Ballard High School

High School
Student Check Lists By Grade 9, 10, 11 & 12

Grade 9 Freshman

Welcome Ballard HS Freshman!

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Class of 2028 Stay Connected & Informed

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Welcome Incoming Freshman Families to Ballard HS! Did you know you can sign up for the Ballard HS PTSA Newsletter anytime? Learn about upcoming events for new students and families, Ballard Athletic paperwork deadlines, and find out about our BHS PTSA and how you can get involved! Families, you can also explore more about Ballard HS, including our Summer Open Library hours


August 29: 9th Grade Parent/Guardian Orientation (Parent/Guardians ONLY). Please join us at 7 p.m. for a special Orientation Night just for you! The purpose of the evening is to share tips on how you can help your student make a successful transition from middle school to high school. Event is for Parents/Guardians Only.

No Supply List: Ballard Students please bring a three-ring binder with paper, pencil, pen and highlighter on your first day of school.  There is no school-wide supply list. Each teacher will give students a class syllabus including any supplies or fees associated with that class. More information regarding First Day of School Bell Schedule to be posted soon.

BHS Counselors

Students are assigned to counselors by the first letter of their last name. Counselors work with students to explain the credit system, help students select courses, monitor progress toward achieving graduation requirements, explore interests, and make plans for college application and career options. Visit the BHS Counseling Center page and stop by the office to pick up handouts and information about upcoming events and opportunities.

Freshman Year Checklist

Use this monthly checklist to make sure you are doing everything necessary to make the most of your Freshman year!

  • Review your schedule – take the most challenging and appropriate classes for your abilities.
  • Stay involved – Start or stay involved with extracurricular activities – things you do outside of school and studying such as sports, leadership, the arts, community service, internships, or working. Balance fun with academics.
  • Get to know all the resources and supports at school to help you be successful in and out of classes.
  • Research – Learn more about college and get familiar with college terminology. Your preparation for college and career begins in your freshman year.
  • Keep track & build your resume – As you get involved with extracurricular activities, create a master list or resume of the things you have done. Continue to update this list as you move through high school. Having this information in one location and organized will help you fill out college, scholarship, internships and job applications.
  • Vocalize your goal – Start thinking and talking about interests and goals for the future. You will need help and emotional support throughout the entire process of college and career. By sharing your goal with others, you can get help to stay focused and get the extra guidance you need.
  • Counselors – Get to know your counselor and their support team. They are able to help you prepare for college and succeed in high school. Meet with them throughout your entire time in high school.
  • Stay focused – Continue to do well in your courses. Keep your grades up – use any resources available to help you get the most out or your classes. Freshman year grades are important. Your freshman year supports the rest of your time in high school so stay focused.
  • Continue thinking about interests and goals for the future.
  • Make the end of the 1st semester a good one – keep studying and working.
  • New semester – review what went well and what did not from the 1st semester and make adjustments to be successful in 2nd Semester
  • Sophomore schedule. Start thinking and plan for classes for next year. Check in with your counselor.
  • Time to review the High School and Beyond Plan
  • Stay focused and use resources to keep grades up.
  • Finish strong – Make sure you get all the help you need to succeed in classes.
  • Check grades and keep working hard
  • Prepare a resume – use your High School and Beyond Plan tool (Naviance) to help.
  • Start researching summer opportunities including internships, jobs, volunteer work, summer programs, classes etc.
  • Finish out your classes on a positive note
  • Think about interests, goals and opportunities you want to pursue next year and make appropriate plans.
  • Prepare for next year – Ask your teachers what you can be doing to prepare for your classes during your sophomore year.
  • Reading list – Start a summer reading list and pick books that will help you in your sophomore classes and improve your vocabulary.
  • Community Service – Begin to think about how you will complete your graduation requirement of 60 hours of service learning. Starting early in your high school career will make sure you have plenty of time to complete your hours. Remember to keep track of your hours and necessary information on your resume and when applying for scholarships too!

