Friday, November 29, 2013

Changing High School Schedules

For years we have observed the agricultural rules for making a school calendar and schedules.  Why does the calendar and clock have to be restrictions?

Are you interested in exploring options and opportunities?  We are forming the Southwest Secondary Options task force which is exploring scheduling options for the coming school year - 2014-15.  There are many possibilities.  The Go-Cards increased opportunities for students and made school times non-dependent on the yellow school buses.

We are exploring what a college-type schedule for seniors and maybe juniors would look like.  One that allows for more flexibility.  As we explore opportunities for internships and other work experiences for our students, a more flexible schedule would be helpful.  Many of our students currently have jobs and other after school events and leaving school earlier or arriving later could be helpful.

If you are interested in exploring the opportunities, please email me.  We will be meeting a couple times prior to winter break.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Check Your Book Shelf for Books to Share

Have you already finished that great read?  Thinking about what to do with that wonderful book?

Why not add it to our hallway book shelf for students.  Take it and Trade it is almost empty.  Your book donation with enable others to enjoy the adventures.

Bring in your books for our hallway shelf.

Chipotle Fundraiser for Girls Gymnastics Dec. 5th

Chipotle Fundraiser for Girls Gymnastics

Show your team spirit and join us for a fundraiser to support the Southwest High School Gymnastics Team. Just come into the Calhoun Commons Chipotle, 3040 Excelsior Boulevard, on Thursday December 5th, from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, and bring in the flier, show it on your smartphone or tell the cashier and 50% of the proceeds from your purchase will be donated to the team.    This includes gift cards, perfect for the holidays!


Show your team spirit by joining us for a fundraiser to
support the Southwest High School Gymnastics. Just
come into the Calhoun Commons Chipotle on

December 5th

, from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, and bring in
this flyer, show it on your smartphone or tell the cashier
and 50% of the proceeds will be donated to the team.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happenings BySouthwest Community Education

Southwest Community Education Updates
  • Winter Quarter Classes, Swimming Program & Recreation Trips - Classes start the week ofJanuary 27
  • Recreation Trips:  Cross-country skiing & snowshoeing to Kathio State Park – Feb. 1, National Forest Lodge Feb. 8-10, Grand Marais Feb. 14-16.
Southwest Green Team:
  • Won two grants to beautify the Courtyard this spring with natural wildflowers and bushes.
  • Is working on environmental food issues & concerns this year with an emphasis on eating healthy.  They will be conducting 3 food shelf drives and working with Feed My Starving Children.
  • Will be touring the Metropolitan Waste Water Plant on December 2nd, to learn about water treatments.
  • Will have guest speakers addressing issues of Fracking & water pollution issues.
  • Is working to raise additional monies to purchase two more state-of-the art water fountains for the Southwest East & West Gyms.
Southwest Study Buddies  25 Southwest Students are tutoring children either at lake Harriet Upper Campus on Thursdays, or Lake Harriet Lower Campus on Mondays.  Students can earn Community Service hours for this help.  The tutoring is offered on a quarterly basis – Fall, Winter, and/or Spring.  Students can apply for tutoring in the Community Education Office.
Driver’s Education Classes.
·      The next available classes start on December 2-19, or February 3-20.
·      The class meets Monday-Thursday3:15-6:15 p.m.  Cost:  $125
·      Register in the Community Education classes.

Free Women & Girls Self-defense classes (*girls must be 12 years old or older)

ACT & PSAT Prep Classes

Southwest Club News

Japanese Culture Club
Meets Wednesdays from 3:05 to 4:30 in Room 219.  If you are interested in Japanese Culture, Japanese movies, and J-Quiz, please join us.

Chess Club - Room 33Wednesdays from 3:00-4:30 -  Questions?   Contact Mr. Balson

Break Dance Club  Absolutely no experience necessary!  Join us in the link Mondays and Wednesdays 3:15 – 4:30.  Questions?  See Ms. Valdez in room 109

GSA - Gay Straight Alliance
Meets 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, 3:15 to 4:30, East Building Room #110

Political Activism Club:
A place to talk with your peers about current issues and how to engage in the political process.  Grassroots activism. We meet every third Tuesday in Room 34. Interested? Email Ms. Rittler

Southwest Winter Concert Dec. 16 Save The Date

Winter Concert at the Basilica of St. Mary - 

Tickets are available at the door.  

