GHS Main Office News, Principal Letters, and PTSA Website

Summary: Upcoming Events Information.

Garfield HS News

Principal Hart’s Emails

September 21, 2023

I am writing to inform you of an important update regarding our school’s lunch schedule. After careful consideration, our district leadership has decided to pause the transition from one to two lunch periods for the time being. Therefore, we will continue to operate on our existing one-lunch schedule until further notice.

While it is possible that the pause could be lifted in the future, rest assured that if additional information becomes available, I will promptly update our school community.

I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for your advocacy and engagement on this matter. Your voices are invaluable to us, and I thank you for your ongoing support.

In partnership,

Tarance Hart, Ph.D.
Principal, Garfield High School

September 1, 2023

Dear Garfield Students and Families,

We are excited about a brand-new academic year full of joy, learning, and community!  We welcome you to the 2023-24 academic year, which officially begins on September 6, 2023.

As we stand on the cusp of a new academic year, I want to start by emphasizing two areas that deeply impact the quality of learning at Garfield: responsible cell phone use and attendance. While these may seem like straightforward aspects, they become transformative when bolstered by family and community support.

Responsible Cell Phone Use

While technology has its benefits, in-class cell phone usage can be detrimental. The National Education Association notes that students who are distracted by texts or social media updates are not fully engaged in their learning. According to recent U.S. studies, using cell phones in class can lower academic performance by as much as 20%. We are asking for your help in encouraging students to put phones away during instructional time.

Attendance Matters

Research shows that regular school attendance is a key factor in student success. A study by Johns Hopkins University reveals that students who attend school regularly are more likely to pass reading and math assessments than those who do not attend school regularly. In addition, students who are absent or chronically tardy to class miss valuable instructional time.

We are asking each family to have proactive discussions around the responsible use of cell phones in class and the importance of attending all classes and arriving on time. Your partnership will help improve the overall quality of our educational environment and create a culture that focuses on student growth and joy. Your commitment, support, and love turn Garfield into more than just a school—it makes it a community.

  • We will resume our Bell Schedules starting on September 11, 2023
  • The school day begins at 8:50 a.m. and ends at 3:40 p.m. on M, T, Th, and F. The school day begins at 8:50 a.m. on Wednesdays and ends at 2:25 p.m.
  • We are returning to one lunch this school year. To make one lunch period successful and avoid the need to return to two lunch periods, it is important that students adhere to the lunch schedule and return from lunch on time to begin the 4th period.
  • Advisory is returning as a required class. Advisory is a credit-bearing class, and attendance is required.
  • Student Schedules: Student schedules will be made available on September 5th through the Source. Please make sure to access and review your schedule to prepare for your first day. For information regarding accessing the source, visit the district site.
  • Tour of the School: Unfortunately, the tour planned for September 5 has been canceled. Students will have their first experience of the building on the first day of school.
  • Locker Distribution: Lockers will be distributed starting Wednesday, September 6 in the Commons during lunch.
  • Pictures for IDs: During Language Arts classes, all students will have the opportunity to take photos for their ID cards on September 7– 8, 2023. Students are expected to always carry their official Garfield ID with them.
  • Device Distribution: Laptops will be distributed on September 7 – 8, 2023 during Language Arts classes.
  • Orca Cards: Due to a state-wide measure, youth who are under 19 years old, can ride public transportation for free. This means that the district no longer provides cards to SPS students. For additional information, please refer to the ORCA Information page.


Our guidance counselors are here to offer the academic and emotional support that students may need throughout the year.

The caseloads for this year are:

Course Changes

Schedule changes are permitted under specific conditions, and requests will start being accepted on September 6th, ending by 4 PM on September 8th. Here’s the Course Change Request Form.

Volunteer Opportunities

We believe in the power of community and would be delighted to have parents help us in various capacities:

  • Campus Safety Ambassadors: Assist with safe entry and exiting of campus before and after school.
  • After-School Programs: Offer workshops or classes that help students learn skills and explore interests.
  • Academic Coaching: Help students with homework, test preparation, and study skills.
  • Career Exploration: Guide students in exploring their interests and potential career paths, including setting up job-shadow opportunities.
  • Mentoring: Provide a safe space for students to discuss concerns, navigate social dynamics, and build self-confidence

How to Get Involved

If you are interested in serving as a volunteer, please complete the volunteer interest form HERE . Once received, our Volunteer Coordinator will be in touch with next steps, including background checks and training sessions.

Why Your Support Matters

Your time and guidance can make a tremendous difference in a student’s life. Research shows that students with mentors perform better in school, have higher self-esteem, and are more likely to go on to higher education. We hope you’ll consider joining us in this fulfilling venture that enriches our students’ lives and provides a rewarding experience for our volunteers.

Note: All volunteers will need to undergo training and a background check. You can commit as little or as much time as you can afford; every bit helps!


  • SchoolMessenger is the automatic notification service that Garfield and SPS uses for family outreach, emergency broadcasts, and other communications. SchoolMessenger sends messages to the email addresses and/or phone numbers on file. Please ensure that your contact information is correct to ensure you receive timely information.
  • Talking Points: This school year, teachers and staff members will be communicating using Talking Points. Learn more about Talking Points.
  • Stay Tuned for information next week regarding the return of the Garfield High School app.

As we embark on this new academic year, let us come together as a united community—each one of us a vital thread in the rich tapestry that makes Garfield High School exceptional. Your partnership is invaluable to us, and we look forward to cultivating a space where every student feels safe, empowered, and inspired to achieve their best.

Thank you for entrusting us with your child’s education. Here’s to a year filled with collaboration, growth, and endless possibilities.

Wishing your family a safe and productive school year ahead.

In partnership,
Tarance Hart, Ph.D.

Garfield HS PTSA Website

Garfield High School features a diverse set of families, broad range of class offerings, sports and activities, and  students with talents of just about every kind. Garfield’s Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) engages parents, faculty, students and staff in a creative collaboration that adds to the Garfield experience in many ways. We are affiliated with the Seattle Council PTSA and Washington State PTA.

The PTSA has been Garfield’s most enduring school support organization. Besides being a source of volunteer energy, the PTSA provides more than $200,000 annually for school projects, staff and student support, and community-building activities. The PTSA also advocates  for appropriate levels of district and state funding for education.

Among the PTSA tools to help you navigate GHS are the eBark (weekly e-newsletter), our website, Facebook page and other e-mail updates. Watch for announcements of parent/caregiver get-togethers!

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