Sunday, August 31, 2014

Southwest Class of 1984 Reunion

Peter Hanson
email contact:
Class of 1984
Date of Reunion :    September 20th
Facebook and Twitter:  Yes

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Class of 2018 Happening Together Friday September 5

Freshmen (class of 2018) and Link Crew Gathering

Friday, September 5th from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Class of 2018  come to school to connect with your Link Crew mentor, meet new friends, and dance in the courtyard. 

The dance is for Southwest 9th grade students and Link Crew mentors only. 

The dance is free.

Southwest Footlights Musical -- Band Geeks Audidtions Open September 3

Auditions for Band Geeks,
the 9th and 10th grades Footlights Musical, are Sept. 3 and 4, with callbacks on Sept. 5, in the Auditorium at 3:15 pm.
Students should come prepared with a music selection up to 32 measures. All who audition will receive an acting or technical part.
For questions please contact Mrs. Ebner at

Order Southwest 2015 Yearbook

Yearbook Information and DeadlinesThe 2015 Yearbook can be ordered online at Balfour now.  We sold out all books ordered last year, so if you want to be guaranteed a yearbook, and at the best price, order early!  Yearbooks only cost $75 when ordered online now, prices go up in November and January. 

Senior Pictures (you’ll need to know the job number 503379, no password), Senior Quotes (you must use your school google docs account), and Ads for Grads can be submitted anytime between now andNovember 30. Check the Yearbook site for more submission information! 

Southwest Marching Band at ECCO Parade Monday

SWHS Marching Band
SWHS Marching Band will be at the ECCO Parade in the East Calhoun Neighborhood at 3pm on Monday Sept. 1.

Friday, August 29, 2014

9th Grade Parents Party October 9 - Mark Your Calendar

9th Grade Parents -- Save the Date!
Please save Thursday night, October 9th, for the Southwest Foundation's annual 9th Grade Parents House Party. The invitation will go out soon for this not-to-be-missed event for the parents and guardians of Southwest's great 9th grade class.
Eat, drink, meet other 9th grade parents, and learn more about getting involved at Southwest High School. Principal Bill Smith will be there too to answer any questions you have.
Hope you can join us!
Check out the Foundation website:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Southwest Class of 1959 Reunion

Contacts:  Co-Chairs:  Jeff Land, 763
            Susanne Jaby – 612 522-0275

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Southwest Student Pickup After School - Please Use 46th and Abbott


Picking students up AFTER SCHOOL

Metro buses park on 47th in front of the school and on Chowen on the west side of the building.  Buses begin arriving around 2:45 pm.  Both of those streets are narrow and difficult for both buses and cars.  It does become dangerous for students.

Please arrange to pick up your student either on 46th or on Abbott.  That keeps the cars and the students away from the buses and traffic.

There is no parking on the school side of 47th at anytime.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Southwest 9th and 10th Grade Footlights Musical - Auditions - Sept. 3 & 4

Footlights Performances
9th and 10th Grade musical

Music by Mark Allen; Music and Lyrics by Gaby Alter; Concept, Music, Lyrics and Book by
Tommy Newman and Gordon Greenberg
Directed by John Lynn and Emily Ebner

With a handful of members and a dwindling budget, the Cuyahoga High Marching Beavers are facing imminent extinction. New student Jake, a reluctant addition to the ranks, is stuck between a rock and a hard place while flute player Laura is struggling to shine among her more scintillating peers. Can the newly appointed captain and tubaplayer, Elliot, keep them all together? Along with a collection of vibrantly colorful fellow band members, the trio come to learn that letting their geekflag fly can be one heck of a good time.

Auditions: September 3 & 4

Callbacks September 5th

in Auditorium at 3:15

Come prepared with a music selection up to 32 measures

For questions, please contact Mrs. Ebner by email.

Southwest Lakers are Back in School!

Southwest High School is OPEN for another exciting year!!

Students are in classes and education is happening!  We are excited to see most of our students returning from a great summer.

Students need to follow their assigned schedules.  Schedule change requests are available between classes and at the end of the day.  Generally, schedules will NOT be changed unless there is a error or class needed to graduate this year.

Go-Cards were distributed last week and again today.  If you have questions please call 612-668-3103.

In the coming couple days, we will make class adjustments, balance classes and fix errors.

We are looking forward to another exciting and academically successful school year!  Welcome back!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Day One - Southwest Starts Another Fantastic Year, Monday, August 25

Southwest High School first day for students is Monday, August 25, 2014.

