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    The Hamilton Weekly News MARCH 17, 2016

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    3/17 - Thurs. - Tonight!

    Spring Orchestra Concert, Lincoln Auditorium, 7 - 9 PM

    3/18 - Fri.

    ASB Spring Dance, Gym, 2:30 - 4 PM

    3/23 - Wed.

    2-Hour Early Dismissal, No HOST Classes

    3/24 - Thurs.

    • Winter HOST Ends

    • Spring Band Concert, Lincoln Auditorium, 7 - 9 PM

    3/25 - Fri.

    Staff vs. Students Basketball Game, Gym, 2:30 - 4 PM 3/28 - Mon.

    Spring HOST Begins

    3/29 - Tues.

    • PTSA Board Meeting, Library, 6 PM

    • Spring PTSA Membership Meeting & Conversation with Seattle School Board Director Rick Burke, Library, 7 PM

    4/4 - Mon.

    Mindset Presentation, Commons, 7 PM

    4/11 - 4/15

    Spring Break week


    It seems early to be thinking about next year, and it is. The third quarter is only at its midpoint and students are beginning to apply some of the most important skills and

    concepts, deepening the sophistication of their writing, their thinking, their inquiry.

    While that part of our calendar rolls on, we are also in fact thinking about next year, and one of our first steps is to decide how we allocate precious resources next year to meet our most pressing needs and support our vision.

    This week the Hamilton staff voted to pass a budget that we developed through our Building Leadership Team. There is not much leeway in a school budget, but I wanted to highlight some of the choices we are making toward next year. One investment we are making is to add reading and math support classes. Literacy is the gateway to the rest of the curriculum, and we are deciding to spend money to reach more students. Another investment is toward our immersion continuation program, which next year welcomes our first full cohort from McDonald Elementary School. Next year we will split out upper level immersion continuation classes in both Japanese and Spanish into 2nd- and 3rd-year courses, and we’re thrilled to deepen those courses. One of our biggest investments next year isn’t directly in classrooms but key to the well-being and thus learning opportunities for Hamilton students: we have agreed to invest in having a full-time nurse at Hamilton to meet our preventative and first-response health needs. Our nurse is an integral part of our team of support for the social-emotional health so critical to the learning needs of our students.

    This is one of the first steps in our planning for next year. We are also just starting to develop the class schedule and are working on updating our strategic plan, which is being led by a team of the Hamilton community. But that’s next year. This year is in full bloom: one way to see that is tonight’s March Orchestra Concert at the Lincoln H.S. Auditorium. I took the Consul General of Japan in to see one of the orchestras rehearsing earlier this week—he was impressed, and you will be too.

    Go Hawks!

    Tipton Blish, Principal


    ALL ARE INVITED: Spring PTSA Membership Meeting & Conversation w/SPS Board Director Rick Burke, Tuesday, March 29

    Please join us, Tuesday, March 29 in the Hamilton Library, from 7-9 PM, for our Spring PTSA Membership Meeting.

    Following a brief business portion, Seattle School Board Director Rick Burke will join us for a conversation. If you send in a question beforehand to our PTSA Legislative Liaison Sam Bell,, Rick can do some research. So far, the questions have fallen into a few buckets:

    1. How will Seattle Public Schools manage the overflow of students this fall at Hamilton?

    2. How will Seattle Public Schools manage the overflow of students as these kids move to high school prior to the creation of the new high school?

    3. What plans are in place to offer a more robust language immersion program after elementary school?

    4. What improvements can we expect to see in the curriculums for the Highly Capable Cohort (“HCC”) as well as more broadly in math?

    For more information, email Snacks and refreshments will be available. We hope to see you there!

    Get on ‘Board’ for Next Year … the Hamilton PTSA Board!

