Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday and School is OPEN

Another great day for learning.  Southwest High School and all the Minneapolis schools are open today.  Be careful driving and walking.

Many side streets snow filled and slippery.  Many sidewalks are snow covered and slippery.  Take extra time to drive and walk.  Falling can be dangerous.

Please drop off and pick up student on east and north sides of the building. 

The hill and many side streets around the school are narrow and snow covered.  Piles of snow at corners make stopping and starting uncertain.  Be careful out there.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow and More Snow - Slippery Conditions

The sun is out and snow is melting from the tree branches.  The city is out trying to make a dent in the over 6 inches of snow that fell quickly this morning.

Conditions of the streets and walks around the school are slippery and dangerous.

Parents/ caring family members -- PLEASE, please make arrangements pick up of your students (and friends) after 3:30 or on the North side of the building.  47th and Chowen are narrow and clogged with walkers, METRO buses and parked cars.

Take extra time and be safe.

One-Act Interlopers - On To State!

SWHS made it through the first round of the State Competition for One Acts this past Saturday!
The stduents and cast members will compete this Saturday, Feb. 1, in the Section Tournament of the State Competition.
There will be six high schools competing, 9:30 am- 3:00 pm, at Holy Angels High School (66th and Nicollet Ave. S).
Southwest has the first performance at 9:30 am.
Come support Southwest Theatre!
The public is invited and it is FREE.
Congratulations Southwest Theatre! The Interlopers, by Gary Lennon, directed by John Lynn.

YES School is in Session on Regular Hours

Thursday, January 30 the Minneapolis School and Southwest High School is open and ready for learning!

The roads and sidewalks are very snowy and slippery.  Please, be very careful walking and driving.

The hill coming up to school 47th is snow covered and very, very slippery.  Use alternate routes well possible.

Please, be careful.  Watch were you are driving and watch were you are walking.  Parking your car around school is going to be difficult.  Plan on extra time to find a legal spot and then extra time to walk.

Make this a safe snowy Minnesota day!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

School s ON!

We are here, the doors are open and we are ready for the learning action to begin again!

Be careful of slippery surfaces - streets and sidewalks.  As the warmer temperatures arrive so does the surface melt and the slipping and sliding.  Be cafeful when driving and walking.

We will keep you posted on rescheduled activities.  Lots happening and we will keep you informed.

Have a great week and be safe.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

At this Moment - We Are Having School as Usual on Wednesday

Come prepared and ready to regain a sense of routine and excitement.  It appears with the blue skies and the sun shinning, we will have school on Wednesday January 29. 

Please listen to radio and TV for any change in developments.

We are excited to be back into learning.  We are glad that you are ready to hit the books for three days this week.  We have to fit five days of learning in three day and know you can do it.

Surprise, surprise - We are going back to school -- as of this moment.

School Activities Being Rescheduled Check Web Site

The school closing over the past couple days have wrecked havoc on the schedule of sports and other activities.  Our Athletic Director and various activity directors are working to find dates and times to reschedule where possible.  Check with your coach or activities director for exact time and dates of changed activities.

For spectators - make sure you check the schedules to make sure there has not been a change in time or location of previously scheduled activities.  One change begins to influence the entire process.

Hot Notes! February 1 with Great Gatherings

You're invited to Hot Notes on a Cold Night
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You won't want to miss these truly
great get-togethers. And every
penny supports SWHS music education.


Saturday, March 22

Private Capitol Tour with Speaker of the House Paul Thissen

Learn an insider’s perspective on the legislative
process while you take in the stunning marble dome,
statues, hand-painted ceilings, and visit the
House floor of the Minnesota People’s House.
$20 per person (for up to 10 guests)


Saturday, April 12

Live Music and Dancing at the Young Walser Home Pub!

