Friday, February 28, 2014

March District Arts & Community Events


March 2014 Arts Events & Community Conversations
March 1, 2014 | Les Miserables |2 & 7pm | Washburn High School Auditorium, 201 West 49th Street
March 2, 2014 | Les Miserables | 2pm | Washburn High School Auditorium, 201 West 49th Street
March 6 & 7, 2014 | Phantom Tollbooth | 6:30pm | Barton Open School 4237 Colfax Ave. South
March 5, 6, 7, 8, 2014 | Wizard of Oz | 3/5 & 3/6 at 6:30pm, 3/7 at 7pm | 3/8 at 2pm | Anthony Middle School 5757 Irving Ave. South
March 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 2014 | Thoroughly Modern Millie | weeknights at 7pm, Sundays at 2pm | Southwest High School 3414 West 47th Street
March 5, 2014 | 5th Grade Concert | 11:30am | Lake Harriet Upper Campus 4912 Vincent Ave. South
March 5, 2014 | 4th Grade Concert | 2:15pm | Lake Harriet Upper Campus 4912 Vincent Ave. South
March 10, 2014 | Instrumental Band Concert | 7pm | Washburn High School 201 West 49th Street
March 12, 2014 | Middle Grades Choir and Rock Band Concert | 2:30pm | Lake Harriet Upper Campus 4912 Vincent Ave. South
March 13, 2014 | African American Talent Showcase | 6pm | Anthony Middle School | 5757 Irving Ave. South
March 23, 2014 | Vocal Music Showcase | 7pm | Washburn High School 201 West 49th Street
Viva City Arts Festival | link
March 5-April 11, 2014 | Viva City High School Art ExhibitCargill Gallery, Minneapolis Central Library
March 13, 2014 | 5:00-7:00 pm | 5:30 pm Awards and Recognition Opening Reception
Community Conversations
March 13, 2014 | Facing Race: Uncovering Five Myths that Support Racism | 6:00-8:30 pm | YWCA of Minneapolis Downtown | Understanding racism is the first step in eliminating it from our communities. In this dialogue, participants look critically at cultural beliefs and myths that perpetuate racism. Previous participants have walked away from this dialogue noting that they have more language, history and knowledge to bring into future anti-racism work. Participants learn to see racism in our society on individual and institutional levels and create action plans to make change. $10. RSVP by March 7 Scholarships are available.
March 19, 2014 | Classrooms Today: How Teacher Evaluation Supports Academic Achievement | 6:00-8:00 pm | Windom Community School | Area C Family and Community Meeting | Everyone is welcome
MPS Arts : The mission of MPS Arts is to ensure equity of access to quality arts education for every MPS student, every day. Through creating, performing and responding to the arts, MPS students achieve academic and artistic success while becoming engaged, empowered citizens.  more
Have an extra musical instrument you'd like to donate to a student who otherwise might not be able to afford one? Donate your instrument through 

Office of Student, Family and Community Engagement, MPS 612-668-0640

Thursday, February 27, 2014

In Coming Class of 2018 - Requests Deadline is Friday February 28, 2014

Class of 2018.  The LAST dat to submit High School Request Cards is this Friday, February 28.

If you want to be in the first selection group you must meet the deadline of FRIDAY, Feb. 28, 2014.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Winter Parking Restrictions and Safety

Please remember to be especially careful around schools.  There are people walking and slipping.  The sidewalks and streets particularly on the side streets are snow covered ice.  They are very slippery and making driving and walking dangerous.

Please be very careful at intersections.  The huge piles of snow hamper visibility.  Bus stops are frequently on corners and the snow piles make it difficult to see cars and people.

PARKING RESTRICTIONS -- Park on the ODD side of the street.

REMEMBER that all the special permit and NO PARKING signs remain in effect.  Around the schools this can cause a severe parking problem.  Pay attention to the signs.  You can be ticketed and towed.

