Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Nov. 30 - All After School Activities CANCELLED

A Robo call to all families:  I am calling to inform you that all after-school and evening student activities have been canceled today, Monday, Nov. 30, due to weather and road conditions. 

Minneapolis Kids after-school child care will remain open until all children are picked up. All middle school students should take their regular after-school bus. 

Buses bringing students home may be delayed today due to heavy snowfall expected this afternoon. 

All Community Education (adult) activities will continue as scheduled.

Again, this is Gail Plewacki, communications director for Minneapolis Public Schools, calling to inform you that all after-school and evening student activities are canceled today due to weather and road conditions

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Meet The Superintendent Finalist December 2

Dear principals,

Students, families and staff members have the opportunity to meet the Superintendent finalists and ask questions on Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Webster Elementary. Attached are posters (in English, Hmong, Somali and Spanish) that you can hang in your school. We are hoping you will help share information about this event and encourage your students and their families to come. Communications will also notify families via School Messenger.

Thank you for your help!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

SCUBA Club - Diving into Marine Life Sciences December 8

SCUBA Club - Diving into Marine Life Sciences

Informational Meeting  in Room N145 (Mr. Zhao’s room) Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 3:10

Come join us for a trip of a lifetime!  

Mr. Zhao and Ms. Kristofitz along with Mark Jensen from Washburn will take a group of students on a Marine Biology/SCUBA adventure!  

We are excited to join other Minneapolis High School students in this adventure!  

If interested, talk with Mr. Zhao or Mrs. Kristofitz

Check out the video from last years trip to the Bahamas.  

More Information Here

Southwest Math Team Results

Southwest Math Team

The Southwest Math Team lost at a regular season meet on Monday, November 23. This is the first time we have lost in…a long time. There were eight teams at the competition. 

The Southwest Varsity Math Team finished in third place with 57 total points. Washburn finished with 61 points and South finished with 63 points. 

Congratulations to Rewan Abdelwahab, Paul Heltemes, Sebastian Mueller, Simon Rothman, and Lydia Sulik. These students were the top performers for Southwest at the competition.

We still won the “largest team” title! Southwest was represented by 84 students, nearly half the number of students present at the entire competition. We regularly have the greatest participation in 
the entire state. Keep up the great work!

Our next competition is on December 14. We will be hosting seven other schools here at Southwest. The competition will start at 4:00 that evening.

Southwest Speech Team Meeting December 2 in Room E120

Speech Team Meeting

If you are interested in being on the Southwest Speech Team, we are having a meeting immediately after school on Weds. Dec. 2nd in room E120 (Ferris' Room). 

Snacks will be provided. 

If you can't come. please email me at

Top Ten Skills Children Learn from Studying the Arts

Top Ten Skills Children Learn from Studying the Arts   
1. Creativity - Being able to think on your feet, approach tasks from different perspectives and think 'outside of the box' will distinguish your child from others. In an arts program, your child will be asked to recite a monologue in 6 different ways, create a painting that represents a memory, or compose a new rhythm to enhance a piece of music. If children have practiced thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career.

2. Confidence - The skills developed through theater, not only train you how to convincingly deliver a message, but also build the confidence you need to take command of the stage. Theater training gives children practice stepping out of their comfort zone and allows them to make mistakes and learn from them in rehearsal. This process gives children the confidence to perform in front of large audiences.

3. Problem Solving - Artistic creations are born through the solving of problems. How do I turn this clay into a sculpture? How do I portray a particular emotion through dance? How will my character react in this situation? Without even realizing it kids that participate in the arts are consistently being challenged to solve problems. All this practice problem solving develops children's skills in reasoning and understanding. This will help develop important problem-solving skills necessary for success in any career.

4. Perseverance - When a child picks up a violin for the first time, she/he knows that playing Bach right away is not an option; however, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn't give up, that Bach concerto is that much closer. In an increasingly competitive world, where people are being asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance is essential to achieving success.

5. Focus - The ability to focus is a key skill developed through ensemble work. Keeping a balance between listening and contributing involves a great deal of concentration and focus. It requires each participant to not only think about their role, but how their role contributes to the big picture of what is being created. Recent research has shown that participation in the arts improves children's abilities to concentrate and focus in other aspects of their lives.