Join Julie Young & Bob Walser and Caroline & Andy Vaaler
for homebrew on tap, banjo and accordion music,
sea shanties, Appalachian clogging, and more!
$25 per person (for up to 30 guests)


Thursday, April 24

An Intimate Concert with Cellists Tony Ross and Beth Rapier

Exquisite music, delicious appetizers and wine at
the Kenwood home of Lindsay and Laura Paine.
$50 per person (for up to 40 guests)


Saturday, May 17

Swanky Sing Along at the Gorney/Flory Piano Lounge

Nye’s-style sing-along with SWHS vocalists and John Lynn’s
superb piano stylings, with beverages and hors d’oeuvres.
$15 per person (for up to 50 guests)


Saturday, May 31

Ooh La la French Dinner & Jazz at Maison Spring

Authentic French dinner prepared by Talin Spring and Co.
with music by the Southwest Jazz Trio:
Nina Spring, Aidan Sponheim, and Emmett Sponheim.
$40 per person (for up to 10 guests)



Sign up for Great Gatherings
when you come to Hot Notes!
Haven't bought your tickets yet?
Go to

Hot Notes on a Cold Night Cabaret
February 1, 2014
7:00-10:30 p.m.
St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church
3450 Irving Ave. S.


Monday, January 27, 2014

First speech Tournament of New Season

The Speech Team had its first meet this last weekend and things started off on a very good note. The kids had to be at the SW parking lot at 6:30 am to take a long ride to Dassel Cokato (not the end of the world, but you can see it from there).  

The buses were late and we got there with only seconds to spare. The team jumped right into action and I had a multitude of comments speaking to the absolute professionalism of the team (they sure didn't get it from me-so thank you to the staff that has obviously instilled this capability). 

The individuals that won medals are as follows:
Lily Ren took 1st in Extemp (a very difficult category)
Piper Shatz Akin took 2nd in Humor (missing 1st by a point)
Geneva Larche took 5th in the Humor
Fatima Ahmad and Sarah Kate Stone took 3rd and 4th place, respectively, in Informative.
Henry Aoki too 3rd place (just missed 1st and second by a hair) in Original Oratory (another tough category)

The team, as a whole, did very well, especially considering the amount of new people we have. As always, we have much to be proud of with our students and their ability to represent our school in the grandest ways possible.

Dan Ferris
Speech Coach

English Teacher

Minneapolis & Southwest Closed Tuesday Jan. 28

MPS schools will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 28, due to extremely cold temperatures. This closure will affect all MPS schools, programs and activities, including all Minneapolis Community Education programs and the Minneapolis Kids school age child care program.

 To make up some of the instructional days missed due to weather this year, classes at MPS will be in session on Friday, Feb. 14, and Friday, March 28. These dates were previously scheduled record keeping and parent conference days. We are working with MFT to identify time for these activities to happen. More information will be forthcoming once a decision has been made. We are communicating these make-up dates to families now so they can plan accordingly.

Southwest Speech Team Opening Award Winners

Left to right:

Henry Aoki 3rd Original Oratory
Geneva Larche 5th Humorous Interpretation
Sarah-Kate Stone 4th Informative Speaking
Lily Ren 1st Extemporaneous Speaking
Erika Zalk 4th Storytelling
Fatima Ahmed 3rd Informative Speaking
Piper 2nd Humorous Interpretation
 Not pictured:  Piper Shatz-Akin
The Southwest Speech team opened the 2014 season with numerous award winners.  The initial entry was small and only a portion of the entire 2014 Speech Team.  Numerous activities and other commitments forced some members away.  This is the beginning of the season and many yet to come.
Congratulations Speech Team Award Winners!
Part of the 2014 Southwest Speech Team

"My Favorite Teacher" Barnes & Noble Contest



Pete Richie

Community Relations Manager

Barnes and Noble Calhoun Village

3216 W. Lake Street, Minneapolis MN 55416

(612) 922-3238


Middle & High School Students Nominate Their Teachers

Winners to be Awarded $5,000 Cash Prizes, NOOK® eReaders and More

Minneapolis 1/27/2013 - Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), one of the nation’s largest booksellers and the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, announced the start of the 2014 “Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher Contest.”  The Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher program provides middle and high school students with the opportunity to tell their communities how much they appreciate their teachers.  Teachers from grades 1 through 12 are eligible for nomination.  Awards include cash prizes for the teachers and schools, NOOKs and more.  The contest is  broken down into local and regional winners, from which the Barnes & Noble Teacher of the Year will be chosen. 


