April 23, 2015

First Things First!


Upcoming Events ...
    The 8th grade dance is this Friday, April 24!Chaperones are needed--see below.

    • 4/24 8th grade spring dance
    • 4/25 JV Soccer, Rainier Beach, 11 a.m.
    • 4/25 Varsity Soccer, Rainier Beach, 9:30 a.m.
    • 4/25 Track, 12-3 p.m., Nathan Hale
    • 4/25 Girls' Volleyball, Washington, 9:30 a.m.
    • 4/30 School Start Time community meeting, 7 p.m., HIMS
    • 4/30 Parent coffee
    • 5/5 Cinco de Mayo staff appreciation lunch (volunteers needed; details below)
    • 5/14 Science Expo
    • 5/20 PTSA Board Meeting, 6-7 p.m.
    • 5/20 PTSA General Meeting & "Meet the Principal" Social, 7 p.m.

Please check the calendar on the HIMS website for a complete listing of events.

Daily Schedule/Bell times
Main Office: 252-5810 / Attendance: 252-5814
Hamilton Happenings


A Note from Ms. Mac in the Library: Seeking a Volunteer

WANTED: A Friday morning library volunteer starting Friday, April 24 from 10:30 am -12:30 pm. (Yes, that's tomorrow!) Our very capable and fabulous librarian, Ms MacDonald--a.k.a "Ms. Mac", needs a Friday library volunteer who enjoys young teens, books, and computers. Ideally that volunteer would plan to return in Fall 2015.

Please contact Ms. Mac, smmacdonald@seattleschools.org, if you are interested in this important volunteer position. Keep in mind that you will need to complete SPS volunteer screening procedures (links are included in this edition of the Hamilton Weekly Newsletter, below; you may also ontact Trina Torgelson, kltorgelson@seattleschools.org).


Want to get more involved with the PTSA next year and help set our agenda? Several positions are available on next year’s PTSA Board and we are seeking parents who can bring fresh energy and the benefit of their unique experiences.

A number of this year’s Board members will return to their positions next year, which will give the Board much-needed stability and institutional memory, but a healthy board is one with a wide variety of perspectives. If you're interested in learning more, please contact himssecretary@gmail.com for more information. Note: any of the positions can be shared by 2 individuals.

Secretary – Responsible for maintaining the non-financial records of the organization, and takes minutes at the monthly PTSA Board meeting and at the 3 annual general membership meetings. The Secretary is a member of the board’s executive committee and helps to provide leadership and direction to the organization.

Vice-President of Events – Should enjoy getting to know the Hamilton International families and putting together people who want to help with events at Hamilton International. S/he will work with chairs for our various events and provide oversight for that aspect of PTSA business. S/he may also choose to seek out speakers for our General Membership meetings.

Legislative Liaison – Keeps the board and Hamilton International parents updated re: public school topics and initiatives at the state and local level.

6th Grade Liaison – Should be the parent of a 6th grader at Hamilton International. Can serve as a point of contact between the PTSA Board and 6th Grade families. Plans & organizes a social event for 6th Grade families.

7th Grade Liaison – should be the parent of a 7th grader at Hamilton International. Can serve as a point of contact between the PTSA Board and 7th Grade families. Plans & organizes a social event for 7th Grade families.

And last but not least, PTSA President – the President is responsible for providing leadership and direction to the organization. The President should enjoy keeping track of the "big picture," be a good organizer, be comfortable leading low-key meetings, and be good at delegating. Again, this position can be shared by two people. For more information please contact Lisa at hims.ptsa.president@gmail.com.



Legislative Update

The regular 2015 Legislative Session is scheduled to end on April 26. Without agreement on a final budget, however, it will likely go into overtime or a “special session.”

The largest issue in budget negotiations is how to fully fund basic education as required by the State Supreme Court in the McCleary decision. Both the House and Senate budgets provide funding for education, although the funding mechanisms differ greatly.

