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    The Hamilton Weekly News
    MARCH 31, 2016

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    4/4 - Mon.

    Mindset Presentation, Commons, 7 PM

    4/7 - Thurs.

    HIMS Drama Class Spring Production, “The Monkey King,” Commons, 6:30 – 7:30 PM

    4/8 - Fri.

    Last Day of Third Quarter

    4/11 - 4/15

    Spring Break week

    4/21 - Thurs.

    Seattle Public Schools High School Course Selection for 8th Graders

    4/26 - Tues.

    Mental Health Education for Parents, Library, 6:30 - 8 PM 4/27 - Wed. - Date Change

    PTSA Board Meeting, Library, 6:30 - 8 PM

    5/13 - Fri. - Date Change

    8th Grade Dance, Commons, 8 - 10 PM


    This spring all students will participate in the new Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA). These assessments along with the MSP Science test (for 8th-graders only) are required by Washington State and provide one way to measure what we do at Hamilton against other US middle schools. They are also intended to help you to see your student’s progress toward meeting math and literacy standards.

    Below is the schedule of assessments for this spring. The SBA is a computer-based assessment and students will be taking it on laptop computers during the month of May. Students will take the assessment in the morning and then join their regular classes in the afternoons. One change this year: the Science MSP is now a computer-based test as well.

    Please help us by ensuring that your student is in school for the whole day during their assessment weeks. We appreciate your assistance by not scheduling any appointments, trips or other commitments during this time.

    More information about the Smarter Balanced assessments and practice tests can be found at Under the “Students” link, click “Assessments/Testing.”

    8th Grade

    • May 2-6: SBA Math & English-Language Arts Assessments

    • May 23-27: Science MSP

    • June 14-16: HCC students taking Biology will take an End of Course Exam during class

    7th Grade

    May 9-13: SBA Math & English-Language Arts Assessment

    6th Grade

    May 16-20: SBA Math & English-Language Arts Assessment

    One resource that is being made available to students and families is a keyboarding resource called Typing Agent. This resource can be accessed at home as well as in the Hamilton Library.  More information about how to log into the program can be found here.

    Thank you for your support of Hamilton students and for your strong partnership. If you have any specific questions about the SBA, please contact Assistant Principal Michelle Pickard,, who is leading the implementation of the SBA at Hamilton.

    Go Hawks!

    Tipton Blish, Principal & Michelle Pickard, Assistant Principal


    Seattle Public Schools Board Director Rick Burke Answered YOUR Questions at the Spring PTSA Membership Meeting - NEW

    Seattle School Board Director Rick Burke came to a packed house of eager participants at the Spring PTSA Membership Meeting Tuesday night, to address questions sent in by Hamilton families.

    He and Principal Blish covered concerns over capacity at Hamilton, and at high schools, enrollment at the new Robert Eagle Staff Middle School (fall 2017) and Lincoln High School (fall 2019), language immersion programs, and Highly Capable Cohort curricula, among other topics. Although some questions did not have easy answers, Director Burke was receptive to comments and the audience appreciated the opportunity to engage with him.  

    Look for a full transcript of the conversation, with additional notes from Director Burke, in next week’s newsletter!  He enjoyed his visit and expressed his gratitude for the chance to dialogue with HIMS families.  He will also be doing some follow-up research regarding the Lincoln High School planning process and timeline and will report back to HIMS families by next week. Individuals can also feel free to contact Director Burke by email at for further discussions.

    Mark Your Calendars for the 8th Grade Dance!, Friday, May 13 - Date Change

    DATE CHANGE - the PTSA apologies that the previous April 22 date will fall on a holiday so therefore the 8th grade dance will now be held Friday, May 13.   Thank you so much!

    Students will be dancing into spring at the Tropical Paradise inspired 8th Grade Dance!

