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About Our School
| Our History | Our Community | Our Mission | Our Approach | Our Namesake

Our History

John Hay Elementary opened atop Queen Anne Hill in September of 1905. The school's original location, near the corner of Boston and Bigelow Street served the growing population of East Queen Anne Hill. Hay students excelled in literature, English and reading, challenging other schools to reading contests. Art and music were also popular subjects. In 1922, and in response to continued growth, a second building was constructed on an adjacent block. The brick building considered the "New John Hay" as well as the original wood-frame building are still in existence today.

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Our Community

Over 545 students in grades K-5 come to school to learn from over 40 teachers and staff. We celebrate red, white and black as our school colors and have taken the Jaguar as our nickname and mascot. We are a diverse population celebrating racial heritage including, African American (3%), Hispanic (6%), Asian/Pacific Islander (11%), multiracial (9%), and White (68%). Our reference area serves students from upper and lower East Queen Anne south to Cherry Street in Downtown Seattle. Our average class size ranges from 24-28 students, and our average daily attendance fluctuates around 96%. We are one of the highest performing elementary schools in Seattle Public School, receiving the distinguished Washington State Achievement Award for Overall Excellence in 2009, 2010, 2011 and for Overall Excellence and Science Achievement in 2012.

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Our Mission

In keeping with the values of our school’s namesake as well as the students who have come before us, today's John Hay kids are encouraged to embrace learning and make a difference in the world. Our mission is simple - we TEACH...

It is John Hay's mission to...
rain our children to care for others
Engage learners through effective and innovative teaching
Actively involve and educate our families
Collaborate with others to improve effectiveness, and
Hold our students, teachers and families accountable we develop caring learners who are actively growing and achieving.

Our school community of staff, parents and children place high value on developing a learning environment that is a safe and caring place. Teachers build relationships with students that provide an atmosphere wherein students can be challenged to take risks and reach for goals that are high and appropriate. Innovative teaching leads to academic growth that is monitored frequently through varied assessments.

We encourage families to volunteer, attend special events, connect and build relationships with teachers, and see the school as a place to be supported, educated and welcomed. We count on family engagement to build a critical link between home and school in order to create optimum success for our learners. The teachers and staff who work at John Hay set high standards for instructional performance as evidenced in student growth and achievement. They consistently work to collaborate with team mates, administration and families to find and implement the best teaching and learning strategies that will have the most impact on learning for students.

Perhaps most importantly, we hold ourselves, our families, and our students accountable to high standards for growth and achievement, personal behavior and positive attitudes so that learning is authentic, owned and inspired. We review data throughout the year and adjust instruction and practice accordingly. Teachers participate in frequent professional development so as to keep ourselves attune to the needs of our students and evaluate our practice.

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Our Approach

Today's highly effective schools find creative ways to meet the needs of the individual learner. John Hay makes such a commitment - to do whatever is necessary to support the needs of every child, from the learner who struggles, to the student who performs above standard. We accomplish this through effective planning and teaching of the core curriculum, strategic and frequent assessment, application of targeted interventions, and supplemental enrichment programs.

Curriculum - Our classroom core curriculum includes literacy, math, science, social studies, health, writing and communication. Our teachers use current teaching methods for optimum results paired with district-adopted curriculum including Everyday Math, Writers Workshop, Inquiry-Based Science, a Comprehensive Literacy Approach to reading and literacy, and more. Our entire curriculum is aligned with the Common Core State Standards (as of Fall 2013). Our annual state assessment data may be viewed on our Annual School Report.

Assessment - Students k-5 are assessed through informal and formal instruments. Each year begins with base-line pre-assessments in order to provide teachers with key information around which instruction is planned. Throughout the year, formative assessments such as unit tests, projects, MAP testing, teacher observation and daily classroom work is used to determine the level of growth in individual learners as well as to monitor progress toward year-end grade level standards. As formative assessments provide information, instruction is adjusted.

Year end assessments become more formal and summative. The Washington State MSP (Measures of Academic Performance) is a standardized test administered at 3rd, 4th and 5th grade and offers achievement data to the school, the district and the state. Schools use summative data such as this to set school improvement goals through the C-SIP (Continuous School Improvement Plan). John Hay’s C-SIP as well as the annual School Report are always available for public view.

