Thursday, April 30, 2015

Black Lives mater May 1 Citwide Walkout

Black Lives Matter

Repeat of an earlier post:


Some students may be planning to participate in a peaceful walkout and protest on Friday, May 1, as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. The citywide walkout was planned by the group Black Lives Matter Minneapolis and more information about their event can be found online.

http://blacklivesmatter.blogspot.com/p/minnesota.html

This is not a school event and responsibility of the students returns to the family.

We respect students’ First Amendment right to peacefully assemble. We will not discipline students for the act of protesting as long as the protest remains peaceful. 

However, if students walk out of school, they will not be able to return to the school for the remainder of the day, they will not be able to participate in after-school activities and they may receive an unexcused absence.

Staff are monitoring the situation and there are procedures in place to manage the situation while respecting students’ rights.


If you have concerns about your child’s participation, please talk with them about the event and share your views with them. If you child plans to walk out that day, ensure you have a way to stay in touch with them. 

According to Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, the walkout is planned for 10:30 to 2:30 that day, culminating at Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue in south Minneapolis.

Southwest IB English class visits with the Watt Munisotaram Buddhist Temple


Southwest IB English class visits with the Watt Munisotaram Buddhist Temple

The visit was a celebration of the "works in translation" IB unit in IB HL 1 in which the students read texts set in China, Columbia, and Egypt. The first book read was Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, which takes place during the Maoist Cultural Revolution, concentrating on the erosive effects of the banning of non-Maoist/communist specific art, literature, music, and religion. 

Buddhism was one of the main religions that was dismantled and banned. The field trip was an attempt to learn about one of the cultures that was devastated during Mao's regime and to show the resilient nature of culture, in general. 

The Watt Munisotaram Buddhist Temple is located near Farmington, and is a wonderful center for education and have been gracious hosts to our students.




Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Donations of "Bare Necessities of Life" for Claire Housing

Education Minnesota’s week of action: Education Minnesota have asked all unions statewide to participate in a week of action and choose a project that benefits local communities.

Minneapolis LCAT (Local Contract Action Team) has chosen Clare Housing of Minneapolis. Clare Housing is an organization helping with housing for adults and families who are living with HIV and AIDS.

Many of Clare Housing clients were homeless and are currently without the funds necessary to purchase the “Bare Necessities of Life”. Noone should have to choose between buying groceries or basic items for personal care.

Members are collecting donations at their school sites or at the MFT the following items:

Soap and Shampoo (all sizes)
Toothpaste and Toothbrushes
Dish soap
Body/hand lotion and deodorant
Chap Stick
Toilet Paper and Kleenex
Plastic containers of any size
Garbage baskets and bags
Shaving cream and razors
Sock, Gloves and Hats
Feminine Products
Underwear and Boxer
Coffee and Creamers
Gift Cards (ie.. Target, local businesses)

All sites will be given a laundry basket to collect donations

Please consider donating to Clare Housing.


Any questions please call Linnea Hackett at 612.287.0270 or email at lhackett@mft59.org


Southwest Senior Ava Krahn Won Congressional Art Competiton



Ava Krahn, Southwest senior won Congressional Art competition and trip to DC for National level competition/celebration.  (Her childhood buddy, Grace Miller won this two years ago)  

Last year, Ava won Viva City with her memorable large portrait of her dad.  Now, she followed up with a pair of small but equally impressive portraits of her mom.  With subtle but powerful emotional content, it’s a must see in person. ( Viewing until the end of this month before moving on to DC) 



May 1, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis

Some students may be planning to participate in a peaceful walkout and protest on Friday, May 1, as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. The citywide walkout was planned by the group Black Lives Matter Minneapolis and more information about their event can be found online.

This is not a school event and responsibility of the students returns to the family.

We respect students’ First Amendment right to peacefully assemble. We will not discipline students for the act of protesting as long as the protest remains peaceful. 

However, if students walk out of school, they will not be able to return to the school for the remainder of the day, they will not be able to participate in after-school activities and they may receive an unexcused absence.

Staff are monitoring the situation and there are procedures in place to manage the situation while respecting students’ rights.


If you have concerns about your child’s participation, please talk with them about the event and share your views with them. If you child plans to walk out that day, ensure you have a way to stay in touch with them. 

According to Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, the walkout is planned for 10:30 to 2:30 that day, culminating at Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue in south Minneapolis.