    Friday, May 13, 8 - 10 PM

    HIMS Commons

    Hamilton 8th Grade Students only

    Tropical dress is encouraged but not required! Tasty treats and drinks are provided by the PTSA. Students will need to register for the dance during their lunch time at a specified date. All students must register with the planning committee in order to attend. More information and chaperone sign-up will be coming home soon. For questions please email Michelle Fasser at

    Mental Health Education for Parents, Tuesday, April 26 - NEW

    What factors lead to stress and depression for teens? How can we all, as a community, help to prevent youth suicide? Who is at risk, what are the warning signs and how can we help? Cindy Gonzalez from Youth Suicide Prevention Program will present on these vital topics Tuesday, April 26, 6:30-8 PM in the Library. Cindy works with at risk youth, GLBTQ community, immigrant communities and victims of domestic violence. She is also an emergency department social worker at a local hospital.

    This event is for parents only. For more information, download the event flyer
    HERE. Also, RSVP's are optional, but appreciated. Please RSVP at

    Like Discounts? Check Out these New PTSA Member Benefits! - NEW

    Washington State Fair, Puyallup: April 14 - 17

    Discounted tickets are available to WA State PTA members between March 17 - April 17. Visit, select "Buy Tickets,” enter promo code: ptsa16

    Ticket Monster Perks Program *NEW*

    WSPTA has collaborated with Ticket Monster Perks to offer exclusive discounts on sports, concerts, movie tickets, and theme park tickets nationwide. Go to the WSPTA designated ticket portal to sign up and save $10 on your 1st order! Promo code: WAPTATickets

    Tacoma Dome, AMSOIL Arenacross: April 16 - 17 *NEW*

    WSPTA has collaborated with the Tacoma Dome to bring members a discounted ticket price for AMSOIL Arenacross. To purchase tickets, click here, download the purchasing instructions. Promo code: WSPTA. Deadline to purchase tickets is April 8. Note: This offer is internet-only and not valid at the Box Office, charge-by-phone, or Ticketmaster outlets.

    Seeking PTSA Budget & Financial Review Committee Members

    Spring Budget Committee

    The PTSA is seeking members to serve on a Budget Committee this spring. This committee will review expenses for the programs and events that have occurred in 2015-2016, evaluate new budgetary requests, and make recommendations to the Board regarding the makeup of next year's budget.  

    The committee is expected to meet twice (once in late April and once in early/mid-May) for a total of about 4 hours.  The PTSA Treasurer will chair the meetings.  Please contact Treasurer Barbara Vaughey at if you are interested in volunteering.

    Summer Financial Review Committee

    Three individuals are also needed to serve on a committee to review and audit the PTSA’s financial records after the close of the 2015-2016 fiscal year.  The state PTA provides a checklist for committee members to use, and does not expect that members will have an accounting background.

    The financial review is expected to take a total of about 3-4 hours and should be performed in July or early August, to be scheduled at the convenience of the committee members.  Please contact Treasurer Barbara Vaughey at if you are interested in volunteering.

    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 PTSA President Lisa Rivera Smith 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

    Mindset bookPlease 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.

    Chaperones Needed for 6th Grade Field Trip, Friday, April 8, Email TODAY - NEW

    The 6th grade will be going on their annual trip to the Seattle Center from 9:45 AM - 2 PM, Friday, April 8. They will visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, and the Pacific Science Center. Seven more chaperones are needed to go! If you can chaperone, please email Kayla Graham,, TODAY with the subject line: Chihuly Chaperone. Make sure to include your first and last name, cell phone number, and the full name of your 6th grader.

    *We will try our best to place parents with their students, but would greatly appreciate chaperones who are willing to chaperone other groups of students.