    Middle School is just three short years, so if you’ve waited and wanted to get involved, wait no more! We have several openings on next year’s Hamilton PTSA Board, and now is the time to throw your name in and get the process started.  Could you be our next …

    Treasurer - oversee PTSA finances, write checks, keep balances, report to board

    VP of Fundraising - direct Annual Fund drive, research and report on other fundraising

    VP of Communications - PTSA news via website, calendar, emails, can include newsletter

    VP of Events - recruit event chairs and help plan and budget, arrange meeting speakers

    Membership Chair - manage PTSA membership and ourschoolpages registration

    6th Grade Liaison - plan and organize grade-level event, connect grade families and PTSA

    7th Grade Liaison - plan and organize grade-level event, connect grade families and PTSA

    8th Grade Liaison - plan and organize grade-level event, connect grade families and PTSA

    Newsletter Editor - solicit, edit and publish articles for this same awesome newsletter!

    Reflections Art Contest Chair - organize and implement the annual PTSA Reflections Art Contest

    Staff Appreciation Luncheon Coordinator - coordinate five Luncheons during the school year

    Those positions, along with other ways to be involved, are open and waiting for someone just like you to fill them! Visit the Hamilton PTSA page for job descriptions and more information, or email us at

    Submit Your Priorities for the Washington State PTA 2016 Legislative Platform!

    Every two years, the Washington state PTA prioritizes its legislative agenda based on input from its members. Any PTSA member can submit a proposal. The key dates for this cycle are:

    • Wednesday, May 18: Title and short description due

    • Wednesday, June 1: Complete issue submittal form due

    Fully funding schools is the current top prioritization, but proposals can be on any number of issues. More information on the process can be found in the Advocacy section of the Washington State PTA website. For more information or if you are interested in working together on a proposal, email Hamilton PTSA Legislative Liaison Sam Bell at



    Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Presentation, Monday, April 4 - NEW

    Please join us April 4 at 7 PM in the Hamilton Commons for a presentation about Mindset and the groundbreaking research presented in Carol Dweck’s book, "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success." Dweck has found that students’ mindsets—how they perceive their abilities—plays a key role in their motivation and achievement, and thus if we can change mindsets, we can boost achievement. Learn more about how students can “grow their brains” and increase their intellectual abilities and what parents can do to foster a “growth” mindset at home! Presenters will be Anita Lenges Ph.D., Acting Associate Professor of Math Education, Math Education Project & INSPIRE Center at University of Washington, and Tessa Burchardt and Kelly Barker, HIMS Math teachers.

    Students may attend accompanied by parents.

    Online Survey & Community Meetings on New High School Graduation Requirements - NEW The state has increased the number of credits students need to graduate high school to 24. In Seattle, the new 24-credit requirement will take effect with the class of 2021, this year’s seventh-graders. The requirement creates challenges because most SPS high schools offer a six-period school day and the current requirement is 21 credits. That means students with typical schedules may earn a maximum of 24 credits over four years. The new requirement leaves no room to recover credit for students who may fail a course or want to access additional courses.

    Please consider providing feedback in an online survey on this new high school graduation requirement by Wednesday, March 30:

    Or attend the following Community meetings:

    • Thursday, March 24: Ballard High School Commons, 6:30-8 PM

    • Tuesday, March 29: South Lake High School Commons, 6:30-8 PM

    Two district committees, the 24-Credit Task Force and the High School Steering Committee, are considering options and welcome your feedback. Learn more at 24-Credit Task Force webpage

    Smarter Balanced Assessment and Measurement of Student Practice Tentative Test Dates- NEW

    Hamilton will participate in the Washington State Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) this spring. Testing will commence on May 2 and continue throughout the month. Our eighth graders will also participate in the Measurement of Student Practice (MSP) Science which will be online this year. Please be aware of the following tentative dates and plan accordingly. For questions or concerns please contact testing coordinators Christy Smith,, or Michelle Pickard,

    Important Dates:

    5/2-5/6 – 8th grade Math & ELA SBA

    5/9-5/13 – 7th grade Math & ELA SBA

    5/16-5/20 – 6th grade Math & ELA SBA

    5/23- 5/27 – SBA Make-ups

    5/23- 5/27 – 8th Grade MSP Science (online)

    6/14-6/16 – Biology End of Course Exam (EOC)

    Hamilton Capacity Planning for 2016-2017 - Updated!

