Friday, August 28, 2015

Student ID's Available Next Week

Southwest student IDs will be distributed next week.

Seniors by lunch on Monday, 

Juniors on Tuesday, 

Sophomores on Wednesday, and 

Freshmen on Thursday. 

We will be in the lunchroom during the lunches and after school. Thanks,

Hannah Bundlie, M.Ed.

Check & Connect

Southwest Debate Meeting Thursday Room E112 September 3 at 3:10 pm

Debate! Debate! Debate!

Southwest Debate Team is holding an informational meeting Thursday Sept. 3rd in room E112. 

Did I mention we would have pizza at the meeting? We will have pizza. 

The topic to start the season is resolved: the United States should incrementally increase the federal minimum wage to at least 15$ an hour by 2020.

In the last four years we have finished second overall at the State Tournament twice. We don't charge a fee to participate. Debate is great way a for students to become involved, make friends, and standout to colleges. 

Alex Hoselton, Debate Coach

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Memorial Fund Started In Honor of Southwest Junior Blake Fannin

Story taken directly from Star Tribune Web Site:

Teen falls to his death from fire escape on Uptown condo building

16-year-old Blake Fannin fell to his death while on the well-worn escape late at night; a friend with him was not hurt.
Family submission
Blake Fannin
One of two teenage boys exploring a well-worn fire escape on the side of an Uptown condominium building fell four stories to his death, his father said Thursday.

On the weekend before he was to start 11th grade at Minneapolis Southwest High School, Blake Fannin fell early Sunday from what his father said was a fire escape that appeared to be in need of maintenance.

The seven-unit brick building, at 2501 Girard Avenue S., is about a block from where Fannin lived with his mother.

The ladder “swung out and he fell,” Kevin Fannin, who lives in Florida, said of the fire escape, which he has seen and described as rusted and “in bad disrepair.”

The father acknowledged that Blake and the other boy, who was not hurt, “probably shouldn’t have been doing what they had been doing,” but if the fire escape was in “decent shape, this wouldn’t have happened. … If they had a fire and they had to use it, no way.”

Resident Manly Zimmerman, an attorney, has been designated as a spokesman for the 100-year-old building’s occupants, and he had little to say about the circumstances surrounding Fannin’s death or the upkeep of the property.

“It’s unfortunate, but I don’t have personal knowledge” of what occurred, said Zimmerman, who made it clear that “I’m not talking to you as a lawyer. I’m talking to you as a resident.”

Zimmerman said he’ll leave it up to the city to disclose the building’s maintenance history. However, owner-occupied condos such as this one are not subject to municipal inspection. There would be inspections required if the building included rented units.

The building has two fire escapes, and both appeared well rusted Thursday, with chunks of metal missing.

Kevin Fannin said Blake moved from Virginia to the East Isles neighborhood when he was 7 with his mother and embraced many athletic activities, most firmly basketball. He played on traveling teams in Minnesota and on squads near his father’s home in the summer.

A memorial fund established in Blake’s memory has been established with a goal of raising $10,000 
to help pay basketball fees for families who can’t afford the cost. In less than a week, nearly $3,000 has been pledged.

“He didn’t believe city leagues should charge money,” Kevin Fannin said. “They may charge $25, but there are kids who cannot pay.”

While Blake’s home was in a “pretty affluent area,” Kevin Fannin was impressed that his son “had friends from all walks of life … from very poor areas and who were challenged in life. But somehow he brought them together.”

Along with his father, Blake Fannin is survived by his mother, Twylia Fannin, brother Eli Fannin, and stepbrothers Kalil and Akil Cole. 

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, 900 Mount Curve Blvd., Minneapolis. Contributions can be made to “Blake’s Basketball Scholarship” at

Southwest Footlights - The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - 9th and 10th Graders Only

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (a musical) auditions will be August 31, September 1 and 2.  For more information see Ms. Berg.

The fantastic show is for 9th and 10th graders ONLY.  This is the Southwest Footlights show and follows in a great tradition of fun and outstanding entertainment.