    **Chaperone Meeting to go over groups, buses, and the schedule will be at 2:30 PM, Wednesday, April 6 in Room 221.

    Bell Time Survey on Nutrition Services, Before- and After-School Programs and Athletics - NEW

    As you may be aware, the Seattle School Board recently adopted a new Bell Time schedule for the 2016-17 school year based on research that shows that teenagers may benefit from later start times resulting in more sleep, better health, increased academics and improved truancy rates. While this change is exciting, it presents some significant logistical, scheduling, and programmatic challenges. As a result, the recently formed Bell Time Implementation Task Force is seeking feedback on the following impacts:

    • Nutrition Services (Breakfast and Lunch)

    • Before and After School Programs

    • Athletics

    An online survey is available through Friday, April 8 to provide input on how the Bell Time change could potentially affect your child(ren)’s participation in these areas: Please take a few minutes to answer the questions. Your input is invaluable to the Task Force and the District.  

    Seattle Public Schools Boundary Changes Community Meetings - NEW

    As part of the growth boundaries approved in 2013, there will be boundary changes for 18 attendance area elementary and 9 middle schools in Fall 2017. Take a look at the boundaries map. These changes help balance enrollment and create attendance areas for new schools opening in the 2017-18 school year. Seattle Public Schools will hold a series of community meetings about the upcoming boundary changes on the following dates:

    • Monday, April 4, 6:30–7:30 PM, Ballard High School

    • Thursday, April 21, 6:30–7:30 PM, John Stanford Center Auditorium

    • Tuesday, April 26, 6:30–7:30 PM, Roosevelt High School

    According to the SPS Growth Boundaries update, "if the Seattle School Board considers changes to the 2017-18 attendance area boundaries that were approved in 2013, they will do so in October 2016."  At that time they will consider an an adjustment to the boundary changes previously approved for Mercer, Meany and Washington middle schools. There may or may not be other adjustments considered at that time. If you have questions or feedback, email

    “The Monkey King,” Advanced Drama Performance, Thursday, April 7 - NEW

    Enjoy “The Monkey King,” based on the Chinese story “Journey to the West,” adapted and performed by Advanced Drama students on Thursday, April 7 in the Commons, 6:30-7:30 PM. Don’t miss this fun and exciting tale!

    Seattle Public Schools Launches Accessible Educational Resource Portal - NEW

    Seattle Public Schools announces the launch of its Accessible Educational Resources Portal. The portal is linked from every SPS website on the bottom of every page with the link titled "Non-Discrimination Statement” and supports efforts to provide equal access for those with disabilities. For questions, contact the SPS Accessibility Coordinator Michael S. Miller,, or (206) 252-0178.

    High School Course Selection for Current 8th Graders, Thursday, April 21

    High School Counselors will be at HIMS on Thursday, April 21 to begin the course selection process for students attending Seattle public high schools in 9th grade. Students will meet with the counselor from their assigned school to hear about that school’s course selection process (assignment information should be available by April 18).  Each high school has its own process, please contact your assigned high school if you have questions about registering for classes.

    Announcement from the Ingraham Counseling Center: “We will be coming the week after Spring Break and bringing our forms with us. The students will bring them home, get parent signature, and then return them to their counselor at Hamilton one week after our visit.

    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

    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.

    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)

    Be a FOMAHI Volunteer in 2016-2017! - NEW

    Volunteering with FOMAHI is a rewarding way to help out during your child's middle school years and a great way to meet other Hamilton families. No experience is required, just willingness to help support our fabulous music program. There are several Board positions that need to be filled:

    • Co-President - Band Rep

    • Co-President - Choir Rep

    • Co-President - Orchestra Rep

    • VP of Concert Operations

    • Secretary

    • Fundraising Chair

    Smaller volunteer roles are open as well:

    • Merchandise coordinator

    • Trip coordinator for individual trips/festivals

    • Concert program creator (for Band, Orchestra, Choir/Vocal Jazz, or Jazz Ensembles)

    • Concert coordinator (for Band, Choir/Vocal Jazz, or Jazz Ensembles)

    • Orchestra Bake Sale Coordinator

    Contact Elise Kim at or Trina Torgelson at with questions; they would love to tell you more about any of these positions.

    It's Not Too Late!  Join the Junior Jazz Spring Session!