The House passed a budget with funding for education through raising some taxes. The Senate budget also funds education, but does not create new taxes. The Senate budget funds education through cuts to other areas of the budget and relies on revenue from marijuana sales and projected savings.
The Seattle Times has a write up on the negotiations to date -

Some teachers in the state are threatening to strike (for one-day) to make a point about education funding. Read more here -- http://kplu.org/post/seattle-teachers-union-leaders-recommend-one-day-strike-over-state-budget-battle

This is a crucial time to let your elected officials know what matters to you in education funding!

The Washington State Legislative Hotline will allow you to get messages to your representatives, senator, and the Governor’s office: 1.800.562.6000
Check out the Washington State Legislature’s website to learn more. http://leg.wa.gov/

Contact Tara Lee, PTA Legislative Liaison
metaralee925@gmail.com, or 206-851-4452 (cell)

From the Counseling Center:Drug & Alcohol Prevention Resources

Parents/Guardians are the most powerful influence in a child’s life and conversations are one of the most powerful tools parents can use to connect with and protect their kids.

As we wrap up our Drug and Alcohol Prevention month at Hamilton, we want encourage you to engage in conversation with your students at home. Share with them your values, hopes and expectations. Here are some helpful websites to equip you with information to assist in these conversations.

NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
This link takes you to an infographic video with national survey results for 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. But there are other great resources on the site as well.

Start Taking Now –
A project of the Washington Healthy Youth Coalition
This website has great resources for parents, including how to start the conversations with your kids.

Parent Talk Kit – f
rom the Partnership for Drug-Free kids
This gives developmental, age appropriate ideas for conversations using specific scenarios.




From the Special Education Dept.: Literacy Book Drive, April 1-30

The special education department is working on a collaborative effort across our special education programs. We're joining our efforts with a local organization called the Literacy Council. Their mission is to provide training, lessons, and literacy materials to people in our community who are English Language Learners.

The Literacy Council will hold a book sale in May, and we at Hamilton want to join their efforts.

Students can donate books through April 30. The classrooms will compete to see which classroom donates the most books.

HIMS 8th Grade Dance, Friday 4/24, 7-9 p.m.
Chaperones Needed

The Spring 8th Grade Dance is coming up right after spring break! This is a very a fun evening social event for Hamilton 8th grade students ONLY.

The Hamilton ASB (student government) is coordinating a lot of the details. But they need 25 parent chaperones to make it happen. Chaperone duties include checking students in and out (no re-entry), overseeing food and beverage tables and just serving as a general adult presence.

This Friday, April 24 from 6:30-9 p.m. (event starts at 7 p.m.)
HIMS Commons
Sign up Here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090d4da8a929aa8-hamilton1

The PTA is providing pizza and lemonade, and 8th graders are asked to bring a nut-free dessert to share for the dessert bar. Plus, there will be a DJ and photo booth on hand to capture it all.

If you’ve been looking for that fun opportunity to get a glimpse of middle school life before it all ends, this is it. Hope to see you there!

Questions: Mary Orth mdittorth@gmail.com and Annie Hayward wildthymecatering@gmail.com

6th Grade Social Studies Field Trips--More chaperones needed please!

Wanted: 50 Volunteer chaperones for the AWESOME 6th grade field trip to the Seattle Asian Art Museum in May! Please note that the SAAM/Volunteer Park campus can't accommodate our entire 6th grade glass at one time. Students in Ms. Graham's, Ms. Chacon's, and Ms. Leonas's social studies class will attend on May 1.

Students in Mr. Radcliffe's, Ms. Griffith's and Mr. Murphy's class will attend on either April 30 or May 7 (date is still TBD).

We’d love to see you there!. If you want to chaperone, please contact your student’s 6th grade social studies teacher and Trina Torgelson, Volunteer Coordinator, kltorgelson@seattleschools.org. Reminder: To volunteer, you must complete all SPS Volunteer Screening Procedures listed below:

Safety—yours and that of our students--is of paramount importance. Thank you for partnering with Hamilton to ensure our students’ safety.