    As previously discussed in our newsletter, Hamilton will be pushing to upwards of 1,200 kids this fall. Although it’s not much consolation in the near-term, the numbers will decrease the following year with the opening of Robert Eagle Staff Middle School.

    To handle the large numbers at Hamilton in 2016-17, Seattle Public Schools is looking at several options:

    • Putting 2 portables on Hamilton's outside playtop, which would add a total of 4 additional classroom spaces. The playtop might then be unusable by students during hours that classes are in session in the portables (due to noise considerations). It is possible that the District could then request a waiver from the City Parks system to allow students access to Wallingford Park during lunch/recess time, however this would require the District to also provide additional staffing during those times, as Hamilton is not presently funded or staffed to be able to supervise an area as large as the park. Placement of portables on the Hamilton site is subject to City approval

    • Dr. Flip Herndon, Associate Superintendent of Facilities and Operations, has indicated that it might alternatively be possible to add an HCC cohort to one of the other North Seattle middle schools as a precursor to the opening of Eagle Staff. It is not clear who would be assigned to attend this program, or whether this program would be a Hamilton or Robert Eagle Staff satellite or indeed part of the host school. Dr. Herndon has stated that this option is unlikely given the expense of setting up an HCC cohort

    • It is also possible that the Hamilton community could serve the large number of students within the existing building, with some larger-enrolled classes and with staff moving from classroom to classroom and sharing classrooms. Much of this depends on whether Hamilton's enrollment number in the fall is accurately predicted by the planning number available to the school at this date

    To express your thoughts/concerns/questions/ideas on the issue, please email the following SPS officials. Please title your message "HIMS Capacity 2016-17" as these individuals receive many, many email messages daily!:  Tipton Blish, HIMS Principal,, Jon Halfaker, Executive Director for the NW Region,, or Dr. Flip Herndon, Associate Superintendent of Facilities and Operations,

    See also the Spring PTSA Membership Meeting article above, regarding the March 29 Conversation with School Board Member Rick Burke. We expect that capacity management issues will play a major role in the discussion.

    Update for Hamilton Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) Students

    For the 2017-18 school year, Seattle Public Schools has indicated that HCC students who live in the Robert Eagle Staff and Whitman service areas will move to Robert Eagle Staff when it opens in the fall of 2017. Grandfathering for students may be possible subject to space availability at the middle schools they are attending, however, there will probably be no room at Hamilton.

    See Spring PTSA Membership Meeting article above for how to send in questions on this topic, to have them addressed at the March 29 Conversation with Rick Burke, or send your questions and feedback to

    Hamilton Staff vs. Students Basketball Game, Friday, March 25 - NEW

    On Friday, March 25 Hamilton will celebrate its 8th grade basketball players with an annual tradition of the Staff vs. Students basketball game! It will be after school 2:30 -4 PM in the Gym and students will need to buy tickets ($1) in advance during school lunches Monday through Wednesday (limited seating available). Much like ASB Dances, students will be required to stay for the duration of the event and are responsible for their own transportation home.

    This year's event will feature more opportunities for audience participation including half-court shots, relay races, and dance-off competitions during intermission. Parents of 8th grade basketball players are welcome to join us for this fun event.

    International Schools/Dual Language Immersion Task Force - NEW

    In March 2015 Seattle Public Schools established an International Schools/Dual Language Immersion Task Force. The Task Force will prepare a report regarding the following challenges: Recruitment of qualified staff, Clear K-12 pathways (of particular interest is the opening of Lincoln High School in 2019), Enrollment outreach, Partnerships for resources, and Curricula.  The Superintendent of Schools will use this report, along with other important data in making recommendations to the School Board for potential changes in the 2017-18 school year.  More information here:

    Meetings will occur Monday, March 28, Thursday, April 7, ​Monday, May 16, and Thursday, June 2, all 5:15-6:30 PM.  Information about applying to the Task Force coming soon.

