April 9, 2015

First Things First!


Upcoming Events ...

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    • TODAY 7th grade field trip--EMP (Ms. Arvey's and Mr. Moriarty's classes)
    • TODAY "High School and Beyond" night, 7-9:45 p.m., Whitman MS
    • 4/11 Girls' Volleyball, 12:30 p.m., Washington
    • 4/13-4/17 Spring Break: No school!!
    • 4/21 FOMAHIBoard Meeting, 7-8 p.m.
    • 4/22 PTSA Board Meeting, 6-7 p.m. (rescheduled from 4/8)
    • 4/24 8th grade spring dance (Chaperones needed--see below)
    • 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)
    • 5/20 PTSA Board Meeting, 6-7 p.m.
    • 5/20 PTSA General Meeting & 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



Dear Hamilton Friends and Families,

I hope you were all as pleased as I was with the announcement that Tip Blish will be stepping in as our new Principal in 2015-16. Tip has been a strong member of the administrative team here at Hamilton for three years, and he is well aware of the values of our community (transparency, equity, rigor for all) and is well-positioned to assess and act on the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. The Hamilton staff holds Tip in very high esteem, and he seems equally enthusiastic about the Hamilton community of staff, families and kids. We are also particularly lucky to have him here working with Cindy for the next few months and planning for next year--that should ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.

I know that some members of our community may have been hoping that this transition would bring someone new and novel to Lincoln. I think if you haven't yet had the pleasure of working with Tip that you'llbe impressed by his leadership skills and independent thinking, and by his fresh insights about the work being undertaken at Hamilton by the staff and by our kids.

The PTSA will host a "Principal Social” in May after our general membership meeting (May 20), I hope you will join us for that opportunity to get to know Tip and to find out more about Cindy's future plans!

Specialthanks to all the staff members and the community members who gave generously of their time and energy to the Principal Hiring Committee, and to Northwest Executive Director Jon Halfaker for leading the way, and to the Hamilton community members who emailed me with their thoughts to share with the Committee.

I hope you all have some sweet Spring Break plans! I look forward to talking with you more this after the Break.

Lisa Melenyzer



"High School and Beyond" night

Hamilton, along with other middle schools and K-8 schools in the NW region, is sponsoring a High School and Beyond night at Whitman Middle School, Thursday, April 9, from 7–9:45 p.m.

From 6:30 – 7 p.m., there will high school activity clubs presenting in the cafeteria and a pizza dinner will be available for purchase. The program starts at 7 p.m.

There will be two breakout sessions: One will be with high school counselors, and the other will be with student panels from Ballard, Roosevelt, and Ingraham high schools to answer frequently asked questions about high school.

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.

Legislative Update

Education bills

The regular 2015 Legislative Session has entered its final month. Several education-related bills did not survive the process over the past couple weeks. The House and Senate had until April 1 to vote on proposals from the opposite chamber. Unless they are budget-related, bills that didn’t make it out of committee by then are now dead. Read more in the Seattle Times:


Budget time

As we mentioned in last week’s newsletter, the House released its budget with funding for education through raising some taxes. The Senate budget was released on April 1st, it too, includes money for education, however how to pay for it differs from the House budget. The House is led by a majority of Democrats, and the Senate is led by a majority of Republicans, so there are significant differences between the budgets.

What does this all mean? Well, the two chambers (House and Senate) need to come together and compromise on a final budget to send to Governor Inslee.

This could take at least a couple weeks. Notably, the regular session is scheduled to end on April 26th. If a budget agreement cannot be struck by then, the legislative session will need to be extended with a “special session” called by the Governor.

Take action

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

A Note from Ms. Mac in the Library

Please spread the word that the prospective textual materials sets for 6th-7th-Grade World History and 8th-Grade US History for Seattle Public Schools textbook materials adoption for 2015-2016 are now on view with a feedback form for staff, parents, community members and students to complete, if interested.

For more information:




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.

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.

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!

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 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

Changes to School Bell Times: Survey + Community Meeting 4/30

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 members 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 5th in the staff lounge. Salad dressings on the side, ingredients list/label and heating instructions are 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 21:
FOMAHI Board Meeting, 7pm, HIMS Library

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

Vocal Jazz audition sign-ups will be posted after spring break. Audition materials will be available prior to spring break. Any interested students should see Ms. Babbitt.

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

Enrichment Scholarship Program

A note from HIMS's counselors: The Assistance League provides scholarships through their Enrichment Scholarship Program (ESP). Applications must be postmarked by 4/6. See the link below for more information and application information for summer activity scholarships:



The winter HOST session ends on April 2, and Spring HOST kicks off on April 6! Winter and spring registration has been open since January, but 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:

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

4/11 no K-8 games
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

4/11 vs. Washington, 12:30 p.m., Washington
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.
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