Incoming Students

Welcome Prospective Students and Families!

Prospective Students

We will not be hosting an In-Person Open House or Tours including Students Shadowing for prospective families for the School Year 22 -23.

More information about Ballard High School for prospective students and families for Fall 2022 will be posted soon! 

Watch for details regarding a TBD Ballard High School Virtual Tour.

In the mean time please explore this Incoming Students page as well as links to more info on our School Website!

Learn about our amazing Ballard High School Community

Ballard High School Crest

Explore this page and links below as well as our About page and view our Ballard High School’s videos to hear from Ballard High School staff & students on why “It’s Always Great To Be a Beaver!”   

SPS Enrollment and Registration Information

Visit the SPS Enrollment page for more details and dates about enrollment. Also visit the SPS School Choice for deadlines and process.

School Choice & Process for 2022-23

Start Date: February 1, 2022

Before the deadline, families with students enrolled in Seattle Public Schools may submit school choice applications for the following school year.

  • All Seattle Public Schools choice assignments are subject to space availability.
  • Submitting the form does not guarantee an assignment.
  • Please review the School and Programs information as some programs or support services may not be offered at your preferred school.
  • New students must first register on the Enrollment webpage before participating in the open enrollment.
  • Non-resident and Early Entrance Kindergarten students are not eligible to participate in the Open Enrollment School Choice process.
  • 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.

Choice forms received after February 28, 2021 will not be eligible for tiebreaker consideration but will be placed in the order received and by lottery number.

Refer to the SPS School Choice page for complete details.

Key Enrollment Dates:

  • Online Enrollment for new students for 2022-23 school year begins: January 3, 2022
  • Open Enrollment for School Choice: February 1 – 28, 2022
  • Open Enrollment results available online in April
  • School Choice Window Closes: May 31, 2022


Principal Wynkoop outside the Ballard school building

Keven Wynkoop

Acting Principal
Assistant Principal (Last Names: G – N)
Dr. Joseph Williams III, jowilliams@seattleschools.org

Assistant Principal (Last Names: A – F and O – Z)
Laura Roesener, ljroesener@seattleschools.org

Ballard High School FAQs

Explore the information on this page including our answers below to commonly asked questions to review to help with your family’s decision.

If you have any additional questions, we encourage you to reach out to Ballard staff.

Q: What makes Ballard High standout above the rest?
A: 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 1650 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 an academy or pathway, it can be through sports, our performing arts or one of our more than 50 student run clubs. The most important thing that your 9th grader 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.

Q: What orientation events/resources are available for an incoming 11th grader?
A: Registration with your counselor ahead of coming to Ballard will set you up well for your first day, and beyond that it is all about getting involved! Many Transfer Students have found great community by joining an Athletics Team or one of our Performing Arts Programs. You should also check out the many Clubs and Organizations available and consider what sorts of extra-curricular as well if you want to try out; clubs are open to all students and no experience in any subject is necessary.

Q: My child has an existing IEP. How will this be transitioned to high school?
A: Students with IEPs will be assigned a case manager who will review the IEP and amend as needed to accommodate for the changes from middle to high school. Students receive an individualized education at Ballard High School based on their specific strengths and needs and will be enrolled in classes based on their IEP minutes that deliver specially designed instruction for their IEP goals and general education courses. For more information or specific questions, contact the Ballard High School Special Education Department Chairs: Melissa Baron, Joe Bushek, Robyn Maddess, or Jim Auld.

Q: Can students leave school for lunch?

A: Yes! Ballard students love the options available for off-campus lunch around our school, and student favorites include MOD Pizza, Taco Del Mar, Tony’s Teriyaki, and Dick’s Burgers. 