Middle and high school students can nominate their teacher by writing essays, poems or thank you letters that share how their teacher has influenced their life and why they appreciate and admire their teacher.  Participating schools collect the essays and submit them to the Calhoun Village Barnes & Noble store for consideration.  Entries will be judged on the compelling nature of the teacher’s qualities, the sincerity of the student’s appreciation and the quality of expression and writing. 


The local winning teacher will be recognized at an event at the Calhoun Village Barnes & Noble at 3216 West Lake Street where they will receive a special award acknowledging their achievement and additional recognition and praise from their community. The student who wrote the winning essays or poems will receive a certificate of recognition and will be honored at the Calhoun Village store during a ceremony for the winning teacher. 


The winning teacher from MInneapolis will be entered into the regional contest.  Each regional winner will receive a NOOK and a $500 Barnes & Noble Gift Card.   From the pool of regional winners, Barnes & Noble will name one teacher the Barnes & Noble National Teacher of the Year.  The winning teacher will receive $5,000 and the title of “My Favorite Teacher.”  The winner will be recognized at a special community celebration at their local Barnes & Noble store.  The winning teacher’s school will receive $5,000.


“The Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher Contest is just one more way for Barnes & Noble and the community to recognize how important teachers can be in their students’ lives,” said Pete Richie Community Relations Manager.  “A gesture as simple and pure as a child writing kind words about their teacher and reading it aloud to them at a My Favorite Teacher celebration often prompts tears among many involved.  A bookstore is much like a school-both are places of learning and aspirations. And Barnes & Noble has always supported education through our Bookfairs, and B&N Educator Program, offering educators 20% off all purchases for classroom use and 25% on classroom and personal purchases during the Barnes & Noble Educator Appreciation Weeks.  The B&N@School section in our stores provides educational tools for parents, teachers and librarians.”


The Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher ends March 1, 2014.  Only middle and high school students and active teachers employed in elementary, middle or high schools in the United States are eligible to win.  More details on the contest rules can be found at <>.


Students who want to participate should submit their essay or poem to Pete Richie at the Calhoun Village Barnes and Noble by March 1, 2014. 


About Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) is a Fortune 500 company and the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products.  The company operates 673 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s largest e-commerce sites, ( <>).  Its NOOK Media LLC subsidiary is a leader in the emerging digital reading and digital education markets.  The NOOK digital business offers award-winning NOOK® products and an expansive collection of digital reading and entertainment content through the NOOK Store® ( <>), while Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC operates 695 bookstores serving over 4.6 million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States. Barnes & Noble is proud to be named a J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Customer Service Champion and is only one of 50 U.S. companies so named.  Barnes & is ranked the number one online retailer in customer satisfaction in the book, music and video category and a Top 10 online retailer overall in customer satisfaction according to ForeSee E-Retail Satisfaction Index (Spring Top 100 Edition).


General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company's corporate website: <>.

# # #

Barnes & Noble #2516

3216 West Lake Street

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55416

612-922-3238 (Phone)

612-922-3831 (Fax)

Celebrate Native American Student Success - Nominate a Scholar

The Indian Education Department is calling for nominations for High Five through 12thgrade Native American students within the Minneapolis Public Schools who have demonstrated high achievement during the first semester of school.  A Native Student Achievement Celebration is being planned for Wednesday, Feb. 19, at South High School.

 Join us to celebrate the success of our High Five through 12th grade Native students.  We are asking MPS staff to nominate students who excel in a variety of areas. Minneapolis Public Schools has many Native students who are performing above and beyond what is considered average performance. We also have students who are involved in many extracurricular activities (sports, cultural activities, arts, community service, etc.) that add to a students experiences in preparation for college. We also have students who are performing well given extraordinary personal circumstances. These students come every day and put forth their best effort. They, too, indicate potential future success in postsecondary education.  As MPS staff, you work with our students every day and have knowledge about student performance in many of these areas. We ask that you nominate students for awards. The brief nomination form can be accessed online.

 Nominations will be accepted through Jan. 31.  If you have any questions, feel free to email, or call Marie, district program facilitator, 668.0614.

 Tami Johnson, M.A., Ed. S.

Licensed School Counselor                                                             

Indian Education Counselor/College PREP coordinator

Cold Temperatures Bring new Opportunities

Looking for something to do on this cold and cloudy day.  Read a book - go to the library - write a letter/email to friends and family - review class assignments from last week - enjoy the time together with friends and family.