Invitation to Budget Review by the District and Interim Superintendent Goar

Dear MPS partners and friends,

I am writing to invite you to attend one of several public forums I will be hosting to discuss academic priorities for 2015-16 and the budget that supports them. After a brief presentation, you will be able to ask questions to a panel of MPS finance and academic leaders.

Now more than ever we are putting dollars where it matters most: in the classroom.  We want to explain how we expect this shift to positively affect student achievement.

It is important to us that our families and community understand the budget before the school board votes in June, so I hope you will consider attending a session.

Events will be held in the four corners of the city on the following dates and locations:
 
Date
Time
Location
Sat., May 9
RSVP (optional)
10 a.m. - noon
Davis Center
1250 W. Broadway Ave. 
Tues., May 19
RSVP (optional)
6 - 8 p.m.
Anne Sullivan/Anishinabe
3100 28th St. E.
Weds., May 20
RSVP (optional)
6 - 8 p.m.
Field Community School
4645 4th Ave. S.
Thurs., May 21
RSVP (optional)
6 - 8 p.m.
Pillsbury Elementary
2250 Garfield St. NE.

Refreshments, childcare and interpreters will be provided. For more information, visit our website. I hope to see you there.

Sincerely,

Michael Goar
Interim superintendent

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Southwest Guitar Orchestra Earns Superior Rating


The Southwest Guitar Orchestra received a superior rating at MSHSL contest at St. Louis Park on April 15th.  

This is the first year that a guitar orchestra has ever played at the state contest.

Ruth LeMay
Director of Guitar at Southwest High 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Southwest - Lend Me A Tenor - Opening May 5-8 with Curtain at 7:00 pm


Painting the column outside the Black Box.  Must be show time!

Lend Me A Tenor written by Ken Ludwig is the Unhinged final production of the year directed by Alison Grausam and Alex King.

It is not a musical but will be a grand time for you and the entire family.

Mark your calendars now - May 5-8 at 7:00 pm

Southwest - Part of East Unit is Demolished



Look quickly because in a day or two the entire west side of the front of the east unit will be history.  These are the previous classes of E105, E103, E102 and E101.  They are heaps of rubble.

In about half a year these will be turned into a three-story modern educational facility.

Watch for more construction news.

Southwest Girsl Soccer Meeting Thursday, April 30 - 8 - 9:00 pm


First Girls Soccer Meeting – Important!

Thursday April 30th 2015
8:00-9:00 pm in the West Gym

For ANY player who is interested in playing soccer this Fall.

Meet the New Coaches and find out Tryout/Practice schedule

Simon Whitehead
Physical Education, and IB Sports Science
Head Girls Badminton Coach

Head Girls Soccer Coach

Southwest American Sign Language Silent Night Event

Here are some photos that were taken last Thursday night for the 1st ever ASL silent night!

Southwest Students arrived at 6:30. A deaf presenter signed a story about a Haunted House and after the students were divided into three groups and played different games all with voices off.  

Every fifteen minutes they switched to a different game.  Snacks were provided and a total of 45 students attended.   

If students were caught talking they were sent to “talking Jail” were they had to answer 5 questions in ASL to be let out of Jail.  

We had 8 Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or interpreters volunteer to make this night a success!  It ended at 8 pm.  

A quiet and fun time was had by all!






Jodi Marker Perelman
ASL Teacher

Southwest High School

Southwest Munna Ali Winner 5th Congressional Arts Competition for Spoken Work

Southwest Student Munna Ali is the winner of the 5th District Congressional Arts Competition for Spoken Word.  Amazing.  She will be performing her winning poem at a reception tonight (see attached). 


Caroline Hooper
NBCT Social Studies
AVID Elective Teacher
Southwest High School

Congressman Keith Ellison invites you to the
2015 CONGRESSIONAL ART COMPETITION
Please join Congressman Ellison as he spotlights the artistic talents of local high school students, and for a discussion of the life-long role and importance of art with Minneapolis musician LIZZO.

Monday, April 27, 2015
6:00-8:00 pm
University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC)
2001 Plymouth Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55411

 Throughout the month of April, selections will be on display at UROC.
Drop by to take a look before the winner is announced!

These events are free and open to the public.