    For more information, contact Dr. Michele Anciaux Aoki, International Education Administrator,

    Update Email Address for Annual SPS Family Survey! - NEW

    The annual Seattle Public School Family Survey is scheduled to be distributed the week of April 18. Please contact your child's school to ensure your email address is up to date by March 18.

    This survey provides an important opportunity to reflect on your child's school and the district. Results will be used to guide improvements at the school and district level. Responses are confidential. See information on the survey here, or email

    March Counseling News - NEW

    Study Skills Groups

    We have started two Study Skills small groups, one with 7th graders and one with 8th graders. The groups will meet four times total. The goal is to help students sharpen their study and organizational skills to help prepare them for a strong second semester.

    Washington School Counselors Association Conference

    The annual WSCA (Washington School Counselors Association) conference was held the first week in March. Hamilton counselors were able to attend several great sessions including: Social/Emotional Education as a Framework, Student Engagement, Post-Secondary Opportunities, Understanding Self-Injury, Brain Research and Teens, Multiculturalism and Spirituality in Schools, Recovering from Trauma and many more. This conference was a great opportunity to increase understanding of key topics and work with other School Counselors from across the state.

    Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccine Now Required for 2016-2017 School Year

    The Washington State Department of Health now requires two doses of chickenpox (Varicella) vaccine for all students in grades K-12 for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year.

    Here’s what you need to do: Check your student vaccination records or contact your health care provider and be sure that each student has the required vaccinations before the start of classes in September, 2016. School nurses will review each student’s vaccination records and will notify parents through regular postal mail by the end of the current school year if a student needs additional vaccinations. Students who do not have two doses of vaccine by the start of classes in September, 2016 could be excluded from school.

    Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease that can be very serious for children and adults. Two doses of vaccine are very effective against the disease. More detailed information can be found on the SPS webpage:

    You can access your family’s immunization records through the Washington Immunization Information System:

    Math Zone Volunteers Still Wanted!

    Offered during all homeroom periods, students come to Math Zone to receive extra help working on and completing math assignments. The remediation and re-teaching students receive during Math Zone is an important part of our math program. Help us make sure every student gets the support he or she needs!

    Volunteers are needed Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM (with a half-hour break at 11 AM). Please pick the specific dates and times that work for you. To volunteer or to get more information, please contact Assistant Principal Michelle Pickard at

    Volunteers will also need to fill out the required paperwork on the Volunteer Requirements page of the Hamilton Website or to contact Volunteer Coordinator, Trina Torgelson, at

    African American Male Scholars Initiative - Updated!

    The Department of School Family Partnerships and African American Male Scholars Think Tank

    will host regional community meetings to inform and get feedback from students, families, school staff, and the community about the African American Male Scholars Initiative, including recommendations to the superintendent. The Initiative has a focus on the district’s teaching, leadership and organizational practices with regard to the success of African American males.

    Contact Bernardo Ruiz with questions:  This initiative is part of SPS’s newly-created Neighbor to Neighbor (N2) program designed to strengthen family and community engagement, including ethnically and linguistically diverse families. Click for more information

    Skills Center Summer School for Rising 9th Graders

    Is your student interested in earning high school credit this summer?  Trying out a career field for free?  Wondering what it would like to be a chef, engineer or medical professional?  

    Skills Center Summer School offers courses to all Seattle Public Schools students entering 9th – 12th grades in Sept. 2016 with most classes offered mornings or afternoons over four weeks at various Seattle high schools and other locations. For more information and the application, check the Summer Program webpage.  Courses fill up quickly on a first-come, first-served basis, application deadline is Friday, June 17.  Video here about some of the courses.

