Arbor Heights Elementary

Arbor Heights
Elementary

Community Update — Feb. 28, 2024

Community Update • Arbor Heights • February 28, 2024

Important Dates:

  • March 5: Islandwood Environmental 5th Grade Camp Forms and Tuition Due
  • March 8: Classroom Picture Day (Yuen Lui)
  • March 14: Global Reading Challenge at the Seattle Public Library
  • March 28: 2nd Grade Field Trip to the U of W Botanical Gardens

Balancing the Budget and Fiscal Considerations   – Arbor Heights Needs Your Help!

Like many school districts across the state, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) is facing a significant budget deficit. The district has been working hard to respond to this challenge. Dr. Brent Jones, Superintendent recently shared the goal is to stabilize the SPS budget over time while creating better, stronger well-resourced schools. The recommendation to balance the budget in the coming years includes: 

2024-25
  • Recommend no school closures for 2024-25. 
  • Explore limited program adjustments, including cuts to school budgets and personnel.
  • Seek the implementation of financing tools from the Washington State Legislature 
2025-26
  • Begin transition to a system of well-resourced schools. Click here for more information.
  • Explore using proceeds from the sale or lease of non-school property to address one-time financial challenges (such as the replenishment of the economic stabilization account).
What are The Budget Implications for Arbor Heights?

The district is expected to continue its recent enrollment declines. Arbor Height’s next year’s entering K class is about 20 students less than this year’s exiting 5th graders. The rest of the anticipated decline at Arbor Heights is based on its actual cohort grade progression rates. This includes students participating in Open Enrollment, opting into Advanced Learning or Special Education services, and students leaving the district.

Our administration team, and the SPS Enrollment specialists will be monitoring new student registrations (and choice applications of current siblings, etc.) to see how closely we are tracking throughout the rest of the school year, and to recruit families to Arbor Heights and Seattle Public Schools.

Our budget for 2024-25 (based on 450 students):
  1. Per pupil allocation total – $11,506 (this amount is down 25% from 2023-24 allocation and 50% from the year before).
  2. “Student in Poverty” allocation total – $13,974 ($5000* less than 2023-24). *All non-high poverty elementary schools had a $5000 deduction to this line item. The 2022-23 allocation was $27,336 for extra supports of our students.
  3. Our preschool generates $39,582 for school budget purposes.

The total budget for next year is $65,062. This amount is used for school and general supplies, recess supervision, recess, and tech equipment, and supplies for the specialists.

The costs for these general school needs will not leave much of budget balance for items the staff would like to support their students.

What’s on the wish list?

High on the wish list is library every week for the students. Our halftime allocation for a librarian allows for library every other week. Other particularly important needs:

  • A full or near fulltime counselor/social worker
  • Aides for kindergarten at the start of the year
  • Additional recess supervision
  • Reading and math supports for students
  • Assemblies
  • Field trip dollars
  • An extra specialist (this school year we have 4 specialists, next year we are allocated for 3 specialists)

Please consider helping Arbor Heights through direct donation, donating to the Arbor Heights PTSA, attending the Auction, and contacting the Washington State Legislature to advocate for full funding of schools and programs like physical education, visual arts, music, and STEM. Click here for more information on how education is funded in Washington state.

From the PTSA:

Did you know that the Arbor Heights Elementary PTSA Spring Auction is our largest fundraiser of the year? Proceeds from this event allow us to support the school, students, and staff in various ways that make Arbor Heights Elementary a fun and engaging place to learn. You can help support this year’s Spring Auction on April 20, 2024, in the following ways:

  • Attend the Spring Auction! Purchase your tickets online but do not wait – there are only 30 tickets left! Can’t attend? You can still make a monetary donation without purchasing a ticket.
  • Donate! An item, an experience, gift cards, wine, or a monetary donation. We are still seeking In-Kind Donations.
  • Class Project Coordinators! Class projects are essential to the Spring Auction and getting the students involved. We are still seeking a class project coordinator(s) for the following classrooms below. If you have a child in one of these classes, please contact Heather Nordlund at heather.nordlund@gmail.com if you would like to volunteer. Need some project ideas or inspiration? Check out some examples from last year’s auction.

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