The best plans of mice normally work or so the saying goes.  In our attempt to go "green" and save some of your time and paper we figured we would have the student schedules ready on line.

The plan was for the schedules for grades 10-12 to be "live" after noon on Thursday.  Great plan and would have work if the Parent/Student Portal would have been working.  The schedules were there you just could get to them.

Information suggests that from Thursday on the Portal has been operating more "normally" and many patient students (and families) found the INTERNET way to the schedules.
Official GREEN paper schedules will be available Monday morning in the West Gym.

Students are to pick up schedules and then move on to their 1st period class.  We are going to operate a regular day the first week and follow the regular bell schedule.

Student should bring their own locker locks and lockers will be assigned during your 1st period class.

Standard high school school supplies are something to write on and something to write with.  This cold be conventional paper of pencil or some electronic devise.  Remember cell phones and electronic devise are the responsibility of the student.  Keep care of your equipment.  They are valuable.

The regular school day is 8:30 am to 3:00 pm

We expect another fantastic year!

Southwest Audrey Ortiz Colgate Honors Dean's List


Colgate Honors Dean's list Students

The following Colgate University student is recipient of the Dean's Award for academic excellence

Audrey Ortiz
Art & Art History

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hummingbird's Daughter is Good Summer Novel

Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Amberto Urrea is a fiction novel based on historical fact and myths of Mexico.  The author is distantly related to the main characters and has spent over 20 years researching the subject.

It is a book about faith and trust.  It is book about suffering and joy.  It is about a time prior to the Mexican revolution and about the people and tribes in the territories of what is now Mexico.  The characters are interesting with detailed scenery.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Another School Year to About to Begin

Won't see this for many months.  Monday, August 25 the exciting 2014-15 Southwest school year begins.  And the adventure starts another time.

Over the summer months I met with various Southwest alumni classes.  The Cl;ass of 1949 was one of them.  65 years since high school graduation.  That is even difficult to image.  Just think of the changes in our country and world since then.

In 1949 the area surrounding Southwest was corn field and few homes.  Students walked home for lunch.  The entire Southwest student population was under 800.  It was a different era.

Monday is the start for about 375 seniors and their last set of steps down those halls.  For the about 480 9th graders Monday is the beginning of that adventure that is another step toward adulthood and the world of work.  For all it is another bunch of school days attempting to empower them to reach their dreams.

Empty hallways are just that - empty.  In a few hours they will be alive and once again a school with action and excitement.  Welcome back, Southwest Lakers!

Class of 2018 Are Southwest Lakers and Ready!

The Class of 2018 with their parents came to Southwest last night with enthusiasm, expectations and excitement.  Over 400 entering new Lakers came with their parents to orientation.

There was a tremendous opening and welcoming for the new Lakers with over 150 current students shouting and high-fiving as they entered.  Workshops to get to know one another and to talk about high school were important parts of the orientation.

Parents attended a series of workshops to prepare them for this four-year adventure.  Who to call, what to expect, ways to deal with teens were all part of the parents' program.

A great beginning to another fantastic year at Southwest High School

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Southwest Dance Teacher Colleen Callahan Russell Honored

Target Corporation’s president of community relations, Laysha Ward, set the tone for the evening when she told the audience that dance played an important role in her childhood, one spent in rural Indiana where she was the only African American student in her school. She recalled watching Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on PBS. “I felt so connected to something that moved and changed me,” Ward said, adding the artist’s role as “the steward of hopes, dreams and aspirations” taught her about courage and gave her perspective on challenging social issues.

Colleen Callahan Russell, left.
Colleen Callahan Russell, left, with Diane Aldis.
Ward’s comments were an appropriate introduction for the night’s honorees. Local dance educator Colleen Callahan-Russell, who currently teaches at Southwest High School, received the 2014 Special Citation: Inspiration. Diane Aldis from the Perpich Center for Arts Education introduced Callahan-Russell by describing her a “fearless advocate for dance.” Noting that she is entering her 33rd year helping students to discover how movement can be a part of their lives, Callahan-Russell said, “For me teaching is not perfect, it keeps me humble. My journey is always with every student to figure out what they need

Southwest Addition on Schedule to be Completed in 2016

Construction is scheduled to start the summer of 2015.  There was a sighting today that work is really on the way.  Workers needed to locate some of the pipes and wires below ground and needed a trench to place equipment.  These unidentified workers are replacing the dirt.
Construction plans and drawings are almost complete.  Plans need to be approved by the city and the state department of education.  Materials will be submitted for bids and in the coming months construction companies will be awarded contracts by the Board of Education and work will begin in the work season of 2015.
There will be little evidence of construction during the 2014-15 school year.

