June Surprise?

A comment in another post suggests that the District will announce a late, radical move to address overcrowding at Hamilton for next year.

A radical move like using John Marshall or Lincoln to house the HIMS 6th grade or 6th and 7th grade or relocating APP (in whole or in part) out of the building.

There is no news, only rumors.


Crisis Again said…
Given that the district has done June surprises before, radically changing what schools parents and children will be attending just months before the new school year, you cannot blame parents for suspecting the worst.

Whether from incompetence or manipulation, the district administration has used crisis politics over and over again. They have burned through any trust. Now, every move is viewed with suspicion.
I hope not. It would be a very bad move because it's not a crisis. They knew they had an issue for months and to do this right before school closes is wrong.

Also, look for some major movement in top staff by the end of June. Also not good.
Anonymous said…
From what is being said on the APP blog, it's about scheduling.

They can fit all the kids into the building, but can't fit all the kids into classes because the course selections cause imbalances. Which is why this is coming so late.

HIMS Parent

Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
Moving APP out is going to cause a huge problem with the orchestra program, which just re-organized to add an additional, audition-only level. Many orchestra students are APP, especially those in the more advanced groups (yeah, I know, stereotypes, but that's the way it is). Kids who worked really hard for that audition are going to be heartbroken if that group is cancelled or altered beyond recognition. APP kids will feel yanked away, and non-APP kids will feel left behind. Everyone loses.

I know the music program can't really trump academics; it is just one example of how much it will hurt to make a major change so late the year.
Anonymous said…
The music program is academics.
- parent
Anonymous said…
I agree, but somehow I doubt SPS sees music as "academics." If they did, we'd probably have some sort of odious "Music MAP" 3x a year!
Anonymous said…
If this is about scheduling, aren't there creative ways to address it? Many school districts have "zero" period before school (I guess it could be after school as well) that allow kids to take electives that otherwise wouldn't fit into their schedule.

Yes, it would cost money, but so will moving kids out of the building, particularly at this late date.

-Not Again
Anonymous said…
Also, it seems to me that the social environment at HIMS has been a huge success. At least among the kids I've been able to observe, friendships cross all the "academic boundaries." Math class and music seem to be the great points of intersection where these friendships form. It will be a huge shame to mess that up, especially after all the hand-wringing from some about how APP kids need to mingle with others and not feel they are something special just because of that designation. Mission accomplished at HIMS in that regard.
Anonymous said…
And oh, I'm not an APP parent.
Anonymous said…
If this is true, I wonder if we can provide our own surprise to the district and refuse to go. Just tell them that we won't go, and that all our kids are going to show up at Hamilton next year. I think we're all tired of the district moving our kids around like chess pieces. A big group of kids being denied access to the school would make for some good media, even if it was only for the first day.

- Half Serious
I thought Carr recently said this was not going to happen?
Anonymous said…
Interesting. So, tomorrow night is the ice cream social at Hamilton for incoming sixth graders. Does that mean that the ice cream social will be at the John Marshall building? I mean, it makes sense if my kid won't be in Hamilton's main building next year, right? I'm half kidding; but this honestly makes no sense if kids are going to be attending programs like after school (HOST) music. Does that mean they are going to bus the kids back and forth?
-Future HIMS Mom
Anonymous said…
Future HIMS mom
Or it could mean that there will an ice cream social for the incoming 6th graders at HIMS with the exception of the APP students. Who knows?
HIMS mom
Anonymous said…
Sounds like it might be Hamilton @ Marshall kind of like Lowell @ Lincoln. Funny.

Anonymous said…
Do keep us folks. New naming trend in SPS: in W. Seattle, it's going to be K-5 STEM @ Schmitz Park , Schmitz Park @ Genesee Hill, and ESTEM @ Arbor Heights.

Keeping up
Yes, Keeping Up, as I struggle to understand the situation in West Seattle, I was struck by all these tangled names. I know that once the Fire Department got mixed up over a name.
Anonymous said…
right NOW there are only rumors. But before the presentation to the school board that suggested splitting APP again, there were rumors that district staff was considering another split.