Please complete the following before you plan to chaperone a field trip or volunteer with Hamilton students. Your paperwork must be on file at Hamilton or at another Seattle Public School before you volunteer with Hamilton students.

1. Print and complete each school year the SPS Volunteer Screening Form. (Return with a copy of photo ID, a driver’s license is great.) Volunteers working directly with students MUST be screened through Washington State Patrol’s Washington Access to Criminal History (WATCH) program--standard practice with agencies and organizations that serve children, youth and vulnerable adult populations.

2. Watch the district video: Adult Sexual Misconduct Prevention Course. Print your online certificate and return to the HIMS front desk, attention: Trina Torgelson, volunteer coordinator. This is a one-time requirement.

3. Read, sign and return to HIMSthe signature pages (pages 18-19) of the SPS District Volunteer Handbook.

4. Read, sign and return to HIMS: SPS Guidelines for Chaperones—Secondary Day Field Trips.

5. Read SPS District Policy No. 3246/Use of Reasonable Force and District Policy No. 5630/Volunteers.

Here’s the link to the SPS District Volunteering web site for more information: http://bit.ly/SPS-Volunteering

Highly Capable Teens & Stress seminar

Tuesday, April 28, 7-9 p.m.
Ingraham High School Library
offered by the Office of Advanced Learning

Topics to be covered:
• Emotions and their impact on performance
• Understanding emotions
• Strategies for coping
• Recognizing healthy vs. unhealthy stress
Presenter: Michelle Proulx, M. Ed., NCSP Director of Services for the 3DL Partnership Michelle@thecapablechild.com

For more information:
Dr. Matt Okun, Consulting Teacher Advanced Learning Office mjokun@seattleschools.org 252-0182

Changes to School Bell Times: Survey + Community Meeting,
Thursday, April 30

Scientific research and national debate surrounding the effects of early school start times on student learning at the middle and high school level has prompted the Seattle Public School Board to take action.

The proposed changes to bell times introduce new issues that are complex and far reaching, impacting families, transit, after-school care, sports programs, and more. Please attend a "Neighbor to Neighbor" community meeting at Hamilton International Middle School Commons area on Thursday April 30, from 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. to understand the proposed options, join the discussion, and participate in a written survey to capture your feedback for the school board. Your input is critical to the school board's decision-making process.

A survey will be being sent home with students. You can also view more information in a video here:


Hello Families,

In a few weeks we will be hosting our final Staff Appreciation Luncheon of the school year. You have all been so creative and generous with your delicious food items as well as your volunteer hours! It has been a blast hosting these events and as usual, we always save the biggest and best for last!

Tuesday, May 5th, El Camion Restaurant and the HIMS community will co-host our final Cinco de Mayo luncheon for our very deserving staff. An immediate need is for a volunteer to make invitations for the event to be placed in each staff member's mail box by April 30. You may contact Michelle Fasser (michelle@fasser.net) directly if you are able to fill this need.

To sign up for food donations or a volunteer time slot, please go to this link: http://hamiltonsignup.bringit.bz/public/5eecc3

Food donations should arrive by 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 5, in the staff lounge. Please keep salad dressings on the side & include an ingredients list/label and heating instructions. Your help is appreciated!


Attention 8th graders (a.k.a. soon-to-be high schoolers):

There is a great opportunity to explore different careers and get a head start on high school credits through Seattle’s Skills Center Summer Program. There are two sessions and students can earn up to one full high school credit towards graduation. There will be different programs all across the city, but there will also be some great ones closer to home in the north end of the city.