Winter remains with us.  Drive and walk carefully!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Isaac Becker, SW Class of 1987, Nominated for Outstanding Chef

11 Twin Cities semifinalists nominated for James Beard Awards   

  • Eleven Twin Cities chefs and businesses were named as semifinalists in the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards for restaurants and chefs on Wednesday.

    The awards began in 1990 and have been likened to the “Oscars of the food world,” according to the Star Tribune.                  

    Outstanding Chef:
    – Isaac Becker, 112 Eatery, Minneapolis

    *** Isaac is Southwest Alumni Class of 1987

    Southwest Spoken Word Semi-Finals

    Cypress Kenney, another amazing SW poet is now a semi-finalist in the 2014 Be Heard poetry slam competition.

    Semifinals are on the following dates, and I've included the SW students competing.  Spoken Word is an amazing show, so take advantage of the opportunity to hear our young poets.

    Semi-final #1
    Intermedia Arts
    Saturday March 8
    2-4 PM  $3 students/$5 adults

    • Fatima Camara
    • Francis Brown
    • Cypress Kenney
    • Maggie McClun
    • Munna Ali
    • Anders Billund-Phibbs
    Semi-final #2
    Macalester College Chapel
    Saturday March 15
    5-7 PM  $3 students/$5 adults

    • Tamera Larkins
    • Laresa Avent

    Caroline Hooper
    NBCT Social Studies
    Southwest High School

    Monday, February 24, 2014

    Swimmers On To State


    We have 4 students advancing to the Minnesota State Swim Meet.

    Peter Lefebvre, in the 200 Free, 100 Back, and 400 Free Relay
    Karl Schwarzkopf, in the 50 free, 100 Back, and 400 Free Relay
    And the two other members of the 400 free relay, Ian Hussian and Brad Parsons.

    Congratulations Southwest Swimmers!

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

    New Programs At Southwest Information Technology & Business

    We have the opportunity to move in a couple of directions.  One is the Business Program we have been talking about for a couple years.  The other is Computer Science or another name Information Technology.  We would have three CTE teachers.  One would be the start of the Business Management program, the second would be the start of the Information Technology Program and the third would be the continuation of the graphics component that we have been offering for several years.  The third (Ms. Linhoff) would be serving both programs – graphic design, marketing design, computer applications, computer skills, etc.

    The Information Technology is a new direction for Project Lead The Way (PLTW) which we have not done in the past but is in several of our schools very successfully and in our surrounding area schools.  Under Information Technology would be computer science, programming, robotics, networking and computer applications.  All three of the areas would have IB courses added in the second or third year of the programs (fall 2016).  All three of the components also would have college and college credit connections.

    We have been listening to all of our various leadership groups, students and committees.  We are excited about the possibilities and opportunities.

    Two of the positions will be new CTE certified positions.  If any current staff have interest in gaining CTE certification, please see me and we can discuss the opportunities and possibilities.

    We will continue to provide more information as we continue. 

    Friday, February 21, 2014

    The Ballad of Emmett Till at Penumbra Through March 2

    The current production at Penumbra Theater is a powerful piece of drama and history.

    The Ballad of Emmett Till

    A powerful production.  Not an easy one to sit through.  Not a children’s show without some pre-performance preparation. 

    The play continues through March 2.

    651-224-3180 – Penumbra Box Office

    Hook Final Two Performances Monday and Tuesday


    Hook, a wonderful production in the Black Box had its last two performances delayed by the winter storm.  These final two performances will be held this Monday,  Feb. 24 and Tuesday Feb 25.

    Come out and see a fun evening of entertainment and great art -- Hook.  Crtain at 7:00 pm

    Southwest Art Students On Ice Last Weekend

    Southwest Art Students On Ice Last Weekend
    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.

    Come out and see the work and experience of Ms. Spano's art classes.  Fun in the ice and snow.

