March 19, 2015

First Things First!


Upcoming Events ...
    Heads up: 2-Hour Early Dismissal Next Wednesday, March 25!

    • 3/19 Band Spring Concert, 7-9 p.m.
    • 3/20 School dance, gym, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
    • 3/20 Last day of 2nd trimester
    • 3/25 2-Hour Early Dismissal
    • 3/26 Hawk Pride Ceremony
    • 3/26 Middle School Band Festival, Whitman MS, all day
    • 3/26 Orchestra Spring Concert, 7 p.m., Lincoln Auditorium

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



The 2015 Legislative Session has reached its halfway point, and legislators are still sorting out how to fully fund basic education, as required by the McCleary decision.

A number of bills did not survive the process including a proposal to split the Seattle School District, and a bill giving the Mayor the authority to appoint School Board members. They will not be moving forward for consideration.

Resource for you

The Washington State PTA has a great tool to track bills that are related to education and the status of state PTA priorities. It can be found here:

What’s next?

After the flurry of the past month or so, expect the public Legislative action to slow a bit as elected officials turn their attention to the challenge of a budget, including funding for education.

Take action!

It is a great time for elected officials to hear from their constituents. Share your thoughts on education funding and other education-related bills.

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.



If you have any questions, please contact Tara Lee, PTA Legislative Liaison, 206-851-4452, cell.


Seattle Special Ed PTSA meeting 3/23

The Seattle Special Ed PTSAis a Seattle School District PTSA whose purpose is to serve and advocate for all students with disabilities and their families. Meetings of the SPED PTSA are held monthly at JSCEE (John Stanford Center) 2445 3rd Ave S, Seattle, Second Floor, Room 2700, from 7:00-9:00 pm.

The next meeting will be Monday, March 23. We will be discussing the state of SPED within the District, the RC-CAP, how Open Enrollment went for our students, Smarter Balance tests, and more. Your input and presence is greatly valued. Check out our website for more important information:

Enrichment Scholarship Program

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

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.

A kickoff will be held in homerooms on March 30, and students can donate books from April 1-30. The classrooms will compete to see which classroom donates the most books.

Music (FOMAHI)News

Upcoming Events:

Tonight, Mar. 19: Band Spring Concert, 7 p.m. Lincoln Auditorium, (all Bands plus Senior Jazz) *See note below.

Mar. 20: Hot Java Cool Jazz (Senior Jazz Combo groups), Paramount Theatre

Mar. 26: Middle School Band Festival, (Symphonic Band), Whitman Middle School, all day

Mar. 26: Orchestra Spring Concert, 7 p.m., Lincoln Auditorium


*Band Concert TONIGHT:

In an effort to minimize waste, we ask that families supply their musician with a water bottle from home for the evening. Thank you!


Junior Jazz Winter Term is coming to a close and it is time to think about the Spring Term (March 26-June 11).

Current Junior Jazz Members:

Junior Jazz Winter Term -- The last day for Junior Jazz Winter Term is 3/24/15.

Junior Jazz Spring Term -- If you're already in Junior Jazz Band and want to participate in the Spring Term, payments ($65) are due by March 26. Please make checks out to FOMAHI and either deliver them to the FOMAHI Box in the main office or send them to our FOMAHI Treasurer Jenny Peters at:

FOMAHI c/o Jenny Peters – Treasurer , 1800 36th Avenue West, Seattle, WA 98199

New Junior Jazz members:
If your student musician wants to be in Junior Jazz Band but missed the Fall & Winter Term, they can still register for the Spring Term. Junior Jazz meets Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Please note the class is available to students with one year experience playing their instrument, and auditions may be required. Please contact Ann Wright, Junior Jazz Coordinator, at for registration and consent forms or questions.

Reflections State Winners Announced!

Judging has been completed at the state level for the 2014-15 Reflections Arts Contest. The animated film short, “5 Green and Endangered Frogs,” by HIMS student Hannah M., won Outstanding Interpretation in the middle school-film division and will go on to compete at the national level. Check it out here.

Out of 1,000 entries advancing to the state level in all grade divisions and genre categories from around the state, 27 works (one in each genre and grade level division) received Outstanding Interpretation and were selected to go on to judging at the National level.Additional works in each category were honored with Award of Excellence or Award of Merit. For a complete list of state winners, see:
Congratulations to all the HIMS students who participated in Reflections this year and the parents who helped make it possible!


