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
Class Formations for 1997/98
Young Author's Conference
The Seattle Public Schools: An Update & Look Ahead
A Classic Summer
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.