If you have any questions about this event, please call (612) 522-1212 or email Nicky at Nicky.Leingang@mail.house.gov

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Push, Don't Crush, the Students - Article Sunday New York Tims

SundayReview | News Analysis

Push, Don’t Crush, the Students

excerpt from Sunday New York Times

“My job is not to get you into Stanford,” he said he tells parents and students. “It’s to teach them to learn how to learn, to think, to work together — learn how to explore, collaborate, learn to be curious and creative.”
Some parents hear it, he said, but “a lot of families and parents don’t hear the message and say: compete and compete.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/26/sunday-review/push-dont-crush-the-students.html?ref=opinion&_r=0


Who Should Attend College? Maybe Everyone.


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/26/upshot/college-for-the-masses.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

Sunday New York Times - College for the Masses excerpt

The political scientist Robert D. Putnam named his new book on inequality, “Our Kids,” as a lamentation. In past decades, Mr. Putnam argued, the United States made a series of investments that essentially treated children as everyone’s children. The best example was the rise of universal high school in the 20th century, an expensive undertaking that did not directly benefit many taxpayers.

Back then, a high school education was the new ticket to the middle class. Today, a college education is. And when it comes to people’s own children, there is remarkably little disagreement about the value of college, even when it requires taking on debt. Affluent, middle-class and lower-income parents alike, in overwhelming numbers, aspire for their children to finish college.

Americans agree that “our kids” should go to college. The debate is really about who qualifies as “our kids.”

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Physical Science Course Update

PHYSICAL SCIENCE COURSE UPDATE

We would like to provide an update on the new Physical Science course that will be offered to Grade 9 students in the fall of 2015.  As a reminder, the Physical Science course is part of the new MPS high school core science sequence which includes: 9th grade Physical Science, 10th grade Biology, and 11th/12th grade Physics or Chemistry.   See memo linked here for additional details.

Physical Science pre-assessment to be administered after the Science MCA testing window closes (tentatively May 18)
The 9th grade Physical Science course will address the required MN academic standards in the areas of Physical Science, Earth Science, and Nature of Science and Engineering.  As Physical Science is a new course to MPS, a pre-assessment of the 9th grade high school standards will be administered to all current 8th graders in their Science class mid-May 2015.  The data obtained from the pre-assessment will be used to help 9th grade science teachers plan their instruction.  The pre-assessment will address MN High School Science standards students have not yet been instructed on and no preparation is necessary at home or in class.  Scores will not impact students’ science grade in 8th or 9th grade in any way.  If a student demonstrates proficiency on the pre-assessment, Teaching and Learning will contact students in June 2015 about course enrollment options and next steps.  

Resources for MPS staff
Further information, including a FAQ, about the science sequence and the pre-assessment may be found at the new webpage on MyMPS.  You can access the resources here and log in with your MPS username and password.  Once logged in MyMPS, select the MPS High School Science Sequence course.  On the website, you will find background on the new high school science sequence, physical science course standards, and other resources.  If your answers aren’t addressed through the FAQ, you may also enter further questions through the form linked here.

Resources and communication with families
In your communications with incoming students and families, it is not appropriate to refer to the Physical Science pre-assessment as a “test out”.  The primary function of this pre-assessment is for instructional planning purposes.  Physical Science is a rigorous high school course based on high school state standards required for graduation.  For new-to-MPS students, we will offer opportunities to take the pre-assessment; dates to-be-determined.  Families can submit questions not addressed in the public FAQ via the public survey form.  Additionally, you can refer parents to the MPS Science page linked here, where they can find information about core sequence for graduating class 2015-2018 and core sequence for graduating class 2019 and beyond.


If you have additional questions,  please contact Jennifer Rose, K-12 Science Content Lead, at Jennifer.rose@mpls.k12.mn.us.

Minneapolis District Public Forum on 2015-16 Budget

PUBLIC FORUMS ON DISTRICT BUDGET

In preparation for the presentation of the district’s 2015-2016 budget to the Board of Education on May 26 and subsequent vote in June, we have scheduled a series of public forums to share highlights of the proposed budget. Principals should plan on being in attendance for the forum located in your particular attendance area.
  • Sat., May 9; 10-12 Noon; Davis Service Center (North)
  • Tue., May 19; 6-8 pm; Exact location TBD (Area B)
  • Wed., May 20; 6-8 pm; Field (Area C)
  • Thur., May 21; 6-8 pm; Pillsbury (Northeast)

Southwest DAPE Class Placed Second in Citywide Special Olympics


Today the Southwest Developmental Adaptive Physical Education (DAPE) class along with a few other students competed in the Minneapolis Citywide Special Olympics. 