If you are interested in any part of theater, please come to auditions.  We need painters, actors, lights and sound technicians, and stage managers.  Now is the time to get your name in lights.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Loss of a Loved One

Loss of a loved is difficult at any time.  The loss of a young person increases the tragedy for the family and for all those who were involved in those few years.

We are grieved to announce the death of Blake Fannin.  We have been in communication with his mother.  She stated he died Sunday from accidental fall.  

The funeral is scheduled to take place at 2:00 pm, Saturday, September, 29, at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, 900 Mt. Curve Avenue, Minneapolis, MN  55403.  

When students ask, please provide them with information about the funeral services. Remind students that grief counselors are available to help them process this loss.   

We ask that everyone respect the family’s privacy at this difficult time. 

Student - Teacher Ultimate Frisbee Challenge

The Southwest Ultimate Frisbee team forwarded a challenge to Southwest teacher for a first ever Ultimate Frisbee Showdown.  The Students took the first one by a slim margin of 5-4.

Ultimate Frisbee is a club sport at Southwest with a long trasition including a Women's State Championship.  You, too, can become a team member.

The team has open practices at Pershing Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays - 4:00 - 5;30 pm

For more information check out the Southwest web site:

Ultimate Seasons

  • Fall League - In the Fall the MUS play as a co-ed team in the Minnesota Youth Ultimate Fall League (MNYU). Ultimate is unique in that at all levels of play (even in international competition) there are leagues that have males and females playing side by side. Note that players must register individually for this league but will be placed on teams with other players from their high school (as much as possible).
  • Spring - Spring is the main season for Ultimate. High school teams from all over compete on a regular schedule, culminating in a State tournament at the end of the season. In the spring the MUS field an open team and a girls team and compete with over 50 other highschool open teams and 20 girls teams. Last year our Girls team took 1st in state!
Ultimate at Southwest High School
We are Moose Ultimate Southwest (MÜS), a letter status club at Southwest. We practice and compete in the sport of Ultimate. We have several volunteer coaches with extensive elite experience, an effective parent boosters club, and a cadre of highly motivated captains.
Ultimate at Southwest has a strong tradition. We are one of the founding teams of the State League and are always competitive in league play. We focus on the fundamentals and strategies that make our players successful in the game and in life
Our club is designed to take advantage of the rapidly growing opportunities for High School play in the Twin Cities, the state, and across the county. We compete in MNYU Fall League, the Minnesota State High School Ultimate League, and in national and international qualifier events. We make day trip and over-night trips to regional high school tournaments.
We want to encourage all students from any school to play at some level. Even if you can only come part-time, you are welcome to join in.
About Ultimate
Combining the non-stop movement and athletic endurance of soccer with the aerial passing skills of football, and the vertical nature of basketball, a game of Ultimate is played by two seven-player squads with a high-tech plastic disc on a field similar to football. The object of the game is to score by catching a pass in the opponent’s end zone. A player must stop running while in possession of the disc, but may pivot and pass to any of the other receivers on the field. Ultimate is a transition game in which players move quickly from offense to defense on turnovers that occur with a dropped pass, an interception, a pass out of bounds, or when a player is caught holding the disc for more than ten seconds. Ultimate is governed by Spirit
of the Game, a tradition of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the players rather than referees. All players are responsible for knowing the rules and calling the game.
Ultimate is played in more than 42 countries by hundreds of thousands of men and women, girls and boys. In the USA, Ultimate is governed by USA Ultimate. They also sanction the Minnesota State High School Ultimate League, so USA Ultimate registration is required to compete in the spring season

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ultimate Frisbee 4 pm Today Versus Faculty

Now is the time to join the fun.  Join the Ultimate Frisbee team.

Come out today and at 4:00 pm in the Stadium, watch and cheer on the Southwest team and the Southwest faculty.