Come out and hear the Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Guitar Ensemble and Choirs.

Yearbooks On Sale Now Online

Yearbook On Sale
Yearbooks can be ordered online.  They will be delivered in the spring.

A Southwest yearbook for your student is a great holiday and special events gift!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jake Sullivan Off to Iran and 1991 Alumni Southwest

updated 11/24/2013 12:37:28 AM ET

Key figures in the secret U.S.-Iranian nuclear talks:
—President Barack Obama: Making good on a promise in his first inaugural to "extend a hand" to countries like Iran, Obama authorizes secret, one-on-one contacts between American and Iranian officials after the release of two American hikers from an Iranian prison in September 2011.
Obama then taps Burns as one of two men to meet with the Iranians in secret this year.

Deputy Assistant to the President Jake Sullivan, 1991 Graduate of Southwest High School

—Jake Sullivan, deputy assistant to the president and national security adviser to the vice president: Still in his 30s, Sullivan is a rising star of U.S. foreign policy. After serving as a Senate aide, the former Rhodes scholar joins Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and then follows her to the State Department, rising to policy planning chief in 2011. When Clinton leaves government in February, Sullivan moves over to the White House to become Vice President Joe Biden's national security adviser. Shortly after, Obama entrusts him with co-leading the Oman mission.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Abstract Portraits - This Month's Student Art Show

Abstract Portraits
Beginning Art Design

This month's student art show in the commons.

Periodically, the art is change to showcase the outstanding talent of many of our students.  Next time in the building, check on the art in the commons and throughout the building,

Begining is spelt incorrectly to catch your attention.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Your Financial and Tax Deductible Support Needed and Appreciated

If you missed the opportunity to donate to the Southwest Foundation during the Give to the Max day, you still have time to make that tax deductible contribution prior to the end of the 2013 year.
Community members support Southwest Foundation with gifts over $6,000.  A GREAT BIG thank you to those fantastic, wonderful community members.
We need your support!
Meeting the educational needs of all children requires a village - in spirit, in body and in money.
Every dollar supports a student's dream.  Southwest provide a quality educational program for all its students.  Such an efforts is challenging and requires dedication, efforts and finances.
You can contribute to the future of your community and city.
Send your tax-deductible contribution to Southwest Foundation, 3414 47th Street West, 55410.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Crucible Opens Thursday Nov. 21 Curtain at 7:00 pm

The Crucible cast never far from the books -- A Great Play, Great Cast, Great Crew and director by fantastic people

The Crucible -- Curtain at 7:00 pm
Thursday, Friday and Saturday
November 21- 24, 2013

Sunday curtain at 2:00 pm

Make time in your schedule to see this famous drama from a challenging part of American history.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Southwest Grad - Class of 1994 - Presidential Potential

Hillary Clinton jokes about ‘future president’

Jake Sullivan, Southwest Class of 1994
Director of Policy Planning

(Jim Watson - AFP/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton is not running for president. Nope, she’s said. Not happening.
Wait, was that a wink?
The secretary of state, who has repeatedly said she’d like to spend the next chapter of her life out of the political limelight, maybe as a professional grandmother, on Thursday joked about her status as the most speculated-about potential 2016 candidate.
Clinton regaled the audience of a conference sponsored by the Foreign Policy Group and the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning with a story about Jake Sullivan, director of policy planning. She indicated that he had presidential potential himself: “I told my husband about this incredibly bright rising star – Rhodes Scholar, Yale Law School – and my husband said, ‘Well, if he ever learns to play the saxophone, watch out.’ ”
That got some yuks.
Then she delivered the killer line. “Now we travel all over the world together and people say how excited they are to meet a potential future president of the United States, and of course they mean Jake,” she deadpanned to the crowd’s laughter.
Can we take that as a “maybe”?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Southwest Debate Henry Aoki Top Varsity Speaker in Stillwater Tournament

The Southwest Debate team traveled to the Stillwater Debate Tournament Saturday.  Thirty-two SW debaters joined with over 350 other high school debaters representing over 25 schools from throughout Minnesota.
Henry Aoki was named the number one outstanding Varsity Debater of the entire tournament.
The debate team is comprised of two team members.  Each team  debates in four rounds of debate with four other high school teams as opponents.  The team debates two rounds supporting the affirmative and two rounds supporting the negative.
Congratulations Henry and the entire Southwest Debate Team.