Southwest nailed down a strong 2nd place finish! 

Special shout out to Southwest DAPE teacher, Jessica Braun for organizing the whole thing.

And of course to the amazing Southwest students for a job well done!

See the class picture for the winning team!

Ted Tellman
Autism Teacher

Friday, April 24, 2015

Southwest NHS Applications Due April 30

NHS Applications Due April 30


NHS applications for the 2015-2016 school year are now available.   

Applications can be picked up in E115 or Room 201 during lunch, between periods, or after school.  

Applicants should possess a 3.5 GPA and be able to demonstrate a commitment to community service and involvement at Southwest.  

The deadline for applications to be turned in is Thursday, April 30th.

Southwest ACT with Writing April 28

April 28 ACT with Writing for All SWHS Juniors 

All juniors will take an official ACT with Writing on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.  

Juniors are automatically registered for this ACT and will meet with counselors during the school day the week prior to complete the pre-test, non-academic part of the registration.  

No regular classes will meet on April 28; each grade will have scheduled activities.  

Information about the April 28 ACT and activities for other grades can be found on http://southwest.mpls.k12.mn.us/district_wide_act

Southwest FilmFest May 1 at 7 pm

Friday May 1st 7 pm in the Auditorium

The Best Films of the year from SW Film & Media.

Five Categories:  Drama, Comedy, Completely Original, Short Shorts and Vines

A yearly gala event and awards show, fancy clothes, jazz and tasty concessions. 5 dollar free will donation


Southwest Jefferson Project Wins Silver Banner


Congratulations to the Southwest Students in Action for winning a Silver Banner at the Jefferson Awards Students in Action Spring Competition for their Leadership, Engagement and Impact on the community.  
Pictured are Harrison Sarver, Obeida Ouro and Noel Weyandt who represented the group and presented at the Spring Conference. 
All the service groups at Southwest are invited to submit their projects for inclusion in the Spring Competition. 

For more information contact Bonnie Hancock or Connie Overhue. 

Southwest Hall of Fame Nominations Wanted!

Hall of Fame Nominations Wanted!

Please nominate your favorite athlete, team, coach, family, or booster for the Southwest High School Hall of Fame. Information on nominations and the Second Annual All Sports Reunion and Hall of Fame Dinner on Thursday, August 13 can be found on the Hall of Fame website at swhshof.com. 


Last year's sold-out dinner was a fun and memorable evening for all. Please plan to join us this year!

Southwest Foundation and Teacher Appreciation

Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4-8

I think the teaching profession contributes more to the future
of our society than any other single profession.
--John Wooden

Each year Southwest families honor teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week. This year, as in past years, families will have a chance to honor the teachers with a meal organized by the PTSA and the opportunity to give to the Southwest Foundation in a teacher or teachers' honor.

But Southwest Board member Una Edwardson and volunteer Marcia Harris have also planned some new events to honor our outstanding teachers. This year students will have a chance to buy apples for their teachers and benefit the Foundation. They can also enter their favorite teacher's name in a drawing for prizes. Watch the Friday email for these events during the week of May 4-8.

Please join the Foundation in honoring the people who are teaching Southwest's great students and our community's future leaders.

Dear Friend of Southwest High School,

We are celebrating National Teacher Appreciation Week across the nation.  Southwest High School is full of wonderful students with growing needs, as evidenced by the major construction project now underway!  Throughout the years, one constant force has made Southwest legendary: our fantastic teachers. We applaud their success and are grateful for their remarkable daily efforts improving our students' lives!

Please help us show our appreciation, and provide our teachers with valuable resources they need to help students to grow and succeed, by donating to the Southwest Foundation on behalf of your favorite teacher. You can easily donate on our website:


A simple click on the link above will take you to a quick and easy way to honor your favorite teacher(s) with your donation.  Teachers will receive letters letting them know of your support in their honor.

Your donation will be used to enrich the lives of our students in many ways.  The Southwest Foundation supports academic, arts, and athletic opportunities for all Southwest students. We help purchase curriculum, science and math equipment, field trips, and classroom and athletic supplies.  We support academics and the arts by funding the auditorium's tech position.  We also fund Project Success at Southwest, provide needed after school club activities and ACT tutoring--working to help reduce the achievement gap. 