Examples are Computer Applications; Culinary Arts; Engineering; Maritime Sciences at Ballard HS; Into to Medical Careers at the Lincoln Building; Multimedia Broadcasting at Nathan Hale HS; Computer Applications and Culinary Arts at Roosevelt HS; and AIE Digital Cyber Camp at Seattle Center Armory.
If you're interested, see Mr. Yeda in the Counseling Office. Classes are filled on a “first come-first served” basis, so get you application turned in as soon a possible. The deadline for applications is 5/29/15.


Music (FOMAHI)News


Upcoming Events:

Apr 23: Chamber Night (Chamber Orchestra), 7pm HIMS Commons

May 8: Bellevue High School Jazz Festival (Sr. and Jr. Jazz and Chamber Orchestra)

May 12: FOMAHI Board Meeting, 7 p.m. HIMS Library

May 18: Combined Elementary Outreach Concert with Lincoln Elementary (Cadet Orchestra), 7pm, Lincoln Auditorium

Are you planning on participating in an instrumental music class at Hamilton? Please follow these steps to help find the correct class for your first year at HIMS!

1. Contact your current Elementary Instrumental Instructor to verify if they have already provided a recommended placement for you next year. Your current teachers know you best!

2. If your current teacher has not been in contact with HIMS or if you are not sure, please contact Mr. Rowe or Ms. Armaly right away to set up an audition.
Mika Armaly – Strings: mtarmaly@seattleschools.org
Dan Rowe – Bands: dsrowe@seattleschools.org

Be ready to perform a piece (or part of your music that best demonstrates your current skills), any scales you know and have mastered, and there will be sight reading provided for you.

3. Are you planning on learning a new string or band instrument? No audition is necessary if you would like to sign up for Beginning Band or Beginning Orchestra!


FOMAHI (the HIMS music booster organization) is seeking new people to come join us in the 2015-16 school year! We will have several roles opening up in the fall semester, and would love to have you join us. Whether it’s baking cookies for a one-time event or joining the board, we need your help! For more information, please contact Jacqui Kramer: jacqui@writersbloc.net


If you have not had a chance to register for spring HOST classes, please follow the link below and register your student.

Click here for the HOST Registration link.

Please note, winter HOST classes do not roll over into spring and you will need to register your student for spring classes.

Please email or contact the YMCA office if you have any questions: Liz Chase, eachase@seattleschools.org, 206.252.5831.


Games for April/Early May:


4/25 vs. Jane Addams, 11 a.m., Memorial Stadium
5/2, vs. Aki Kurose, 2 p.m., Franklin H.S.


4/25 vs. Mercer, 9:30 a.m., Rainier Beach
5/2, vs. McClure, 9:30 a.m., Ingraham Stadium

4/25 12-3 p.m., Nathan Hale
5/2 12-3 p.m., Nathan Hale


4/25 vs. Mercer, 9:30 a.m., Washington
5/2 vs. McClure, 9:30 a.m., Jane Addams

The above information was submitted by the HIMS Athletics department. For more information on Athletics, please see the Athletics page of the HIMS website, or contact HIMS House Administrator, Christy Smith at clsmith2@seattleschools.org, or by phone at (206) 252-5852.


Send your newsletter items to HamiltonNews15@gmail.com. Items are edited for clarity and brevity and are published at our discretion. Deadline is noon Tuesday for consideration for Thursday publishing.

The Hamilton Weekly News is emailed on Thursdays to HIMS parents/guardians at the email address that they used to register for the Source. If you have questions, please contact HamiltonPTSA@live.com. We welcome your feedback! Please submit content for inclusion by Tuesdays at noon. For submission guidelines, click here.
Principal's Letter



Dear Hamilton Families,

It’s been a treat to see students back after the spring break. Being back has us working on finishing the year strongly. It’s the fourth quarter and sports metaphors don’t quite work —learning is not a competition—yet many of our classes are rounding out the knowledge and skills that we’ve been learning and practicing all year.

Next week on Monday, our 8th grade students will begin taking the Smarter Balanced Assessments. The 7th graders will follow the week after, and 6th graders will begin May 11 (the weekly schedule is on the HIMS website). We have created a schedule that both maximizes the preparation students have to meet the standards that are assessed and minimizes the amount of time we are disrupting classroom learning.

