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    The Hamilton Weekly News

    produced by the Hamilton PTSA

    September 24, 2015


    Newsletters are emailed every Thursday morning.

    Know of someone not receiving the newsletter? Please email

    (PTSA=Parent Teacher Student Association)

    Daily Schedule/Bell times:

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

    School website:


    The SPS 2014-15 Academic Calendar (note some changes may be forthcoming to accommodate days missed due to the labor dispute): 




    Please note: Some events and dates are subject to change due to adjustments in the school calendar that have not yet been finalized.


    Fri. 9/25

    **Deadline for submitting Seattle Public Schools athletic registration forms**

    Sat. 9/26 Vocal Jazz Rehearsal
    Room 111, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.


    Mon. 9/28
    SpEd PTSA General Meeting
    John Stanford Center

    2445 3rd Ave. S.
    More info


    Mon. 9/28
    Ultimate Frisbee tryouts
    (7th & 8th grade girls)

    Tues. 9/29
    Ultimate Frisbee tryouts
    (7th & 8th grade boys)

    Tues. 9/29

    Girls’ soccer tryouts

    Wed. 9/30
    Ultimate Frisbee tryouts

    (All 6th graders)

    More sports info below


    Thurs. 10/1

    **HIMS Curriculum Night** (all grades)
    6:30-8 p.m.
    More info coming soon!

    Thurs. 10/1

    Girls’ soccer tryouts


    o below


    Fri. 10/9
    No School (teacher work day)
    Update!: This WILL be a school day, to make up a day from the strike.


    Wed. 10/14

    PTSA General Membership Meeting
    7-8:30 p.m., HIMS Library


    Wed. 10/28*

    2-hour early dismissal

    Fri. 10/30

    Reflections art contest deadline
    more info below


    *Events may be subject to change due to schedule adjustments that will be made following the strike.




    September 24, 2015

    Dear Hamilton International M.S. Community,

    When I was a language arts teacher (I hate to use the past tense and sometimes can’t help myself and try to teach reading and writing) at Ballard High School, I was an educator who emphasized the skills of a literature and composition course over the content. My attitude was (and mostly continues to be) that what was most important in my classes was students learning how to make sense of layered texts (essays, poems, plays etc.) and be able communicate (in writing and in speech) complex thought in persuasive ways. It didn’t matter so much whether we were reading Macbeth or Their Eyes Were Watching God or an analysis of Richard Sherman’s being labeled a thug. As long as I was teaching students to note a writer’s choice of words and sentences and the levels of meaning—implicit and explicit—then I was getting at what was most important.

    This is a different attitude than what had traditionally been the focus of schooling. Students used to be expected to learn a foundational body of work—the Judeo-Christian bible, Shakespeare, important rulers and wars, formulas, chemical and physical properties and theories.

    The difference between these two approaches is not a settled argument: not in educational research, in the Common Core standards, or at Hamilton. We have classes and curriculum where knowledge is paramount and others that are more about students’ thinking skills. The Common Core math standards have both content and thinking skills without emphasizing either.

    This musing is prompted in part by a recent article in The Atlantic (linked here). Summarizing research, the author writes that high-performing schools do well by increasing what students know: factual knowledge, and specific skills like how to analyze a document or proceed to solve a math problem.

    The writer goes on to cite research that suggests it’s not only that we need to remember facts and procedures but that in order to remember them we need to come back to them—we need to revisit subjects and practice over long periods of time—in order to retain them.

    Our world language teachers often talk about the spiral approach embedded in their curriculum. What they mean is that as they introduce new and more complex ideas and language components, they are at the same time circling back to previous ones. Students are learning new material and practicing over and over the material they learned earlier in their language studies.

    Hamilton’s teachers will get a summary of the article I read, and I am looking forward to conversations and possible implications of its arguments.

    Next Thursday is Curriculum Night. You will find a letter with the schedule and information about it attached to this letter.

    Go Hawks!

    Tipton Blish






    ·       Sign up to receive the Hamilton Weekly News

    ·       Get listed in the Online School Directory

    ·       Sign up for the Volunteer Database emails

    ·       Become a member of Hamilton’s PTSA (Parent/Teacher/Student Association)


    Visit to do all these tasks, to link to Hamilton’s Spirit Gear store, and to use the Online School Directory.  [Note:  In order to be authorized to use the online directory, you need to enter an authorization code.  A bright green paper flyer will be sent home with students on Friday that includes this authorization code.]  Please contact with any questions or concerns.

    To continue to receive the weekly newsletter, you MUST opt-in to the Hamilton Weekly News at, EVEN IF you’re currently receiving the newsletter. Due to changes with the platform used to send out our notifications and newsletters, we need to ask for this opt-in; the current platform is a temporary measure.
    Please opt in by October 15 and tell other parents they need to do the same!




    HOST program registration kicks off on Thursday, September 24th at 6:00pm. Please go to the HOST page on the Hamilton website to find instructions on how to register your student! 

    HOST programs start on Monday, October 5th!! GO HAWKS! 