Targeted and strategic assessment measures are an important factor and practice for highly effective schools. At Hay, we take our data seriously, use multiple measures to gauge student progress, and set school-wide and classroom goals according to the ongoing results we receive.

Interventions - A true test of any school is in how well the school responds to the individual needs of its learners. As students demonstrate unique learning needs, or perform above standard, or have other social, emotional or behavioral needs, a highly effective school must have creative and fluent ways to respond. At Hay, we utilize varied options for intervention to insure every child has the best possible chance for school success, and every grade level and every classroom is provided specific intervention programs.

In kindergarten, we provide each classroom with an adult tutor who serves at the behest of the classroom teacher for our youngest learners demonstrating need, or in working with small groups of emerging readers.

First grade classrooms team with two additional reading teachers so that reading instruction occurs in classes of 14 students to one teacher. This is a key intervention at a time when reading is most likely to emerge. First grade classrooms also have individual reading tutors provided through the Sound Partner Reading program - an approach with a high rate of success in reaching and teaching the struggling reader.

Second through fifth grade classrooms have additional adult support to provide small-group tutoring in mathematics as well as a reading specialist on call to supplement reading instruction for students demonstrating the need for more support in literacy skills though our Pathways Support Center.

Fourth and Fifth grade classrooms make use of our Pathways Advanced program designed to serve the needs of the high achiever in reading and literacy. The Pathways program targets older students whose reading, writing and thinking skills have developed to the point where acceleration is needed and beneficial.

These varied intervention supplements allow our teachers to reach past the basic curriculum to provide all of our students with a unique menu of learning support tailored to individual need. Most of these programs are made possible through the funds raised and donations made to the John Hay Foundation. The Foundation is overseen and sponsored by Partners, our parent/teacher organization developed to provide support and assistance that works to benefit the John Hay learning community.

Supplemental and Enrichment Programs - In addition to the core classroom curriculum, students also experience library science, physical education, drama and art as part of the regular school day programming. Students have leadership opportunities in student council, Library Aides, Safety Patrol, and in roles provided at the classroom level. Each year, 4th and 5th grade students are invited to participate in the Global Reading Challenge for an additional enrichment experience in literacy. From time to time, special art projects are implemented school-wide through an Artist in Residence program. As part of our commitment to teaching students care for their community and world, students in every classroom participate in at least one service project per year designed to respond to the needs of others on a local and/or global scale. Finally, our before and after school programs offer students even more enrichment through tuition-based classes in creative art, foreign languages, drama, music, sports, chess club, Math Olympiad, and debate.

At John Hay, we believe elementary school is a precious time in the life of a child and a family. And while we hold students, parents and staff to high standards, we intentionally invest ourselves in creating a place of learning that inspires the mind, captures attention, raises the bar, develops young leaders, and responds to the needs of others, while making the schoolhouse a whole lot of fun!

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Our Namesake

Our school's name was first suggested by the school board secretary in 1904. John Hay was an American statesman, diplomat, author and journalist who served as foreign policy advisor to several American presidents. He was perhaps most known for his role as personal friend and private secretary to President Abraham Lincoln from 1861 until President Lincoln’s death in 1865. He is credited for co- authoring a 10-volume biography of President Lincoln in 1890. He served as secretary of state under President McKinley from 1898-1905 during which time he helped negotiate the Treaty of Paris of 1893, which brought an end to the Spanish American War.  In addition, he worked to negotiate treaties that gave the U.S. an exclusive right to build the Panama Canal, as well as establishing the Open Door policy in China.

As a young man, he valued learning as evidenced by his love of literacy. He developed a special interest in poetry during his time at Brown University, being named class poet. He went on to publish books of poetry as well as other historical and narrative works.

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Contact Us

201 Garfield Street
Seattle, WA 98109
Main: (206) 252-2100

Kari Hanson email | bio 

Assistant Principal: 
Brody LaRock email 

Bell Schedule

9:25 AM first bell
9:30 AM tardy bell
3:35 PM dismissal

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