6. Non-Verbal Communication - Through experiences in theater and dance education, children learn to breakdown the mechanics of body language. They experience different ways of moving and how those movements communicate different emotions. They are then coached in performance skills to ensure they are portraying their character effectively to the audience.

7. Receiving Constructive Feedback - Receiving constructive feedback about a performance or visual art piece is a regular part of any arts instruction. Children learn that feedback is part of learning and it is not something to be offended by or to be taken personally. It is something helpful. The goal is the improvement of skills and evaluation is incorporated at every step of the process. Each arts discipline has built in parameters to ensure that critique is a valuable experience and greatly contributes to the success of the final piece.

8. Collaboration - Most arts disciplines are collaborative in nature. Through the arts, children practice working together, sharing responsibility, and compromising with others to accomplish a common goal. When a child has a part to play in a music ensemble, or a theater or dance production, they begin to understand that their contribution is necessary for the success of the group. Through these experiences children gain confidence and start to learn that their contributions have value even if they don't have the biggest role.

9. Dedication - When kids get to practice following through with artistic endeavors that result in a finished product or performance, they learn to associate dedication with a feeling of accomplishment. They practice developing healthy work habits of being on time for rehearsals and performances, respecting the contributions of others, and putting effort into the success of the final piece. In the performing arts, the reward for dedication is the warm feeling of an audience's applause that comes rushing over you, making all your efforts worthwhile.

10. Accountability - When children practice creating something collaboratively they get used to the idea that their actions affect other people. They learn that when they are not prepared or on-time, that other people suffer. Through the arts, children also learn that it is important to admit that you made a mistake and take responsibility for it. Because mistakes are a regular part of the process of learning in the arts, children begin to see that mistakes happen. We acknowledge them, learn from them and move on.

The author of this list is Lisa Phillips and was accessed from the Americans for the Arts ARTSBlog.  Lisa is an arts and leadership educator, blog journalist, and author of The Artistic Edge.

Robo Call Made to Middle and High School Families from District

This is a copy of the telephone robo call made to all middle and high school parents with telephone numbers in the student enrollment files:

This is a Minneapolis Public Schools message for parents of our high school and middle school students. We have become aware that today some students are planning to participate in a walkout as part of the protest regarding the recent officer involved shooting in Minneapolis. In situations like these, our first priority is our students’ safety.

We respect students right to peacefully assemble. We are providing opportunities for students to express themselves on school grounds.

We believe some students are planning to leave school grounds and either gather in Lynnhurst Park or join the protest at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct building.  If you have concerns about your child’s participation, please share your views with them. If you know your child plans to walk out today, ensure you have a way to stay in touch with them. Although MPS will not have an official presence at the 4th Precinct protest site, we will have staff there to observe with the goal of doing what we can to make sure students are safe.

If students walk out of school, they will not be able to return to the school for the remainder of the day.

Recent events in our community have strongly impacted our students and community. Jamar Clark’s funeral will be tomorrow at noon at Shiloh Temple. Counselors and support staff will be available in the afternoon for all students and families tomorrow at the Davis Service Center.

If you have any questions, please contact your student’s principal.

Southwest Learning and Sharing Opportunities

About 350 students participated in an afternoon "sit-in" with discussions and sharing opportunities.  This peaceful demonstration of support and unity was organized by a few of the Southwest students.  The topics include, race, safety, neighborhoods, friends, making good choices, police interactions, and what can we do.

A walk out is planned for later in the day after lunch.  Southwest continues to operate a school day but encourages participants to make good choices and be safe.  These are serious times and hopefully families and friends are communicating.

Teenage passion run high.  It is good that young people are concerned about what is happening around the world and in our back yard.  Violence, hatred and injustice should make all of us angry.  Perhaps a time for reflection stops some of that.  Perhaps a group discussion supports the idea of working together for a common cause.  Maybe some thoughts reduce the violence.