Southwest Foundation supporters believe in funding dreams, one gift at a time.  We are growing bigger, and better.  Together, we will continue to make Southwest High School a great place for all students.

Thank you for supporting Southwest High School and its dedicated teaching staff!

With gratitude,

Kristin Ruffner
Chair,
Southwest Foundation

Ellen van Iwaarden
Executive Director,

Southwest Foundation

Southwest Students Hard at Work


Southwest students continue with their studies in spite of the exciting and interesting construction work going on right outside the window.  This is an Ninth Grade Academy English class.  They are working on their personal projects and using laptops to access the internet.

Excellence in Education continues to be our constant quest.  Construction is exciting.  Laptops are exciting.  But the important part is student learning.

Southwest East Building Slowly Coming Down


The former west corner of the East Building is no longer part of the school.  Today started the demolition of the southeast section of the East Building.

The entire west side of the East building will be demolished in the next few days.  That will enable the project to move to foundation and ground work.  The link is scheduled for demolition later next week.

The entire Southwest project will be completed in the fall of 2016.

Southwest Construction Early Morning Parade


Southwest Construction Parade

Southwest continues to take on the looks of a major construction project and it should!  The addition and renovation project continues as scheduled.  Dirt moves, bricks fall, walls have holes and progress continues.

The project will continue through the summer and all of next year.  Some rooms will open in the fall of 2015.  Some will open in February of 2016 and the project will be complete in fall of 2016.

Plan to attend the OPEN HOUSE in the fall of 2016.

The Southwest addition and renovation project is one of over 100 facility improvement projects as an investment in education excellence for the children of Minneapolis Schools.

Southwest Reunion Information Needed


Is your class planning a Southwest reunion??

Please send us the information in order to inform your classmates.  We are receiving requests for information about reunions.  Please let us help you.

If you are planning a reunion, please send us the information.

Class of 1950 -- Where are you????

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

District Area C Parent and Community Meeting April 23

Area C Parent & Community Meeting 
Thursday, April 23, 2015
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Green Central Community School (parking - 35th street lot)
3416 4th Ave. South

Agenda
  • Welcome and Introductions - Margaret Richardson, parent, Area C Co-Chair, DPAC rep
  • Testing at MPS - Eric Moore, Director, REA (research, evaluation & assessment) REA link
  • Parent Leadership for Area C in school year 2015-2016, Liz Short, parent, Area C Co-Chair
  • Q&A - MPS staff
Plan to have light refreshments with us beginning at 5:30, meeting will start promptly at 6:00 p.m.  Childcare for ages 3& up will be available.  Interpretation available in Spanish an Somali.  Everyone is welcome.

Let me know if you have any questions.  gael.ellis@mpls.k12.mn.us

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

2015 United States Presidential Scholars Program Semifinalist Southwest Senior Yueqi (Lily)


Home

United States 
Presidential Scholars Program

Yueqi (Lily) Ren

Southwest Senior Lily Ren is selected as one of the 565 semifinalists to advance to the final round of the 2015 United States Presidential Scholars Program competition.

From nearly 3.3 million graduating high school seniors, over 4,300 students were identified as candidates in the program, and 565 semifinalist have been selected from across the country.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. Each year, up to 141 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.

The Scholars represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness of young people.  In honoring the U.S. Presidential Scholars, the President of the United States symbolically honors all graduating high school seniors of high potential.

Souhwest Foundation Teacher Appreciation - Apples for Anchors


The Southwest Foundation would like to honor our wonderful teachers during teachers appreciation week, 5/4-5/8. (2) Days that week, SW Foundation volunteers will be selling "Apples for Anchors" over the lunch hour near the Black Box Theater. 

For just $1.00 students can support the SW Foundation & receive a healthy treat.

Regardless if they purchase an apple or not, they can nominate one or all of their favorite teachers to win a fabulous prize. 

Winners names will be read over the P.A. by Dr. Bill Smith on Friday 5/8.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Southwest Destination Imagination Team Earned Trip to Nationals -- You Can Help

Hello! My name is Hannah FitzGerald and I, along with my team mates Nathaniel Larson, Seth Colbert-Pollack, Jared Tincher, Piper Shatz-Akin, and Kaj Anders-Macleod are apart of the Southwest High School Destination Imagination team, Garden and Sock.