47th CLOSED Wednesday 7:00 am to Noon

W. 47th Street will be CLOSED Wednesday August 26 starting at 7:00 am and reopen at noon.

Concrete for the upper deck will be poured during those hours requiring a bigger piece of equipment and requiring the street to be blocked.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Student Drop-Off can be on Abbott and on 46th with no problem during those hours.

Monday, August 24, 2015

2005 Alumni Jamie Cheever Going for the Gold -- You Can Help

2005 SW Grad Jamie Cheever - 2016 Olympic Hopeful!

Jamie Cheever played five sports (soccer, track CC, hockey and Nordic) at SW, earning All-State honors in three! She was a three sport (soccer, track, CC) star for the University of Minnesota, earning All-American honors in track and CC. Now, 

Jamie has run a qualifying time for the 2016 Olympics in the steeplechase. She is training full-time in her quest to represent the U.S.A. in the 2016 Olympics, to be held in Rio de Janeiro. 

To do that, and to maximize her chances, she has had to quit her jobs to focus on her full time training regimen. She, like so many athletes striving for the Olympics, is fundraising to help make ends meet.

The whole SW community is cheering her on! How exciting would that be for the school and SW Minneapolis to have Jamie run in Rio! You can help Jamie achieve her dream by visiting her site: 

Run, Jamie, run!

Southwest Students Starting with Success and Excitement

Off and running - another exciting year at Southwest High School.

Even the weather cooperated for the opening of the 2015-16 school year.  Students started the day getting their schedules in the west gym and going forward for the day of learning and classes.

We even made it through lunch with everyone fed who wanted a lunch.  And with time to spare to talk with friends and have some social moments before returning to the tasks of education.

Another great start and we are proud of our students and excited about the possibilities.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Welcome Back to Another Exciting Year!

Welcome back to school and the start of an exciting years - 2015-16!

First Period begins at 8;05 am.  Please make necessary arrangements to get to school on time daily.  Breakfast is few to all students and available before school with sufficient time to eat and make it to class on time.

Pick-up and delivery of students can become an issue even in the best of weather.  The streets are narrow and crowded.  Before and after school all the doors are open and it would be convenient to arrange for delivery and drop-off on 46th (north side of building) or Abbott on the east of the building.   47th and Chowen are busy before and after school.

Parking is limited.  Be aware of permit and no parking on many of the streets surrounding Southwest.  Please respect the needs of neighbors.  If you park (legally) need a driveway, make sure you are completely out of the driveway.  We do not want you to get a ticket or possibly towed.

Dress for the weather.  Fall has a history of cool mornings and hot afternoons.  The building attempts to adjust for the weather.  However, each building and level will feel different and different and various times throughout the day.  Dress appropriately for the weather and a public places.  Please remember this is not the beach or your own back yard.  Fancy is not necessary.  Maybe the best way to describe would be business casual.

This is going to be another fantastic year.  A wonderful senior year for those moving to graduation and another year of experiences and opportunities for all.  Anticipate a great year and give it your best!

Southwest Family Communication

Parent-southwest --   SWHS Weekly Update - Welcome Back!

Every Friday a Weekly Update is emailed to Southwest families and friends.  The first Weekly Update was emailed this past Friday, August 21.

IF you did not receive the Weekly Update and want to stay current with all the news, please email:  Michael Ries and include name and email address.

Southwest Web sie:

Special section on web site for families:

School Telephone Numbers: - Main number 612-668-3030
Attendance to leave a message about illness or absence: 612-6683088
Athletic Office:  612-668- 3035
Community Education:  612-668-3100

Questions about lunch and making payments to account:
Breakfast is free to all students
Lunch -- for the regular school lunch - cost is $2.55
Applications for free or reduced lunch is online 

How can parents get involved:
Parent information about assignments and attendance - the Parent Portal:
Transportation:  Phone 612.668.2300

GO Card Information:  Go-To Pass Coordinator:
Jon Ledeboer
612.466.1602   or Southwest 612-668-3073

