From the Principal

Weekly notes from Arbor Heights Elementary School
3701 SW 104TH * Seattle, WA 98146
Phone (206) 933-5350 * Fax (206) 933-5351

Parent Bulletin
April 23, 1998

Introducing Ed Balarezo
Hello. I am extremely pleased to be here at Arbor Heights. In only a few days I have been able to meet many smiling faces of students, parents and staff. This school is outstanding, with a committed community and a staff that is dedicated to providing the best educational experience for every student. I am looking forward to meeting more of you in the weeks to come.
Ed Balarezo

University of Washington Track and Field Tickets
We have a number of tickets available for the University of Washington Track and Field meet on Saturday, May 2nd at 11:00 a.m. The event features Washington vs. Colorado/Idaho. If you would like tickets please send a note to the office and we will send them home with your child.

Grades 2 - 5 have began their ITBS testing this week. The fourth graders will be taking the 4th grade WASL tests next week. We remind you to be sure your child/ren get plenty of sleep and a healthy breakfast so that they have the best opportunity to succeed.

No School
Wednesday, May 13th, is a Seattle School District Teacher Inservice Day. There will be no school for students.

The Arbor Heights PTSA Carnival is next Friday, May 1st. There have been a number of informational fliers going home. Please plan on attending - it promises to be a fun-filled evening.

Classroom Assignments
On the back of this bulletin is an informational letter regarding next years classroom assignment procedures. I hope you will be able to take a few minutes to read our policies. Thank you.


Ed Balarezo



Each spring our school staff begins the very important process of placing students in classrooms for the next school year. A great deal of time and effort is put into this process. We want to be certain that each child is in the best learning environment possible and that the classes are balanced in terms of size, gender, ethnicity, academic level, student behavior, etc. The process we use involves a great deal of input from the staff. Every effort is made to be certain that the classes are balanced in every way possible.
Arbor Heights has a strong teaching staff who do a fine job of educating all of the children in the school. The cooperation and support of the parents have helped to make this possible. We always welcome parent input and we are always available to talk with you about any aspect of your child's education. Requesting specific teachers for your child, however, creates several problems for all of us in the school community. First, we are never really sure until August who will be teaching the various grades (transfers, retirements, etc. sometimes occur during the summer). Students might be very disappointed if they have their hearts set on having a specific teacher so I make classroom assignments over the summer. Second, not all requests can be honored if we're truly trying to create balanced classes. It would be difficult to explain to one parent why their request was not honored when that parent may be aware of one or two cases where requests were granted. Third, we are a public school and we do not discriminate relative to student placement. By granting some requests and not others we would be implementing a discriminatory practice. I'm sure you can see that equity is the issue here.
While we do not want, and cannot honor, requests for a specific teacher, we would be interested in looking at a letter you may wish to write describing your child's learning style or explaining any unique educational needs your child may have. For those of you with children in kindergarten, you might like to express an interest in either a straight grade level class or a multi-age situation. We have both programs here and you might feel that your child would do better in one or the other.
Please be assured that our staff takes the job of assigning students to classrooms very seriously and we will work with you throughout the year to see to it that your child gets the best education possible.

Thank you.

Ed Balarezo
Acting Principal

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