A robo call is coming to parents of high school and middle school families from the Davis Center later this morning.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Tuesday November 24 - Sit In & Walk Out

Not sure I want to be 15 or 18 right now.  There is just too much happening that makes no sense and hurts too much.  Paris, Mali, Russian airliner, 4th Precinct, immigration, terrorism. internment and hate.  Craziness fills the nightly news and prime time TV news.  Main stream politicians make statements that should invoke fear and laughter.  Each day we have innocent people dying from a bomb or someone's gun.  We find bodies in the street across the globe and in our neighborhoods.

Oh, by the way, what about that war of 1812? or maybe we should figure out where that semi-colon really goes?  I really want to study my driver's test examine but that seems insensitive.  Once upon a time, high school was Friday night dates and connections and good friends and who is studying for what quiz.  Not any more.............

Tomorrow the word is that some of our students are planning a sit-in that is in memory of some unpleasantness or violence or death.  After talking about all that for a few hours some of our students are planning a walk out that will join up with students from other high schools and then will go to a park and talk about and listen to others about death and justice and wrongs and rights.

Each family should be having conversations about what is important and represents the values of the family.  Others should not be determining the value of the family or the individual.   Just following is not a solid answer or reason.  If I am going to make a statement I want to be certain that it is my statement and not an echo of others who I do not know.

We are headed into a weekend that contains numerous mixed messages.  The Native Americans did not need the disease and genocide that follows the unwanted and uninvited immigration of European foreigners.  Yes, there is much for which we should be thankful.  At the same time the story of pilgrims and American Indians sitting to a wonderful and peaceful feast is not exactly factual.  A wonderful hope and myth, but not true.

We live in a country that permits and encourages questions and discussions.  We push the edges and challenge the status quo.  These are confusing times.  And maybe we should be thankful and proud that they are.

Letter to Parents from Interim Superintendent Michael Goar

November 24, 2015
Dear parents and guardians of MPS students,
The current events that have dominated the news for the past couple of weeks present a unique challenge for teachers, parents and guardians. From the terrorist attacks in Paris, to the shooting in Minneapolis that is prompting protests and a federal investigation, it is difficult to comprehend these occurrences at any age. But we know understanding and coping with such events is especially difficult for children. For the youngest of our students, feelings may include fear and sadness. For our more mature students, it can raise questions about civic responsibility and social justice.

Our classroom professionals have been paying special attention to guiding students through the turmoil of these times. Important discussions regarding these current events are developing organically across the district. There have been facilitated talks during lunch periods. Educators are using these events as teachable moments in classrooms.

We have experienced two protests in our schools. In both cases, students were offered space in the school to conduct peaceful and thoughtful articulation of their thoughts and feelings. Some students chose to leave school grounds. As you know, past a certain age we cannot force these young people to remain in the building. Principals and teachers have worked to protect the right to free speech, while doing everything possible to keep students in a safe place to express themselves.

Our crisis teams have been on alert throughout these events. Social workers and school counselors are available wherever needed. Security staff are vigilant about school safety. We will provide these resources at a heightened level for as long as necessary. It’s crucial that we support our students and their feelings around what they read in the headlines every day and experience in our community.

I have asked principals to encourage teachers to use these difficult occurrences to help students explore their worldview and what it means to live in a democracy. I would encourage parents and guardians to do the same. We have your children in our care for only a few hours in the day. They trust and rely on you and need to share their concerns and views with you as well.

These events remind us that learning does not stop at the classroom door. We never forget that teaching children is a partnership between their parents and our educators. Thank you for being in this important endeavor with us. Let the principal of your school know if you have any questions or concerns.

Michael Goar Interim Superintendent Minneapolis Public Schools
1250 West Broadway
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55411-2533
Phone: 612.668.0200 Fax: 612.668.0195

Estimados padres y tutores de los estudiantes de MPS:
Los eventos actuales que han dominado las noticias durante las dos pasadas semanas presentan un desafío único para los maestros, padres y tutores. Desde los ataques terroristas en París, hasta el tiroteo en Minneapolis que está generando protestas y una investigación federal, es difícil comprender estas ocurrencias para cualquier edad. Pero sabemos que entender y sobrellevar este tipo de eventos es especialmente difícil para los niños. Para nuestros estudiantes más pequeños, los sentimientos pueden incluir miedo y tristeza. Para nuestros estudiantes más maduros, estos hechos pueden levantar preguntas sobre responsabilidad cívica y justicia social.

