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    The Hamilton Weekly News

    Produced by the Hamilton PTSA

    OCTOBER 1, 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 tentative updates have been made since the start of school. You can subscribe to the district’s calendar feed here.)

    Tentative updates to the school calendar (pending approval at a Board of Directors vote on 10/7) can be found here.



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


    Thurs. 10/1

    **HIMS Curriculum Night** (all grades)
    6:30-8 p.m.
    **The program for parents of 6th graders starts at 6:00**

    Thurs. 10/1

    Girls’ soccer tryouts

    Info below


    Wed. Oct. 7
    PTSA Board meeting,
    6:30-8 p.m., HIMS Library
    **All paren

    ts, guardians, and staff are invited!**

    Fri. 10/9

    No School (teacher work day)
    Update! Oct. 9 WILL be a school day, to make up a day from the strike.


    Wed. 10/14

    PTSA General Membership Meeting
    7-9 p.m., HIMS Library

    **All parents, guardians, and staff are invited!**

    More info below!              


    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.




    Dear Hamilton International M.S. Community,

    Tonight (if you’re reading this on Thursday) is Curriculum Night. For most of you, guardians and parents, this will be the first time you’ll be seeing the physical space where your student is spending at least 50 minutes a day. You’ll also be, perhaps for the first time, putting faces to the names of your students’ teachers. These are important relationships to you, to your student – of course – but to us as a school and to our teachers. We consider you equal partners in your students’ education.

    Tonight you should also hear about the expectations of our courses—what students should learn and know this year, what sorts of big assignments they’ll be asked to perform (this is how we know where they are on their path to our expected course outcomes), and how much time they will expect to spend on school work at home.

    There is much to say and think about when the topic of homework comes up…including in my own kitchen where my 2nd and 4th graders (sometimes) do their homework. We find ourselves trying to balance teaching our daughters habits of mind like managing time and being organized, with, well, “get it done…and do it right!” As it happens, studies of the effect of homework support the idea that in elementary school homework is less about concepts and knowledge and more about teaching kids those executive skills. High school students, on the other hand, have been found to do better academically when they are doing homework. These correlations start in middle school, too. But, there are many middle schoolers – you may know some – who are not as self-directed as we’d like or able to manage their time. You will find that Hamilton’s teachers use homework for both purposes – mostly in a graduated way from 6th to 8th grade, where we want our older students to be engaging in the content of our academics.

    Oh! And for how long? There is no exact number here, but studies find that a rough rule of thumb is that homework should follow the 10-minute rule – 10 minute per grade; 6th graders should do about an hour a day, 7th 70 minutes, and 8th graders, 80 minutes. Consider this an invitation – if your student is regularly spending much more time than that, consider stepping in and even writing a note on the sheet or notebook that, “that was as far as we got tonight.”

    For more on homework, there was a fairly comprehensive news story on NPR two weeks ago that you can read on line or listen to here.

    Go Hawks!

    Tipton Blish




    Here’s a school classroom map to help you find your way around tonight.

    Curriculum night begins at 6 p.m. for parents of 6th graders, and 6:30 p.m. for parents of 7th and 8th graders.



    Online referral forms for Advanced Learning eligibility are due in the Advanced Learning Office by Thursday, October 8, 2015. Information about the application process can be found at





    Help is needed during both shifts: 8-11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Contact Sheila delaCruz in the main office if you can help.

    Parent volunteers receive a free photo package gift certificate for their child to use that day.




    Some adjustments to the school year calendar have tentatively been made to adjust for September’s strike. The adjustments are awaiting a vote at the Oct. 7 Board of Directors meeting. You can see the proposed changes here:

    With the Board's approval, the following days will now be regular school days:

    • Fri., Oct. 9
    • Fri., Jan. 29
    • Wed., Feb. 17, Thurs., Feb.18, and Fri., Feb. 19. This is a shortened mid-winter break.
    • Fri., June 24

    Please note that not all SPS calendars currently on the district’s website reflect these dates and won’t unless there is a vote to approve.





