Hamilton International Middle School

Hamilton International
Middle School

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs about Academics at Hamilton

Here are answers to our most often-asked questions.

There is a 6-period day at Hamilton International Middle School. All students are assigned to 4 year-long core classes: Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Math.

This leaves two periods for elective classes. Elective classes are either year-long or semester (half year). All students will be assigned to one (1) semester of Physical Education and one (1) semester of Fine Arts unless they are taking two year-long electives.

In April when we receive our list of assigned students from SPS, we will send a welcome letter with a course selection form. This form can be returned by mail or in person. For students enrolled during the summer, course selection forms will be sent out in mid-August.

Current year-long electives include Band, Orchestra, Spanish (for 7th & 8th grade only), Immersion Language Arts Japanese or Spanish, Advanced Drama.  Additional full-year choices will be defined on the Choice Form, they vary per grade level.

Current offerings for 2023-24 are Beginning and Advanced Visual Arts, Drama, Journalism/Yearbook, Advanced Coding, Intro to World Language (6th grade) and PE.

The Choice Form for 2024-25 school year will be available after next year student assignments are populated into our database in late April. An email will be sent to all new families with course options at that time.

Physical Education is a required class. PE curriculum includes health and wellness instruction and activities that are recommended for all students. However, students who are taking two year-long elective classes, can be excused from participation. The PE “Excused from Participation” packets are distributed to those students that qualify based on two (2), year-long elective courses in early October. Per state regulations, students can also be excused from participation for a) religious reasons, b) health reasons.

All SPS students receive instruction in the foundational K-8 math standards that lay the groundwork for algebra and higher-level math courses that students will take in high school. Unless a student is currently enrolled in an HCC pathway school as a 5th grader (Cascadia), all 6th grade students will be assigned to Math 6. Skipping over a course in the SPS math sequence or taking a course independently is not an approved acceleration progression in SPS middle schools.

We honor the spirit and vision of every student’s IEP. We read each one carefully to learn about student strengths, needs, and goals, and create a schedule with the best combination of support to meet those goals. We speak with families for additional input. We provide services in a continuum of large group, small group, and one-on-one settings, which could include communication services, occupational therapy or physical therapy services, modifications and accommodations in a large class setting, services provided in a study skills or social skills class, and/or services provided in a small-group academic class. Services will be based on the student’s identified IEP strengths, needs, and goals.

We align with other SPS Middle Schools that provide services for students identified as Highly Capable. HC identified students are served in Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science classes alongside their peers. The inclusive classrooms provide HC students opportunities to deepen, extend, and accelerate their reading, writing, reasoning, and thinking. Students that have completed 5th grade in a SPS designated Highly Capable program (Cascadia) will be placed in Math 8 for 6th grade. Parent/Guardian may also choose to place in Math 6 and the student then will have option to “double up” in 7th grade by enrolling in the compact Math 7/8 course.

We honor the brilliance of our students who speak multiple languages! We have a certificated teacher and instructional assistant who support our multi-lingual students in their general education classes and in small group instruction to acquire English proficiency skills.

Hamilton International Middle School is the Dual Language pathway for both John Stanford International Middle School and McDonald International Middle School and offers dual language courses in Spanish and Japanese Language Arts (1 period per day). Mark your choice on Elective form.

Multilingual students who attend Hamilton and whose native language is Spanish or Japanese may also opt-in to this program. If you would like your student evaluated for placement in HIMS Dual Language program, be sure to check the appropriate box on the Elective choice form. 

Students that live OUTSIDE of HIMS Geo Zone and are currently enrolled in JSIC or McDonald, please reach out to SPS enrollment services for specific instructions on how to complete the Choice Form.

February 1 – February 29 Open Enrollment School Choice priority applications will be accepted (tiebreakers apply).

Incoming 6th grade students who have been playing an instrument at one of our feeder elementary schools will be recommended for one of our ensembles by their elementary band/orchestra teacher. We offer multiple sections of Band (woodwinds, brass, and percussion), Orchestra (violin, viola, cello, bass), and Choir. Intro Band/Orchestra is typically for students who are brand new to their instrument or who have been playing for less than a year. Premier and Intermediate Band/Orchestra are for students with 1-2 years of experience on their instrument. Concert Band/Orchestra is for students with three or more years of experience and with director approval. Jazz Band is audition only. We have a very limited number of Piano/Guitar/Drum Set spots in Concert Choir, Vocal Jazz, and Jazz Band.

Intermediate Choir is for students who have never sung in a choir before or who have limited experience in elementary school. Concert Choir is for students with multiple years of experience singing in choir. Vocal Jazz is audition only.

Instructions for an Audition will be included on the Elective Choice/Instructions form sent to new HIMS families Late April/Early May.

Please visit our music department website.

There is typically a 6th Grade Orientation the Thursday before the first day of school. Check our calendar for updated info.