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
May 6, 1997

Teacher Appreciation Day
Today is Teacher Appreciation Day in the Seattle Public Schools. I hope you will take a minute to write your child's teacher a note of appreciation sometime soon. We have a wonderful staff here at Arbor Heights and all the teachers deserve a big THANK YOU!

Chapter 1/Bilingual Night
If your child is in either our Chapter 1 program or our bilingual program, you are invited to a get together tomorrow, May 7th, from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. We will be meeting in the lunchroom and refreshments will be served. We will be talking about our academic program and your whole family is welcome to attend.

The last PTA meeting of this school year will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 8th. Child care will be provided. I look forward to seeing you then.

Our students met my challenge by reading 2,535 books during the month of April! As a result, I have to perform a RAP at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, May 8th. (When the kids hear me RAP they may be sorry they read so much *.)

Class Formations for 1997/98
Attached to this bulletin is a notice about class formations for the next school year. This summer (late August) I will send you a notice telling you about your child's class assignment for September.

Young Author's Conference
Our annual Young Author's Conference is coming up on Thursday, May 22nd. Please save that evening to join us for an ice cream social and an opportunity to look at the books the children are writing. We'll send home details about the event soon.

The Seattle Public Schools: An Update & Look Ahead
You are invited to join Superintendent John Stanford at one of five community meetings in May. The meetings will discuss changes and progress Seattle schools have made in the 1996/97 school year, as well as what's ahead for next year. You'll also have an opportunity to get your questions answered and suggestions heard. Each meetings begins at 7:00 p.m. They are set for:
May 5 - BF Day, 3921 Linden Avenue N.
May 6 - West Woodland, 5601 - 4th Avenue N.W.
May 8 - Thurgood Marshall, 2401 S. Irving Street
May 19 - Hawthorne, 4100 - 39th Avenue S.
May 20 - Gatewood, 4320 SW Myrtle Street

A Classic Summer
West Seattle Theatre Arts is offering "A CLASSIC SUMMER"; summer day camps which explore the classical Greek and Roman theatre. From this central theme the camps we offer include Myths & Me - creating modern myths based on classic ones. Action Heroes film camp - writing and filming our own action flicks, physical comedy camp where you can play the Trickster or the Hero, Musical theatre camps where you can sing and dance in a Broadway musical based on a myth or set in that period, Creative Dramatics camps where you'll act out those classic tales and more! Beginning to advanced students can all find a camp this summer and we have programs for ages 3 1/2 to 18. Campes are hald day or full school day, one or two weeks long and cost $85 to $275. Before and after care available. Call 935-WSTA for more information or pick up a brochure at your school office.
West Seattle Theater Arts

Sincerely, Carl Leatherman Principal

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 I do not want, and cannot honor, requests for a specific teacher, I 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.

Carl Leatherman

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