    HOST Page Link:


    We’re saving trees! Please fill out your school forms online as soon as you can. There’s an

    Interactive PDF Packet, our PTSA packet, the HOST FERPA form, and ALL the SPS District policy, documents, and information that your family needs to read and review to successfully start school. Please see the Hamilton website for more information -


    4) THANK YOU #1

    Dearest HIMS families and community,

    Thank you so much for your incredible support during our negotiations, strike, and first days of school. The Hamilton staff was overwhelmed by the kindness that our parents and community members gave to us during the strike.  We were moved by your generosity and solidarity through food on the line, emails of support, picketing with us, and so much more.  Our working conditions are our students' learning conditions and this contract is about getting students the supports and services that they deserve in our schools.

    We cannot thank you enough.  Students are our top priority and we are honored to be working with you all as part of the Hamilton community.

    Happy beginning of the school year!  We look forward to all of the time we'll have together this year.


    The HIMS SEA



    5) THANK YOU #2
    A huge THANK YOU to the back-to-school volunteers who helped give our students a warm and welcoming start to the new school year:

    Lori Austin
    Carol Brown

    Pipo Bui

    Trilby Cohen

    Mimi Cosentino
    Gordon Griffith

    Lucca Kruse

    Meg McSorley

    Tiffany Minor

    Christian Reynolds

    Aruna Shamkuwar
    Louis Stern

    Helen Whitlock

    Staff information is available online:


    Students may pick up tickets for the Puyallup Fair from the main office.

    The fair’s last day is Sunday, Sept. 27.


    Library open to student walk-ins 7:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m.!

    ·         Students may check out (up to 5 items at a time) starting on the first day of school—no library card required.

    ·         A pass from teacher is required only during a student’s class/homeroom.

    ·         The library offers 14,000+ books, DVDs, audiobooks (including Playaways and e-audiobooks), and e-books.

    ·         32 desktop computers plus a black-and-white printer are available on first-come, first-served basis.

    ·         Students may place holds and make purchase requests by logging into the library catalog with their school username and password.

    ·         For first-time computer log-in help, students should ask their teacher or see the librarian.

    ·         Please remind your Hawk(s), that library resources, including computers and wi-fi, are for school-related purposes only, and that silence or whisper is the norm in libraries.


    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 or out of their car on the school side of the street. Otherwise we have traffic gri

    dlock and it creates unsafe conditions for our students and neighbors. See the map here.




    1) THANK YOU #3!
    Thanks to all the parents who attended the first back-to-school PTSA meeting this past weekend to help start the school year off right!

    The following parents volunteered their help to make it a night to remember:

    Anna Holman

    Aruna Masoorkar

    Christine Bradburn

    Sarah Erb

    Angela Fleet

    Sue Schoolcraft

    Cheri Guthrie

    Linda Joss

    Janet Klinger
    Tim Rohleder

    Georgette Semroc

    Brian Williamson


    2) PTSA General Membership Meeting is Oct. 14,
    7-8:30 p.m. in the Library. 
    All parents are welcome!

    GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS are held three times each year and are open to all in our school community–regardless of PTSA membership!  We hope you’ll come to hear speakers on educational and parenting topics, staff presentations, and school-related discussions.



    You’re invited to the Seattle PTSA and League of Women Voters is hosting a forum for School Board Candidates.

    Thursday October 8
    7-8:30 p.m.

    Seattle First Baptist Church

    1111 Harvard Avenue


    Here’s the link to RSVP:


    The PTA works in classrooms and communities across the state, but we also advocate in Olympia for the wellbeing and education of all children. Every fall, the association selects its legislative priorities, and hearing form you is a valuable step in the process.

    Your responses will assist voting delegates who attend Legislative Assembly in Olympia October 24, 2015 in setting the 2015-2016 Legislative Platform. The survey closes October 1, 2015.
    Complete the survey here:

    Learn about WSPTA's top five priority issues here:


    5) OPEN PTSA Committee Position

    The Hamilton Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) is searching for a parent (preferably 6th or 7th grade) to fill the following key PTSA position:

    Spring Ice Cream Social Organizer

    Each Spring, we welcome incoming 6th grade students and families onto the HIMS campus to meet other incoming families and tour the school, all while enjoying ice cream sundaes. The organizer for this event would work with last year's organizer and help coordinate a team of volunteers.

    Please contact us at for more information. 



    1) MUSIC: FOMAHI  
    (Friends of Music at Hamilton International)

    a) Junior Jazz Begins Tuesday, Oct 6


    Junior Jazz will begin on Tuesday, Oct 6 and run through Dec 10 (end date tentative). Junior Jazz is an afterschool jazz program open to all Hamilton International students. Please note that you must have at least one year of experience playing your instrument (school or private instruction).  There is a $75 per student, per session fee for Junior Jazz.