    Parent application forms are now available online at Application forms must be filled out and submitted to the Advanced Learning office. Directions for submission are on the website. The deadline for Parent Application Forms is FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9.  Advanced Learning will notify teachers in October of referred students and provide a link to the form.  If you have questions, please contact the Advanced Learning Office at 206-252-0130


    EIGHTH GRADE STUDENTS INTERESTED IN ENROLLING IN THE ACCELERATED APP/IB PROGRAM (IBX) program at Ingraham may apply for testing. All high school students may access Advanced Placement courses offered at their assigned Seattle Public high school. Testing is not a prerequisite for advanced placement classes.



    Flu vaccine clinics will be held at local high schools in October. These clinics are offered by Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Visiting Nurse Association.

    The flu shot clinics are open to the public. Children under the age of 18 will need a patient consent form, which are available at the clinics, signed by a parent or guardian.

    There is no cost with proof of insurance, with the exception of Cigna, Tricare, or Kaiser. Participants,

    with insurance, will be asked to provide their health insurance card at the clinic. We bill insurance for children as well. If a child does not have insurance it is free.

    Adults without insurance pay $28. Flu shots are offered to all children (age 18 or younger) free of charge.

    Ballard High School, Thurs., Sept. 24, 2 - 6 p.m.

    Garfield High School, Mon., Sept. 28, 3 - 6:30 p.m.

    West Seattle High School, Thurs., Oct. 1, 3 - 7 p.m.

    Roosevelt High School, Fri., Oct. 2, 2:30 - 6:30 p.m.

    Center School, Tues., Oct. 6, 2 - 4 p.m.

    Nathan Hale High School, Mon., Oct. 12, 3:30 - 7 p.m.

    Ingraham High School, Tues., Oct. 13, 1:30 - 6 p.m.

    Rainier Beach High School, Mon., Oct. 19, 3 - 7 p.m.

    Cleveland High School, Tues., Oct. 27, 3 - 7 p.m.





    Our first PTSA General Membership meeting of the year will be Wednesday, October 14, at 7-9 p.m. in the HIMS Library.

    Please join us for a brief business meeting, to be followed by a Q&A session with a HIMS Staff Panel. 

    Select members from the Hamilton Administrative team (including Principal Blish) and the Counseling office will be on hand to offer insights, advice, and answers to the question, "How can HIMS staff/teachers and parents work together to best support students for success in middle school?" 
    We’ll take questions from the floor; if you want to be sure your question is addressed, please submit it to ahead of time. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting!





    Do you want to…


    …keep receiving the Hamilton Weekly News?*

    …participate in the Online School Directory?

    …receive emails about HIMS volunteer opportunities?

    …support our school by joining the HIMS PTSA?


    Visit to take care of any or all of these!  You can do this from home, or look for us tonight at Curriculum Night. We’ll have a couple computers set up in the lobby and/or commons so you can register onsite.


    * NOTE: 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 to do the same! 

    Questions or concerns? Please contact 






    The Hamilton student lounge, a.k.a. the “Hawk’s Nest,” sees a lot of use. And we mean A LOT. By the end of last year, things were very run down and not very student friendly. Thanks to the great support from the Hamilton community and the success of last year’s fund drive, the PTSA was able to purchase new, durable (!) furniture over the summer. Students now have a comfortable to place to hang out.

    Thank you, families!





    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:



    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)

    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!




    The FOMAHI site is up and running
    The new
    FOMAHI website is up and running. 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.



    Tryouts will be held this afternoon, Thursday, Oct. 1.

    For more information on the Soccer and Ultimate Frisbee schedules, please visit the HIMS website.





    YMCA HOST Programs:

    HOST programs start on Monday, October 5! Students will be receiving schedule confirmations on Thursday and Friday this week.


    If you have questions regarding your student’s schedule or transportation, please contact Liz Chase in the YMCA office.


    It’s not too late to sign your student up for HOST! Follow the link to check out available YMCA classes:





    From the Washington State PTA (WSPTA):

    Do you want to make a real difference in the lives of children this legislative session? Join our legislative team and sign up to help us advocate in Olympia on one of our Issue Teams. Teams will work together and with our staff and legislative consultant to testify on legislation, be present for key hearings, and contact their legislators on bills pertaining to issue followed by the team.