Destination Imagination (DI) is an educational program where student teams solve open-ended Challenges and present their solutions at tournaments. This year our team tackled the fine arts challenge, challenge C, Feary Tales. The challenge was to create and perform an original play in which the central character over comes a fear.

As high school seniors, we chose to center our play around a fear very close to us, chronophobia, the fear of the future. On March 21st we performed at the regional tournament and won! We came in first place with a special renaissance award. This award was given to us for demonstrating outstanding skill in the areas of engineering, design, or performance.

The next stop was the state tournament. We all worked to improve our performance for the state level, and it payed off! We came home with first place again along with another special award, the Da Vinci award. We were very honored to be presented with this award because it is the highest award that DI can give.

Our next stop is Global Finals, and we need your help to get us there.

Unfortunately, the global competition is expensive. It will cost over $1,000 per team mate. $700 for room and board, $300 for airfare, and varies other expenses along the way such as a rental car and gas.

This is our last hurrah! and we want to make it special. We have worked hard to get to where we are today, and now the only thing that stands in our way is the cost. With your donations come special perks at different levels. Enjoy perks such as a dvd copy of our performance, or an official College University t-shirt and more as a thank you. All of the funds raise will go towards the cost of the tournament.

We have been competing together since the 3rd grade and this is our last year together as a team. As seniors, we aren’t sure what the next years hold in store for us so we want to make this last year count. We have worked hard on our performance and I think we have a chance to win big this year. It would mean the world to us if you could help us reach Global Finals.

Any help towards reaching our goal is appreciated. Spread the word and share our campaign with everyone you know. If you live in the Minneapolis area look out for our other fundraisers going on. Thank you so much!
Love,

Garden and Sock

We've started an Indiegogo campaign featuring a fun teaser video of our winning performance, and great prizes for donors. Please check it out! We appreciate your support.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-garden-and-sock-preform-at-global-finals/x/10519785



Thank you for your time

Southwest Choir to Join VocalEssence May 21 at 7 pm



VOCALESSENCE FUSES MEXICO WITH MINNESOTA IN ¡CANTARÉ!
Minneapolis-based choral ensemble premieres new works by Mexican composers
and local students in ¡Cantaré! Community Concert

               VocalEssence invites families to cross the border to a Mexican musical celebration at the VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! (I Will Sing!) Community Concert on May 21. As the finale to the choral ensemble’s annual ¡Cantaré! program, the concert will take place at the Music Hall at St. Paul’s Ordway Center for the Performing Arts on Thur., May 21 at 7 p.m.

               As part of its commitment to celebrating different cultures through choral art, VocalEssence pairs two Mexican composers-in-residence with elementary and high school choirs as well as community choruses across the Twin Cities to explore Mexico’s cultural and choral tradition. This year, students met with acclaimed composers Jean Angelus Pichardo (for elementary students) and Julio Morales (for high school students) over three visits, for a total of four weeks between October and May, to collaborate and compose eight new choral pieces; the final works will be premiered at the Ordway Center. In addition, selected works will be published through the VocalEssence Music Press.

               The VocalEssence Chorus will take the stage at the concert alongside students from St. Paul’s Adams Spanish Immersion Elementary School, Minnehaha Academy Lower School, Richfield’s Partnership Academy, Youth Choir of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Blaine High School, Park High School, Cottage Grove, and Southwest High School, Minneapolis.

            “The underlying mission of VocalEssence is to explore, develop and share choral music from all over the world,” said Philip Brunelle, founder and artistic director, VocalEssence. “As one of our flagship educational initiatives, VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! is a lens through which we, as Minnesotans, can discover the musical traditions and sounds of our neighbors in Mexico. It’s a wonderful way for us to engage young people through music, to expand our shared choral repertoire and hopefully, to spark more interest in musical mentorships. And, ultimately, through all our efforts, we are just hoping to get more people singing, more often.

               Jean Angelus Pichardo is a composer, arranger, performer and music producer who creates and promotes artistic projects combining music with other arts and disciplines. His music has been performed around the world, and he is the recipient of several national honors, including the National Endowment for the Arts Young Artist grant by the National Fund for Arts and Culture (FONCA); the Young Artist grant (Endowment for the Arts and Artistic Development) by State Fund for Arts and Culture (FOCAEM) in 2011 and 2013 – 2014; awards from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and from National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA). He has supplemented his academic training with courses and workshops in theater and studies in law at the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM).