Nevertheless, giving the assessments will cause some disruption to our regular schedule. For most students, this will amount to two days in one week in which their typical class schedule is changed—Tuesday and Thursday for about half the day, and Wednesday and Friday for the rest.

Some basics:
• The assessments are new and replace the math, reading, and writing MSP

• They assess students against the Common Core State Standards

• Students in all grades at Hamilton take the assessment

• The assessments are entirely computer based

• They are not timed – students may take as long as they need; the designers of the assessment estimate it will take students 3 hours for the English Language Arts (ELA) and 3 ½ hours for the Math assessment
Hamilton’s Smarter Balanced Assessment plan:

• Students will take all assessments (but not an introductory lesson) with their language arts class

• Each Monday in science class, students will be led through an introductory 20-minute lesson about a topic that will form the basis of part of the Math assessment

• On Tuesday or Wednesday, students will take the two-part math assessment: part one, the Performance Task, will include a set of math problems built around the topic; part two is a set of problems that is adaptive to how students respond

• We have allotted from 8-11:30 a.m. for the Math assessment

• Each Wednesday or Thursday, students will be led through the ELA 20-minute topic introduction in their social studies class

• On Thursday or Friday, students will take the two-part ELA assessment, which is structured like the math assessment

• There is a listening component to the ELA assessment; we will have headphones for students, but we encourage students to bring their own if they have a pair with which they feel comfortable

• We have allotted from 8-11 a.m. for the ELA assessment

• Once done, students will go to lunch or to their 4th period classes and will finish their school day in 5th and 6th periods.

All of this will be communicated to students through their classrooms and in reminder announcements. They have been working with the laptops they will use during the assessments, solving practice questions, getting used to the way the test looks on the screen, and gaining experience in how it all works.

Please contact me if you have questions.

Go Hawks!

Tipton Blish
Incoming Principal



Girls' Basketball Camp
Youth Camp 1
Girls entering grades 3 - 9
July 6 - 9
9:00 a.m. - noon

Youth Camp 2
Girls entering grades 3 - 9
July 27th - 30th
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

For more info:

Roller Derby
Do you have a girl between the ages of 8 and 17 who is interested in roller derby?

Registration for Seattle Derby Brats New Skater Camp is open for summer 2015. This camp is a prerequisite to try out for the 2015-2016 derby season. For more information or to register:

Spanish Camp
¡Hola! Summer is right around the corner, have you started planning yet? Vámonos Spanish Center (run by Amanda Reichert) has immersion camps this summer for students up to grade 8! Each week, students will learn about different Spanish-speaking countries and have fun cooking, acting, doing art projects, and more! To learn about these opportunities please visit: www.vamonosspanish.com

Roosevelt Girls' Basketball Camp

Coaches Jasen Thomas, Sara Wilcox, and Terrance King and the returning Roughrider players invite girls entering 4th through 9th grade to join them at basketball camp this summer. Hoop camp runs June 22 - June 25 from 9-3 each day. For more information, see http://rooseveltgirlsbasketball.org/camp.php or email the camp coordinator at kskogerboe@gmail.com

Roosevelt Boys' Basketball Camp
Dates: June 29-July 2 (Monday-Thursday)
For incoming 4th-9th graders
Time: 9 AM - 3 PM with sign-in from 8:30-9 AM.
Cost: $190 ($175 if registered before June 1, 2015)
Staff: RHS Head Coach and the RHS Boys' Basketball team

You can register here

SBACand Standardized Testing Information
Want more information about the SBAC (the Smarter Balanced Assessment) standardized test? The Seattle Council PTSA has compiled resources including a sample practice test, links to community blogs, district resources, and Seattle Education Association-recommended information here: www.scptsa.org/smarter

We do not screen or endorse any of the programs listed in the Community News Section

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