Friday, August 21, 2015

Southwest 2015-16 School Year Hours

Period Zero         7:10-8:00

Period One          8:05-8:55

Period Two         9:00-9:50

Period Three       9:55-10:45

Period Four         10:50-11:40
Period Five A       Lunch 11:45-12:10           Class    12:15-1:10
Period Five B       Class   11:45-12:10           Lunch   12:10-12:40         Class   12:45-1:10
Period Five C       Class   11:45-12:40           Lunch   12:45-1:10

Period Six            1:15-2:05

Period Seven       2:10-3:00

Period Eight        3:05 - 3: 55 - Study Support, Test Retake and Credit Make-up


Monday is First Day of School in Minneapolis - Please Prepare for Change in Temperatures

The key may be to dress in layers.  The temperature for Monday is predicted to be somewhere between 55 and 95 with high humidity.  Please dress accordingly.

Some parts of the building will be warm and others cooler.  The air controls are on in the east unit and that building may be cooler than the west.   The second floor is warmer than the first.  There will be differences from the first period to the last.

We are excited to be back in school.  Plan accordingly.

Southwest Addition Waiting for Concrete

The Southwest addition and renovation project continues and each day develops into a new building.  The picture is the second floor of the new structure with decking and the next step is the concrete which started this week.

Four new rooms open Monday,  Four more in September and two more in October.  The entire project is slated to be finished fall of 2016.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Southwest as a Three-Story Single Building

Southwest became one building August 11.  The first piece of steel was attached to the west unit coming in sections from the east building.   In nine days the structure went from a line in the air to a skeleton of three stories.

The addition is moving along with four new rooms opening Monday in the area that once was the media center.   Four more rooms will open - science, music and dance - will opening the middle of September.  Two more rooms will open in the old media center space.

The entire project is to be complete in fall of 2016.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Southwest 2015-16 School Times and Hours

Period Zero         7:10-8:00

Period One          8:05-8:55

Period Two         9:00-9:50

Period Three       9:55-10:45

Period Four         10:50-11:40
Period Five A       Lunch 11:45-12:10           Class    12:15-1:10
Period Five B       Class   11:45-12:10           Lunch   12:10-12:40         Class   12:45-1:10
Period Five C       Class   11:45-12:40           Lunch   12:45-1:10

Period Six            1:15-2:05

Period Seven       2:10-3:00

Period Eight        3:05 - 3: 55 - Study Support, Test Retake and Credit Make-up


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Southwest Three Floors Visible Across Skyline

Looking south and west from above, down on the future Southwest commons.

Southwest High School construction project including both renovation and addition moves to new heights.  All three floors are visible in the new construction with steel placement which started last week.

Some new areas will be open this fall,  Additional rooms will open in October.  The new kitchen and commons will open in February of 2016

Looking up from the courtyard in the east building
.  The completion date is expected to be fall of 2016..

Southwest Assistant Principal Crystal Ballaard

Crystal Ballard, Assistant Principal, Southwest High School

Welcome to the newest addition to the Southwest Administrative Team, Crystal Ballard.

Ms. Ballard's educational experiences include high school, middle school and special education teaching.  Recently she served as Assistant Principal in Minneapolis.  Ms. Ballard gained degrees from Grambling State University, University of Minnesota and Mankato State University.  She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota.

Please welcome Crystal Ballard to Southwest.

2015-16 MMEA All- State Instrumental Music - Lowry and Robinson

The 2015-16 Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State musicians were selected through an audition process last spring.  Nearly 1,500 high school students auditioned for All-State.  Judges listened to the students, evaluating them on their overall musicianship and technique.  In mid-April the MMEA executive committee chose the final rosters, selecting 567 students for the seven All-State group.s

Congratulations to Nicola Lowry in Concert Band and
Gerhardt Robinson in Jazz Ensemble.

