Ballard High School

Ballard
High School
About

Prospective/Incoming Families

Welcome Prospective Families

Thank You To All That Were Able To Attend

High Quality 2 Color BHS Crest

Welcome and explore the Prospective Families page as well as the rest of our school website for information about Ballard High School. Prospective Families learn more about how Ballard HS keeps families in the know on our How We Communicate with Families page and all the ways our Ballard HS Students can informed on the Stay Connected page. For a listing of our staff visit our Online Staff Directory and learn more about our school on the About Ballard HS page. Note: Registration for new or incoming students begins mid-April after school assignments have been released by the district.

Ballard HS Shadowing Information

Ballard HS allows shadowing for prospective students during certain dates in February. Prospective students need to find a current Ballard student to host their visit and a Shadowing Permission Form must be completed. The current BHS student should have the completed paperwork turned into the Main Office at least 3 days ahead of the proposed visit.

Students interested in Music, may contact the Directors: Jay Gillespie (Band) jrgillespie@seattleschools.org, Courtney Rowley (Choir) chrowley@seattleschools.org or Dan Valdez (Orchestra) dmvaldez@seattleschools.org  who may be able to arrange for a shadow with a current music student.

Prospective Family Night Feb. 8, 2024

  • Entertainment: Ballard Marching Band
  • Welcome: Abby Hunt, Principal
  • Counselor Welcome: Sonja Petersen, School Counselor
  • Parent Involvement: Karla Rava, PTSA President
  • Student Welcome: ASB and LINK Crew Representatives
  • Closing Remarks: Abby Hunt, Principal

Resources

Administration
Abby Hunt: Principal
Pearl Chan (A-F): Assistant Principal
David Fort (G-N): Assistant Principal
Jody Shuman (O-Z): Assistant Principal

School Counselors
Sonja Petersen: A-Deg
Maya McKenzie: Deh-Kar
Tom Kramer: Kas-Pes
Gail Olson Laing: Pet-Wat
Katie Huguenin: Wau-Z

Support Staff

Laura Lehni: ASB Advisor/Activity Coordinator
Eric Ensign: Athletic Director
Jana Pitman: Fiscal Specialist
Cal Hartmann: Administrative Secretary
Alice March: Attendance Specialist
Bethany Nielcen: Athletic Secretary
Carol Bristol: Counseling Secretary
Katie Huguenin: Testing Coordinator (AP, PSAT, SAT)
Eric Ensign: Testing Coordinator (State Testing)
TuesD Chambers: Librarian
Cindy Nitz: Speech and Language Pathology
Lan Dang: Ballard Beaver Café Manager
Young Wong: Head Custodian
Erin Hayes: Registrar
Dwayne Mattis: Security
Jeremy Beckwith: Security
Sailau Tuitele: Teen Health Center
Elizabeth Guynes: Nurse
Graham Foster: Occupational Therapist
Jen McLuen Physical Therapist
Mackenzie Fee: Social Worker
Melissa Hoang: Psychologist

Email addresses for our staff are on our online Staff Directory.

How do I request that my student be assigned to Ballard High School for next year?

All student assignments are done centrally at the Seattle Public Schools’ John Stanford Center for Education Excellence. The most up-to-date enrollment information can be found at the district website.

Once we are assigned to Ballard HS, when will my student choose their Freshman classes?

In April the Seattle School District will give Ballard High School the names of all students assigned to us for next year. We will then email registration information to all incoming new students/families. Students at SPS middle schools will choose courses online via their Source page. Out of district students will complete a Course Selection Form.

My student receives Special Education Services. What is the registration process for my student?

Once students have been assigned to Ballard High School in April, we will reach out to all incoming families. We host an Open House in the BHS Library for parents who would like to meet with the Special Education Department regarding their student’s schedule and options for 9th grade.

What are the required 9th grade classes?

Typical Freshman Schedule at Ballard HS

  1. Intro to Literature and Composition
  2. World 1 (semester)
  3. Math: based on student’s 8th grade course
  4. Science: Biology. All 9th graders will be taking Biology or Biotech Biology
  5. Health* and PE, or Music, or elective course such as Digital Film, Intro to Engineering
  6. World Language or other elective

* Health is a required, one-semester 9th grade course. If you are taking music or another year-long course and therefore do not have room in your schedule, you may delay taking health until a later year if necessary.

What Honors or AP courses are available?

Please refer to the Course Catalog in the Academics section of our website for all current course offerings. In addition, our School Profile, located under the About Our School tab, lists this year’s AP, Honors and College courses in the High School course offerings.

How is placement in grade 9 math or world language determined?

Students should consult with their current Grade 8 teachers regarding the appropriate next level in these subjects. Students should meet any course progression recommendations as stated in the Course Catalog, but a placement test or specific letter grade is not required. Students select the courses they think are appropriate for them in consultation with their families. If you have questions regarding course placement, please contact the World Language Dept. Chair: Eileen Yardley emyardley@seattleschools.org, or the Math Dept. Chair: Janine Logsdon jmlogsdon@seattleschools.org.

Is World Language required?