Meeting the Needs of the Market - Career Technology Education (CTE) Growing at Southwest



It's Not a Skills Gap: U.S. Workers Are Overqualified, Undertrained

It's Not a Skills Gap: U.S. Workers Are Overqualified, Undertrained
Photograph by Justin Ide/Bloomberg
In the debate over why the U.S. has been so slow to emerge from the Great Recession, many have laid the blame on what’s become known as the skills gap: Despite an abundance of workers, too many simply aren’t qualified to fill the jobs available. Even now that hiring is running at its fastest clip since the late 1990s, business and industry groups such as the Chamber of Commerce continue to emphasize the damage the skills gap is doing to the economy. So do a lot of consulting firms.
These reports tend to rely on surveys from employers and usually point to the growing number of unfilled job openings. Indeed, there are now 4.7 million job openings in the U.S., the most in more than a decade. Even so, some 9.7 million people are looking for work—more than two for every open job. The skills gap argument relies on that basic paradox: How can there be so many unemployed people in the face of so many job openings?
In the chart below, the orange line represents the number of unemployed people looking for work; the white line represents the number of job openings.
The number of unemployed people is double the number of job openingsBloomberg dataThe number of unemployed people is double the number of job openings
Plenty of anecdotal evidence suggests that companies have trouble finding qualified applicants. (For example, there’s a shortage of welders.) Across the broader economy, though, the data do not hold up. Annual wage increases have been stuck at around 2 percent; they’d be rising much faster if there were a shortage of qualified workers.
Something is clearly broken in the labor market. The problem may not be the skills workers ostensibly lack. It may be that employers’ expectations are out of whack. That’s the premise of a paper by Peter Cappelli, a management professor at the Wharton School. For much of the twentieth century, it was up to industry to pluck smart, capable college graduates and turn them into quality workers. In recent decades, on-the-job training has declined. Companies want new hires to be able to “hit the ground running.”
Cappelli cited data suggesting that in 1979, young workers received on average about 2.5 weeks of training per year. That dropped quickly:
By 1991, Census data found only 17 percent of all employees reporting that they received any formal training that year. Several surveys of employers around 1995 indicate that somewhere between 42 and 90 percent of employers offered some training (the lower number indicating more programmatic training) with the amount of training an individual received per year averaging just under 11 hours. The most common training topic was workplace safety. Those figures also include what vendors provide when they bring in new equipment: “Here’s how to work this copier.”
In 2011, an Accenture (ACN) survey of U.S. employees found that only 21 percent had received any employer-provided formal training in the past five years. “That means almost 80 percent had no training in five years,” Cappelli wrote.
With employees switching jobs more frequently than they used to, it’s easy to see why businesses have cut back on workforce training: They might never recoup their investment. This has placed a disproportionate value on experience among new hires. In particular, companies want employees who have already done the job somewhere else. That shows up in data about how much employers value internships:
Above all, businesses value experience these daysChronicle of Higher Education, 2012Above all, businesses value experience these days
Meanwhile, career and technical education (CTE) has declined in favor of traditional four-year colleges. The average number of CTE credits taken per student fell by half from 2000 to 2005.
NCES Career/Technical Education Statistics
Boosting CTE in public schools and then feeding young people into one- and two-year career and technical schools could help boost the labor supply for such industries as health care and manufacturing, but those sectors are already pretty good at filling job vacancies. In June, data show that manufacturers posted 312,000 job openings and hired 307,000 people.
To make a difference in the broader economy, Cappelli argued, businesses need to bear more of the burden in training workers and giving them the experience that is so valued. “If employers would only do what they did 30 years ago, we wouldn’t have this problem,” Cappelli tells me, adding that the fear of having a competitor reap the rewards of your investment are overblown. Consider the consulting industry, in which firms invest lots of resources to train new workers, only to have them leave: If more industries did the same, employers would ultimately end up meeting their own demand for experienced workers—by producing more of them.
Philips is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek in Washington. Follow him on Twitter @matthewaphilips.