District staff denied the rumor up until the presentation was released.

Anonymous said…
It would be despicable to do this at this late date. We went to meetings about this at the District Office back in December.

Sad parent of 5th grader
Anonymous said…
Any update on this? Charlie?
- dying to know
Anonymous said…
Over at the APP blog there was a report that the incoming 6th grade ice cream social went as planned with no mention of a split, traveling classrooms, or anything else. The only clue was that Principal Watters' comments sounded a bit too carefully parsed to some ears -- but she is a careful person so it just could be her manner of speaking. I'm hoping for the best!
APP parent said…
I was at the ice cream social. Watters, without prompting, as far as I know, said in her comments to everyone that she didn't know what would happen. That's notable because, at a meeting with parents last month, she assured everyone APP kids would be going to Hamilton next year. She seems to have backed away from that assurance.
Anonymous said…
I would characterize Cindy Watter's comments at last night's new student gathering a little differentaly than Lisa. What I said on the APP blog is that Ms. Watters did speak ot the rumors in her welcome. She said that she knows that there are many who are concerned about capacity at HIMS, that she doesn't know any more than we do (interesting choice of words), that she will communicate info when she does, and that she hopes to welcome all of our students next year. I felt like she was clear, warm and (as another parent mentioned on the APP blog) she was careful in her wording, which I appreciated because we and others haven't said anything yet to our children who were there last night. I've been very impressed by her in my limited contact. I believe that she would like to make it work to keep everyone assigned there going there. Of course, I also know some things are beyond her ability to change.
Incoming HIMS?

Anonymous said…
Thanks, IncomingHIMS? & APP Parent, for clarifying my poor attempt to paraphrase. I was not at the social but wanted to report what was on the APP blog for the benefit of "Dying to Know" and others who are feeling the anxiety.

Anonymous said…
Please keep the incoming 6th grade APP cohort together. I have talked to students of past cohorts they really remember the friends they make in the program. They are not little units to be shuffled off to any cubicle. Their human potential is based on the support of the community of students. These are sensitive children that deserve to stay with the friends they have made in the program.
I know teachers want their "own" room for their prep period , however does Hamilton have teachers move to other rooms so there is a class in session in every room, every period? They do this at Garfield.
katie said…
Yes, Hamilton is fully utilizing all of their rooms. The teachers do prep outside of their homerooms.
Anonymous said…
June 7, 2013

Dear Hamilton International Middle School community,

As many of you are aware, enrollment is on the rise throughout our school district, including at Hamilton International Middle School. At every school we must balance the safety and security of our students with the need to ensure all of our students receive a high quality education.

For the 2013-14 school year, we are planning for 1,100 students at HIMS – an increase over our current enrollment of 975. We believe we can serve this number of students in our current space. We are not planning to relocate any 6-8th grade students to other schools for the upcoming school year. The maximum capacity of the building is 1,294, and we will continue to work with the City of Seattle to ensure we are meeting all the safety codes.

I know supporting this increase in students will present some challenges, so we are working with HIMS staff to ensure there is enough space to continue the quality teaching and learning. We have already increased the staffing allocation for HIMS, so the necessary teachers will be in place for the start of school. If needed, we may also add staff such as hallway monitors. We will also work with the City of Seattle on traffic safety in the area, and look at solutions for staff parking and drop off/pick up for families.

In addition, any students who are testing into APP during the summer will be placed at Hamilton only if there is space available. All current APP students who live in the Hamilton APP pathway will have a seat at HIMS for the fall.

For more detailed information about enrollment at Hamilton, please visit: http://bit.ly/HIMS2013capacity

I want to thank Principal Cindy Watters and the HIMS staff for their ongoing work to ensure the needs of students are met. I know they will do an excellent job next year serving and supporting all of our students.


José Banda

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