    Southwest Athletic Hall of Fame Nominations and Vote




    • Minneapolis Southwest is starting a high school athletics hall of fame. The school has an especially rich track and hockey tradition. Stanley Cup champion Tom Chorske, 1960 Olympic gold medal winner Dick Meredith and hockey coach Dave Peterson, who was the head coach of the 1988 and 1992 Olympic hockey teams, all went to Southwest. The hall of fame committee has started a website called, where people can vote on who should be inducted into the first class.

    Heltemes and Pekala American Mathematics Competition Winners

    On Wednesday afternoon, 99 of our Southwest students took part in the American Mathematics Competition. Each of them paid two dollars for the privilege of taking a 25 question, 75 minutes, multiple-choice, no calculator math test. Sounds like everyone's idea of a good time, doesn't it?

    The following are links to the two different exams and the solutions.
    Paul Heltemes has earned the top score for the AMC 10 test. This is the second straight year that Paul is the school winner for that exam. Congratulations to Paul!

    Russell Pekala has earned the top score for the AMC 12 test. Russell has likely earned a score high enough to qualify himself for the second round of the competition. He has earned the privilege to take a 15 question, three hour exam. I'm jealous!

    David McMayer
    Mathematics Teacher
    Math Team Coach

    Friday School CLOSED

    Minneapolis Schools and Southwest High School are closed today, Friday, Feb. 21.
    All activities and events are cancelled for Friday.
    Do not drive or walk except in emergency.
    Before coming to school make sure you check with your advisor, coach or director.

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

    How are Decisions Made About School and Event Closing?

    MPS canceled after-school and evening activities today due to the winter storm. Many people have asked how the school district makes a decision to cancel events or close schools.

    The District created a website that outlines criteria and factors that go in to the decision. If you have questions, please go to the School Closing page on MPS' website. 

    What is the status of school on Friday, Feb. 21.

    MPS has not yet made a decision about school on Friday.

    If the decision is made to cancel school on Friday, MPS will notify parents, students, staff members and the community via traditional media alerts, social media, phone calls and the school district's website. 

    Thursday Feb. 20 ALL Southwest After School Activities Cancelled

    Minneapolis Has closed all after school activities for Thursday, Feb, 20, 2014.

    There is no Community Education.
    No Millie Practice
    No Hook Performance
    No Credit Make-up
    No teacher kept me after school
    No practices
    Nothing is happening at Southwest after 3:15 pm at Southwest High School.

    Please be careful.  Driving and walking conditions are slippery



    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Southwest Graduation Rates Significant Increase

    I received a telephone call from Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner of Education State of Minnesota, congratulating the Southwest Students, Families and Staff relating to the increase in percentage of graduates.

     As you know the state is using a new 4-year graduation rate.

    Total 423 graduates
    2012                       2013

    African American            62.27                     77.98

    Hispanic                               73.53                     75.68

    Asian                                     85.71                     91.67

    American Indian               66.                          60.

    White                                    87.                          83.


    Free and Reduced           57.14                     72.6

    ELL                                          46.43                     74.47

    Special Education             28.89                     45.45**


    Girls                                       86                           84.4

    Boys                                      73                           78.03


    Total all Students             79.90                     81.09


    These are unofficial in the sense that I have not seen these in print.  I expect you will see them in the newspaper in the next couple days.

    ** Remember that students continuing into Transition Plus are computed as drop-outs, thus this number does not reflect real graduates. 

    That is a 25% gain in African Americans – and significant gain in almost all the categories.  Congratulations.


    These would be the 9th graders entering Southwest in the fall of 2009.  What are you /we doing that has resulted in this significant increase? Are families and parents, what do you think has made a difference?


    Congratulations to your students, families and YOU!!!


    Spoken Word Advance to Semi-Finals

    The following Southwest Spoken Word Poets advanced to the semi-finals of the Be Heard Youth Poetry Slam series:

    Maggie McClun
    Anders Billund-Phibbs
    Fatima Camara
    Tamera Larkins
    Francis Brown
    Laresa Avent
    Munna Ali


    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    Feb. 18, Tuesday NAVIGATE for All Southwest Latino Families

    Tonight’s NAVIGATE meeting for all of Southwest’s Latino families. 
    It will take place at Hosmer Library at 36th St. and 4th Ave.  Dinner at 5:30.
    Presentation to start at 6:00.  Child care will also be provided. 

