Friday, September 30, 2011

Homecoming Pepfest 2011

I believe we had a good time at the 2011 version of the Homecoming Pepfest. It was a gorgeous day. We followed the band to the field and we screamed and yelled and supported our teams and school. Some of the events were silly, some traditional and some just for the moment.

1,700 kids having fun in the spirit of the day. We have wonderful kids.

Thank you

More Activities and Fun

Great big weekend. Boys Soccer at the Stadium at 4:30 today.
Girls Tennis at the Park
Volleyball in the gym
Talentfest in the Auditorium

Once you have gotten to treats with sports and the arts, make it back to the stadium at 9 am for the Powderpuff football game. 11 am is the parade and home coming football with North at noon.

Homecoming dance is at 7 pm and I know your child wants to be a part of the fun. Join us.

Debate team has their first tournament at Eastview.

Big weekend

National College Fair Oct. 4 and 5 at Mpls Convention Center

Dear Students and Parents,
The National College Fair will take place on October 4th and 5th at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The fair will run on Tuesday (Oct 4) from 9 am - 12 pm and 4:30 pm - 8 pm and again on Wednesday (Oct 5) from 9 am - 12 pm. We encourage students to attend the evening session on Tuesday night. The NACAC Performing and Visual Arts College Fair will be held on Thursday, October 6th from 6 - 8 pm at Coffman Union on the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus. Please note that Southwest will not bus students to either fair.

Please contact Ms. Jastrow or Ms. Parslow in the Career & College Center if you have questions.

Also, if you did not receive information about the NACAC College Fair previously please contact Danielle Jastrow ( or Breanna Parslow ( so we may update your email in Naviance.

Thank you,
Breanna Parslow : Career & College Center Coordinator
Southwest High School

Thursday, September 29, 2011

SW Alumni Jamie Cheever Team USA

Minneapolis/St. Paul - Jan. 17, 2011 - Three-time All American Jamie Cheever, who ran collegiately for the University of Minnesota and was a prep standout at Southwest High School in Minneapolis, has joined Team USA Minnesota. As a Golden Gopher, she held school records in the mile (4:39:54), the 3000 meters (9:20.23) and in three relays.

Cheever, who was a starter in soccer at the University her freshman year, also held the second fastest times for the U in the 800 meters (indoor and outdoor), the steeplechase and 6k cross country. Cheever ran track her freshman year and became a full-time runner in both cross country and track her sophomore year. Cheever graduated from the U of M in December 2009 with a double major in sociology and family social services.

While at Southwest during her senior year, she finished second in the 1600 meters at the Minnesota State High School Track championships, was third at the State Nordic Ski meet in freestyle, and finished seventh at the State Cross Country championships. In addition, her club soccer/Olympic development team was the state champion all four years of high school and was ranked as one of the top 20 teams nationally.

"Jamie has a soccer background similar to Antonio Vega so we think she has room to develop as well as Antonio," said Coach Dennis Barker. "She has good range and compliments the team as a training partner."

Cheever began her professional running career over the weekend by winning the mile in 4:47.87 at the Minnesota Open on Jan. 15. Next up will be the Jack Johnson Classic meet at the U on Jan. 22 where she will run the 3000 meters. She is preparing to compete at the USA Cross Country Championships in San Diego on Feb. 5.

Writing Center Opens Thursday

Please remind your students that the Writing Center opens today after school in the Media Center. There will be two professional writers available to help them with everything from sentence structure, to social studies or english assignments to college essays.

Please encourage them to come!!

The center will be open every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the year in the Media Center.

Thank you,
Joan Leverenz
Parent Liaison
Volunteer Coordinator

Ironman Volleyball

Wednesday at Southwest you missed one of the best events of homecoming week. The Ironman Volleyball Match between the Junior and Senior Boys.

The Seniors won in 5 games, but it was exciting until the very end. 2 games went to extra points including the 5th match.

The coaches of both squads should get a big round next time you see them, Imani Mansfield and Malia Svoboda for the Juniors, and Elise Bernier and Emma Peacha-Singer for the Seniors.

They taught the game of volleyball to both rag-tag groups, in about 4 or 5 practices each. Some of the practices were as early as 6:30 am (and both the coaches and athletes showed up).

Tomorrow is a big day as well. Football plays in Duluth, to replace the Roosevelt Varsity Game.

Ryan Lamberty
Southwest Athletic Director

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Talk about Safety - District phone call home

Minneapolis Public Schools was informed that the Minneapolis Police Department is investigating recent attempted abductions in Minneapolis. This evening, Wednesday, September 28, MPS will send a district-wide School Messenger call to families to remind them to talk to their children about safety and reporting suspicious activity to police. This call is intended to provide safety and prevention information, not alarm families about the incidents.