Important Info/Resources for Grade 9 Students & Families

What Students Need to Know

  • When is Freshman Orientation?
    • Freshman orientation will occur on the first day of school. Students should arrive in the Commons to pick up their schedules before joining a welcome assembly and touring their classes with Grade 11 & 12 LINK leaders.
  • What should students bring on the first day of school?
    • On the first day, students should bring several pencils and pens, paper on which they can take notes, and a folder or other notebook with pocket dividers in which to collect class handouts. Student should also bring lunch or money for lunch on the first day.
    • Throughout the day, teachers will instruct students if any materials are required for the class. For instance, some teachers require a Composition Book so all work is taped into the Composition Book to be turned in. Other teachers do not. Once your student receives this information from each teacher on the first day, then the student can gather the school supplies that they need and create an organizational system for homework. Help your student set up an organizational system so that they know exactly where to place completed work to be turned in, assignments to be completed each night, and how to put long-term projects onto their calendar or planner.
  • Do students need to buy a calculator?
    • All students in Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Precalculus, Statistics and higher math must have access to a graphing calculator. The standard calculators used in all classes at Ballard are the TI-83 and TI-84, from Texas Instruments.
    • Geometry students are required to have a basic scientific calculator. If students are unable to purchase a calculator, there will be some available for checkout from their math teacher. Math teachers will give more information through their classrooms.
  • When will school pictures be taken?
    • During the first week of school in September via the students’ classes.
  • When can I meet my student’s teachers?
    • Please attend Ballard High School’s Curriculum Night. This is an open house during which you will follow your student’s schedule, meet each teacher, and learn about each class.
  • How much does school lunch cost?
    • Please refer to the School Meals page for current detailed lunch and breakfast pricing as well as information about free/reduced lunch. In addition the School Meals page has information for how parents/guardians can check balances and make deposits into their Pay Pams lunch account.
  • How do we sign up for free/reduced lunch?
    • There is paperwork for free/reduced lunch in the main office that families can complete. You can also access information online on the district Culinary Services page to fill out a form and have the student return it to the school lunchroom.
      • There are additional benefits available to students who qualify for F/R lunch, such as help with some school fees, so if you do qualify, it is good to submit the form even if the student does not plan to eat school breakfast or lunch.
  • Does my student have to buy an Activity Card and how much is it?
    • Students who wish to participate in a sport or music must purchase an Activity Card.
      • Otherwise, the Activity Card is not required, but it is encouraged as this allows students to receive discounts on attending sporting events, buying their yearbooks, etc. Activity Cards are sold in the Activity Center during lunch.
  • Can we get help with other school fees?
    • Yes, if your student qualifies for free/reduced lunch they can also get help with ASB fees, class fees, etc. Please have your student see their school counselor for assistance with course fees, AP Exams, SAT, ACT testing, etc.
  • Can students leave campus at lunchtime?
    • Yes, all Grades 9 – 12 are allowed to leave campus for lunch, but keep in mind that they need to be back in time for their next class.
  • What is the best way for me to stay up-to-date with information about school events?
  • What are the general rules of the school?
  • Is there a dress code?
    • Refer to the Online Student Handbook. If there is a concern, the assistant principals will speak with the student about a concern.
  • Are cell phones or electronic devices allowed?
    • Students may carry cell phones/devices, but in the interest of student learning and maintaining a positive classroom environment, these must be out of sight and turned off during class time.
  • Does each student get a locker and when do they get one? Do they need to share? Whom does my student contact if they do not get a locker?
    • Lockers are distributed to Freshman the morning of the first day of school. Each Freshman should be able to have a locker and not need to share. However, this sometimes takes a few weeks to settle out as we are adjusting our rolls to reflect students who have moved over the summer or who do not require a locker.
      • If your student has not been assigned a locker by the second week of school, your student should check with the custodian in the Commons regularly to see if a locker has opened up.
  • Can students drive to school?
    • Yes, but students cannot park in the staff parking lot by the tennis courts or in front of the school in the visitor parking spots. They must park on the street.
  • If I have a question about transportation to school, such as bus passes, whom should I contact?
    • Call the Seattle School District transportation office at 206-252-0900. If you have a question more specific to Ballard High School visit our BHS Transportation page.


If my student is ill, what do I do to excuse the absence?

  • Send an email to or a note bearing your signature, phone number, reason for absence, and dates of absence with your student the first day they return to school. The student must turn in this note to the Attendance Office within three days if the absence is to be excused. More information is posted on the Attendance Overview.

If my student will be ill for many days, how can I access homework?

  • The best way to access homework if your student is ill is to check the Schoology Pages and the Source, and/or email the teachers directly. Also, encourage your student to contact a fellow student for homework assignments.

How does attendance impact student learning?

  • Students are less likely to pass a class if they miss too many instructional days or if their absences are unexcused and therefore they cannot turn in make-up work for credit. Per state law, students who are excessively truant, meaning 20 consecutive days of unexcused absence, are dropped from Ballard High School.

Academic Information


How many credits are needed to graduate?