Juniors Practice and Prepare for ACT Nov. 18 & 19

On Tuesday, November 19th,  Juniors be taking a preliminary ACT with Writing test at Southwest.
This test will be a full-length, unofficial retired ACT test that will offer students and parents feedback on future ACT test prep needs and a baseline idea of ACT performance as they begin college searches. 

Unofficial, baseline composite and subject areas scores should be available before winter break.  Tuesday’s ACT will also include an unofficial writing section, for student practice and preparation for future official ACT with Writing tests. Students are assigned to take the ACT in the East Gym and in specific classrooms in the West Building and will report to these areas first thing on Tuesday morning.

  Students need to have a couple of non-mechanical #2 pencils, a calculator (not on cell phone), and their Student Photo ID.   

On Tuesday, March 18th, 2014, MPS is providing an official ACT without writing test for all Juniors during the school day.  This test will be administered at Southwest and will provide students with official ACT test scores that can be submitted to colleges to satisfy admission requirements. 

Additional test information preparation resources for this official ACT test in March will be coming to you in the upcoming months. 

Funding provided by the generous support of our community members and the Southwest Foundation

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Class of 2017 IB Diploma Candidates Info Meeting

November 19 IB Parent Meeting
The next IB Parent meeting on Tues. Nov. 19. at 7 pm in the Media Center is for parents of 9thgraders.  What does your student need to be doing now to be on track for whatever their involvement in the IB program will be?  Come with questions.

Pre-ACT PLAN exam Nov. 19

Tuesday morning, November 19th all grade 10 students will have the opportunity to take the Pre-ACT PLAN exam.  All students will report the west gym as soon as they arrive to school.  It is best if students leave their backpacks in their lockers.  Students should look for their assigned seats alphabetically via posted cards on the exam tables.

Academic preparation for this exam is not required, but mental preparation is essential.  As in any exam, being well rested and properly nourished are key.  Students should bring with them multiple sharpened #2 pencils and a calculator. Counselors will be interpreting the results of the PLAN to both students and parents after the winter break.  If you have any questions, please contact your student’s counselor. 
A-E:  Juli Montgomery
F-K    Jean Sherwood 
L-Q:  George Mountin
R-Z:  Janelle Vogel      
George Mountin
Counselor L-Q
Southwest High School

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gymnastics Team Season Kick-off November 18 at 6 pm

Gymnastics Team Season Kick-off Potluck Supper and Information Meeting for athletes and parents.
It will take place on Monday, November 18th at 6:00 PM in the Southwest lunchroom. We'll go over practice and meet schedules, rules and expectations, and do introductions. All gymnasts are expected to attend and have at least one parent in attendance.

You'll be able to ask questions, meet teammates and parents, order gear, learn about volunteer opportunities, and meet the coaching staff.  We are looking forward to another fun season!

Potluck assignments are:  Freshmen: Bring Main Dishes.   Sophomores: Bring Desserts and Napkins.    Juniors:  Bring Salads and plastic forks/spoons.   Seniors & Captains: Bring Drinks)

If you have questions, you may contact the head coach, Claire Kurschner at

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Give to the Max Nov. 14th Southwest Needs Your Support

Have you ever atttended a community education class?  Has you son or daughter participated in the Super Summer Program?  Has your son or daughter ever played a sport at Southwest, or an instrument, or sing, be in a play or musical or paint?  Has your wonderful child ever found a reason to be excited about coming to school and being with friends.  Did your son or daughter recieve a scholarship?  Or maybe a great opportunity during the summer of over seas?

Southwest receives the LOWEST per pupil funding of any high school in the city.

Without your financial support, quality educational opportunities are not possible.
Calling all Southwest Parents, Alumni and Friends!  A reminder to Give To The Max this Thursday, November 14th, in support of our Southwest students!  

Give To The Max is the state-wide day of online giving and it's an easy, effective and successful way to support academics, the arts and athletics at Southwest High School.