Below is the script of the message:

This is Stan Alleyne, executive director of communications for Minneapolis Public Schools. I am calling to share information about youth safety in our community.

We have recently been informed that the Minneapolis Police Department is investigating recent attempted abductions. Please take a few minutes to remind your child not to listen to, talk to or approach strangers. Additional safety guidelines are available online at the Minneapolis Police Department website - click on “Crime Prevention Resources” and scroll down to “Personal Safety Information.” Report any suspicious activity to the Minneapolis Police Department by calling 911.

I want to reassure you that the safety of our students is a top priority. Again, this is Stan Alleyne from Minneapolis Public Schools. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your school office.


Stan Alleyne
Executive Director of Communications

Parent Portal is working

Information on the parent portal as of 9 this morning should be correct. There are some remaining problem with how missing grades and assignments are averaging into the total grade. If you see a missing grade talk ton your son or daughter. He/She knows what is missing. Attendance appears to be correct.

Information can be helpful. There have been some recent problems and it is frustrating for everyone. Mid-terms finish this Friday. Let's have a great first quarter.

Breast Cancer Awarkeness Homecoming Wed. Theme

Homecoming is a fun time but also an opportunity to increase awareness. As a part of the week, student council decided to make Wednesday, Breast Cancer Awareness. All of our families have experience with the illness. We need to encourage our legislators and each other to do what is necessary for a cure and at the very least early dedection.

Talk ton your daughters about what they can do.

National Achievement Semifinalist Elijah Fortson

Elijah M. Fortson of Southwest High School has been named semifinalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Program. Selected by the National Merit Scholarship Corp., the semifinalists are identified as being among the nation's most academically talented black students.

Fortson is among nine Minnesota semifinalists. Approximately 1,600 high school seniors nationwide will compete for 800 scholarships worth more than $2.4 million.

Semifinalists must present a record of high academic performance throughout high school, receive the endorsement of their principal, write an essay and earn stellar SAT scores to be eligible. The student and a high school staff member must also submit a scholarship application with details on the student's participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities and educational goals

Congratulations Elijah!

Oct. 3 Girls Soccer Fundraiser

Chipotle at Calhoun Commons is partnering with the SWHS Girls Soccer program in a fundraising event MONDAY October 3rd from 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

Players, families, other supporters MUST present the a special SW flyer to the cashier for your purchase to count towards the fundraiser. Chipotle will donate 50% of all sales accompanied by a flyer to our booster program so this is a great and easy way to support Girls Soccer at SWHS. Each transaction requires a flyer so if a group is going but paying individually, each person needs to have a flyer with them.

Print out the flyer from the Southwest Web Site, put it on your calendar, look forward to an easy dinner that kids love and make your way to Chipotle Monday night.

Thanks for your continuing support!!

Girls Soccer Booster Club

Please only safe balloons

We have several students with significant allergy to LATEX, please refrain from using latex products (i.e. balloons) during the school day.

For more information refer to American Latex Allergy Association, A.L.E.R.T., link at

Patricia Walker, RN, PHN, MA
Licensed School Nurse

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SW alumni Matt Douma still going strong

Old-timers, rejoice!  Today Matt Douma was not one bit hesitant.  He blew away his opponents and won another $40,000, making his total $54,100.

Final Jeopardy category:  English writers
Answer:  A contemporary called him the "Firste Fyndere of OUr Fair Language".
Question:  Who was Chaucer?

Much easier than yesterday; I even got that one!

By the way, Matt is working here as a standardized test reader.  Not AP or IB apparently; seems more like the MCAs or one of those, based on how he was talking.

More tomorrow!
Stephanie Wegner

Mid-terms end this week

This is the middle of the 1st nine-week grading period. Students get a bit excited around grading time. You might want to have the conversation about expectations and support. Homework, unfinished tests and the other school stuff needs to be completed and turned-in to be counted. The Parent Portal is up to date and as the parent you know the current status of your student.

For our new students this is the first grading period that has direct relationship to his/her later life. Everything up to this point has been informative and helpful. High school grades are part of the notorious Transcipt that stays with you the rest of you life. Let's make it a good one.

Southwest Grad on Marquette Radio

Want to hear some cool music?

Tune in from 1-2 pm every Friday and listen to Pleasantly Off Kilter!

Spinning the tunes is our own alumni, Elena Fransen.

9th Grade Parents - You Are Invited!

Parents of 9th grade students!

