From the Principal’s Desk
Dear Hamilton Community, June 2, 2016
I hope that the Spring semester has brought a successful conclusion to your scholar’s studies at Hamilton this school year. I am writing to share important updates with you as we look ahead to the 2016-2017 school year.
Hamilton will become an International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) World School in 2017-2018! In May, we completed a semester-long exploration of the IBO Middle Years’ Program (MYP), the internationally-recognized approach to middle school education. This past month, our Collaborative School Committee (CSC) voted for Hamilton to plan strategically to implement the MYP for the 2017-18 school year. Throughout this next school year, our faculty and community will be planning for this exciting improvement for our community that will build upon our current programming and enhance the level of world-class education we offer our scholars at Hamilton. Stay tuned throughout next year to learn about how the MYP will deepen your scholar’s education and prepare him/her fully to succeed in a high school, college, and career.
In 2016-17, all scholars will need to have an AVID-binder, as we will be implementing this college-ready approach across our grade-levels and programs. Middle school is a critical time to develop “school skills” necessary for high school and college. To do this, we will be utilizing the research-based AVID strategies, including the AVID-binder. As many of you know, Hamilton is fortunate to be an AVID-school, which allows us to offer the AVID elective as well as school-wide AVID programming. Next year, each scholar will be required to have his/her AVID binder for every class, every day. To prepare for this, please purchase a 3-ring binder with 2-3 inch rings with pocket inserts. Your scholar also needs 5-6 colored dividers with tabs to separate his/her classes. The binder needs to have a zipper pouch to store supplies, with 2 or more pens, highlighters, erasers, and sharpened pencils. Every scholar is required to have his/her Hamilton planner in his/her AVID binder. We will be giving each scholar a Hamilton planner at the start of next year. Scholars in all classes must write down homework and the learning goal in their HMS planner at the start of each class and organize all class materials in the AVID-binder. Additionally, we will be teaching scholars the research-based, AVID “Cornell Notes” method in all classes to prepare our scholars with this effective, note-taking and academic skill. If you would like to read more about AVID, please see: http://www.avid.org/.
Hamilton will be implementing a revised dress code in 2016-17. This past year, we heard from our community about equity concerns in our dress code. Specifically, families and teachers came forward with gender and religious-based concerns in the dress code, as written this year. To study this, we appointed a committee representing teachers, parents, and scholars. Together, they proposed a revised dress code to our CSC, who adopted the revisions (included).
Please join our Parent Teacher Association (PTA). We need far more family and community support for 2016-17! We are in strong need of families supporting our school through volunteering and service in any way you can. With nearly 1,000 scholars, we need far more volunteers than we have. Please consider joining Hamilton’s PTA and serving our school in any way you can. We honor the fact that many of our families have daytime jobs, so any support you can give would be most appreciated. For example, we need front-office volunteers, organizers of events, chaperones, families to help with staff appreciation, volunteers to run the Husky Store on Friday, support with organizing school supplies, landscape beautification, and so much more! Please contact the PTA President, Tami Patzer at email@example.com or call Hamilton to join. A big goal at Hamilton is to build far more family and community volunteering for our Hamilton scholars. We need you!
We look forward to growing together in the service of our scholars during the 2016-17 school year. We wish each of you a wonderful summer. See you at registration, starting August 8th. Don’t forget, the first day of school is Aug. 22!
Christian Sawyer, Ed.D., Principal