The cold temperatures are dangerous with the wind chill.  If outside make sure you have sufficient clothing.  Protect yourself and save those fingers and toes.

Listen to weather reports and the news for more information about today and tomorrow.

Be safe these very cold and dangerous days.

Southwest One-Act On To State

The Southwest One Act continue to Minnesota State Finals Saturday, Feb 1 at Holy Angels.   Southwest performance is first at 9:30 am. The competition continues to 3:00 pm and ends with awards. Competition is free and open to the public.
Exact time of Performance will be posted when available.
Southwest Finalist One-Act Play
The Interlopers by Gary Lennon
Mariah Hickman
Owen Lazur
Johan Wyckoff
Piper Shatz-Akin
Roland Taracks
Andrew Vrable Miles
Production Staff:
Director - John Lynn
Assistant Director - Eric Buron
Sound - Illyana Yates
Lights - Izaak Peel
Backstage - Jackson Smith
Congratulations!  Southwest State One-Act Finalist!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Feb.1 Saturday Night Hot Notes! The Place To Be!

The talented students and staff of SWHS are cooking up a cool, fast-paced show!

Jazz Combos
Alice and the Dudes
Yonci and the Footprints
The Cosmic Troubadours

Chamber Singers and Chamber Orchestra

Preview of this year's musical,
Thoroughly Modern Millie

Dance Company 2

Jazz Big Band

Plus Broadway duets, rockin' quintets,
spoken word, hip hop, and more!


All this groovin' goodness needs
your support. Get your tickets today

Hot Notes on a Cold Night Cabaret
February 1, 2014
7:00-10:30 p.m.
St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church
3450 Irving Ave. S.


Schools Closed Due to Weather Monday January 27

Minneapolis Public Schools and Southwest High School will be closed due to severe cold and dangerous weather conditions on Monday, January 27.

All school activities are cancelled for Monday.  Outside weather conditions may create dangerous temperatures.  Extreme below zero freezing temperatures and strong winds create dangerous situations.  Protect yourself if required to be outside.

Pay attention to radio and TV news for later details.

Southwest Art Ice Shanty Is On The Lake

Southwest Art Teach Cecily Spano Exists the Ice Shanty prior to being loaded on trailer for trip to the lake.

 The Art Shanty Projects

Art Shanty Projects is an artist driven temporary community exploring the ways in which the relatively unregulated public space of the frozen lake can be used as a new and challenging artistic environment to expand notions of what art can be.

The project provides a unique opportunity for artists to interact with their audience, and vice versa, in an un-intimidating, non-gallery like environment.

The 2014 Art Shanty Projects run from Saturday, February 1 through Sunday, February 23 on White Bear Lake in White Bear Lake, MN.

Hours: 10 am – 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Warming House hosted by the White Bear Lake Center for the Arts from 3pm – 5pm Saturdays and Sunday’s throughout the project except Saturday February 22nd and Sunday February 23rd.

Southwest Art Shanty on its way to the lake!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weather Decision By Sunday Regarding Monday School

Extreme air temperatures and wind chill are currently predicted for Monday, January 27. Staff and families are advised to monitor media, social media, the MPS website, and school websites over the weekend for updates on whether or not MPS students will have class on Monday.

In order to ensure the most accurate forecast possible and still allow enough time for staff and families to plan, MPS will continue to monitor weather forecasts over the weekend and we will notify you of the district's decision between Sunday afternoon and evening. We encourage parents and staff to consider childcare and transportation arrangements for Monday accordingly.