Your invitation to a House Party sponsored by the Southwest Education Fund should have arrived in your mailbox this week.

Please mark your calendars for Thursday, Oct. 6, 6:30 p.m. at the home of Christa Anders and Tom McLeod. This is a parent event for those interested in meeting other Southwest parents and Principal Bill Smith, and finding out more about our fundraising campaign for Southwest High School.

Every donation in any amount is important and we value the participation of all parents.

Please email if you have questions.

Please "RSVP" if you're coming to or

Talk to Your Teacher Week Sept 26-30

Talk To Your Teacher Week will take place September 26-30.

The week was established by Minneapolis Public Schools to provide families with an opportunity to connect with their child’s teacher early in the school year to participate in the educational process and help develop achievement goals for their child.

Although parent-teacher conferences begin in October, we like to remind families that they can talk to their child’s teacher anytime. Talk To Your Teacher Week is a way to open the lines of communication with families. Parents should be encouraged to ask questions of their teacher and school.

Please remind families that they may connect with their child’s teacher at conferences, school events, family nights, classroom visits or specially scheduled meetings. They can also reach teachers by email, phone or written note. Interpreters are available to assist families if they speak a language other than English.
Families may need assistance in identifying what to discuss with their child’s teacher.

Some guidelines include:
• Ask the teacher about homework expectations.
• Ask the teacher about classroom behavior expectations. Be aware of what is going on in your child’s classroom.
• Ask the teacher if your child is on track academically. Ask what the grade level expectations are and what your child should know by the end of the year.

Talk To Your Teacher Week also provides an opportunity for teachers to give families suggestions for supporting academic success at home.

These include:
• Read with your child. Ask your child’s teacher for book suggestions. Visit the library with your child.
• Ask your teacher what your child is studying in math, science and social studies.
• Ask your child what he or she learns in school each day.
• Set aside time to help your child with homework.
• Help your child get ready in the morning so he or she arrives at school on time and ready to learn.

Thank you for your support in promoting Talk To Your Teacher Week at your school building.

Theresa Battle
Mark Bonine
Michael Thomas, Area Superintendents

Southwest Alumni on Jeopardy!

I am sitting in front of my TV watching SW alum MATT DOUMA (I forget the year, sometime after 2000) playing on JEOPARDY. He is currently in second place.
Stephanie Wegner

And he won!!!! He won $14,100. He was in second place but he was the only one who answered the Final Jeopardy question correctly:

Category: Catchphrase Origins
Answer: Knights were awarded a golden pair of these for acts of bravery
Question: What are spurs?

I think I remember teaching him that- along with everything else that he knows- in Honors World History when he was a 9th grader back in 1999.

It sure is a rewarding feeling.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Southwest Writing Center Opens September 29

The Writing Center will be available for student assistance on a drop in basis beginning Thursday, Sept 29th.

We will volunteer staff in the center every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the semester.

This will be announced today to students as they work on their essays and papers.

The volunteers are all extremely well qualified. They are willing and eager to help our students at all levels whether it is a social studies or English paper, a college essay or a student working on simple grammar and sentence structure.

Days – Tuesday and Thursdays – Beginning THURSDAY, Sept 29th.
Time: 3:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Place: Media Center

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Start of week 5

This is half way through the first grading period. Mid terms will be going out soon. Please check with your student about his/her progress. Then confirm that through the Parent Portal. The first quarter is an important one.

If you have questions check with your counselor and her/ his teachers. There is still time to get off to a good start.

Great Laker Weekend

Another bit of excitement in being a Laker. First time in 71 years - lights for a football game and a soccer game. But more importantly a huge community gathering!

Sports are fantastic and winning us great. But this Past weekend there is no question that it was a Laker community win!

Huge crowds, lots of alumni, outpouring of neighbors and grandparents and are the extended family were part of the excitement. Even the import, illegal fireworks added to the scene. Cheering, bands playing, food, grills, the smell of popcorn and performance team at half time and throughout the game -- thousands of people making it a weekend to remember. But also the standard of what can be. No we don' t nee lights for excitement or support or authoring as a community behind our young people. Bu even bigger than that a community investing in it's own future.

Thank you to Jodi and Ryan and the painters and food vendors and boosters and families for setting the new standard of support and participation.

It was sports this weekend and the next should be the arts and homework and appropriate financing for schools and improved facilities and college applications and career awareness and preparation. Every child deserves fantastic support and encouragement.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Super Soccer Saturday at SWHS - Saturday - September 24th!