    ASB Spirit Week, March 14-18 and Spring Dance, Friday, March 18

    Remind your student to dress up for Spring Day tomorrow, the final day of ASB Spirit Week! After school Friday there will be a Spring Dance in the Gym from 2:30-4 PM. Students must purchase a “ticket” (wristband) before entering the dance either during school lunches or at the door and must stay for the entire dance.

    Progress Report and Report Card Dates

    Due to the late start to the school year, dates for sending out Progress Reports and Report Cards have been adjusted.  Please check here for a summary of the new dates.

    Call for Yearbook Pictures!

    Have pictures for the yearbook? Please send to

    HIMS Spirit Wear is open for business!

    Looking for Hamilton T-shirts, fleece jackets, caps, and more—delivered straight to your home?

    Order your spirit wear from at


    Friends of Music at Hamilton International (FOMAHI)

    Upcoming Events

    Tonight! Thursday, March 17: Orchestra Concert, Lincoln Auditorium, 7 PM

    Thursday, March 24: Band Concert, Lincoln Auditorium, 7 PM

    Friday, March 25: Intermediate Orchestra Trip to Jane Addams Middle School

    Friday, March 25: Paramount Theatre, “Hot Java Cool Jazz” (Sr. Jazz will perform at Intermission)

    Orchestra Concert TONIGHT - Volunteers Still Needed!

    We need a few more volunteers to help with our Orchestra Concert bake sale and concert crew TONIGHT. No experience required - we'll show you what to do! All roles are designed to ensure you don't miss your student's performance:

    Detailed role information will be sent to all Concert Crew volunteers. Thanks for helping to make tonight's concert a success!

    FOMAHI Nominating Committee Needs You - NEW

    1-2 people are needed to serve on the FOMAHI Nominating Committee this Spring. Two people have already stepped forward to volunteer, but we still need at least one more person before the committee can get under way. No experience is needed and the time commitment is low. If you haven't been able to volunteer yet, this is a great way to contribute to the music department and help shape FOMAHI for the 2016-2017 school year. Please contact Elise Kim at or Trina Torgelson at

    FOMAHI Volunteers Needed for 2016-2017 - NEW

    Many Board and Volunteer positions need to be filled for next school year. Volunteering with FOMAHI is a rewarding way to help out, and a great way to meet other music families. FOMAHI Board members will be at the upcoming Orchestra and Band concerts, and will be happy to answer any questions. Check back in upcoming Weekly Newsletters for more information about volunteer opportunities available for the 2016-2017 school year. Contact Elise Kim at or Trina Torgelson at with questions.

    Wild Waves Trip Coordinators Needed

    Attention Junior Band and Concert Orchestra parents! These groups need field trip coordinators for the splashiest event of the year: the Saturday May 21 day trip to perform and play at Wild Waves Theme Park in Federal Way. If you are interested, please contact Fiona Cohen at

    Junior Jazz Spring Session Enrollment Now Open

    Enrollment for the Spring Session of Junior Jazz, March 22 – May 26, is now open! JJ is taught by Ms. Babbitt and meets 2:30 – 4:30 PM Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is an after-school activity – registration and payment ($75 per session) is required before students may attend. Please register today on the FOMAHI website

    Help us Keep in Touch with Music Families! - Spread the Word!

    Know a family that isn't getting emails from FOMAHI? Please send them to the website,, to register! We can only send emails to families that have registered. Spread the word! Thank you for your help.


    Girls Volleyball

    Practices Tuesdays and Thursdays. 2:30 to 4:30

    Saturday, March 26 – Varsity game vs. Whitman at 8 AM at Jane Addams MS location

    Saturday, March 26 – JV game vs. Jane Addams at 8 AM at Jane Addams MS location

    Boys Soccer

    Practices Tuesdays and Thursdays. 2:30 to 4:30

    Saturday, March 26 – Varsity game vs. Whitman at 8 AM at Nathan Hale HS location

    First JV game Saturday, April 2


    Practices Tuesdays and Thursdays. First meet April 2, 11 AM - 1:30PM, Nathan Hale HS location


    Girls and Boys Varsity Playoff games on Saturday, March 19


    Spring HOST registration has started! Please visit to register your student. Spring classes begin on March 28 and run until June 9. Winter classes will be wrapping up on March 24.