    To register for Junior Jazz, go to: and click the register button on the home page. Be sure to register for FOMAHI at the same time!



    b) Volunteers needed for 2015-16 school year

    We still have several important coordinator roles open. These include:

    ·         Merchandise Coordination (IMMEDIATE NEED)

    ·         Ensemble Parent Reps

    ·         Trip Coordinators

    ·         Concert Programs

    ·         Audio Video Recorders

    ·         Bake Sale Coordinators

    ·         Scrip Program (gift cards, etc.)


    c) The 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.
    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.


    Questions? You may contact us at Thank you!



    Students: Dust off your camera, grab your paintbrushes, put on your dancing shoes, or open your notebook, and enter the Reflections art contest. This year’s theme is “Let your imagination Fly.” 

    Reflections is a national PTA program that recognizes excellence in student art and 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. For more information, see our Reflections Web page.




    All students wishing to participate in a sport must have a current physical form and SPS athletics registration form signed by a doctor on file in the main office by 9/25.

    Students who do not have their paperwork complete will NOT be allowed to participate. For safety, no exceptions will be made.

    A list of students who are eligible for tryouts will be posted in The Commons each day this week.
    Forms are good for 2 years.
    You can find the form on the HIMS website under Student Activities/Athletics.

    **If you’re not sure if your student has one on file, please check with Ms. De la Cruz in the main office**


    Tryouts for Ultimate Frisbee will be held:

    • Monday, Sept. 28 – 7th and 8th grade girls
    • Tuesday, Sept. 29 – 7th and 8th grade boys
    • Wednesday, Sept 30 – all 6th grade students


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

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

    2. Register online for Ultimate. Registrations are due next week!


    Please visit our website for the full information and further details on how to register-- --or pick up a hard copy in the main office.

    Practice and game schedules will be emailed to parents after tryouts and team placements.

    Tryouts will be held Tues., 9/29 and Thursday, Oct. 1.



    HOST  (Hawks Out of School Time) after-school classes will be starting Monday, October 5. You can view the list of class offerings here.


    If you have questions, please contact the YMCA office in Room 104, or contact Liz Chase at or




    The Bell Time Task Force recently released their recommendation to the superintendent to flip school start times so that high school students would start school at 8:50 a.m., starting in 2016.  SPS is hosting two 6:30-7:30 p.m. meetings in North Seattle: 
    Wednesday, September 30, at Ingraham High School Lunchroom (1819 North 135th Street), and Monday, October 5, at Jane Addams Middle School (11051 34th Avenue Northeast).  

    Additionally, comments and questions may be emailed to 


    Input on the Next Capital Levy to Build More Schools


    BTA levies fund small renovations, major maintenance, and improvement projects in school buildings.

    Give your feedback on 
    SPS's Buildings, Technology and Academics/Athletics IV (BTA IV) capital levy that will go before voters in Feb. 2016.  SPS will hold a community meeting on BTA IV in North Seattle from 6:30-8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 29 at Roosevelt High School (1410 NE 66th Street) in the lunchroom.  
    Comments and questions for the BTA IV Capital Levy may be emailed to  And, comments and questions for the Operations Levy may be emailed to


    As you know, Hamilton and many schools in Seattle are overflowing. The Seattle Public Schools is hosting three meetings on their boundary changes and school assignments for 2016-2017. The primary focus will be West Seattle.


    Thornton Creek K-5 lunchroom

    Tues., Oct. 1, 2015, 6:30 - 7:15 p.m.

    7711 43rd Ave NE

    Schmitz Park Elementary lunchroom

    Mon., Oct. 5, 2015, 6:30 - 7:15 p.m.

    5000 SW Spokane Street


    Seattle World School, Meany Building lunchroom

    Tues., Oct. 6, 2015, 6:30 - 7:15 p.m.

    301 21st Ave E


    For more information, visit:




    Ballard Branch Library goes Back to the Future with Pong, Atari and Nintendo systems!  
    Everyone in 6th – 12th grade is welcome to stop by and play these seriously old systems!

    Teen Space w/Retro Games Sunday Sept. 27, 2 - 4 p.m.  and First Friday Gaming w/Retro Games Friday Oct. 2, 3 - 5 p.m.  
    (Gaming happens first Friday of every month at Ballard Branch.)

    These programs are free, friendly, drop-in programs. For more information please contact


    Homework help at the Seattle Public Library

    Get FREE homework help at many branches of SPL



    Your Next 5 books
    Get personalized book recommendations from a librarian


    Safe Place
    Every location of The Seattle Public Library is a safe place where teens can receive immediate help.





    This basketball feeder program is for 2nd-8th Grade Boys and Girls

    For more information and to pre-register visit



    3) THE JOHN STANFORD CHESS CLUB is hosting weekly intermediate/advanced chess classes with Coach Leo Stefurak on Mondays, from Oct 5for 10 weeks.  This class is open to 6th-8th graders (up to 10 total) from HIMS as well.  


    Details: MONDAYS 10 Classes held Mondays: 10/5- 10/26; 11/2-11/16 & 11/30; 12/7- 12/14. , 3:50-5:20 p.m.


    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.


    4) Have a 6th grader? 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).


    5) 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!


    6) 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:


    7) 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:



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


    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