Super Soccer Saturday at SWHS - Saturday - September 24th!
Super Soccer Saturday is a day full of great soccer and Southwest spirit! It’s a day to wear your purple and white and come on down to the Stadium (or Armatage) and cheer on the Lakers as they take on the South High Tigers!

This is also one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the Boy's and Girl's Soccer Programs. There will be raffle tickets for sale and drawings for great prizes between games and during half-times.

The concession stand will be serving delicious meal and snack offerings throughout the day, and Southwest music and dance performers will provide the entertainment.

The Schedule
Stadium Games
Varsity Boys: 7:00pm
Varsity Girls: 5:00pm
JV Boys: 3:00pm
JV Girls: 1:00pm
10th Boys: 11:00am
10th Girls: 9:00am

Armatage Games
9th Girls: 9:00am
9th Boys: 11:00am
It takes a lot of people to run Soccer Saturday and to make this day successful for the players and fans. Volunteer!!! We need your help. Sign up on the LINK below:

1) Click on this link:
2) Add your name to the times/activities that you are able to help with
3) That's it - no saving required, just exit. It's that simple - REALLY!
4) Invite your family, friends and neighbors!

Flu Vaccine Oct. 11 at Southwest 3:30 - 6 pm

Flu Vaccine Clinic

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

3:30-6:00 p.m.
Southwest School – Cafeteria

Vaccination clinic for
All students, their families and school staff!
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year.

Vaccination for all is provided at no cost. If your family has health insurance, please bring insurance cards.

Funding for free flu vaccinations for uninsured children is provided by the
Kohl’s and Children’s Influenza Prevention Project for Kids.

Flu vaccinations administered by MVNA Registered Nurses.

A Laker’s Guide to Homecoming

WELCOME TO THE 2011 Homecoming Spirit Week!!

This week is a celebration of our school. We want everyone to participate and have a wonderful week. We hope this guide will help you make the best of these awesome opportunities to become a bigger part of your school community.

• Dress up in your favorite period gear! Whether you were a fan of Little House on the Prairie or dreamed of being in a MTV music video.

• Let loose and go crazy! Anything goes today.

• Breast Cancer Awareness Day Today is the day to embrace the wonderful color that is PINK and think about those who have been affected by this harsh disease.
• Ironman Volleyball Game…Junior Boys vs. Senior Boys at 7:30 p.m. in West Gym

THURDAY: September 29, PRIDE DAY
• Take pride in who you are and what you love. It may be your favorite sports team, your favorite food, a part of your heritage. Whatever you choose to share with us, take pride in it and show off who you are!

FRIDAY: September 30, LAKER DAY
• This is our day to come together as a school. We show our support for each other and we all dress in our school’s colors, purple and white.
• PEP FEST 2:00 PM A rousing hour of music, dance and school spirit!

• TALENT FEST 7:00PM Come see our school’s finest talents on display in a wonderful evening of entertainment.
o If you are interested in being in the talent fest talk to DAVE PREMACK or MR. PORTER!

• POWDERPUFF GAME 8:00 at Stadium. Junior vs. Senior Women’s Football Game
• PARADE at 11:00. Starts at Beard’s Circle, heads east on 46th, south on Xerxes, west on 50th, north on Abbott and ends at south side of the stadium. Get your sport, club or even a group of friends together and have a float in the parade to win a prize. Or, you can come out and watch all the wonderful and creative floats!
• GAME at 12:00 at Stadium. Southwest vs. North Come cheer the football team onto victory!
• DANCE at 7:00 – 10:00 at Medina Entertainment Center. 500 Highway 55, Medina, MN
The Homecoming Dance is at the Medina Ballroom this year. It begins at 7pm and make sure you don’t miss the favorite dance of the year! Tickets are $35 for singles and $65 for couples

Each day of the school week there will be a contest for Best Dressed. Judging will take place during both lunches and prizes will be awarded during pep fest.

Dance tickets go on sale on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 during the Lunches. POWERPACKS will be on sale while supplies last. A powerpack includes; a dance ticket, a game ticket, an ANCHOR ARMY t-shirt, and assorted coupons from local vendors.

Student Council

We are Southwest

5 am this morning the wake-up was the band!

In case you don’t have the WCCO links, here are two:

Big Game Tonight

Southwest versus Washburn
Under the lights - firsst time in the history of the school

Friday Night High School Football!

Tickets are selling and will be available at the stadium starting at 4 pm

Please be very careful asbout parking. Pay close attention to the various no parking restrictions throughout the neighborhood.

Please review with your family proper and fun behavior. We want this to be a fun family event.