World Language is required for admission to most four-year colleges and universities. Students planning to go to a four- year college or university after high school should take at least two years of a single world language (for instance, Spanish 1 and Spanish 2; French 1 and French 2; Japanese 1 and Japanese 2).

Do you have a Counseling Center?

Students are assigned to BHS Counselors by the first letter of their last name. Our Counselors work with students to help them develop strategies for success in academics, social skills, and in considering their post-high school plans and career options. BHS Counselors encourage students to become aware of their individual strengths, develop methods for dealing with difficulties, setting goals, and to make good choices. 

Counselors also help students deal with social and emotional issues. Please visit the Counselor Schoology page for more information as well as the additional family resources on the Counseling Dashboard: Applying to College, as well as, Post HS Options, posted College Visits & Events, as well as Counseling News, and more!

Do you have a Course Catalog?

Yes, the Ballard HS Online Course Catalog lists courses and descriptions arranged by department. The district Registration Guide includes Graduation Requirements, Pathways, High School & Beyond Planning and more. The purpose of the Ballard HS Online Course Catalog and the District Course Registration Guide are to familiarize students and parents with information about school procedures, curriculum, graduation requirements, and post-secondary planning. 

Courses offered at Ballard HS are aimed at challenging students; we encourage all students to pick an area to push themselves by opting into courses that will help prepare them for the rigors of career and college. Our counselors meet with students annually to track progress towards graduation requirements

Do you have a Health Center?

In addition, to our BHS School Nurse, Ballard HS has a Teen Health Center operated by Swedish and is staffed full time by a Nurse Practitioner, Mental Health Counselor, and a Chemical Dependency Counselor who all provide the services (and more) that your family doctor provides in a teen-friendly setting including vaccinations and sports physicals! For more information about the Ballard Teen Health center visit Teen Health Center page. 

Do you offer any Performing Arts?

Yes! Ballard HS provides one of the most complete high school music programs in Seattle – offering instruction in voice, wind and string instruments spanning jazz to classical. The Theatre Program consistently presents best-in-class plays and musicals. Learn more on our Ballard Performing Arts page and watch our Winter Concert 2023 Series!

What music classes are available to Freshman, and are auditions required?

Please refer to our Course Catalog for all of the course offerings in the Music Department. Please visit the BHS Performing Arts website for more information or the Performing Arts page on the school website. Below are the specific musical groups available to Freshman, including information regarding auditions. To schedule an audition, please e-mail the Director listed under Contacts. Auditions begin in late April.

Courses Available to Grade 9:

  • Concert Band: Open to all incoming 9th grade band students. Middle school band experience or instructor permission required. No audition required.
  • Symphonic Band: Audition required for incoming 9th graders. Middle school band experience or instructor permission required.
  • Wind Ensemble: Audition required for incoming 9th graders. Middle school band experience or instructor permission required.
  • Jazz Bands: Audition required for both jazz bands. This is an additional before-school class. Concurrent enrollment in a large ensemble class is required.
  • Percussion: Open to all incoming 9th graders with middle school band percussion experience, or by audition. Symphonic Orchestra: Open to all 9th grade string players. Middle school orchestra experience or instructor permission required. No audition required.
  • Chamber Orchestra: Audition required for incoming 9th graders. Middle school orchestra experience or instructor permission required.
  • Symphonic Orchestra: Open to all 9th grade string players. Middle school orchestra experience or instructor permission required. No audition required.
  • Treble Choir: Open to upper soprano and alto voices all in grades 9-12. No Audition required.
  • Concert Choir: Open to lower tenor and bass voices in grades 9-12 (see Ms. Rowley for voice placement). Open to upper soprano and alto voices in grades 10-12 by audition.

Contacts: Mr. Jay Gillespie, Director of Bands; jrgillespie@seattleschools.org, Mr. Dan Valdez, Director of Orchestras; dmvaldez@seattleschools.org, Ms. Courtney Rowley, Director of Choirs; chrowley@seattleschools.org

What Athletics and Club Sports are offered at Ballard HS?

Ballard HS 3A Metro League: Ballard HS has part of the 3A Metro League. The purpose of the Metro League organization is to maintain and conduct a program of amateur sports competition and to promote and preserve a wholesome atmosphere of good fair play among its participating and member schools. Learn more on the Official Metro League WA Website Note: BHS Football is in the Metro Tier 1 – Mountain Division. Also get updates on the MaxPreps site.

Club SportsBoys LacrosseGirls LacrosseUltimate Frisbee BUF, and also Ballard Unified Basketball (a partnership between Ballard High School and Special Olympics of WA.) are a valuable part of Ballard HS but are not WA Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) sanctioned sports. Team funding comes from players, families, and donors, instead of SPS and WIAA. Scholarships are available. Club sports signups are not via FinalForms, but on team websites.

View additional Ballard HS Athletic and Club Sport information is available on our Ballard HS Athletics page.

What ASB Clubs are available?

Ballard HS Associated Student Body (ASB) Clubs are a great way to get involved. Ballard HS has over 70 clubs available for students! If you can’t find a Club that fits your interests, start your own! More information is available on our BHS Clubs page. In addition, follow updates on Instagram: @ballardstudentlife and @ballardhighasb

Do You Have a PTSA?