Your gift is the fuel that drives our kids dreams and these dreams are important! Please consider a gift in any amount to Southwest High School this year.  Every dollar is a dream!

Please give generously: DONATE HERE

Who Is The Southwest Foundation?

The Southwest Foundation works with Southwest High School and alumni to create an exceptional experience for all Southwest students.   We raise money to support excellence in academics, athletics and the arts.  By supporting the work of the Southwest Foundation, you help foster academic achievement, cultivate quality artistic and athletic opportunities and provide scholarships to support the post-secondary pursuits of our graduating seniors.  Your gift makes all good things possible!

Thanks for your support of our outstanding school, students and community!

100% of the gift is tax deductible and recurring gifts are welcome!


And the Arts Remain Fine at Southwest

Thursday, Nov 7 – Jazz and Band Concert

Monday, Nov. 11 – Choir Concert

Thursday, Nov. 12 – Orchestra and Guitar Concert


Great Performance and wonderful family nights out.  There are over 500 Southwest students involved in the music program. Come out and support our students and families.  And they are great fun!


Tonight, Nov. 13  Black Box Unhinged Theater Company presents – The Importance Being Ernest.  Another great family entertainment and support students opportunity.  Plays through Saturday, November 16 with curtain at 7 pm
Save the Date -- The Crucible
Thursday November 21 through matinee on Sunday the 24th at 2 pm.
There are over 250 students involved in theater at Southwest.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Southwest Sploken Word on KBEM 88.5 FM 8 pm tonight

Southwest Spoken Word students will be highlighted on a radio documentary tonight at 8 PM on KBEM 88.5 FM.  Please listen and pass the word.

Caroline Hooper
NBCT Social Studies
Southwest High School

MPLS Levy Update Publc Meeting Dec. 10 at Davis Center starting at 6 pm

A levy helps fund important educational programs and services that are not fully funded by the state.

MPS is committed to using its levy authority to meet the needs of present and future students and to only levy for what schools need. We are proposing no increase in the school district levy for property taxes payable in 2014. The school district currently levies for $172.4 million. Taxpayers would see no change on the school district levy for 2014.

A public meeting on the proposed levy 

When:   Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 6:00 p.m. 

Where:  Davis Center, 1250 W. Broadway Ave., 55411

 View the presentation from the August 27 town hall meeting with Board of Education directors and stakeholders.

Project Success Information

For Students
Project Success - Dreams to Action


Who We Are  Project Success is a youth-development organization that works with nearly 12,000 students in 16 MInneapolis and St. Paul public schools each year to help them develop important life skills.
What We Do  Project Success motivates and inspires young people to dream about the future, helps them take steps to get there and gives them the tools they need to achieve their goals.
Student Testimonials
"Project SUCCESS was the first 'group of people' that made me put my goals on paper and made them a lot more realistic for me."
"I enjoyed the books for looking at careers. That really motivated me."
"I actually took it into my own hands and changed my future."
"It's fun, informational, and gives us a chance to make our own decisions for our future."
MPS schools with Project Success - Anne Sullivan, Anwatin, Edison, Jefferson, Marcy, North, NE Middle School, Olson, Patrick Henry, Roosevelt, Sanford, South, Southwest, Washburn
To learn more go to:

Native America Family Involvement Day Nov. 21

 Native American Family Involvement Day
November 21, 2013


Native American Family Involvement Day 
November 21, 2013
Be Present  Be Heard  Be Strong
Minneapolis Public Schools
                        Indian Education
Since 2006, MPS has celebrated NAFID across the school district to recognize Native American culture and the involvement of Native parents. Families are invited to participate in events to celebrate the contributions of Native American people.  School staff and parent leaders come together to create how their school site wants to celebrate on this day.
Please visit: for more information
Contact: 612-668-0612

Area C Parent Meeting Nov. 20 starting at 6 pm at Washburn

Area C Meeting 
 Wednesday, November 20 - Washburn High School


Area C Parent and Community Meeting
 Wednesday, November 20 6-8p.m.
Washburn HIgh School - 201 West 49th Street
Agenda Topics 
  • The State of Area C Schools - hear how we're doing
  • Enrollment Plan - what we learned from Area C parent and community members, the plan moving forward 
with a timeline
What would you like to discuss or learn more about?
Let us know.
Childcare provided for ages 3 & up  |  interpreters available
Questions?  call  Gael Ellis 612-382-0546 or 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Attendance Matters

There is nothing new able the idea of being able to play the IF you show up.   The statistics and research on attendance repeat that idea.   95% daily attendance to class/school improves the grade by 40%.  The numbers are awesome.   The difference in grades between a student attending 85% and 95% of the time are significant.  If one wanted to start with one thing that can help grades and academic success, start with getting to class every day.