Southwest Alumni in the News

Check out the good deeds of Southwest Alumni

Edwin Daniel he played football here in the late 80's

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Channel 4 Southwest Band 5 am. LIVE

Friday morning the SW Pep Band and Washburn Band will be playing live on WCCO-TV -- Channel 4

We’ll be coming to school at 5:00AM to play at each commercial break during the morning show through 7:00AM.

  Tune in at 5:15AM or when you get up to hear and watch us – great PR –hype-  for game of the week, Washburn vs Southwest HS Football Game!!

Keith Liuzzi
Instrumental Music

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pancake Breakfast Sunday Sept. 25

Volleyball Booster Club is hosting a Pancake Breakfast at Famous Dave's Linden Hills 4264 Upton Ave. S.

September 25
7 - 10 am

$10 per person.

Come out and support the Volleyball Team

MId-term on the way

We are now mid-way through the fourth week of school. That is almost half way through the first grading period. It does go quickly. Please check with your stduents about how they are doing. Encourage them to stay caught up.

Check attendance and assignments on Parent Portal. Make sure you sign on from time to time. If you experience difficulty signing on to Parent Portal call 612-668-3039 for assitance.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

SWConnecting Parents

Fantastic start to a six-week parent/family program. The exciting program is geared to families new to Southwest but is open to all. The topics include transcripts, life-plan, college admissions and funding, and supporting your child to be a success. Tonight was first night with about 160 in attendance. The food was goof. The panel was great. Lots of question and Hardy from Project Success was a delight leading the group on a flying lesson to the future.

Still time for you to register and attend. Next meeting is next Tuesday, September 27 starting at 6:30. Check out the web site for additional information.

Day 16 and some adjustments

Working as rapidly as possible we are making a few adjusments in classes. Will not involved lots of students but there is always some anxiety if it is one. We definitely do not make changes just for the sake of changes. This early in the year there should not be major problems.

In a couple cases it was moving an entire class from one teacher to another - easy move. In some other cases - US History and Governmentm - it means making some schedule changes. That was necessary due to numbers.

We believe we are finished except there may be some adjustments in Chemistry. We are still working on those numbers.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Open spaces still available-- Connecting Parents

Southwest Parent Connections Class - A class for 9th and 10th grade parents to help your students succeed.

6 Week curriculum beginning Tuesday, Sept 20t, Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Classes will be held at SWHS

The Curriculum we will be studying includes:
Understanding the Southwest High School system
How to support your student at home
 Ways to get involved at SWHS – for both the parent and student
Requirements needed to get into college, testing, etc
Higher education options and expectations for the future
College and financial aid

Ice Cream Tuesday 6-9 pm

Soccer Fundraiser September 20th
Tuesday, September 20th from 6:00 -9:00 pm the SWHS girls soccer program will receive 25% of all sales from Ben and Jerry's at Calhoun Commons.

All store items qualify - t-shirts, ice cream pints, ice cream cakes.  Supporters can also opt to purchase a gift certificate for a future Ben and  Jerry's Ice Cream Cake - a delicious layered cake with two different ice cream flavors with a layer of browning or cookies in the middle.   Get the Flyer Here!!

What I Know Now -- Share with others

Provide some help to those new to having teenagers and high school students.

Share your knowledge with other parents and help us create a list of Frequently Asked Questions

Respond to the Survey Monkey:  

"What I know now, that I wish I would have known then" -- and share your tidbits of knowledge

Start of Week Four

Into a routine finally. We are adding a few section to adjust but efew students will be effected. Enrollment has settled so for the majority of our students we have three solid weeks of school behind us.

At this point it is a matter of choices. I choose to be to class on time. I choose to complete my assignments. I choose to come to school prepared to learn. We are past the newness and getting back to the business at hand. S I trust all have made positive choices.

Also almost mid-term time. Generally the worst grading period of an entire school history is the freshman year. Then it is catch up fir the next 15 quarters. Let's make this a successful beginning.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Super Soccer Saturday Great Fun

It starts in the morning and goes on into the dark. It is one soccer game after another and in two locations. The opponent is South High School. This Saturday is South being the home team and next week end it is Southwest being the home team.

Normally there would be eight games but this year South does not have a C Women's team so there were only seven games. The majority of the games were at South Stadium with one set of Fort Snelling. There are raffles and games and food and prizes and sports gear and people. It is a great booster club event for both teams.

Next Saturday the all day event will be at Southwest. Come out and support Southwest Soccer.

Friday, September 16, 2011

End of Third Week

And so we finish another week. How the time flies! Almost mid-term time. Hopefully all are enjoying the excitement of learning and new friends and many new discoveries. All the wonders of high school.