Southwest Performing Arts 2014-15 Schedule of Dates and Events


Southwest High School Performing Arts, 2014/2015 Dates Performance/Activity

Aug. 26, 27, callbacks 28

The 39 Steps, Unhinged, Nathaniel Larson, Ming Montgomery
Sept. 3, 4, callbacks 5

Auditions, Footlights, 9/10 gr. musical,
Band Geeks, John Lynn, Emily Ebner
Sept. 30, Oct. 1, callbacks 2

Local News, Unhinged, Aidan Sponheim, Isak Keller
Oct. 2, 3, callbacks 6

Noises Off, Margaret Berg
Oct. 7, 8, 9, 10

The 39 Steps,

Black Box, 7 pm
Oct. 23, 24, 25

Band Geeks,

Footlights, Auditorium, 7 pm
Oct. 30

Band Concert, Auditorium, 7 pm

Nov. 5

Orchestra Concert, Auditorium, 7 pm

Nov. 6

Choir Concert, Auditorium, 7 pm

Nov. 10

Guitar Concert, Auditorium, 7 pm

Nov. 11, 12, 13, 14

Local News,

Black Box, 7 pm
Nov. 16

Dance Fundraiser, Patrick's Cabaret

Nov. 18, 19, callbacks 20

Our Town,Unhinged, Anna Moskowitz, Anna Young
Nov. 20, 21, 22, 23

Noises Off,

Auditorium, 7 pm, except 2 pm on Sunday, Nov. 23
Dec. 3, 4

Spotlight Workshop, 3:10-5:30 pm

Dec. 9, callbacks 10
Dec. 11
Dec. 12

Auditions, One Act, John Lynn and IB DP Theatre Classes, 3:10- 5 pm
Dance Concert, Auditorium, 7 pm
Dance Concert, Auditorium, 7 pm

Dec. 16, 17, callbacks 18, 19

Auditions, Spotlight Musical,
Ragtime, 3:10-6 pm, Berg, Knoll, Callahan
Jan. 9

Holiday Concert at the Basilica of St. Mary, Choral and Instrumental, 7 pm

Jan. 20, 21, 22, 23

Our Town,

Black Box, 7 pm
Jan. 27

Jazz Concert, Black Box, 7 pm

Jan. 29, 30

One Act , Auditorium, 7 pm

Feb. 5

Choir Concert, Auditorium, 7 pm

Feb. 7

Hot Notes Fundraiser

Feb. 9

Choir Contest

Feb. 10

Orchestra and Band Concert, Auditorium, 7 pm

Mar. 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22


Spotlight Musical, Auditorium, 7 pm, except Sundays, 2 pm
Mar. 16, 17, callbacks 18

Lend Me A Tenor,Unhinged, Alex King, Alison Grausam
Mar. 23

Choir Contest

Apr. 9, 10, 11, 12

Choir Trip

Apr. 17

Talent Fest

May 4, 5, 6, 7

Lend Me A Tenor,

Black Box, 7 pm
May. 12

Choir Concert, Auditorium, 7 pm

May. 14

Orchestra Concert, Auditorium, 7 pm

May. 18

Band and Orchestra Concert, Lake Harriet Band Shell, 7 pm

May. 19

Choir Concert, Lake Harriet Band Shell, 7 pm

May. 20

Dance Concert, Lake Harriet Band Shell, 7 pm

May. 21

Jazz Concert, Lake Harriet Band Shell, 7 pm

May. 26

Guitar Concert, Auditorium, 7 pm

May. 27

Dance Concert, Auditorium, 7 pm

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Southwest Student Go Cards Wednesday and Class Schedules Thursday

Southwest Go Cards for those eligible students are available Wednesday, August 20 until 10:00 pm

Student Class Schedules will be available:
                      After NOON on Thursday, August 21

                         GRADES 10 -12
                                 ON Line on the Student and Parent Portal

                                 At Southwest Counseling office Noon to 4:00 pm

                         GRADE 9 - Welcome Class of 2018
                                 At Orientation starting at 4:00 pm

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Southwest Class of 1954 Reunion

Class of 1954 Contract:    Jerry Katz
Reunion will be held September 17, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Teaching is Not a Business - Sunday New York Times

Teaching is Not a Business is an article in the Sunday New York Times August 17, 2014 written by David L. Kirp.  All the material in quotes is directly from the article:

"All youngsters need to believe that they have a stake in the future, a goal worth striving for, if they’re going to make it in school. They need a champion, someone who believes in them, and that’s where teachers enter the picture. The most effective approaches foster bonds of caring between teachers and their students."

"While these reformers talk a lot about markets and competition, the essence of a good education — bringing together talented teachers, engaged students and a challenging curriculum — goes undiscussed. "

We believe that all students deserve a rich and well-rounded educational experience.  Memorizing and filling in bubble sheets does not empower students to chase their dreams.  The International Baccalaureate curriculum and framework appears to challenge students to explore and examine.  IB challenges the mind not the endurance of the behind.