               Julio Morales’s passion for choral music has taken his career as an arranger and composer to choirs including Coro Altus, Ensamble Vocal Veracruzano, Coro de la Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, the Ensamble Mesticanto of Venezuela, and the University of Michigan Men’s Club in the United States. In 2012 his composition “Dos cuerpos,” with lyrics by Octavio Paz, was included in the Cor-atl México collection, which documented Mexican choral activity and its national and international influence, and was presented by Jorge Cózatl, a previous VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! composer. In 2013 he started as a professor in the Instituto Superior de Música del Estado de Veracruz (ISMEV), and in the Centro de Estudios de Jazz de la Universidad Veracruzana (JAZZUV). Now he is studying to receive his Masters in Composition in the Universidad Veracruzana; is the conductor of the choir Vox Populi Project; a tenor singer in the EnsambleVocal Veracruzano; a professor of jazz choir in JAZZUV and professor of Technologies Applied to Music in the Instituto Superior de Música del Estado de Veracruz (ISMEV).

               Tickets for the VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! Community Concert are free and open to the public.  They are available through the Latino Communications Network, Neighborhood House at Wellstone Center, Consulate of Mexico in Saint Paul and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. For more information about this event, please call 612-547-1456 or visit www.vocalessence.org.

               VocalEssence, called “one of the irreplaceable music ensembles of our time” by Dana Gioia, past chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, impacts thousands of students, singers, and composers each year through its initiative programs, contests, and support for innovative art. VocalEssence was founded in 1969 and has debuted more than 175 commissions and world premieres. For more information, visit www.vocalessence.org

###


Southwest Speech Team Members At State Tournament

Southwest Speech Team State Qualifiers Lily Ren and Seth Colbert-Pollack

The Southwest Speech Team concluded and exciting and rewarding year.  Two team members competed in the Minnesota State Speech Tournament.  This is the most Southwest has ever advanced to the state tournament.

Lily Ren competed in International Extemporaneous Speaking and Seth Colbert-Pollack competed in Discussion.

Congratulations to Lily and Seth and the entire Speech Team.  Outstanding coaches are Dan Ferris and Alexandra Vujovich.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Southwest NIASC Academic All Americans

Congratulations to our NIASC Academic All Americans

Congratulations to Addy Alms, Elizabeth Een, Peter Lefebvre, and Karl Schwarzkopf on being named to the National Interscholastic Swim & Dive Coaches Association Academic All-American Team.


Over 342,786 students are involved in aquatics at the high school level in over 15,623 programs for boys’ and girls’. Approximately 2% of these students are recognized as high school All American’s.  

Southwest National Honor Society Applications Due April 30

NHS Applications Due April 30


NHS applications for the 2015-2016 school year are now available.   

Applications can be picked up in E115 or Room 201 during lunch, between periods, or after school.  

Applicants should possess a 3.5 GPA and be able to demonstrate a commitment to community service and involvement at Southwest.  

The deadline for applications to be turned in is Thursday, April 30th.

Southwest College Search II April 23 7 pm

College Search II: Thursday, April 23 7pm in the Auditorium   
Students, especially juniors,  and parents are invited to attend the second counselor presentation on the college search process. 

This month’s presentation will focus on the secondary factors of admission including the essay, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, etc. and a timeline of college search and application dates for juniors as they move into their senior year.  

Southwest Students One Step Closer to College - ACT April 28

April 28 ACT with Writing for All SWHS Juniors 

All juniors will take an official ACT with Writing on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.  

Juniors are automatically registered for this ACT and will meet with counselors during the school day the week prior to complete the pre-test, non-academic part of the registration.  

No regular classes will meet on April 28; each grade will have scheduled activities.  

Information about the April 28 ACT and activities for other grades can be found on http://southwest.mpls.k12.mn.us/district_wide_act

Southwest American Sign Language (ASL) Silent Night April 23

First Ever ASL Silent Night!!

April 23rd 6:30-8:00pm

ASL Story telling, Games, And Snacks!!!  No talking allowed

All communication will be in ASL  Free!!

Southwest High School Cafeteria, 3414 W 47th St., Mpls, MN 55410