Warmer temperatures are supposed to return on Monday. Has been very pleasant these days but still need to enjoy the warm weather as possible.

Sports are in full swing and clubs are just beginning to roll. Encourage your 9th graders to get involved. Much to do and there will be additional offerings throughout the year.

Have a great weekend. Get that homework done.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Southwest Connecting Parents! Six-Week Program

Southwest Connections

A class for 9th and 10th grade parents to help your students succeed

6 Week curriculum beginning Tuesday, Sept 20th

Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Classes will be held at SWHS

The Curriculum we will be studying includes:

Ø Understanding the Southwest High School system

Ø How to support your student at home

Ø Ways to get involved at SWHS – for both the parent and student

Ø Requirements needed to get into college: GPA, classes, testing, etc

Ø Higher education options and expectations for the future

Ø College and financial aid

Program in 3 languages, transportation and child care available, refreshments served

Register on-line at:

Become a Member Southwest PTSA

Southwest Parent Teacher Student Association

Become a member, sign up for the Directory, and get your name on the volunteer list all in one easy step.

Go to:

Great Parent Programs, Support the School and Get Involved!

Thank you

Tuesday, Sept. 20 -- Ice Cream!

Next Tuesday, September 20th from 6:00 -9:00 pm the SWHS girls soccer program will receive 25% of all sales from Ben and Jerry’s at Calhoun Commons.

All store items qualify – t-shirts, ice cream pints, ice cream cakes. Supporters can also opt to purchase a gift certificate for a future Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Cake – a delicious layered cake with two different ice cream flavors with a layer of browning or cookies in the middle!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day twelve - even dozen down

And the beat goes on. The homework has started. Parent Portal information is current within 10 school days of assignment. The first question should be directed to student. Most of the time the student is fully aware of what is missing. About the third time the excuse for missing assignment is the teacher lost it or the dog ate it, there might need to be a different discussion.

Attendance should be settled by now. If your student misses one period unexcused in a school day you receive an automatic telephone call that evening to the telephone number on file.

We are concerned about learning. Please talk to your student about coming to each class prepared - having homework, text material, something to write with and something to write on. Just showing up is an important first step but that is all. We need alertness, motivation and some concern about self.

School appears to be going well. It is exciting and a wonderful adventure.

Open House and great fun.

About a thousand people were in attendance at last night's 2011-12 Open House. Parents have a better feeling about passing time and trying to get through the halls from one end of the building to the other. Following the student's six period schedule was a bit of frustration and fun. The evening was explanation of various classes, brief meeting of teachers and chatting with other parents.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Open House Tonight

HOpefully the plans for the evening include stopping by Southwest and see what is happening in your child's class. We will have 10 minutes in each class to review the course and year's work. This is not a parent- teacher conference - that is in October.

Program starts at 6:30 pm with a VERY brief program in the auditorium. Then at 6:50 we move into the six periods.

If you son or daughter has a ZERO hour, that will be AFTER 6th period this evening.

Welcome Science Teacher

Due to a very late exit of a teacher from last year, we've had Teresa Rumppe doing double duty in a science class.

Now we are thrilled to announce the arrival of the replacement science teacher, Lona Tenpas. Coming from Buffalo, NY she is used to the snow and rapid changes in weather.

Please welcomd Lona to our school community.

Common Good of the Community

Interesting read:

How do we reach all children? Is testing the answer. A strong curriculum, solid instruction and a willing learner is what is needed.

How do we get the conversation back to what is a solid education for all children? HOw do we return to the focus of safe communities? How do we regain the respect and integrity of the neighborhood?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday- the hot day of the week

Off into week three. This is the 10th day of school and the start of week three. Open HOuse is Tuesday, tomorrow, Sept 13th. Before you know it we will be talking about the middle of the quarter and mid-terms.

The Parent Portal is open and up-to-date. Check out period by period attendance and the grades thus far. Now might be a time to have that conversation about how gerat you are doing in school or how to arrange for a study time in the evening.

9th grade science is doing a large lecture in the auditorium with teachers dressed in historical costumes. Might be a question for dinner tonight.

Today a high or 90 and tomorrow 50? Who would dream that up?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Super Soccer Saturday at Southwest

Super Soccer Saturday is fast approaching!
Saturday September 24th

This all-day soccer event at the SW Stadium is where Southwest’s soccer teams compete against the South High Tigers. It is also the biggest fundraiser of the year to benefit the Southwest Girl’s and Boy’s soccer programs.