  • 24 credits are required for graduation for every student at Ballard High School.

How much credit does each class earn?

  • A student earns .5 credit for one semester in each class, so a student who takes 6 classes each semester can earn 3 credits per semester, to total 6 credits per year. Therefore, if students take a full schedule of six classes every year and pass all classes all four years, they would graduate with 24 credits.

What is a quarter and a semester?

  • A quarter is nine weeks. A semester is two quarters or an 18-week grading period. Semester grades are the final grades that are posted on the transcript. Quarter grades are not posted on the transcript.

If my student does not pass one of his/her classes, will summer school or credit retrieval be needed?

  • Yes. Because students need to earn 24 credits, every credit is needed in order to graduate in 4 years. Have your student see their school counselor to discuss credit retrieval options.

When do students learn about credits?

  • Counselors meet with all Freshman to teach students about graduation requirements and start their High School and Beyond Plan. They go over this information again when students select classes for the following year. Students are encouraged to request a credit update at any time from their counselor.

What is the grading scale?

  • A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, E.

Does an E count in the GPA?

  • Yes. An E counts as zero points in the GPA average.

Do Honors and AP classes count for extra points?

  • Honors and AP classes receive points for the purpose of class rank only, but this does not affect the GPA.

What is considered a passing grade?

  • A grade that is a 60% or higher (D) is considered a passing grade.

What are Seattle Public Schools’ grading requirements?

  • SPS educators will provide biweekly check-ins with students and families for students at risk of earning an Incomplete, No Credit, or a failing grade.
  • SPS educators will allow retakes and assignment revisions to the extent possible. Please see your student’s course syllabus for further details.
  • SPS educators will not give any grades lower than 50% on any assignment or assessment even for a missed assignment.

Where can I find information about course offerings and special academic programs?

  • Please see our Course Catalog. The Course Catalog is on our website under the Academics tab.

Standardized Testing

Which state tests will my student take and when?

  • Students take the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) in English Language Arts and in Math the spring of their Grade 10 year. Students will take the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) in the spring of their Junior year. Visit the Ballard HS Assessment Overview page or additional and updated information can be found on the OSPI website.

What other standardized tests might my student take at Ballard?

  • Please follow updates on the district Assessments page for current information about the PSAT/NMQT and SAT exams during the school day. If your student takes an AP class, AP testing occurs in May but Registration and Payment is due in November. Visit the Ballard HS Assessments Overview for a complete list of assessment information.

Academic Support

What are “The Source” and “Schoology Pages” and how do I access them?

  • The Source: Parent and guardian Source accounts display attendance, assessment scores, Secondary Performance Reports, secondary student assignment scores, SchoolPay, Schoology Access Codes and other information.
    • Teachers post grades and assignments for their students and parents to see. Students and parents can use the Source from home to monitor the student’s attendance and completion of assignments.
  • Schoology: In addition, teachers have Schoology Pages for their classes which often hold updated class assignment information, materials, and messages to students and parents.

How often should I check the Source?

  • Most teachers update the Source approximately every two weeks. You are welcome to check as often as you feel necessary, but you may see the most accurate data if you check the Source every two weeks. If you wish to monitor attendance closely, you can check the Source more frequently.

How can I help if my student is struggling in a class?

  • The goal is to help your student learn problem-solving skills, to give them the confidence that they can solve their problems on their own in the future. Talk with your student. Brainstorm with them what they could do to improve their performance, such as making good use of homework time at home, keeping a daily planner for assignments, and finding a quiet place for homework.
    • Help your student set up an organizational system so that they know exactly where to place completed work to be turned in, assignments to be completed each night, and how to put long-term projects into their calendar or planner.
    • Encourage your student to speak to the teacher to ask for assistance in figuring out why they are not doing well. The student should also seek tutoring either from the teacher or from another source.
    • If the student tries these things and is still struggling, the parent may choose to email the teacher to gain insight into what might be helpful. The student can also speak with their school counselor and the parent may choose to call the counselor for assistance.

How do I contact a teacher?

  • Email generally works best. Emails can be accessed directly on The Source or on the Ballard website online Staff Directory. If you do not have internet access, call the Main Office at 206-252-1000 and ask to be connected to the teacher’s voice mail.

How quickly should I expect a response from an e-mail or a voice mail to school staff?

  • You can typically expect a response within three school days. Teachers are teaching most of their working day and so may not be able to return your email until the following day or two. If you do not hear from a school staff member within this time, email or phone again, and please feel free to contact the principal or assistant principal for assistance.

