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School History

Salmon Bay School is an option school in the Seattle Public Schools district serving grades K-8. It was created in 1999 when Coho Elementary and New Options Middle School (NOMS) were merged into one K-8 school and moved into the current building to serve the Ballard community. This new school existed for three years under the name COHO/NOMS to honor each school’s history. In the spring of 2002, through a process involving the school community and led by founding teacher Jan Wilson, it was renamed Salmon Bay School as a land acknowledgement.

The name Salmon Bay School goes even further back. It was first used in 1901 for a new school opened by the Ballard School District a few blocks away from our current school building. It was annexed into the Seattle School District in 1907, and eventually closed in 1932. The site of the original Salmon Bay School is now the Ballard Boys and Girls Club.

FOSB History

Friends of Salmon Bay (FOSB) was created in 2008 through the merger of two separate parent groups from the COHO/NOMS days — one focusing on families of students in grades K-5, and one focusing on families of students in grades 6-8. The merger was intended to allow the parent community to act with a unified voice, promote greater efficiency of operations, and better serve the greater school community.

The merger was also meant to capture the best benefits of the two separate parent groups and the families they served. For elementary families, this included continuing to foster a close relationship between parents/guardians and elementary educators, and supporting the educators’ desire to provide the supplementary art, music, physical education, and core-subject instruction that enrich and deepen the elementary education experience. At the middle school level, this included working to support and foster the greater independence that students need both socially and educationally as they enter the transitional middle school years, and to support the desire of the middle school educators to supplement these students’ classroom-based learning with service learning, winter enrichment, and environmental education.

The two parent groups opted to form a parent teacher organization (PTO) rather than a parent teacher association (PTA) — the main difference being that only dues-paying members are typically part of a PTA. As a result, FOSB was born, and every parent, guardian, and teacher in our school community is automatically a member. There are no dues to pay and everyone is welcome to participate with a full voice and vote. As a PTO, we all belong. 

Building History

1931: James Monroe Intermediate School opened with 759 students in grades 7-8; later referred to as James Monroe Junior High (go Vikings!)

1955: Four portables were added following post-war population explosion

1956: Enrollment peaked at 1,620 students

1959: Remodel created counseling offices, space for Boys’ Club and Girls’ Club advisors, and a reception room for students

1974: Major remodel included an expanded playground, modern library, lunchroom and auditorium

1981: James Monroe Junior High closed; part of building was leased as a community center

1987: Building became a temporary site for Seattle Public Schools during construction on other schools

1999: Building reopened as Salmon Bay K-8

Sources: https://www.seattleschools.org/departments/archives/, Salmon Bay staff, FOSB bylaws