About Washington Middle School
Our students reflect the ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity of Seattle.
Student supports include counselors “looping” with students for 3 years; on-site tutor coordinator; on-site Kaiser Permanente Student Wellness Center and Seattle Parks Community Learning Center; Treehouse services; after-school programs; and arts, music, and athletics programs.
The PTSA actively supports the WMS community with direct fundraising and family training, volunteer activities, and parent conferences.
Our mission at WMS is to create a safe, trusting, collaborative, learning-focused community where we can all be our BEST selves.
B – Brave
E – Empathetic
S – Safe
T – Tenacious
Washington Middle School FAQs
Who goes to WMS?
Our students reflect the ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity of Seattle. Student supports include counselors “looping” with students for 3 years; on-site tutor coordinator; on-site Kaiser Permanente Health Student Wellness Center and Seattle Parks and Recreation HOST program; after-school programs; and arts, music, and athletics programs.
The PTSA actively supports the WMS community with direct fundraising and family training, volunteer activities, and parent conferences. The 6th graders are diverse: 31% African American, 32% Caucasian, 21% Asian, 10%Latino, and 1% Native American. This past year we had 48% in the Advanced Learning programs, 9% in special education, and 8% in English Language Learners. Some classes are blended and some are self-contained.
How many classes per day and what time does school start?
For the 2022-23 school year, every student will have five periods per day. You may have five different teachers or repeat with one teacher during the day.
How long are the classes?
Classes are roughly 55 minutes long this year. There are four minutes in between classes.
Do 6th graders get to take a world language?
No. World Language is offered to 8th graders only. WMS offers two years of Spanish, equivalent to one high school credit in World Language.
How much homework is there?
All teachers assign homework differently, but our policy is 10 minutes per grade each night so for a 6th grader, expect about one hour of homework.
All teachers are expected to use Schoology to post homework and due dates. Also, students can review what was taught in class; if they forgot their homework assignment, it will be posted on Schoology. Teachers are expected to teach to the highest level so catch-up homework may be frequent. Assigned readings are predictable homework.
Is there recess time?
No. However, lunch is long enough to eat and still have time to go outside, go to the library or go to the gym.
Are there any after-school activities?
Yes. Many activities are offered after school. The HOST program includes math club, computer science, study club, art, jazz, dance, chess, drama, debate, keyboarding, crafts, running, etc. They are approximately eight weeks long, and bus transportation is offered after each class for those who qualify.
Are there team sports at WMS?
Yes, boys soccer, girls soccer, coed ultimate frisbee, coed track, boys basketball, girls basketball, and girls volleyball are all offered.
Does everyone take PE?
Physical Education is a state requirement. All 6th, 7th, and 8th graders must take one semester of PE/Health per year.
Is there a community service requirement?
No. There are many options for completing service hours at school (PTA events) and within the community. There is a goal of 5 hours per middle school year and a 60-hour requirement for high school graduation.
How can I learn more?
History of Washington Middle School
Washington’s history dates back to 1904 when the Seattle School Board purchased a site bounded by 18th and 19th Avenues South and Main and Washington Streets for $12,000. The original building was a 22 room frame and a stucco facility designed for high school students and constructed in 1906 at a cost of $67,800. It opened in 1907 and was named Franklin School though it was usually referred to as the High School Annex. It had a staff of seventeen teachers, supervised by William Geiger, the Principal of Seattle High School (later known as Broadway High School).
In 1912, Franklin High School opened, and Franklin School became Washington Elementary School. The first principal was Nellie Goodhue. It remained an elementary school until 1938, when it became a center for 7th and 8th grade students. In 1945 it became Washington Junior High School. By 1957 the school was very crowded, surrounded by 16 portables, in a cosmopolitan neighborhood serving Caucasian, Jewish, Asian, and African American students.
In 1958, because of overcrowding, the School Board authorized the purchase of land on Jackson Street between 21st and 23rd Avenues for a new building, dedicated in April 1964, costing $2,456,000 with the most fragrant front entrance of any school in the city, thanks to Gai’s bakery across the street.
In 1968, Washington became Garfield B serving grades 9 through 12, with a very fine career education program: An automotive-technology facility considered one of the best in the state, a comprehensive day-care center, a restaurant and food preparation area, a dry cleaning plant and a cosmetology classroom.
In 1976, Garfield High moved from its B campus and consolidated its program on one campus. Pacific jointly shared the building with the School Age Parent Continuation program through June 1973, both programs serving populations with special needs.
In 1978, the Seattle School Board approved a new 6-8 middle school in the Central Area, Washington Middle School. The entire staff of Madrona School opened this new school.
In its first year of existence, 1978-79, there were two grades, 6th and 7th. Within two years, Washington expanded into a 6-8 middle school with a small class of 5th graders as part of a special program.
The development of Washington Middle School was indeed a major task. Credits are due to the hard-working and dedicated staff, volunteer parents, and technical resources provided by Seattle School District Administrators and Staff.
As special programs occupied the building several years before Washington Middle School, many building room alterations were necessary to accommodate a middle school population of 800 plus.
Washington has become known for its tremendous diversity in instructional approaches and the variety of its classes and activities for students.