Q: Please share more about the academies – overview of each one, pros/cons, do they help make Ballard a more intimate/smaller experience, how does it make your experience different if you aren’t in an academy?
A: We encourage you to go to the Academics page to learn more about the various academies and pathways. In general, the Biotech Academy is unique among them, as it only starts in the 9th grade and is a three-period cohort for three years of core classes. It’s a great program, but you should only join if you are interested in Science. The rest of the programs are a single-period electives that you take for one to four years focused on a potential career interest. Project Lead the Way (Engineering) and Digital Film can be joined in any grade level, while the Maritime Academy and the Academy of Finance do not start until students are Juniors or Seniors. All these programs provide great exposure to potential college majors or careers. Biotech is a cohort model where you would half of your classes for three years with the same group of 50-60 students. Many students love these connections, but most students do not join an academy or pathway and others might just take an introductory course in Digital Film or Engineering without continuing.

Q: Do incoming 9th graders take a math placement test?

A: We do not offer placement tests. Students generally should take the next class in the math sequence based on what they are currently taking (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, etc.) and in consultation with their current math teacher. One special course that we offer is called Intensified Algebra. A strong grasp of Algebra I is vital to the future success of students, so Intensified Algebra is a two-period block of Algebra I that also gives an elective credit. They spend time breaking down why some students think they are not good at math and take the time to work to resolve this. If your 9th grader is not confident in math, but is ready to work at improving, Intensified Algebra could be a vital class for them to take.

Q: Can you tell me about your music and performing arts programs?

A: The award-winning Ballard HS Performing Arts Program has gained regional, national, and international acclaim for its dynamic and inspired performances. The Music Department includes three concert bands, three concert choirs, three concert orchestras, percussion ensemble, two jazz bands, one jazz choir, multiple chamber ensembles and a marching band of nearly 200 musicians. The Theatre Department offers classes in Technical Theatre and Theatre I and II while the Ballard Playmakers produce two plays and one musical theatre production each year. More than 450 students—about one fourth of the school—participate in these music and theatre opportunities. Ballard Performing Arts sets a high standard of excellence for all students, ensembles, and productions while developing individual artistry through the study of high-quality repertoire and exceptional performance opportunities. Learn more: ballardperformingarts.org

Q: How many honor classes do you recommend for freshman who want a challenging experience but not be too overwhelmed? How do Honors and Core classes work in the same classroom?
A: There is no way to answer this question for every student. Students come in at different levels of preparedness and have different strengths and passions, so parents and students should keep this in mind when making their selections. It is a core philosophy of ours that students working towards both Honors and Core credit should be educated in the same classroom, so all our Honors classes are integrated within Core classes. This means that generally the instruction will be the same, but that Honors students will be expected to complete more or more challenging aspects on assessments. Sometimes this means completing more elements of a project and often it means being required to complete more complex tasks that show a greater depth of understanding. We also believe that all students can work at the Honors level, but that they should have the opportunity to choose which subjects to pursue a greater challenge.

Q: Do counselors get assigned to Freshman in the Spring and advise about what classes to register for? Beyond initial Freshman class registration, do Counselors advise about what classes to take?
A: All students have an assigned Counselor based on their last name. Counselors assist all students with registration for classes each year. Visit the Counseling Center page for more information about your student’s Counselor.

Q: How do 9th graders get registered for the appropriate math, science and English classes?
A: All 9th graders take intro to Lit & Comp 9 A/B (English). Biology is the first science class students will take unless they have already done so in Middle School. Students take the math class next in the sequence after the previous math class they completed in Middle School. Go to Academics Overview for more information and refer to the Course Catalog.

Q: If a student is transferring in at a higher-grade level (e.g. as a junior), how do they calibrate previous course work so as to choose the right level course at BHS?
A: They will work with their assigned Counselor reviewing their previous coursework and what they need to take continuing at BHS prior to registering.

Q: If you are currently in HCC and come to Ballard, do you have to retake classes like math and science?
A: Students would not repeat a class if they have already taken and passed it previously. If it was a high school level class (e.g. Algebra 1, Biology) they continue onto the next class in the sequence or grade level.

