two Counseling Interns who will be at HIMS part-time throughout the school year.

    Mrs. Breanne Skorud—City University, Counseling Intern

    Mr. John Taylor—Seattle University, Counseling Intern

    All of our offices can be found in the Counseling Center located on the first floor in the West Hallway. Middle school counselors provide academic support, promote social emotional learning, and introduce and develop career & college guidance to HIMS students.  We look forward to working with you and your student.


    Saturday, Sept. 19, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

    At the Phinney Neighborhood Association (6532 Phinney Ave N.). Come celebrate the new school year with your fellow parents while enjoying a beverage and nibbles.

    **This is a parent-only event**

    Volunteers are needed! Contact Shannon Frizzell ( if you’re available to help set up (5 p.m.) or clean up after the event.

    Also, please make sure to look in your student’s first week of school packet for the Hamilton PTSA membership form and sign up to join the Hamilton PTSA. Our ability to support the school and our students is so much stronger when all our families are involved!

    For information on these or other volunteer opportunities, please contact the Hamilton PTSA at


    6) TRAFFIC
    Hamilton traffic flow

    We kindly request that parents/guardians dropping off and picking up their students travel west ONLY on 41st St. (the south side of HIMS) so that students can safely get in/out of their car on the school side of the street. Otherwise, we have traffic gridlock, and it creates unsafe conditions for our students and neighbors. See the map here.


    Show your school spirit and get your HIMS sweatshirts, t-shirts and other gear here!

    Have some news or event info you’d like listed? Please email newsletter editor Erica Jorgensen or text your info to her at 206 898-8535.



    MUSIC: FOMAHI  (Friends of Music at Hamilton International)

    Greetings music families! We are the Friends of Music at Hamilton International, better known as "FOMAHI." Think of us as your volunteer backstage crew. We fundraise, organize trips and concerts, manage instrument inventory, and provide ongoing support to our fabulous directors throughout the year. Most importantly, we will be your primary source of information about the music program throughout the year.

    We will be sending home more info about FOMAHI—including how to register—in the next few weeks. We will be sending out information based on your child's music class or activity, including concert and rehearsal reminders, trip updates and other important info. Please fill out the registration for every music student in your household! 

    We will be using a new online registration system this year. Watch your student's backpack for details. In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to know more about volunteering with us, please email us at:



    Students are invited to create artworks for the 2015-2016 PTA Reflections Art Contest. The theme is "Let Your Imagination Fly."

    Reflections is a national PTA program that recognizes excellence in student art. In its 40-year history, millions of students have participated. They first compete locally, with selected works advancing to city, state and national competitions. In past years, a number of works by HIMS students have advanced to the state and national levels.

    Reflections takes submissions in the areas of literature, visual arts, photography, music composition, dance choreography, and film production. Students may submit more than one work, and all entries must be the original work of one student.

    The deadline for submissions is October 30, 2015.

    Questions? Contact Janee Kreinheder at or Laura Baldwin at



    Sports physicals
    All students wishing to participate in a sport must have a current physical form signed by a doctor on file in the main office. Forms are good for 2 years.
    Girls’ soccer and co-ed ultimate frisbee start in September.
    (Find the form on the HIMS website under
    Student Activities/Athletics.)

    Hamilton Fall Ultimate Frisbee

    All players interested in playing Ultimate for the fall season need to:

    1. Complete and return the SPS Registration Packet to the front office by Sept.16.

    2. Register online for Ultimate.


    Please visit our website for the full information and further details on how to register:




    1) Ballard Youth Basketball tryouts

    Register at

    Sunday, September 13

    Ballard Boys and Girls Club


    4th-6th Grades: 4-5 p.m.

    7th & 8th Grades: 5-6 p.m.

    *There is no cost to tryout*

    *Registration Required*

    Season: September 14 to November 15

    1 league and 1 tournament 

    Practices:  TBD following tryouts

    Season cost: Will be posted before tryouts


    2) Roosevelt High School Jazz Band

    On Thursday, October 29, the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band has the honor to play with the Seattle Symphony as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival.  Tickets & info:


    3) Middle School Union
    Is your child interested in taking part in improving their middle school—and the school district as a whole? Would they like to become better leaders and have a little more power and responsibility in the Seattle Public schools district? Let them know about a new program called the Middle School Union! It will allow them to collaborate with other middle school students from all over Seattle and to represent their school and the student voice. Our goal is to work together to change our middle schools for the better. Contact us at for more information. Thank you!


    4) After-school Spanish lessons

    ¡Hola! Spanish lessons are offered at Vámanos Spanish Center

    Tuesdays & Thursdays for 6th-8th graders. (A 10 minute walk from HIMS.)

    For more info:


    5) One on One Basketball Seattle

    Fall Player Development Program (PDP) Classes for ages 6-15

    One on One's premier skills training program.
    NOW is the time to work on your individual skills with One on One before basketball season!

    Locations:  Ravenna CC (Tue/Thur) and Queen Anne CC (Mon/Wed)

    Begins: week of September 21!

    Visit our website to find out which color level to register for!


    6) John Stanford Chess Club

    The John Stanford Chess Club is hosting weekly chess classes with Coach Leo Stefurak on Mondays starting Oct. 5 for 10 weeks. This class is open to 6th-8th graders (up to 10 total) from HIMS as well.  

    Meet Coach Leo and participate in a "simul" demonstration at Family Chess Night at John Stanford International School, 9/22 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria.

    Details:  10 Classes on Mondays: 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/30, 12/7, 12/14. Intermediate/Advanced Chess, with Coach Leo (Grades K-8, Cost TBD, 3:50-5:20 p.m.). 

    The club is excellent for kids who are excited about chess and want to learn more about tactics and strategy. The cost will depend on the number enrolled, but will likely be in the range of $275-$375/student. To determine if this class is appropriate for your child or if you have questions about registration, please contact Chess Club coordinator Emily Menon Bender ( Registration will be available Sept 16-25.





    HIMS does not screen or endorse any of the programs listed in the Community News Section


    Hamilton International Middle School
    1610 N 41st St, Seattle, WA 98103
    (206) 252-5810