Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Value of Our School

Leave your comments here - about the value of Arbor Heights Elementary - to the students, families, community, school district, city, and more...

Please use your full name. Anonymous comments will not be published.


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WS said...

Hi all. We have just reported this on West Seattle Blog. I will be at the SPS meeting tonight (brown-haired, glasses-wearing woman banging furiously on white Macbook laptop) and would love to talk with any or all of you on video during/after the meeting. Or feel free to e-mail us too - Tracy at WSB

Melissa Westbrook said...

Some of the reasoning for picking schools to close is based on geographic need and building condition. Neither of which any school community has any control over. You are situated where you are and maintained as the district sees fit.

All schools being closed need to make this point.

It is important because the State Auditor did not just say SPS has too many buildings for too few students. He also said that we have too many staff at headquarters proportional to our district AND that the district needs to be doing more basic maintenance.

We are drowning in backlogged maintenance and to me, that is driving part of this closure issue. They simply want to get rid of buildings that Facilities has no desire to keep maintaining especially if the academic side doesn't believe the school is performing well.

The district has not put forth any other cost-saving measures than closure and everyone should be pressing them, loudly, as to why not.

visualjeff said...

Are we talking about buildings or kids? I thought it was the kids that we're important? Arbor heights great school and has really good special ed program. If the district can't provide for the special ed students then maybe a law suit will make them rethink! Not to mention the city just put in new sidewalks in front of the school. What a waste if they close it now...

Chris Conley said...

The value that Arbor Heights Elementary gives to my family is a strong sense of community. I have 2 kids in AH. When we walk in the neighborhood, my kids point out our fiends’ homes, friends that we met at AH. I’ve always felt that AH is the community, neighborhood school. It has created a small town feel in the middle of a large metropolitan city. This is what I want for my kids. My kids know their neighbors and they know us because of this school. Also, my kids have created strong relationships with their teachers that have been very special to them. The teachers they have had really cared about their education. To send our children from AH to other schools would mean the end of this community and the relationships build with in it. It isn’t simply closing a building.

Stuart Glascock said...

I went to the School Board meeting tonight to hear WHY they put Arbor Heights on the closure list. But the only answer they gave was they wanted the property for another school. As a parent, a taxpayer, and a voter – I find their explanation lame and insufficient for the amount of disruption their scheme would cause. If approved, it would crush an excellent neighborhood school and scatter the kids. What did we do to deserve this? We did everything right, as far as I can tell. Parent involvement. Parent involvement. Parent involvement. That’s what ALL the education experts say is key to well functioning schools. Parent involvement is off the charts at Arbor Heights and the school district must hear this. They need to hear how much this community values its neighborhood school.

mcfarlane1 said...

As I have stated on other blogs....My biggest concern after reading the recommendations are that they are forcing my children to be “reassigned” not because they are closing Arbor Heights but because they discontinuing their program? So they will have a school there just not the current one??? I am not quite sure how that seems fair to those of us in this neighborhood and I am also not quite sure why Arbor Heights was chosen to be discontinued and "other" schools in the south cluster were not looked at for discontinuation or closure as they had been previously, especially since enrollment at such schools is down yet again. I now understand why more and more people have lost faith in the Seattle Public School system and why more are turning to private schools. The choice they are making here is difficult for even me to understand so how do I explain to my children that their school is still open but they are not able to go there any longer?

I hope they know that their recommendations will not go forth without a battle. My children’s grandmother went to Arbor Heights as did my husband and I. We live in this neighborhood for many reasons and this school is one of them. This is a neighborhood school in the truest sense and they are robbing us the opportunity to give that experience to our children. I will not allow them to choose where my children will go to school. That is a choice we as parents have made and it is not something they are going to get to do now or ever.

I fear these concerns will fall upon deaf ears as they have done so on so many other issues and that saddens me. They ask parents to get involved and to voice our opinions and concerns yet in so many instances it seems their decisions are made regardless of our input.

We need to use all our energy to fight to keep our neighborhood school, our extended family open and thriving as it has done for so many years. Arbor Heights matters to us that live here that is why we are here, why we stayed, and why so many come back.

Lisa McFarlane