    Enrollment for the Spring Session is now open! JJ is taught by Ms. Babbitt this session and meets 2:30 – 4:30 PM Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students may be divided into two groups based on experience, dependent on enrollment. (In the event of a split, a second instructor will be brought in to assist.)

    • Spring Session runs March 22 – May 26

    • Students will perform at the spring Jazz Night Concert May 26, 7 PM in the Commons

    • Junior Jazz is an after school activity and not part of the core Hamilton curricula. Registration and payment is required before students may attend Junior Jazz

    • The Spring Session fee is $75

    • Students wear a Junior Jazz tee at concerts. The tees are $10

    Please register your Junior Jazz student today on the FOMAHI website

    Sat., May 21 - SAVE THE DATE: Jr. Band, Jr. Orchestra, Jr. Jazz and Treble Choir Will Be Performing at Wild Waves!

    Jr. Band, Jr. Orchestra, Jr. Jazz, and Treble Choir will be performing in the Music in the Parks event hosted by Wild Waves. This full-day event includes morning performances, an afternoon at Wild Waves, and an awards ceremony. Cost to be determined, but will cover event registration, Wild Waves admission, transportation, and dinner. Many chaperones are needed to make this event successful. More information will be distributed after Spring Break. If you have questions or would like to volunteer that day, please contact Janel London at

    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

    Silverwood Music in the Parks Festival June 3-5

    The Senior Band, Senior Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra will be traveling to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, leaving Friday, June 3 and returning Sunday, June 5 to compete in a music festival and to have lots of fun! Please keep a lookout for the Music in the Parks Silverwood packet with full details and forms to fill out. This packet should be coming home with students the last week of March. Forms should be filled out and a deposit returned by April 9 to get an accurate count and confirm reservations. This is a wonderful opportunity and a great experience for students. Thanks for your support with the paperwork. If you have any questions please contact the trip coordinator, Susan Grote at

    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, April 2 – Varsity game vs. Jane Addams at 9:30 AM at Jane Addams MS location

    • Saturday, April 2 – JV1 game vs. Madison at 11 AM at Denny MS location

    • Saturday, April 2 – JV2 game vs. Salmon Bay at 12 PM at Denny MS location

    Boys Soccer

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

    • Saturday, April 2 – Varsity game vs. Jane Addams at 9:30 AM at Ingraham HS location

    • Saturday, April 2 – JV game vs. Pathfinder at 12:30 PM at Jane Addams MS location


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


    Spring HOST classes begin on March 28 and run until June 9.  Please visit to register your student.

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


    5% DAY - Shop to Support the John Stanford Int'l School Playground THURSDAY, APRIL 7

    at Roosevelt WHOLE FOODS - NEW

    Help support renovations to the John Stanford International School Playground this summer! 5% of all purchases at Roosevelt Whole Foods on Thursday, April 7 will go towards a new dynamic play structure, improved accessibility, and better landscaped places for play. This playground is a heavily used outdoor space with over 400 children playing every day and the renovation project is 100% volunteer led and made possible only through grants and fundraising. This is a great opportunity to stock up, especially on non-perishables. Spread the word and thanks for your support!

    Assistance League of Seattle Summer Enrichment Scholarship Program - NEW

    The Assistance League of Seattle provides students in grades 6–11 with up to $500 in scholarships for summer enrichment opportunities.  Find a camp or activity that your child is interested in and complete the application which includes a student essay and a teacher/counselor recommendation by April 15. Contact HIMS Counselor Neil Yeda for more information,

    Connections, Free Museum of Flight Membership for Ages 5-18

    Connections is The Museum of Flight’s new membership program designed for students ages 5-18 which provides unlimited FREE visits to the Museum for students 5-18 years old and one adult. Information and registration here:

    SIFF Spring Break Filmmaking Camps

    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


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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:

    Previous Newsletters:

    The SPS 2015-16 Academic Calendar