Congratulations to their All-Star Director, Reid Wixson

Southwest High School Metro Transit Co. Go To Card Pick Up Schedule

Southwest High School  Metro Transit Co. Go To Card Pick Up Schedule

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm
Seniors:  10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Juniors:  12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Sophomores: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Freshman:  4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Parents/Guardians are strongly encouraged to accompany their student(s) when picking up their Metro Transit Go-To Student Pass.  All students receiving Go-To Passes will be asked to sign a contract regarding the use of the Go-To Student Pass and the Code of Conduct while a rider on Metro Transit.  A copy of the contract will be sent home with each student.  Students who are deemed to be habitually truant (absent with a valid excuse) will have their Go-To Student Pass Card turned off until they return to school.  Lost or stolen cards must be reported immediately to school building Check & Connect staff.  Metro Transit replacement cards have a $10.00 fee and an additional school charge will be incurred for the cost of replacing the Student ID.  Cards are non-transferable and can only be used by the student to whom the card is issued.

If you have any questions please contact Jon Ledeboer at 612-466-1602

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Southwest Now One Building

August 6, 2015 Southwest joined the two buildings and become one

A single steel I-beam connected the east and west buildings creating a new one-building structure for Southwest High School.

Steels beam are attached to the west building for the new three floor connection with the east.

More steel is on the way with deliveries daily.

Youth For Understanding Seeking Host Families

Experience the world without leaving your home: Southwest families are needed to host exchange students!

Youth For Understanding (YFU) and Southwest HS are excited to enroll foreign exchange students next school year. 

You can become a host family for a student arriving this month! Host families provide a bed, meals, a way to get to school, plus encouragement, love and limits.  The students pay for their other expenses and become a true family member sharing in the family’s real life, fun and responsibilities. 

All different kinds of families host successfully: large and small, single parents and empty nesters, big or little kids, all ethnicities and economic levels. There is strong support for students and families during the year. 

One student arriving to Minnesota is Reside from Turkey. Reside enjoys art and reading and she is part of school government back home. She is a YES Scholarship winner, so she has proven herself as a leader and very motivated individual. 

Will your family open your heart to Reside or another student? Now is the time to apply as the students arrive soon. 

To learn more about hosting or volunteering, contact Anna Peters at 651-646-8173 or Learn why YFU, a non-profit that began over 60 years ago, is different at

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Washington Post Ranks Southwest 3rd in the State

America’s Most Challenging High Schools

America’s Most Challenging High Schools ranks schools through an index formula that’s a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. A ratio of 1.000 means the school had as many tests as graduates.

Southwest High School is ranked third in the state of Minnesota for 2015 by The Washington Post

Based on The Washington Post report Southwest is ranked 3rd in the State, 14th in the mIdwest and 148 in the USA out of the 2300 high schools across the country.

1. How does the America’s Most Challenging High Schools list work?
We take the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year and divide by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June. I call this formula the Challenge Index.

With a few exceptions, public schools that achieved a ratio of at least 1.00, meaning they had as many tests in 2014 as they had graduates, were put on the national list. We rank the schools in order of ratio, with the highest (20.44) this year achieved by BASIS Oro Valley, in Oro Valley, Ariz., which takes over as the top-ranked school after the American Indian Public Charter in Oakland, Calif., held the position for two years.

I think 1.00 is a modest standard. A school can reach that level if only half of its students take one AP, IB or AICE test in their junior year and one in their senior year. But this year, just 11 percent of the approximately 22,000 U.S. public high schools managed to reach that standard and earn placement on our list. On our list, the top 220 schools are in the top 1 percent nationally, the top 440 in the top 2 percent, and so on.

2. Why do you count only the number of tests given, and not how well the students do on the tests?
Some schools brag about their high passing rates on AP or IB, meaning the percentage of test-takers who scored 3, 4 or 5 on the 5-point AP exam or 4, 5, 6 or 7 on the 7-point IB exam. Passing scores make students eligible for credit at many colleges and universities.

I decided not to count passing rates in this way because I found that many high schools kept those rates artificially high by allowing only top students to take the courses. AP, IB and AICE are important because they give average students a chance to experience the trauma of heavy college reading lists and long, analytical college examinations.

Research has found that even low-performing students who got a 2 on an AP test did significantly better in college than similar students who did not take AP.