For the complete article for the link:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Project Success - August 2014 Newsletter

Project Success -- August 2014 Newsletter

We are turning the corner toward another school year, but we didn’t check out over the summer! We have been continuing to serve students and families while planning, preparing, hiring, training and kicking-off our new year! Check out the latest Project SUCCESS happenings below and then click on any of the headings to read more on our website.

At the end of May, more than 80 Anwatin Middle School student actors and technicians performed the musical Beauty and the Beast  to audiences of hundreds. Congratulations to the cast, crew, professional artists and all who supported this amazing performance! The school musical is one of the key ways in which Project SUCCESS helps students build confidence, gain new experiences, and learn more about themselves and each other through the power of theater.  Click on the title to see photos and read more about the production. 

Our Largest BWCA Adventures Yet!

During the month of June, Project SUCCESS brought 179 students from nine middle schools to spend seven days in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) – our largest adventure yet! In the BWCA, students develop confidence, grit and skills, build relationships, and respect for the beauty of the wilderness. For some, this is their first time out of the city. Click on the title to see photos and read more.

Two of the trips were led by Project SUCCESS alumna, Brenna Bailey, who shared some of her thoughts about the experience. Click on the link below to read her story.

Mill City Opera Week: A Facilitator’s “Notes”

“Boring!” “Loud!” “Italian!” These were the typical responses of the middle and high school students who were asked what comes to mind when they think about opera as they kicked-off two days of workshops with the Mill City Summer Opera. Our own C. Ryan Shipley writes about our partnership with MSCO and his observations as the Project SUCCESS facilitator on this project. 

Students Begin Rehearsals for New Show about 9th Grade

Beginning in August, Project SUCCESS is working with 10 talented middle and high school students who were cast to develop a new musical about the transition from middle school to high school and the struggles, growth and successes that go along with it. They will then take the show on the road this school year beginning with all 9th grade students in Saint Paul Public Schools!

Project SUCCESS former facilitator and alumna, Harleigh Gabrielson, reflected on our mission of serving each student in every school as a guest blogger for the YEP Twin Cities website with a piece titled, “How Do We KNOW Which Students Need Our Help?” She writes, “differentiation is invaluable to students, yet so is offering equal exploration and opportunities for students”…”giving kids the space to stretch in ways we may not even imagine opens up our own imagination, and kids’, to what is possible.”

Read the original post by clicking on the link below:

10 Years of Fielding Dreams – Thank You Sponsors!

On Friday, May 16, 2014, Project SUCCESS hosted its 10th annual Fielding Dreams and watched our Minnesota Twins play the Seattle Mariners. A huge thank you to LifetouchTargetBI WorldwideRBC Wealth Management, the Minnesota Twins, and all our other sponsors for helping Project SUCCESS hit another home run for kids! Since 2005, Fielding Dreams has raised more than $500,000 to support Project SUCCESS' invaluable work and growth in the community. 

Welcome New Staff!

This spring and summer, Project SUCCESS was busy recruiting, interviewing, hiring and training seven new members of our professional team. We are excited to welcome Program Manager Chris Snoddy; Facilitators Ben Desbois, James Grigsby, John Vang, Kathleen Kessler, and Lacey Allen; and Administrative Manager Caitlin DeVos. 

With the launch of the new school year comes a new season of college tours available for students attending the seven high schools we serve. Click on the title above to see and download a copy of the schedule. The letter will also be mailed to students’ households at the beginning of the school year. Check it out to see where we’re visiting this school year! 

Southwest Class of 1984 Reunion is September 20, 2014

Southwest Class of 1984

Reunion time -- September 20, 2014

Contact Mke Roach for more information --

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Southwest Students Annual Exchange Trip to Japan

Six Southwest students and Japanese World Language Teach erKyoko French traveled to Japan this summer on its annual exchange visit.  The students and adult visitors had a wonderful time at Kasugaoka High School, and with host families. 
You can check out the pictures at:




Monday, August 11, 2014

Back To School August 16 at Davis Center 10am to 2pm

mpslogo4color h

Flyer:  English   Spanish   Hmong  Somali
 MPS is an amazing diverse community.  
There are over 90 languages spoken in the homes of our families!

Let's get together before school starts, enjoy free food, dance to live music, learn more about what MPS has to offer and 
most important..... meet other parents/guardians and kids.

Back To School JAM!

Saturday, August 16th from 10 a.m - 2 p.m.
Davis Center North Parking Lot
1250 West Broadway, 55411
QUESTIONS - Contact Us
The Office of Student, Family and Community Engagement
 1250 West Broadway  55411
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