Naturally, being prepared, paying attention, being on time, and study are important and drastically improve academic success.  Just staying home a day here and there, skipping a class and just not showing up hamper student success.  The Parent Portal lists daily attendance by period.  There is no need to wait on that robocall to tell families that someone is gone that day.

Too many students are taking the "easy" way out and wasting important events in lives.  What we do or do not do today has tremendous effects on our futures.

10 graders ACT PLAN Test Nov. 19

Who:  All SWHS grade 10 students
What:  Preliminary ACT PLAN exam
When:  8:30 a.m.-Tuesday November 19th
Where:  SWHS West Gym
Why:    Practice doesn’t always make perfect, but the PLAN can help you understand the “real ACT” format and content, leading to potential improvement in tested areas and understanding your strengths/weaknesses.

English:                    50 Questions-30 minutes (Punctuation, Grammar and Rhetorical Skills)Mathematics:           40 Questions-40 minutes (Pre-Algebra, Elementary Algebra, Coordinate and Plane Geometry)
Reading:                25 Questions-20 minutes (Prose Fiction, Social Sciences, Humanities)
Science:                 30 Questions-25 minutes (Data Representation, Research Summaries, Conflicting Viewpoints)

If you have questions at any time, please contact your student’s alphabet counselor:
A-E:  Juli Montgomery
F-K    Jean Sherwood 
L-Q:  George Mountin
R-Z:  Janelle Vogel      
Registration IS NOT required for this exam. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pre-ACT the PLAN test November 19

10th grade students will be taking the practice ACT (Pre-ACT PLAN) test on Tuesday, November 19th at SWHS

This coming Tuesday, November 5th, the counselors will be completing some preliminarytest day activities in 10th grade Social Studies classes prior to the actual exam given on November 19th

Included in this are:  High School Course Plans, Educational Plans after High School, Self Reported Needs Assessment, and the ACT Career Interest Inventory. 


The counselors will meet with students after the Winter Holiday Vacation to go over their actual test scores and the variousother parts of the exam reported by students.  We will also have information sessions for parents in the future.    More detailed information about the ACT-PLAN can be found at:

If you have questions at any time, please contact your student’s alphabet counselor:

Southwest Wrestling, Gymnastics, Softball and Swim Intro Meetings

Wrestling Team Season Kick-off  Potluck Supper and Information Meeting for athletes and parents.

Southwest Cafeteria, Monday, November 11th at 6:00 pmNew and returning wrestlers are welcome!

You'll be able to ask questions, meet teammates and parents, order gear, learn about volunteer opportunities, and meet the coaching staff.

We are looking forward to another exciting wrestling season!

If you have questions, you may contact booster club president Martha Kaiser at

Gymnastics Team Season Kick-off Potluck Supper and Information

Meeting for athletes and parents. It will take place on Monday, November 18th at 6:00 PM in the Southwest lunchroom. We'll go over practice and meet schedules, rules and expectations, and do introductions. All gymnasts are expected to attend andhave at least one parent in attendance.

You'll be able to ask questions, meet teammates and parents, order gear, learn about volunteer opportunities, and meet the coaching staff.  We are looking forward toanother fun season!

If you have questions, you may contact the head coach, Claire Kurschner at


Softball Informational Meeting for Parents and Players - November 13th

Interested in playing softball this spring?  The softball team will have an informational meeting Wednesday, November 13th and 6pm in the SWHS cafeteria.  More information?  Contact

Boys Swim and Dive - old and new parents

Come meet the coaches and other swim and dive parents and hear about what to expect for the season.

November 17, from 6.30 to 8.30 at 4897 Lake Harriet Parkway East, the home of Malcolm Smith one of the captains.