On the list, we also give readers a sense of how well each school’s students are doing on the tests by posting the Equity and Excellence rate, which is the percentage of all graduating seniors, including those who never took an AP course, who had at least one score of 3 or above on at least one AP test sometime in high school.
The nonprofit College Board, which oversees the AP program, invented this metric. It found that the average Equity and Excellence rate in 2014 was 21.6 percent.

3. Why don’t I see famous public high schools such as Stuyvesant in New York City or Thomas Jefferson in Fairfax County on the list?

We do not include any magnet or charter high school that draws such a high concentration of top students that its average SAT or ACT score exceeds the highest average for any normal-enrollment school in the country. This year, that meant such schools had to have an average SAT score below 2000 or an average ACT score below 29 to be included on the main list.

The Challenge Index is designed to identify schools that have done the best job in persuading average students to take college-level courses and tests. It does not work with schools that have no, or almost no, average students. We put those schools on our Public Elites list.

4. If I think my school qualifies for the list but I don’t see it there, what should I do?
E-mail Jay Mathews at If we find that the school qualifies, we will add it to the list.

Jay Mathews is an education columnist and blogger for the Washington Post, his employer for 40 years.

Southwest Construction Continues

Windows being delivered for the new West Addition - Science rooms and Dance and Music

Each day presents a new look.  On many days there are over 100 workers dealing with all the parts of the addition, renovation at Southwest High School.

The East unit and its new 4 rooms will be ready for the beginning of the 2015-16 school year.    The 4 rooms on the west addition will be ready mid-September and the additional 2 new rooms in the previous media center will be available mid-October.

The entire project is slated to be complete in fall of 2016.

Entrance at door 5 on the west side of the west building looks different two stories tall

Looking down the hall from door 6 to door 5 - still some work to do

The Southside Village Boys & Girls Club is OPEN all YEAR!

The Southside Village Boys & Girls Club is OPEN all YEAR

·         Located on the corner of East 39th Street and Chicago Avenue
·         Open during the school year from 2:00 – 7:00pm (5-12 years old); 2:00pm-9:00pm (13-18 years old)
·         Open during winter/spring/summer break from 9:30am-5:30pm
·         Membership is just $5 for the entire year!  
·         Most schools in the surrounding neighborhoods bus to our site afterschool!  (speak to your school’s transportation liaison)
·         I have attached flyers and membership forms for your students and families!!!

Our club offers a safe, supervised, educational, and fun environment for students Kindergarten – 12th grade (5-18 years old).

Here is a list of some of the programming we provide at our club:
·         Daily Dinner @ 5:00pm
·         Homework Help / Tutoring / Educational Activities
·         Athletics / Sports Leagues
·         Recreational Activities (ex: board games, video games, pool, chess, etc.)
·         Career Readiness & Leadership Opportunities
·         College Readiness & Scholarship Opportunities
·         Teen Programming
·         Striving To Achieve Reading Success (K-2)
·         Mentoring
·         Field Trips
·         Art
·         And More!

If you are interested in sharing this opportunity with students and families at your school, please email/call me to discuss more details.  I would be more than happy to set up a time to come to your school and speak with staff and students about our club. Our Club is a great community resource!
Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you!

Stephanie Siegel
Program Director
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities
Southside Village Boys & Girls Club
701 East 39th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Cell: 612-240-8659
Club: 612-822-3191

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Southwest Robotics Partnering with the Bakken

Southwest Students Supported to Visit Japan

Hailley Danielson-Owczynsky received a great opportunity to get a 19-day fully funded trip to Japan. She met her group in Los Angeles for a pre-departure orientation on July 5, then traveled to the Tohoku region in Japan to participate in exchanges with students.  She returned home last week.  

Hailley is now thrilled to share her experience.  Please open the link below to see more than 350 pictures of her trip.

All of the 2015 Jet-Mip participants flew from across the United States and even from Guam. We congregated in L.A. had a few orientations, listened to guest speakers, visited the Consulate General and prepared to fly to Japan.