Thank you so much to everyone who helped make Hamilton Pi(e) Night a delicious success this year—to all the bakers, judges, pie eaters, Pi reciters, cleaner-uppers, and more, we want to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude! Among the many who showed up and pitched in here are some folks we’d like to recognize:

Cindy Watters, Tip Blish, Tim Snyder, Mr. Gussin, Trina Torgelson, Shannon Frizzell, Lisa Melenyzer, Linda Joss, Cate Palmer, Michelle Fasser, Scott Fasser, Charlotte Trelease, Angela Fleet, Sarah Erb, John Mollman, Temple McNeer, Eileen Faucher, Leslie Braly, Kim Cook, Nikki O’Connor, Ed Fotheringham, Marla Master, Lynn Lee, Casey Casteneda, Diane Pearson, Jen Clemens, Lauren Marshall, Barb Burrill and the Fabulous Green Team Student Volunteers, Maria Gingerich, Kristie Gamer, Brad Lenz, and the PTSA.

Thank you all so much and please forgive us if we’ve left your name off of the list—we appreciate your help and couldn’t have done it without you!

--Mary Orth & Annie Hayward, Pi(e) Night Coordinators


It’s not too late to sign up for HOST after-school classes! Just go to for information on how you can sign your student up for both Winter and Spring HOST classes, including the class that the Seattle Architecture Foundation is holding at HIMS.

For more information, contact Liz Chase at


Co-ed Track
began March 17.Practices will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-4:30 at the Lower Woodland Park Track at Green Lake.

Pick up a track packet and sign up outside Ms. Paris’s room #306. Complete and return your packet as soon as possible!

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, or by phone at (206) 252-5852.


Send your newsletter items to Items are edited for clarity and brevity. 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 We welcome your feedback! Please submit content for inclusion by Tuesdays at noon. For submission guidelines, click here.
Principal's Letter



This week's letter is brought to you by Assistant Principal Tipton Blish.

Dear Hamilton International Families,

I confess that I am an inveterate eavesdropper. I love to hear what people are talking about at Hamilton and I’m pleased and proud to report that much of the conversation is about teaching and learning. These are not the structured or formal conversations that are supposed to be about learning; these are the quick check-ins at a classroom doorway, two teachers waiting to make photocopies, a 7th grader seeing his language arts teacher come through the lunch room, or two students on their way out to their bus at the end of the school day.

This is our culture. On the one hand, this – I think extraordinary – phenomenon is a reflection of who works here and who attends here. The adults care about their work, and they approach it as an art, thinking about it, tweaking an assignment, checking in with a neighbor, proposing a new tack.

Students are frequently talking about assignments or class discussions (and, yes, theytalk about each other, about extracurricular interests, and other nonacademic topics). One of an administrator’s favorite conversation starters is when a teacher says, "If you have time, you should come see my third period class; we're doing something amazing."

But it is not only a reflection of our culture. These conversations help us learn. Talking about our thinking, processing our learning out loud, asking questions, hearing ourselves articulate a problem, are all ways that we learn. We will often ask our students to explain their learning or to teach something new to a peer. On the surface we are checking to see whether a student has understood, but we are also deepening the learning itself. This is, according to researcher John Hattie, one of the most effective practices at our disposal.

You, too, can be part of this cycle of learning. I know that I find myself asking my daughters what they did at school today, when I should ask them what they learned. That learning happens everywhere—on the way to and from school, over dinner, in the lunchroom, on the playtop, in the classroom doorway, and in class.

Ask your student about something learned today. Hopefully you’ll learn something too.


Go Hawks!


Tipton Blish
Assistant Principal




Positive Parenting Class
Free 6-week Positive Parenting During the Teen Years class on Wednesday evenings, April 22-May 27 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Wallingford. More information:

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:

Basketball Clinics
Player Development Program (PDP) for ages 6-15
Our premier fundamental skills training program
Locations: Ravenna CC
Begins Wed. April 1 and Thurs., April 2.

Summer Camps open for registration too! Check it all out at:

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

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