    1) Funding McCleary

    In the 2015-16 Legislative Biennium, the Washington State PTA shall initiate and / or support legislation / policies that amply funds basic education as defined by HB 2261 and 2776 by increasing revenue in a progressive and equitable manner.


    2) Increasing Capital Funding

    In the 2015-16 Legislative Sessions, the Washington State PTA shall support capital improvements in school districts by enacting legislation that provides additional and adequate funding for school facilities.


    3) Increased Access to Higher Education

    In the 2015-16 Legislative Biennium, the Washington State PTA shall support legislation that address affordability and access issues in Higher Education. Examples include: “Pay it Forward” or similar loan programs and expanding funding for State Need Grants and College Bound Scholarships.


    4) Creating Positive School Climates through Social & Emotional Learning


    5) Breakfast After The Bell

    In the 2015-16 Legislative Biennium, the Washington State PTA shall support legislation instituting a "Breakfast After the Bell" program in high needs schools and initiate policies at the district level that encourage early adoption of "Breakfast After the Bell" programs.


    Visit for more information and how to get involved.



    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 a 6:30-7:30 p.m. meeting on Monday, October 5, at Jane Addams Middle School (11051 34th Avenue Northeast).  
    Comments and questions 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.


    Schmitz Park Elementary lunchroom

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

    5000 SW Spokane Street


    Seattle World School, Meany Building lunchroom

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

    301 21st Ave. E.


    For more information, visit:





    Family Connectors University
    This is a 2-credit, 10-week class through a partnership with North Seattle College.
    Gain knowledge and skills to support and advocate for your student’s academic success and navigate the Seattle Public School system. Classes are held in 5 locations throughout the city, and free youth tutoring for K-12 youth is provided onsite during class sessions. Tuition is $32.
    More information:, or Betty Williams (206) 934-4571, or Chris Ray-Merriweather (206) 252-0996.



    Seattle Public Library: Game design workshops
    Tweens and teens interested in game design are invited to participate in a free, six-part workshop at two locations of The Seattle Public Library, where they will learn how to make a mobile game that anyone can play on a smartphone or tablet.

    1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 4 through Nov. 15 (no class Oct. 25) at the Greenwood Branch, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N., 206-684-4086.

    3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays, Oct. 15 through Nov. 19 at the Beacon Hill Branch, 2821 Beacon Ave. S., 206-684-4711.


    For more information, call the Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.




    Eurydice presented by The Ballard Playmakers
    Directed by Shawn M. Riley, Ballard High faculty.

    October 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 & 31. Curtain at 7:30. Tickets at Adults $15, Students/Seniors $10


    A MacArthur Fellow and winner of the PEN/Laura Pels Award, playwright Sara Ruhl began her career as a poet and she sees her plays as three-dimensional poems.  Her play, Eurydice, is a retelling of the classic myth of Orpheus as seen through the eyes of his heroine.



    GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math & Science)

    A free science enrichment program for 7th and 8th grade girls currently attending a Seattle Public Middle School. The goal of the program is to encourage girls to maintain and broaden their interest in STEM subjects by providing mentoring, hands-on activities, field trips, and information pertaining to a variety of scientific fields.


    We meet one evening per month and host various field trips throughout the year.  We have two locations, one at Fred Hutch in South Lake Union, and one at South Seattle College in West Seattle. The program is free and fully funded by Seattle AWIS (American Women in Science), a nonprofit organization, but transportation to and from all events is required.

    Applications for the 2015/16 school year are now open, and submissions are due by Monday, October 19. More information is available at:

    Roosevelt Area Select Basketball Tryouts: OCT. 9 AND 16! 

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

    For more information and to pre-register, visit



    The John Stanford Chess Club is hosting weekly intermediate/advanced 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.  


    Details: 10 Classes held Mondays: 10/5- 10/26; 11/2-11/16 & 11/30; 12/7- 12/14, 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.



    Roosevelt High School Jazz Band

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





    Have news or event information 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