    Contact Liz Chase at the YMCA with questions,, (206) 252-5831.


    Gates Foundation Teen Action Fair, 3/19 - NEW

    The 3rd Annual Teen Action Fair is a youth-led celebration showcasing youth leaders and organizations who are inspiring positive change. Featuring hands-on activities, powerful speakers, live music and performances, interactive exhibits, food trucks and ways to get involved. 35 organizations and groups are participating in this year's Teen Action Fair, for a complete list visit their Facebook page

    Saturday, March 19, 10 AM-3 PM

    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center, 440 Fifth Ave. N., Seattle

    Free and open to the public, no registration required

    U Link Launch Day Community Celebration - NEW

    Free community celebration for the start of light rail to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington! Self-guided tours of both stations, live music, expo and game pavilions with activities, community booths, selfie stations, local favorite food trucks, farmer’s market at Capitol Hill Station, free commemorative items (while supplies last). Submit your email to the Sound Transit site to receive a free ride ticket good for up to six people in your party, valid March 19 only. No parking at either station, come by transit, bike or walking. Saturday, March 19, 9 AM-5 PM

    Capitol Hill and University of Washington Light Rail Stations    

    SIFF Spring Break Filmmaking Camps - NEW SIFF Education is hosting Spring Break Filmmaking Camps, April 4-8 and April 11-15, where 10-13 year old students will make a short film, learning the basics of working as a crew, writing scripts, directing, and using filmmaking technology and digital editing. Equipment provided; all experience levels welcomed. More information: For questions email

    "‘Oklahoma!" by Woodland Park Players, 3/18 & 3/19

    Tickets on sale now for Woodland Park Players’ first musical, "Oklahoma!" This is a community group of 45+ neighbors singing and dancing, 20+ piece orchestra with professionals and students, and neighborhood crew members.

    March 18, 19 at 7 PM

    Roosevelt High School Theater, 1410 NE 66th St., Seattle

    $15 reserved seat/ticket

    Cowboy-themed bake sale at intermission! Tickets selling fast, purchase at:

    UW Math Hour:  ‘Bouncing Balls, Fractions, and Grids,’ 3/20

    Join Jayadev Athreya, from the UW Department of Mathematics, for a talk about how studying the path of a ball bouncing around a square room connects to the study of fractions and grid patterns. This kicks off the spring series of UW Math Hour lectures for students in grades 6-10, along with parents, teachers and older siblings/friends.

    Sunday, March 20, 1-2 PM, 260 Savery Hall, UW Campus

    Free to all, no registration required. Full series: (note, May 15 talk rescheduled to 301 Gowen Hall)

    Preventing Teen Drug Use Forum, 3/24

    What can parents do as alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs become more available? Come to a free educational forum for all Seattle families. Dr. Leslie R. Walker, Chief of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Seattle Children's will discuss teen health, the impact of drug use, and what parents can do to prevent it. Dr. Walker will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.

    Thursday March 24, 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

    Seattle Children’s Hospital, Wright Auditorium, RIVER ENTRANCE, 4800 Sand Point Way NE

    "Paper Tigers" Screening at Ingraham High School, 3/26

    "Paper Tigers" is an intimate look into the lives of selected students at Lincoln High School, an alternative school in Walla Walla, WA that specializes in educating traumatized youth. The film intimately examines the inspiring promise of Trauma Informed Communities - a movement that is showing great promise in healing youth struggling with the dark legacy of Adverse Childhood Experiences.

    Saturday, March 26, Ingraham High School Little Theater

    12-12:30 PM, light refreshments

    12:30-2:30, movie and discussion


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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 Helen Kim at We welcome your feedback! Please submit content for inclusion by Wednesday at noon. For submission guidelines, click here.

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

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

    School website:

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    The SPS 2015-16 Academic Calendar