Here’s the schedule:
Stadium Games
Varsity Boys – 7:00pm
Varsity Girls – 5:00pm
JV Boys – 3:00pm
JV Girls – 1:00pm
10th Grade Boys – 11:00am
10th Grade Girls – 9:00am

Armatage Games
9th Grade Boys – 11:00am
9th Grade Girls – 9:00am

Thank you for supporting the Southwest High School Soccer Program – Go Lakers!

Super Soccer Saturday at South is September 17th.

Parent Connections Class

Southwest Parent Connections Class - A class for 9th and 10th grade parents to help your students succeed.

6 Week curriculum beginning Tuesday, Sept 20th, Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Classes will be held at Southwest High School

The Curriculum we will be studying includes:
• Understanding the Southwest High School system
• How to support your student at home
• Ways to get involved at SWHS – for both the parent and student
• Requirements needed to get into college, testing, etc
• Higher education options and expectations for the future
• College and financial aid

Registration materials will be available at Open House on the 13th.

Tuesday Sept. 13 - Open House

Southwest’s Fall Open House is scheduled for
Tuesday, September 13 from 6:30 til 8:45 pm.

This is an opportunity for parents to have a glimpse into their student’s school day, visiting each class for 10 minutes. Paper schedules will be available at tables outside the auditorium. Student guides (Link Crew) will direct people around the building.

Program starts in the audidtorium at 6:30 pm and by 6:50 pm will be the start of first period. We have six periods 10 minutes long with 5 minutes in between periods. Zero period will be after 6th period for music families.

Tuesday, September 13 - 6:30 pm

Women's Hockey Fund Raiser Sept. 13

Chipotle Fundraiser
WHAT: A fundraising dinner for Minneapolis Novas Women's Hockey

WHEN: Tuesday, September 13, 5:00pm - 8:00pm

WHERE: Chipotle at Lake & Excelsior

HOW: Show the Chipotle flyer and 50% of the proceeds will benefit Minneapolis Novas Women's Hockey. You can download the flyer here

Support the Novas and be sure to invite all your friends for dinner at Chipotle on Tuesday, September 13th at the Chipotle at Lake Street & Excelsior Boulevard!

Reflections of a Dance Class

It occurs to me as I watch my 2nd hour Adv. Dance Class as they work with guest Carlton Dance Professor Jane Shockley this morning, how unusual dance is in many ways in education. It is so normal in my discipline to bring in experts in the field for a day to supplement the curriculum. In this case, for my MYP unit, I've chosen to bring Jane(who is an expert improviser and teacher of dance improv at Carlton) in as a formative assessment at the end of a two week unit on "improvisation".

An uncomfortable skill for me as a young dancer, it is something I value so much now and for my students-the ability to think on one's feet and make choices based on body knowledge and side coaching from the instructor. Listening to the language Jane uses, the music that sets the tone and the response of my students is what I am about this hour.

She brings some students into this quietude more than I , some less, but all are focused after two weeks deeper into themselves and less focused on their friends or their own self consciousness. I hope now their ability to resource a deeper movement vocabulary in their own choreography will become less scarey, more second nature. I see lots of arms and fewer level changes so I know I need to mine that deeper as the weeks go on. The running musical score that never needs to be tended to all hour is something I would like to make for myself. "Pause one minute" she says, "we are going to be diligent"- "you can do better". And they do and they are.

Colleen Callahan-Russell
Southwest Dance Teacher

Cell Phone in Class

If your senior comes home telling about using his/her cell phone in class today, that is a true statement. Modern technology has moved from the slide projector through TV and now is in the world of wireless.

Poll Everywhere is a free service that allow a teacher to prepare a series of questions with either multiple choice answers or open responses. The students then respond to the questions using their cell phone. Fast, convenient, major green and the novelty at least is exciting.

One of our senior English classes was doing a grammar review (remember how exciting that can be) and using this process. The students were engaged and challenged. The questions moved rapidly and the responses were almost instantaneous.

This is a new world for us and we continue to learn. Some parts of the room were better for sending messages than other parts. Thus, there must be some steel above that is interrupting the signal. As we go to more wireless the sending and receiving will have to be tested in every room.

Another exciting move forward.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Purple is school color but not of legs

I think purple is an attractive color worn right. It is historically regal and over the years is the color of kings and queens. The fact that it is the Southwest school color helps make it okay.

But the color of legs? I am only guessing that it is from an extreme sense of school pride that the shorts are so tight that the legs then become purple. Not that is dedication over and beyond the call of duty. Maybe for six or seven hours it may work but I think that over time the restriction of blood to the lower leg and feet will cause significant problems. I know what happens to pigs' tails when you tie them off. In a very short time the tail falls off.