Q: How do you know if you should take a class as regular, Honors or AP?

A: The best answer to this question is to think about their schedule as a whole and what other commitments they have that are important to them. High school classes are often harder than any middle school classes, but there is a big range of experiences within our 450 9th graders. 9th graders are almost never in an AP course, but make sure to build the habits you will need to be successful in AP and College in the High School courses from the beginning. All students can be successful in college level courses, but it requires preparation, time and sometimes support.

Q: Do you register in the Spring for the all of your classes for the following year (both semesters) or do you register for Fall only in the preceding Spring (one semester)?

A: Students register in the Spring for the entire following year. Most classes are yearlong classes, but students often have 1-2 semester electives to choose from. Think carefully about what you choose, as there are very few scheduled changes that we can make after registration.

Q: How does an incoming 9th grader apply to any of the academies or pathways? When is the deadline?
A: Information about Academies and Pathways can be found on our Academics page. No applications are required for the 21-22 school year.

Q: What is the difference between IB at Ingraham and AP or College in the High Schools classes at Ballard?
A: IB stands for International Baccalaureate and it is a wonderful program that is offered at many international schools around the world. Advanced Placement courses are aligned to college standards and students have the option to take a national exam in the Spring that if they pass may result in credit depending on what college they attend. College in the High School classes are courses aligned to college standards at local colleges that offer credit through those institutions for a reduced rate. If your student is interested in attending college in a different country, then IB may give them an advantage in their applications, as IB was created for international programs. For colleges in the United States and Canada, they are going to view AP, CIHS and IB courses the same. They want to know that students are challenging themselves and working to prepare for the rigors of college. That means that there is not a difference in how the IB classes will be viewed versus the AP and CIHS courses at Ballard for most students.

Q: I’ve heard Freshman can’t do PE waivers because of Health class. Is this true? Do all Freshman take Health in the Fall and PE class in the Spring? Or if registering by semester only, does the “no PE waivers” apply for Freshman Fall only so they can do a PE waiver for Spring? What if their team sport is actually a Fall sport, can it apply for a Spring PE waiver?
A: First, three semesters of PE are required for graduation. The state allows these semesters to be waived if students meet certain requirements. The most common ways that students qualify for PE waivers are through playing a school sport or having six academic classes for all four years of their high school career. Waivers aren’t granted until students are Juniors, but sports from their 9th and 10th grade years can be used to earn those waivers. That being said, Ballard offers some excellent PE classes and we strongly encourage your students to take advantage of them. Classes like Weight Training and Lifetime Sports are loved by students and create happy, healthy teenagers.

Q: What PE options does Ballard High School have? Do you have Partner PE?
A: Students are required to take 3 semesters of PE for graduation. We offer Partner PE along with several other PE options. Go to our Academics Overview page for more information in the Course Catalog.

Q: How can I get more information on various athletic programs?
A: To get information on specific programs, such as off-season workout offerings, you can reach out to the head coach of the program. All our head coaches have contact information are listed on the BHS Athletics Directory. If you have any general questions about our athletic programs, feel free to reach out to Eric Ensign at erensign@seattleschools.org

Q: Will there be tryouts for sports teams like basketball? How can I sign up?
A: For all “Cut Sports,” tryouts occur the first couple of days of the official start date for a season. If an athlete wishes to participate in off-season workouts, they don’t need to have officially made a team, but everyone is required to go through the tryout process at the beginning of each season, which includes current athletes who have participated in a regular season in the past. To sign up for a sport, fill out the athletic paperwork through Final Forms. More information on the Athletics Registration page.

Ballard High School logo mascot

Explore our Playlist

Explore our Playlist to learn more about Ballard High School!

Enjoy a virtual tour of the Ballard School building in this video that was made last Spring.

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

Explore the following pages on our school website

Look at About Ballard for some interesting & fun Ballard Beaver facts and history. 

Hope to see you next year!