Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Arbor Heights Elementary Annual Salmon Release

Check out the West Seattle Blog's write up for the Arbor Heights Elementary annual salmon release.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spectrum at Arbor Heights Elementary?

The West Seattle Blog gave a great recap of the School Board Meeting last night. According to the West Seattle Blog,

West Seattle board rep Steve Sundquist is asking why the district did not respond to a community request to offer the Spectrum gifted-education program in a West Seattle elementary school (Arbor Heights has been suggested - right now West Seattle’s only official elementary Spectrum program is at Lafayette in the north end); the staff response was that the closure process caused some bumps in the feedback process, and that explanations of the denial will be forthcoming “now that everything is final.”

If anyone has more information regarding this, feel free to post the information on or add comments to this posting.

It would be great to have a south cluster Spectrum Program. Arbor Heights would be a great school to house this program! Perhaps a new thing to rally for?

Friday, January 30, 2009

School Board Approves Capacity Management Plan

The Seattle School Board voted to approve the Capacity Management plan. It was an emotional school board meeting last night. The West Seattle Blog describes some of the emotions at the meeting:

Here is a link to the official news release:

The West Seattle Impact:
Cooper Elementary's program will close, Cooper's building to become the new home of Pathfinder K-8. The majority of Cooper students will be reassigned to three schools: Gatewood Elementary, Highland Park Elementary and Arbor Heights Elementary. So our school will grow.

We can now focus our energy towards growing Arbor Heights and filling up the school. Let's show the Heart of Arbor Heights!

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Superintendent’s Final Recommendation on School Closures - Board Votes Tonight

The Superintendent's Final Recommendation on School Closures will be discussed by the school board and voted on tonight. The Seattle PI gives an overview of the meeting and the last minute closure list ammendments: The West Seattle Blog also gives a good rundown:

The last minute school board amendments to the closure list are listed in the meeting agenda, along with links to the detailed text.

The only ammendment where Arbor Heights is mentioned is Steve Sundquist's ammendment, where Arbor Heights is listed as one of three recepients of Cooper children (which is a good thing, for school growth).

There is no public testimony on tonight's agenda. For "up to the minute coverage" of the meeting, watch the West Seattle Blog this evening (

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Seattle school closure list announced

Seattle school district superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson has released a list of schools and programs for closure and relocation in her final recommendation to the School Board in an attempt to help clsoe a $37 million budge gap.

A full article is on

Arbor Heights is not on the list.

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January chats with Steve Sundquist

School Board representative for West Seattle, Steve Sundquist, will be available to meet with interested parents, guardians and community members at two locations this month.

Wednesday January 21st @ 9:00 AM
Coffee To A Tea With Sugar
4541 California SW, Seattle

Saturday, January 24th @ 1:00 - 2:30
Delridge branch of the Seattle Public Library
5423 Delridge Way SW Seattle

All are welcome to come and share insights and concerns about education in Seattle.

NOTE: there is usually a very small group and this is a great opportunity for 'one on one' conversation.

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Save Seattle Schools Rally

There is a Save Seattle Schools Rally on Wednesday, January 7th, at 5 pm at the John Stanford Center. Join parents, educators and students for a better vision of the Seattle Schools. For more information, contact Vicky Jambor.

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Anti-school closure petition gaining steam

The Seattle P-I also wrote a brief article able a group who is pushing for school closures only as a last resort.

The article says:

A new group called "Educators Students & Parents for a Better Vision of Seattle Schools" (ESP Vision) has started an online petition, criticizing the preliminary plans to close some Seattle schools and urging the Seattle School Board to consider closures "strictly as a last resort."

An excerpt:
"We, the parents, teachers, students and concerned members of the Seattle Public Schools community, oppose the capacity management proposal put forth by School Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson, which would close as many as seven school buildings and discontinue (or dramatically alter) as many as 14 programs, directly impacting over 4,000 children citywide and negatively affecting many more through class-size increases and other unintended consequences."

Grass roots momentum to minimize school closures is growing.

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Seattle PI Article - School closure fight goes online; Parents, others turn to Web sites, blogs, Facebook

Mark Ahlness proudly represented Arbor Heights in an interview with Jessica Blanchard - Seattle P-I reporter. The Tuesday Seattle P-I article starts out with:

Tech-savvy Arbor Heights Elementary teacher Mark Ahlness had a hunch his school would be targeted in the latest round of Seattle school closures. So he bought a domain name for $10, and waited.

It paid off: Hours before the formal announcement that his program would be discontinued in the fall, Ahlness launched "Save Arbor Heights," a blog touting the school's value to the community.

"I figured, well, if we're not on the recommended closure list, that's $10 for the domain name, and that's all," Ahlness said. "That's $10 well spent."

Others quickly followed suit....

The full Seattle P-I article can be read at

Thank you, Mark for taking the lead. Arbor Heights is very lucky to have such a technology pioneer!

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