Incoming Students

Welcome Families!

It was great to see you!

High Quality 2 Color BHS Crest

Thank you to all of the students and families that were able to attend the Ballard High School Open house.

The event was held for prospective students and families interested in learning more about the many programs and class offerings available at Ballard HS on Feb 15, 2023.

Explore our website to learn more!

Ballard HS Upcoming Community Events

Bucky Beaver Mascot

Consider joining on of the upcoming Ballard HS, Ballard Performing Arts and/or a Ballard High School Foundation event.

March 16, 17, 18 & 24, 25, 26 Ballard HS TheatreMusical Secret Garden

March 25 Ballard High School Foundation Annual Running of the BeaversRegister and walk/run with family and friends in this great community event at Golden Gardens.

April 21: BHS PTSA DEI hosted Film screening of Roosevelt HS: Beyond Black and White. Learn more.

Ballard HS Resources & Even More Info!


Abby Hunt; Principal
JaLynn Montes (A-F); Assistant Principal
David Fort (G-N); Assistant Principal
Jody Shuman (O-Z); House Administrator


Sonja Petersen; A-Cop
Maya McKenzie; Coq-Hop
Tom Kramer; Hoq-Nat
Gail Olson Laing; Nau-Str
Katie Huguenin; Sts-Z

Support Staff

Laura Lehni; ASB Advisor, and Activity Coordinator
Eric Ensign; Athletic Director
Jana Pitman; Fiscal Specialist
Cindy Peterson; Administrative Secretary
Alice March; Attendance Specialist
Bethany Nielcen; Athletic Secretary
Carol Bristol; Counseling Secretary
TuesD Chambers; Librarian
Cindy Nitz; Speech and Language Pathology
Lan Dang; Ballard Beaver Café Manager
Young Wong; Head Custodian
Kim Nickerson; Registrar
Dwayne Mattis; Security
Mandrell Dunn; Security
Sailau “Say” Tuitele; Teen Health Center
Laurie Tirtanadi; Nurse
Graham Foster; Occupational Therapist
Jen McLuen; Physical Therapist
McKenzie Fee; Social Worker 
Nicole Carrie; Psychologist

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.

The 2023-2024 Open Enrollment period to request to attend a school other than the one listed in the student’s initial assignment letter is from February 1 – Feb 28 at the John Stanford Center. By February 28, families should have submitted School Choice applications directly to the John Stanford Center.

Once we are assigned to Ballard High School, when will my student choose their 9th grade classes?

By April 19, 2023 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. We will be offering virtual and in-person opportunities to get questions answered April 19 – April 28 (specific dates tbd).

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 the week of April 17, 2023. We will also host an Open House on April 25, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. 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?

Here is a typical 9th grade schedule at Ballard High School:

  1. Intro to Literature and Composition
  2. World History 1 and 2
  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 see 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 9th grade math or world language determined?

Students should consult with their current 8th grade 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).

Academy of Finance
Biotech Pathway
Digital Filmmaking Program
Engineering / Project Lead the Way / Robotics
ASB/Link Crew
Maritime Academy
Music & Theatre Programs
Newspaper Staff / Talisman
Special Education Programs High Inc
Special Education Programs Low Inc
Yearbook / Shingle 

What are Academies or Pathways? Do all students have to choose one, and are applications required?

A unique feature of Ballard High School is that we offer several Academies and Pathways while simultaneously respecting students’ individual choices. Academies and Pathways are arranged around a theme or subject. Students do not have to select an Academy or Pathway. Approximately one third of our students choose to do so; all other students choose a wide range of required and elective courses. Please see our Course Catalog on the Ballard website under the Academics tab for a description of each Academy or Pathway, including the specific courses required.

Ballard High School offers these career focused opportunities:

  • Academy of Finance
  • Biotechnology
  • Digital Filmmaking
  • Ballard Maritime
  • Project Lead the Way (Pre-Engineering Pathway)

Whom can I contact if I have specific questions about one of these Academies or Pathways?

For more specific information on each Career Focus Opportunities, please see our Course Catalog. In addition, some of these programs have their own websites, indicated next to the teacher contact info below. For additional information, please contact the Lead Teacher of each program.

Academy of Finance: Eric Blazevic; edblazevic@seattleschools.org and naf.org

Biotechnology: Dr. Becky Howsmon; rahowsmon@seattleschools.org

Digital Filmmaking Program: Steven Bradford; spbradford@seattleschools.org and bhsvideo.blogspot.com

Maritime: John Foster; jffoster@seattleschools.org and ballardmaritimeacademy.wordpress.com

Project Lead the Way: Brian Connolly; baconnolly@seattleschools.org and pltw.org

What music classes are available to 9th graders, and are auditions required?

Please see our Course Catalog for all course offerings in the Music Department. Please also visit the BHS Performing Arts website: ballardperformingarts.org. Below are the specific musical groups available to 9th graders, including information regarding auditions. To schedule an audition, please e-mail the Director listed under Contacts. Auditions will begin in late April 2023.

Courses available to 9th graders:

  • 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.
  • 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.


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

I’m now ready to start high school! Will there be a 9th Grade Orientation?

Yes! The Orientation for BHS 9th Graders will be held the week before school starts in September. Orientation is usually scheduled for the Thursday before Labor Day; you will receive a specific date and time in a summer email. We will also post this on our website.

Informational Videos

Learn more about all the things that happen in and around the BHS Library with Teacher-Librarian TuesD Chambers:  Watch videos on YouTube

Watch this student produced film from our Digital Film program documenting a Day at Ballard High School. ~2014
Watch video on Vimeo

SPS Enrollment 23-24

School Choice and Open Enrollment Dates

Feb 1 – Feb 28 Open Enrollment School Choice applications accepted.
March 1 – May 31 School Choice late applications accepted.
April 18 Open Enrollment School Choice results will be available online.

School Choice Process

If you are interested in having your student attend a school that is not their assigned school next year, please submit a School Choice form. Choice forms are available through Source and at the John Stanford Center. Applications received by Feb. 28 will receive priority. SPS will continue to accept School Choice forms until May 31. These applications are prioritized based on the date the application is received.  If there are more applications than seats available for a particular school and grade, then certain tiebreakers are used to determine assignment and waitlist status.

Visit the district School Choice and Open Enrollment page for the School Year 23-24 and the most current date and enrollment information.

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!