    Families will learn about graduation requirements, Power of You, scholarships, the state grant, applications, documents, as well as, a new partnership with Macalester College.

    Questions and concerns are different for each family, and NAVIGATE has the current answers.


    Monday, February 17, 2014

    Southwest Speech Takes First Place in Bloomington Speech Tournament

    Southwest Speech Takes First Place in Bloomington Speech Tournament

    This past Saturday the Southwest Speech Team earned First Place Honors at the 44th annual Bloomington Speech tournament in the small school category.

    Shira Rabkin earned 6th in Consolation Finals in Original Oratory
    Henry Aoki earned 2nd in Merit Finals in Original Oratory and 6th in Finals in Impromptu
    Lil y Ren  earned 2nd in Next to Finals in Extemp Speaking
    and Piper Shatz-Akin took top honors in 1st place in Finals in Humorous Interp.

    Congratulations to the entire team!

    Southwest First Place Speech Team At Bloomington Jefferson

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

    Club and Events Happening

    Yoga Club

    Meets at KULA at 4410 France Avenue South, 3:30 to 4:30 every Wednesday.  All SWHS students welcome.  Bring a mat if you have one.



    Credit Recovery meets Monday through Thursday in room E118.
    You can only be enrolled in one class at a time, so if you are short on credits, it is really important to get started now.  See Teresa Rumppe in room E118 right after school!


    After School Tutoring and Homework Help Drop in center 

    Open Tuesday and Thursdays from 3:15-4:30.  Room E105 – Drop in and get help with your homework:  writing or researching a paper, stuck on a math problem, can’t figure out how to study for the next biology test??   We also need volunteers tohelp staff the center. Please contact Joan at if you are interested.


    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 33
    Wednesdays 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 at


    will take place every Tuesday at 3:15 in room 218.   If you are struggling with Spanish, please take advantage of this opportunity whenever possible.  If you are an upper-level Spanish student and can help with the tutoring, please see Ms. Woebke.
    Join Teen Health & Unity Group!  (THUG)
    Learn about health topics that interest YOU!  Earn service hours!  Build your resume!  Eat free food!  Make friends!  THURSDAYS 3—4pm, Rm E19 

    Do you have a great photo that you’d like to submit to the yearbook?
    Have you got a great candid photo from the band trip?  Did you go on a college visit with AVID and take a great group shot?  We want to include everyone in the creation and the final product of the Southwest High School Yearbook.  You can submit a photo to the yearbook here , in order to be considered by the editors, you need to include your contact information and identify anyone in the photo.  You will need the SW Job # 403379 to submit photos but you WILL NOT need any password tosubmit a photo.  Here's a Tutorial on how to upload a picture!

    If you have any trouble uploading your photo, you can just send an email to Mr. Ries, the yearbook advisor, with the photo attached.  List the names of anyone in the photo, we cannot accept photos without attribution.


    Summer Spanish Study Program for High School Students in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

    Meeting Cancelled for Thursday, March 06, 2014 andrescheduled for Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Expose yourself to an authentic language andcultural experience

    ?        When:  July 6 – July 27, 2014

    ?        What: 3 weeks of Spanish instruction, 5 hours a day, 3 students per teacher, homestay with a local family, daily social, and cultural activities including field trips and community service on the weekends. For more information regarding the itinerary visit the webpage:  Or on Facebook:

    ?        Why: Increase your level in Spanish by up to a year in three weeks.  Interested? Attend an informational meeting: Washburn Public Library, 5244 Lyndale Ave S., Mpls, MN 55419 Saturday, March 29, 2014 @ 1:00 PM

    ?        Who:  Contact: Lisa Ledman (chaperone for the trip)  -

    Math Competition Open Feb. 19

    Southwest Math Team

    The Southwest Math Team is hosting a competition. Any student from Southwest High School is invited to take part in the American Mathematics Competition, which is an international competition hosted by The Mathematical Association of America.