IMAG1049.JPGpre-dinner photo

Does AVID Work - The Continuing Story

I want to thank all Southwest families and staff who consistently support AVID and AVID students.  Over the years people have asked and wondered if AVID works.  My response is yes, and the data continues to support that response for students who enroll in and graduate as AVID students.

I've attached a couple of graphs that show that the college enrollment rates for AVID students surpass all other students across race/ethnicity, gender and economic indicators (with the exception of mid/high SES).  That is the mission of AVID!

More importantly are the college persistence rates.  AVID students are not only enrolling in large numbers, but staying in college in large numbers.  If you wish to read more you can do that here.

As we get closer to the start of school I would like to propose that as a staff we can increase our efficacy in helping all students succeed, enroll in college and persist by adopting some simple strategies across all classes.  One of those simple strategies is teaching and requiring all students to take Cornell notes.  While it is true that some students come to SW with solid note-taking strategies already, most do not and would benefit from learning and internalizing a solid note-taking strategy.  C Notes is that the strategy because it is so much more than just taking notes.  C Notes are a way to also have students review, revise and learn.  C Notes become a study guide.  

C notes work across all subjects.  Whether it is math, science, social studies, health, world languages, English and more, C Notes can be used always and whenever students are required to take notes from textbooks, readings, videos, discussions. Teaching and requiring students to implement C Notes is a simple strategy to increase learning and student success.

I would be willing to offer a training during workshop week for anyone interested in learning more about how to use C notes in your class.


Caroline Hooper
NBCT Social Studies
AVID Elective Teacher
Southwest High School

For more information -
Talk to your school counselor, AVID teacher of AVID Coordinaotr Connie Overhue

Monday, August 3, 2015

And It Starts To Look Like a Building

Southwest new addition is moving along.  This is a view from the south side looking into the commons, on the second floor is the new media center and on the third are new classrooms.

The demolition is complete and time to build the new structure.  Each day it takes on that shape of walls, ceilings and floors.  It is exciting as we look forward to the completion date of fall of 2016.

Southwest West Unit Nearing Completion

Introducing the newest part of the Southwest High School facility of excellence.  Excellent facilities for excellent students is coming into being.The top floor will be a new music room and a new dance studio.

The bottom set of windows are for the new new science labs to meet the needs of the new enrollment as we complete the project.

Part of the new construction will open with the start of school this fall.  Part will open in a month of two.  Some more will open in February of 2016.  The completion of the project is scheduled for the fall of 2016.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Southwest Kendama Players, Funk and Marshall a 2015 World Cup

Sweets Kendama introduces us to three teens who dominated the Kendama World Cup
Picture from KARE 11 web site

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Big props to some Minnesota teens who dominated in Japan at the Kendama World Cup a few weeks ago.

Lukas Funk and George Marshall, both from Minneapolis Southwest High School placed 2nd and 4th, and Brandon Meyer from Champlin placed 27th. The three of them, along with Matt Jorgenson from Sweets Kendama, stopped by KARE 11 Saturday.

Sweets Kendamas is located in Bloomington at 9743 Humboldt Ave S. You can find the big, green "SWEETS" sign on the corner of the building.

Stay tuned for the 2015 Minnesota Kendama Open to be held at the Mall of America Rotunda on November 15.

 This is North America's largest Kendama Competition, gathering players from across America and around the world.

Kendama (けん玉 ?, also written as 剣玉 and 拳玉) is a traditional Japanese toy. The ken has three cups and a spike which fits into the hole in the ball. Basic kendama tricks consist of catching the ball in the cups and on the spike. More advanced tricks such as the airplane require you to hold the ball and land the spike in the hole on the ball.

Kendama bears similarities to the classic cup-and-ball game, and the Hispanic world toy known as boliche or balero. The principle of these toys are the same: catching one object with another, where both are joined by a string. However the modern kendama style takes influences from a diverse range of skills including yo-yo, diabolo, juggling and dance. -- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thank to KARE 11 for picures and stories and Wikipedia from additional details