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    Hamilton International Middle School weekly newsletter
    September 10, 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:



    First day of school


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


    Sat. 9/16

    PTSA Board Meeting

    6:30-8:00 p.m., Hamilton Library


    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,

    As I write, it is mid-morning on Wednesday—what was scheduled to be the beginning of the school year. For reasons that are important all the way around it wasn’t our first day, however we are ready—teachers are ready, the building is ready, our support staff is ready.

    As I noted last week, Hamilton continues to be a place where great people want to work, and I would like to introduce you to the newest members of our teaching and classroom support staff:

    Kelsey Way and Christopher Soldaña have joined us as instructional assistants. Kelsey joins us from McClure and Chris from Thornton Creek.

    In our language arts department we welcome Nichole Lau, Dan Waldschmidt, Joe Dethloff, and Sarah Erb. Sarah is an experienced teacher who knows Hamilton well. Dan has been working at Hamilton as an instructional assistant here at Hamilton and already a member of our team. Nichole has experience teaching high school language arts in Redmond and Brooklyn. Joe has been teaching in middle, elementary, and high school in Seattle and Bellevue.

    In Special Education, Annalise Strand and Catherine Carrico are our newest team members. Katie brings much experience as a special education teacher most recently in Everett. Anna did her student teaching at Washington Middle School.

    Danielle Vermaak and Austin Smith join our science department. Dr. Vermaak comes to us from a long career doing research in molecular biology and editing and writing science articles. Austin comes from Montana and taught high school biology as part of his student teaching in Tacoma.

    Paul Harshman is Hamilton’s new Director of Bands. Paul is a veteran band and jazz teacher in Western Washington, most recently as Director of Bands at Lakeside School.

    Tara Sullivan, our new math teacher, also from Montana, has long experience in middle and high school in Boise.

    Daniel Westley will teach Physical Education. This is a return for Daniel, who taught at Hamilton in the past—including to one of our current teachers (!).

    Maggie Firebaugh will be working as a speech language pathologist with us this year.

    Even in their short time here, our newest colleagues know that Hamilton is a school where we work together for our students and where we our families are integral partners in this work.

    One piece of business: The front office staff is currently working including Elizabeth Peila, our registrar. As you are logging into the Source and seeing your students’ schedules, if you have a question, send her a note (email).

    Best wishes and go Hawks!

    Tipton Blish




    HIMS looks forward to welcoming students after the strike.
    For updates:



    Dear Hamilton Families,

    I wish I could be writing about what an exciting first day of school we had yesterday, but as you all know, school was not in session. Instead, we all kept our kids home (or had them watched elsewhere), and wondered what it would take to get the school year started. The answer varies depending on who you ask, but the one thing everyone agrees on is that our kids deserve the best school experience that our district and teachers can give them, and that both sides are working to reach an agreement on a new contract for our amazing group of teachers and staff members.

    Whatever side you stand on, I stood yesterday with our teachers—as did many HIMS parents, students and community members—as they picked up signs and walked a picket line in front of Hamilton. They are an outstanding group of people, and they want nothing more than to get back in the classrooms, to do what they love: teach our children and teach them well. 

    If you are inclined to show your support for our teachers and staff, please visit the Hamilton International Middle School Support 4 Teachers ( group on Facebook to see what’s being planned and how you can get involved.

    Hoping for a speedy resolution,

    Lisa Rivera Smith

    President, Hamilton PTSA

    3) Important Message re: PTSA communications  

    The Hamilton PTSA is looking forward to welcoming everyone to the school on the first day—whenever that may be!

    In the meantime, we want to be sure we can contact you if needed. While the school has been sending these initial newsletters on our behalf, this is only a temporary situation. To make sure you continue to receive the Hamilton Weekly News and any other PTSA alerts, please sign up directly for our email newsletter list now.

    To do this, visit the HIMS PTSA’s new online sign-up system. After creating a family account, simply check the box indicating you want to receive the Hamilton Weekly News.


    (NOTE: You’ll also have options to be included in our Volunteer Database and to purchase your HIMS PTSA membership. Please do! In addition, an online school directory feature will be accessible to families shortly after school starts.)

    If you have any questions, please check the school website (here and here) or contact hims.ptsa.membership@gmail.  


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

    Students’ schedules have been posted to The Source. If you need to create a Source account, here are instructions


    Staff information is available online:


    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


    9) 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)

    Friends of Music at Hamilton International (FOMAHI)

    Greetings music families! We have several important announcements this week. Please read and let us know if you have any questions. You may contact us at Thank you!


    ·         ALL MUSIC STUDENTS: DON’T BUY CONCERT ATTIRE YET: We have recently learned that our primary source of concert attire, the Tux Shop in Northgate, has closed. Therefore, we are taking this opportunity to rethink our concert attire. Please do not buy concert attire yet! We will provide new concert attire guidelines when school is in session. (This includes classes that did not use the Tux Shop for attire.) More information to come – watch your email and backpacks.


    ·         Orchestra students: DON’T BRING YOUR INSTRUMENTS ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: Hello orchestra students! If you have your own instrument, please leave it at home on the first day of school. You will not need it for the first day of class. Thank you.


    ·         FOMAHI site is up and running:  The new FOMAHI website is up and running at . Please take a moment to read through the information online and register your music student(s) in FOMAHI. This will ensure you receive all of our communications about concerts and other music-related activities. Also, please have your student review the materials in the “For Students” section. This includes important information about classroom rules and instrument management and care. This counts as your student’s first assignment!  NOTE: Students will receive an assignment sheet asking them to read through the website when school is back in session. Your student will receive their first classroom points when they return the signed sheet to their music director. Watch their backpacks for more info.


    ·         Vocal Jazz Parent Meeting is tentatively scheduled for Monday 9/14: Ms. Babbitt has tentatively scheduled a Vocal Jazz parents meeting for Monday, 9/14 to discuss class expectations, trips, etc. This meeting will be postponed if school is not in session on Monday. Please watch your email for updates. If you are a Vocal Jazz family and did not receive the welcome email, please contact Ms. Babbitt at:


    ·         Possible event date changes (general): We are in the process of adding FOMAHI events to the online calendar at: Please note that some event dates may shift due to the delayed start of school. We will be updating the calendar if/when events shift. We will also be using the FOMAHI email lists to send out updates and reminders about key events, including performances.


    ·         Welcome our new director, Paul Harshman: We are pleased to announce that veteran band director and musician Paul Harshman is joining the Hamilton International music family! Mr. Harshman will be directing Cadet Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Senior Jazz. He is taking over from Dan Rowe, who retired at the end of the 2014-15 school year.


    Questions? Let us know 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:





    6th grade families, Woodland Soccer Club is actively looking to fill openings on U12 Girls and Boys teams for this fall's recreational soccer season. We have the greatest need on the girls’ teams, but we also have spots available on boys’ teams. Never played soccer before? Want to learn? Haven't played in a while and want to get back into it? Then this is for you! We have scholarships available for those who are interested.  Games are played on Sundays and last through mid-November (or into December if a team decides to play the city tournament). We can add players at any time through the month of September, although games will be underway as of 9/13. More information is on our website at If you have any questions, contact the registrars at (for girls’ teams) and (for boys’ teams).


    2) 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



    3) 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:



    4) 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!



    5) 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:



    6) 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!

    7) 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.

    8) Language immersion travel
    Intercultural Student Experiences offers travel opportunities for students of all ages. See for more information.





    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