    The exam is a 75 minute, 25 question multiple choice test without a calculator. The student with the highest score in the schoolearns a spot on one of our award plaques. Students with high enough scores qualify for the second round of the competition to be held at a later date.

    The exam will take place after school on Wednesday, February 19, 2014.

    Sign up in your math class.

    Hook -- February 18-21 at 7pm in the Black Box


    Come see the last unhinged show of the year.  Running February 18-21 at 7pm in the Black Box. $5 for students, $10 for adults. Directed by Celia Hallan and Emma Brashear.

    Baseball Fundraiser - 5th Annual Silent Auction and Wine Tasting

    Baseball Fundraiser  - 5th Annual Silent Auction and Wine Tasting
    The event is on Saturday, February 22, 2014, from 6:00 to 10:00 at the Minneapolis Officers' Club near Fort Snelling.  
    The auction includes many items including sporting and event tickets, sports jerseys, jewelry, art, restaurant gift certificates and much more!  
    Tickets are $45.00 for the wine tasting and $25.00 otherwise.  Please RSVP to  Baseball Website and Invitation

    Silent Auction - Great Events Ends Feb. 15

    SW Boys Varsity Basketball On-line Silent Auction: Only 24 Hours Remain

    SW Boys Varsity Basketball won the City Championship in 2013, and we encourage you to help keep this program strong!   Life Time Fitness is ‘The Healthy Way of Life Company’ and is a sponsor of our Southwest Boys Basketball Silent Auction Fundraiser  -- which ends Saturday 15th @ 5:00pm.

    Auction items include:

    • Life Time Fitness Family health club memberships
    • Cardio Exercise equipment  - Elliptical
    • March, April  2014 Timberwolves tickets (4 packs) – several games
    • Minnesota Wild tickets (4 packs)

     Note : The Life Time Fitness family memberships are available at a fraction of the regular cost ---- live healthy and help support the largest basketball program in Minneapolis at the same time.

     Check out these auction items at:

    Help support the largest basketball program in Minneapolis

    One More Weekend for Southwest Art Ice Shanty

    Come out to White Bear Lake and walk on water!
    And while you are there visit the Southwest Art Ice Shanty.  The snow and below zero temperatures only add to the excitement and the nature of the stories you will be able to share with those future children and grandchildren.
    Southwest Art classes under the direction of Cecily Spano put together the project and are working the weekends for the Art Ice Shanty Project.  This all started on the first weekend in February and will end with the last on February 23.  Hours are 10-5 pm Saturday and Sunday.

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

    District Seeking Public Feedback on New Strategic Plan Feb. 18 -- 6- 8 pm

    MPS 2020 Strategic Plan
    MPS is currently working on the development of a new Strategic Plan that will articulate our priorities and strategies from 2014 to 2020. This new plan will create a clear and concise framework for our efforts to accelerate student achievement. Our leadership team will present a proposal for our new Strategic Plan to the Board of Education for approval in the summer of 2014. Click here to see the current 2007-2014 MPS Strategic Plan.

    As part of the process to obtain feedback that will inform the development of this plan, MPS is conducting a “Listening Campaign” to engage with staff, families, students and community members. The goal of these sessions is to hear directly from staff and the community about what’s working, what’s not working, and what we can do differently.

    Community Engagement
    The Board of Education is hosting a community engagement forum on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, from 6:00-8:00pm, at Green Central, 3416 4th Avenue South, in the school cafeteria. All community members are welcome to attend, and no RSVP is required. Information about the event is accessible to the public at



    Noric Ski Team State Honors

    Congratulations to Noric Skiers and State Honors
    Sam Sinkler 12th in Boys Nordic

    Marie Michel 20th for girls Nordic