You might check the children in the morning. Does it appear that their legs are a different color? Is it possible every week is not purple leg day at school? Maybe the feet need an exchange of blood once in a while.

I know that tomorrow I am going to make a serious fashion mistake. I am going to suggest that tummies and mid-drifts need to be covered. I think there are birthing nurses that have seen less skin of some of the children then we have. I know I am just on old fogey but we have pushed the fashion window too far.

Thankfuly the vast majority of our students understand the school is not a street corner and they dress appropriately. I do understand that today's fashions stress underwear and bare almost anything. But I suggest that is okay for parties on the weekends, the backyard and the privacy of your own home.

What is a good observation?

In the science world that is a critical question. Experiment after experiment rests on the strength of the observations. Thus, it is important our current learning science students and future career people know what that is.

So off the lake. A brisk walk to the lake with three classes of 9th grade Biology to review the trial and errors of observation. What is it that we all see and agree upon? What about of description is necessary? How do I put my observations into words, orally and printed that are free of opinions and pre-drawn conclusions?

What a beautiful day. Cooler temperatures, bright sun free from rain. This was the day to be scanning the water and shore to find the right words.

Marketing Intern

If you are interested in building your resume' and have some time on your hands, think about being the Southwest Public Relations/Marketing intern.

Writing, journalism skills would be helpful. First preference would be a college student or recent college graduate who needs some support and wants to development some experience.

If you know of someone, please email me.

Cool Start to Week Two

Nice way to start the second week. Much cooler temperatures than last week. The building is a bit more comfortable. Great Learning Weather!

Should be a fun week with all kinds of sports and continuing adventures.

Check out the Parent Portal for grades and attendance.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Busy weeks ahead

Hopefully this was a great first week of school for the entire family. The journey continues.

We will continue to make necessary adjustments this week. We want student in the correct level of classes. We want to challenge each student but we also do not want to set students up for failure. We are in good shape with class sizes except for about four. In the top level world languages there is not much to be done but it has been that way forever. All the rest of the classes except for the four others are running between. 35-38. There will be exceptions. 9th grade classes, special education and ESL classes are smaller.

We started identifying academic struggling students this passed Friday. You may get a telephone call encouraging your support. We want students to be success from the start. Homework should be happening. It wil not be a regular every day in every class but within a week your son or daughter has an assignment in every class. These are meaningful practice exercises or assignments. Homework is important.

If you have questions please contact your student's counselor or Assistant Principal. This is going to be another fantastic school year.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Chipotle Fundraiser Nova Women's Hockey

Chipotle Fundraiser
WHAT: A fundraising dinner for Minneapolis Novas Women's Hockey
WHEN: Tuesday, September 13, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
WHERE: Chipotle at Lake & Excelsior
HOW: Show the Chipotle flyer and 50% of the proceeds will benefit Minneapolis Novas Women's Hockey.

You can download the flyer here

Support the Novas and be sure to invite all your friends for dinner at Chipotle on Tuesday, September 13th at the Chipotle at Lake Street & Excelsior Boulevard!

Register for SW Parent Connections Calss

Southwest Parent Connections Class - A class for 9th and 10th grade parents to help your students succeed.

6 Week curriculum beginning Tuesday, Sept 20t, Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Classes will be held at SWHS

The Curriculum we will be studying includes:
• Understanding the Southwest High School system
• How to support your student at home
• Ways to get involved at SWHS – for both the parent and student
• Requirements needed to get into college, testing, etc
• Higher education options and expectations for the future
• College and financial aid

email interest to Joan - Volunteer Coordinator or Assistant Principal Dawn Reilley

First Friday is a Success

The neighbors might not have appreciated all the excitment but the pep band was lead teh charge. In an hour and an half we had a grand community picnic.

All the clubs and sports were recruiting students and showing off their projects and products. The robot was all over the place. students handed out hand bills and information regarding choices and opportunities.

First Friday and the last day of the first week in school. Great party and wonderful students.

Lots of parents volunteered to cook and serve and sort recycling. It was truely a community event that could not happen with the support of a great many people.

A Little Heat A Little Rain - What Can You Do

Heat is not the problem today. It is first Friday and also Picture Day!

First long weekend coming up. Lots of activities over the weekend and the last days of the State Fair.

First Friday is to introduce the students to clubs and activities and encourage their involvement. Hopefully we have some fun also.

Great start to the school year.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hot but doable

The day has been hot and humid. Students and staff held up well in spite of it. That may be due to the prediction of cooler days the rest of the week.

Generally another great day. Kids in class, education happening.