We have a robust Parent, Teacher, Student Association (PTSA). Consider becoming a BHS PTSA member, an advocate, or volunteer. Visit the Volunteer Opportunities to see how you can help out at Ballard HS no matter how big or small. The BHS PTSA is run by volunteers that donate their time to help promote and support the social, emotional, and academic well-being of all students. You can make a difference! Learn more about our Ballard HS PTSA.

What is LINK Crew?

Ballard HS has a LINK Crew Program which is a national high school program that welcomes freshmen and makes them feel comfortable throughout the first year of their high school experience. LINK Crew trains members of the Junior and Senior class to be LINK Leaders.

Getting a diverse group of leaders from all corners of Ballard High School is vital to creating a group that will engage all members of school. As positive role models, LINK Leaders are motivators, leaders and teachers who guide the freshmen to discover what it takes to be successful during the transition to high school.

Information and Resources for Incoming Students

Refer to the BHS Freshman webpage for information and resources for Ballard HS Freshman students and families. Transfer students can also refer to their grade level resource page.

What makes Ballard High standout above the rest?

There are lots of great options for high schools in Seattle Public Schools, but of course we think that Ballard is the best place for your student to flourish. A fundamental component that we emphasize from the first day of school is becoming involved and engaged at Ballard. We know what 1600 students can seem daunting, so we are committed to providing endless opportunities for students to make the big feel small. This can be through joining a Program or Pathway, it can be through Sports, our Performing Arts or one of our more than 75+ student run clubs.

The most important thing that your Freshman can do is to find their community through one or more of these options and this will only be more important as we return to in-person instruction. We know that students that are involved at Ballard High School do better at Ballard academically, socially, mentally and physically. Make sure this is part of the conversations that you are having with your student as the school year approaches.

Registration Timeline New Students

Registration for new or incoming students begins mid-April after school assignments have been released by the district. Refer to the resources and information on our school website to help with your overview of Ballard High School as an incoming or prospective family. Take a look at our online Course Catalog and explore our website for more information.

Do you have a Course Catalog?

Yes, the Ballard HS Online Course Catalog lists courses and descriptions arranged by department. The district Registration Guide includes Graduation Requirements, Pathways, High School & Beyond Planning and more. The purpose of the Ballard HS Online Course Catalog and the District Course Registration Guide are to familiarize students and parents with information about school procedures, curriculum, graduation requirements, and post-secondary planning. 

Courses offered at Ballard HS are aimed at challenging students; we encourage all students to pick an area to push themselves by opting into courses that will help prepare them for the rigors of career and college. Our counselors meet with students annually to track progress towards graduation requirements

Do You Have a Student Handbook?

Yes! Refer to our Online Student Handbook for more information about Ballard HS. The handbook is intended to support the success of each student at Ballard High School. The information included in the online handbook is useful over the course of the coming school year. Of most immediate importance will be the information regarding academic expectations for graduation, student behavior at school and the requirements governing attendance. Policies and procedures are subject to change. Notification of any changes will be communicated to students, parents, and guardians.


SPS Enrollment Process 24-25

Students are assigned to their attendance area school based on where they live. Families may request a different school through School Choice. Refer to the district Student School Assignment for more information. The School Choice process for 2024-25 will open on February 1, 2024. Visit the district School Choice and Open Enrollment page for district enrollment information.

Enrollment Key Dates

  • January 2, 2024:  New registrations for Enrollment for the 2024-25 school year begins. New students to SPS must register before participating in Open Enrollment. 
  • February 1 – February 29: School Choice priority applications will be accepted (tiebreakers apply).
    • March 1 – May 31: School Choice late applications will be accepted (tiebreakers will not apply).
  • April 16: Open Enrollment results will be available online.

Ballard HS Quick Links

Informational Videos


Ballard High School Performing Arts

The Ballard Performing Art (BPA) Music and Theatre Department is lauded throughout the Northwest and beyond for its high level of musical and performance excellence and supported by the parent run Booster Club. 

Ballard HS provides one of the most complete high school music programs in Seattle – offering instruction in voice, wind and string instruments spanning jazz to classical. The Theatre Program consistently presents best-in-class and now virtual plays and musicals.

The Ballard HS Music Program has gained regional and national acclaim for its outstanding ensembles and inspired performances. The Music Program includes over 300 students who participate in three concert bands, three concert orchestras, one concert choir, two treble choirs, percussion ensemble, two jazz bands, one jazz choir, fiddle ensemble and multiple chamber ensembles. Performances are held in the Earl Kelly Performing Arts Center.


Ballard HS Choirs

Learn more about all the things that happen in and around the BHS Library with Teacher-Librarian TuesD Chambers.


Virtual Tour of the BHS Library


Can’t Find What You Are Looking For?

Email me with tips on information you would like located here or better ways to support your searches on the Ballard HS website. Diane Taylor, BHS Website Editor at dmtaylor@seattleschools.org Thank you!

As of February 9, 2024