What tutoring resources are available?

  • Please look for announcements on the school website on the BHS library page.

Service Learning

What is Service Learning and how many hours are required for graduation?

  • Service Learning is volunteer work done by students in their own time for a non-profit agency or organization, preferably in an area of interest to the student. 60 hours of Service Learning are required by the time of graduation. Visit the BHS SL page to learn more about Service Learning at Ballard HS.

Do hours completed the summer before Grade 9 count?

  • Freshman students may fulfill up to 15 hours of their service learning graduation requirement during the summer between Grade 8 and 9 as long as it meets the criteria set by the school. Visit the Service Learning page for more information as well as a fillable form and service learning opportunities. 

How can my student find meaningful Service Learning opportunities?

Health and Emotional Support

What is the Ballard Teen Health Center?

  • The Ballard Teen Health Center is located in the Commons area at BHS and is a collaboration between Ballard High School, Public Health-Seattle/King County, and Swedish Medical Center. Staff includes a nurse practitioner, a mental-health counselor, and a patient-care coordinator. Students may be seen by appointment. Services are free. The THC is committed to helping adolescents achieve wellness and success in all aspects of life.

If I am concerned that my student may be depressed or need emotional counseling, whom should I contact?

  • Contact your family doctor for a possible referral. You can also contact the Teen Health Center or your student’s school counselor.

If my student has a health-related problem such as a chronic illness, injury, or severe allergy which might affect my student at school, whom should I contact?

  • Please contact the school nurse and visit the School Nurse page for helpful information for families.

If I have a general concern but do not know whom to call, whom should I contact?

If I am concerned that my student may be using drugs or alcohol, whom should I contact?

  • Please contact your family doctor for referrals so as to maximize insurance possibilities. You may also call the School Nurse or the Teen Health Center for a referral list of local agencies that provide drug testing, counseling, and out-patient or in- patient referrals. We also have a chemical dependency counselor here once a week.

If I am concerned that my student is being harassed or bullied, including cyber-bullying or social media, whom should I contact?


What does my student have to do in order to play a sport?

  • Complete the online sports paperwork via FinalForms, and submit by the deadlines stated in the paperwork, including proof of insurance and physical. The ASB Activity Card and sport fees have to be paid at the time the paperwork is handed in. Paperwork will not be accepted without the fee payment.
  • A current physical is required. Physicals are good for two years but physical information from middle schools does not follow a student to high school. Students either need an updated physical or a copy of a physical done within the last two years to hand in with their paperwork. The physical must have the date of the physical and say they are cleared to participate in sports. Students must also be academically eligible to participate in sports, including passing at least 5 full credit classes with at least a C average. Students should check with their coaches early and often to make sure they are meeting these eligibility requirements.

If our family qualifies as low-income, can we get assistance for this fee?

  • Yes. If your family qualifies for free/reduced lunch, the fees are reduced. See your sports paperwork for details.

Are there free sports physicals available?

Whom should I contact with questions about sports paperwork or to get the contact number of a coach?

  • Please contact the Athletic Secretary at 206-252-1000 or view the Team and Coach Information on the BHS website Athletics pages.

PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association)

When and where is the first PTSA meeting?

  • The first general PTSA meeting is in October. Please be sure to sign up for communication from the PTSA for announcements and further information. Information is posted on the PTSA webpage.

If I want to get involved with PTSA right away or if I want to volunteer for school projects, whom should I contact?

  • Visit the BHS PTSA page for a list of contacts and opportunities.

Is there a fee to join PTSA?

  • Students, Parents, and Staff can becoming a Member of the BHS PTSA. Learn more on the PTSA pages. Information will also be available with the Start of School forms and scholarships are available as well.

Where can I find out about upcoming PTSA activities?

  • Please visit all of our PTSA pages (Overview, DEI, PTSA Awards, What Does the PTSA Do?). Also visit the Volunteer pages to help staff at Ballard HS.

How do I sign up for the PTSA Weekly Newsletter?

  • All families that completed a FERPA form and allowed communication from the school are signed up to the PTSA Weekly Newsletter. If you would like to sign up additional emails please complete the PTSA News Sign Up Form. Any addiitonal questions can be emailed to:

What is the “PTSA Packet”?

  • Start of School Forms are now online. Please watch communication during the first couple weeks of school for the Start of School Forms and due dates which will include information for the BHS PTSA (Membership, Volunteer Needs, etc).

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 Thank you!