History of the Arbor Heights WWW Site

(This is dedicated to the thousands of educators who have built and maintained their school web sites on their own time.)

Welcome to a tour through the first eighteen years of the Arbor Heights World Wide Web site. This page is set up primarily to chronicle the evolution of the site. It is hoped visitors may gain an appreciation for the growth of web site development and for the growth of school web sites. For those of you who have visited the site frequently over these past eighteen years, have fun on a little web trip down Memory Lane!
Notes on the links: Each hypertext linked date will take you to the Arbor Heights Home Page as it appeared on that date, html errors and all! Some of the links from these early home pages may not work, especially the imagemaps.
Navigation: You can jump back and forth to and from this page and select the home pages you want to see. Or you can take the whole tour using the navigation arrows at the bottom of each home page. There are nine home pages on the tour.

To begin the tour, click on the arrow :

To August 14, 1994
(Scroll to the bottom of each page to go on.)

August 14, 1994
This was our first home page (well, you have to start somewhere). Ours was the 9th or 10th elementary school with a web site. The primary focus of the home page at that time was the Earth Day Groceries Project. This page, and the others until the summer of 1995, were all written and maintained on a 386-33, 4mb RAM, 110mb HD computer using a 14,400 bps modem for file uploads to the server. The browsers used to check this page were NCSA Mosaic, Cello, and Lynx - Netscape and Internet Explorer weren't around yet.

October, 1994
This was how the site looked through most of the 1994 - 1995 school year. Oh, a few little icons were added or removed from time to time....

January, 1995
Tables, transparent images, and background colors became a hot thing, so here's pretty much the same version using those features. This was an alternate home page link, as it turned out many browsers still did not support tables.

April, 1995
A visitor counter and background color were added. This was the last version of the "old" home page. The counter shows the current number of visitors.

June, 1995
Here was the biggest single change in the two year history of our home page. An imagemap was introduced to replace all the text links with icons. This is the version that Bill Gates used in The Road Ahead. Most of the imagemap links work.

November, 1995
Added a cloudy background and "Best of the Net Nominee" images. Imagemap links not working here.

January, 1996
Added a client-side imagemap, added a text-only page, rearranged the icons, added our Guestbook, changed some text colors, added a background sound, and added the scrolling (Internet Explorer) "Link of the Week".

December, 1996
This seasonal look sported the smaller imagemap and a white background - major changes first seen in June of 1996 (below). It also included a seasonal background sound. The page is often given a similar treatment for other holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick's Day, etc.).
To take a look at changes documented on a daily basis for the first five years of the web site, visit the "What's New" page. Choose any month since September, 1995 to get an idea of what went into maintaining the site.  This was discontinued in 1999 - although regular updates continued.

That's the end of the tour, but it is not the end of the story:

June, 1996 - June 2006
This remained the look of the home page for ten years. It is pretty much the same page that was used by Bill Gates, without permission, in his book The Road Ahead.
Some icons were changed, and many links were updated over the years. Improvements to the web site during this period were primarily in content, with the addition of many documents and writings. The look of the home page remained relatively unchanged.
In August, 2002 the arborheights.com domain was purchased. It was set up to "forward" to http://www.halcyon.com/arborhts/ 

June 2006 - November 2012
In June, 2006, a wiki was established to encourage collaboration in the development and maintenance of the school web site. It looked like this on June 27, 2006. For its first two years, the wiki was wide open, meaning anybody could edit anything. In 2008, permissions were changed, so that only members of the wiki could edit/change pages. Membership was open to any staff, parent, or student at the school. In 2008 the Seattle Public Schools recognized the wiki as the official web page for the school.  By October of 2012 there were 63 members of the school wiki.
At that point the arborheights.com domain was set to redirect to the school wiki.
Throughout this period, the original website was also maintained, and new content was regularly added to it (Jr. Seahawk Newsletter and Young Authors' Conference, for instance).

October, 2012
The school discontinued using the wiki as its web page and began to use a template developed by Seattle Public Schools as its web page. The arborheights.com domain was directed back to the original school web site at http://www.halcyon.com/arborhts/

The above examples only indicate the major revisions to the home page. Maintaining the Arbor Heights World Wide Web Site was a labor of love. The school is certainly one of the best anywhere, and I was fortunate to be a teacher there for 21 years. I continue to finance the site on my own, as I have since August 14, 1994. Feedback always welcome. Thanks for reading along - Mark Ahlness

Return to arborheights.com