Bernadeia H. Johnson, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools

Friday, January 24, 2014

Spanish Summer Study Program

Summer Spanish Study Program for High School Students in Quetzaltenango, GuatemalaExpose yourself to an authentic language andcultural experience

Spokenword Artists This is For You


Statewide Poetry Slam Series Looks for Six Young People to Represent Minnesota at the BRAVE NEW VOICES Youth Poetry Slam Festival This Summer


            The Be Heard MN Youth Poetry Slam Series, presented by TruArtSpeaks, is a series of poetry slams held throughout the Twin Cities from February 7th to March 29th, 2013. The series will identify six young people between the ages of 13-19 to represent MN in the international BRAVE NEW VOICES Youth Poetry Slam Festival (BNV) summer 2014! The series begins with four preliminary slams:

·         February 7th at Southwest High School from 6-8p in the auditorium

·         February 15th at Black Dog Café from 5-7p

·         February 21st from 6-8p at the Golden Thyme Café

·         February 22th from 3-5p at Southside Café  

All MN Spokenword artists between the ages of 13-19 are eligible to compete in as many preliminary slams as they desire until they qualify to advance into the semi-final round of the competition. Preliminary slams are free and open to the public.

            The highest scoring poets from the preliminary slams will advance into the semi-finals on March 8th from 2-4p at the Intermedia Arts and March 15th from 5-7p in the Chapel at Macalester College. The winners of the semi-finals will then advance to the final competition at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater on March 29th from 7-9p. Semi-finals and finals are open to the public at a rate of $3 for student and $5 for adults. The six highest scoring poets from the finals will make up the team representing Minnesota at BNV!

            “The first time I went to BNV, my life changed.” said Tish Jones, former Minnesota youth slam team member (formerly known as Quest for the Voice/MN Quest a program of the MN Spoken Word Association) when asked about her experience with the slam series. “The competition, the travel, the festival, and everything in between were all part of an experience that I will never forget. I made lifelong friends, mentors, and colleagues... I found myself during that process.”

            TruArtSpeaks is a developing nonprofit arts organization that has had a presence in the Twin Cities since 2006. TruArtSpeaks utilizes elements of Hip Hop, Spokenword, and the arts to contest literacy and leadership, supporting a generation of vibrant young voices as they make their claim on the world. We provide a platform for youth to find, develop, study, and share their stories in safe spaces. TruArtSpeaks dares participants to give back and become agents of the change they seek, while remaining students of the culture and histories past. The Be Heard MN Youth Poetry Slam Series is a program of TruArtSpeaks and we would like to thank the MN Spoken Word Association for the work they have done with youth slam in our community.


For more information: see or contact Tish Jones at           


Financing College - Planning Starts Now -- Workshop Jan 29 7:00 pm

Thrivent Financial Presentation on Paying for College, Jan 29th 7pm in Media Center

Tom Larson of Thrivent, a former Financial Aid Counselor, will present information on paying for college from a financial planning perspective.
The program is open to all parents and students and will take place on Wednesday, January 29th from 7:00 - 8:30 pm in the Media Center at Southwest.
Contact Darryl Savage with any questions There will be no product sales at the event. 

Southwest And Japan Exchange Activities and Pictures


Our visitors and friends from Japan started their journey home Thursday.  They went back home with precious memories.  They have never seen this much snow and been in this cold temperature.  We were able to show true Minnesota.
Thank you to host families, Southwest host students and staff.  It was a wonderful week of activities.  Many of the SW students were in Japan this past summer and this was a reunion for many.  Ms. French is planning another exchange trip to Japan for this summer.  If interested and enrolled in her Japan World Language classes, please see her.

Here is the site that has pictures from all the Japan exchange activites..  Please click below to see them.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Big Freeze

The wind chill factor did us in.  With wind chill numbers in the minus 40 exposed skin can be damaged almost immediately.  Even for the hardy Minnesotans, there is no need to risk the little ones.  Maybe the older kids (and some adults) can figure these things out, 6 and 7 year olds might not be as understanding of what might be that dangerous.  Thus, no early morning bus ride waiters and we look forward to the next day.

Southwest activities are changed for Thursday.  Before venturing outdoors, check with your coach, club adviser, activity director and whomever is responsible.  Do not assume it is happening. 

Basketball and Wrestling meets are postponed.  State One-Act Competition is postponed.  The Chicado UN trip will leave at noon instead of 7 am.  The Japan students left for the airport already this morning.  Please, check before going to any Thursday activity or event.

We will communicate  schedule changes as quickly as they can be completed.  Most of the area schools are closed todoay and each activity and sport is working to find another open date.

Friday appears to be ok and the next question may be early next week.  Make sure you listen to your radior or TV news stations for updates and breaking news.  We attempt to get information telephoned to you and posted on our web sites.