The Arbor Heights WWW Site
Updated November 13,
The Arbor Heights WWW site first appeared on the Internet on August 14,
1994. It was the 9th or 10th elementary school anywhere with a WWW site. It was
added to the InterNIC listing on August 30, 1994. You can find the site listed at
Web 66 among the very first schools on the web in their
September 1994 Web66 Registry of School Web Sites
(this is the oldest archived link, going back to November, 1996).
2. Funding - Disclaimer
Our school does not host this web site. The site is located on
a commercial server (Northwest Nexus/Halcyon). It is not funded or otherwise supported by the Seattle School District or Arbor Heights Elementary School. Since
the beginning, the site has been maintained on the personal account of Mark Ahlness,
a third grade teacher at Arbor Heights, who is solely responsible for its content.
Mark Ahlness is the composer and maintainer of the site. The site is not
exactly on a "regular" schedule for updating. Updates occur whenever
time is found, and there are significant changes to be made (new issue of
the Jr. Seahawk News, for example). Changes and additions to the site are
made by uploading via ftp. Detailed site update information from 1994 to 1999 can be found on the What's New Page.
In August of 1994 the site was created on a computer provided by the
Seattle School District (386-33 pc, 4mb RAM, 110 mb hard drive), with a 14,400 modem (You don't need much!). The browser used back then was NCSA Mosaic.
In March of 1995, Mark received new hardware as part of a
grant from the
Seattle School District. Included were a
486-66DX, 8MB RAM, 540MB hard drive computer, a 28,800 external modem, and a
From the fall of 1995 to the summer of 1999, thanks to a personal gift from Microsoft, all work on the site
was done on a DELL Omniplex 590, 1.2 GB hard drive, 32 MB RAM.
Since that time, all work on the site has been done on
personally owned computers.
All pages are/were written in a Windows environment, using Notepad, Html Writer,
PageMill, or FrontPage. The graphics have been created using
LView and Adobe Photoshop. The files are uploaded to the server using WS-FTP and
Because this site is stored on a personal account, input from staff and
students is indirect. Scripted features, such as the counters and guestbook, run off programs created by others and made available to users at
7. Staff Involvement
We do not have a staff member for lab maintenance and student/staff training.
Many staff members have Internet accounts with the Seattle School
8. Student Involvement
Through the end of the 1995-96 school year, only three Internet terminals were
available at Arbor Heights. Student access was made through personal staff PPP
Students had access to the web beginning in the fall of 1996, with a 128k ISDN direct Internet connection, thanks to
Students in the third grade classroom of Mark Ahlness have been actively involved in exploring the WWW, and providing input for the "Room 12 Top Ten List".
With the advent of new computers and
wiring from the Seattle School District in the summer of 2001, students are much
more actively involved in Internet access.
9. Our School Network
Thanks to Microsoft, by 1996 we had a new ethernet LAN in our computer lab, thirty 486 computers (all running Windows 95), a scanner, fax machine, an NT server and an ISDN router.
We began providing community access to our computer lab two nights a week in September of 1996.
In the fall of 1997 staff and community volunteers began work on expanding the LAN to the fourth and fifth grade classrooms as well as the library. We upgraded our Internet connection to a T-1 line in the spring of 1998, becoming
one of the first elementary schools in the Seattle School district with a T-1 line.
We continued this volunteer wiring project during the summer of 1999 to bring
our NT network and Internet access to all classrooms and offices.
In the summer of 2001 our entire building
was completely re-wired by the Seattle School District.
10. Web Site Recognition
In the Spring of 1995 our school was featured on America Online's listing of recommended
Educational sites on the World Wide Web! Here is a picture of that listing on the
AOL World Wide Web browser: (74k .gif image)
In November of 1995 The Arbor Heights Home Page was nominated by GNN in its second annual Best of the Net Awards (K-12 Education, Amateur Category). We didn't win, but it was quite an honor to be the only school web site nominated!
You will find a screenshot of the 1995 (summer) Arbor Heights Home Page that Bill
Gates used on page 201 of his book The Road Ahead. He also used a picture of the 1996 (summer) Arbor Heights Home Page on page 223 of the paperback edition.
In September of 1996, Newsweek Magazine
ran a short article about the Room 12 Top Ten List.
The article looked like this.
In 1998 the Arbor Heights Web Site was the only school to reach the Semi-Finalist round, in the Education category of the third annual
Several sites have recognized the site with awards or complimentary ratings.