Nuestros profesionales de las aulas han estado prestando atención especial guiando a los estudiantes a través de la turbulencias de estos tiempos. Se están desarrollando discusiones importantes de una manera natural con respecto a estos eventos en todo el distrito. También se han desarrollado conversaciones facilitadas durante los períodos de almuerzo, y los educadores en los salones están utilizando estos eventos como oportunidades para enseñar.

Hemos experimentado dos protestas en nuestras escuelas. En ambos casos, se ofreció a los estudiantes espacio en la escuela para llevar a cabo la articulación
a nivel elevado y durante el tiempo que sea necesario. Es crucial que apoyemos a nuestros tranquila y reflexiva de sus pensamientos y sentimientos. Algunos estudiantes optaron por dejar el recinto escolar. Como ustedes saben, más allá de cierta edad no podemos obligar a estos jóvenes a permanecer en el recinto. Los directores y docentes han trabajado para proteger el derecho a la libertad de expresión, mientras hacen todo lo posible para mantener a los estudiantes en un lugar donde puedan expresarse y mantenerse seguros.

Nuestros equipos de crisis se han mantenido en estado de alerta a lo largo de estos eventos. Trabajadores sociales y consejeros se encuentran disponibles donde sea necesario, y el personal de seguridad se encuentra vigilando la seguridad en la escuela. Ofreceremos estos recursos estudiantes y sus sentimientos acerca de todo lo que leen en los titulaers cada día y de lo que experimentan en nuestra comunidad.

He pedido a los directores que animen a los maestros a utilizar estos hechos difíciles para ayudar a los estudiantes a explorar su visión del mundo y de lo que significa vivir en democracia. Animo a los padres y tutores a hacer lo mismo, ya que tenemos a sus niños a nuestro cuidado durante sólo unas horas durante el día. Ellos confían y dependen de ustedes y necesitan compartir sus inquietudes y opiniones con ustedes también.

Estos hechos nos recuerdan que el aprendizaje no se detiene en la puerta del aula. No debemos nunca olvidar que enseñar a los niños es un trabajo conjunto entre los padres los educadores. Gracias por permanecer con nosotros en este importante esfuerzo. Si tienen alguna pregunta o inquietud, háganselo saber al Director o Directora de su escuela.

Waalidiinta iyo Mas’uuliyiinta qaaaliga ah ee Ardayda MPS ,
Dhacdooyinka cusub ee haysta warbaahinta dhowrkii usbuuc ee la soo dhaafay waxaa jira caqabado gaar ah oo soo wajaha macalimiinta, waalidiinta, mas’uuliyiinta, lagasoobilaabo wareerkii argagixisada ahaa ee Paris, ilaa toogashadii Minneapolis dhexdeeda , taasoo keentay mudaaharaadyo iyo baaritaan dowlada dhexe ah, way adag tahay fahmka waxyaabahan qofkasta da’ kasta oo uu ku jiro. Laakin waan ognahay inay ku adagtahay garashada iyo laqabsiga dhacdooyinkan oo kale gaar ahaan ardayda. Kuwa ugu yar-yar ee ardaydeena, dareemada, waxaa wahelinkara cabsi,murugo, ardayda caqliga leh waaweyn waxay ka soo saaraan su’aalooyin kusaabsan mas’uuliyada madaniga ah iyo cadaalada bulshada.

Xirfadleyaasha Fasalkeena waxay siinayeen feejignaan gaar ah sidii ay u hanuunin lahaayeen ardayda inta ay jiraan wakhtiyadan jahawareerka ah. Waxaa socda wada-hadal muhiim ah loogutalagalay in lagu tixgaliyo dhacdooyinkan dhamaan degmada. Waxaa socday wadahadal labixinayey xiliyada xiisadaha qadada.Macalimiinta ayaa u isticmaalayey dhacdooyinka daqiiqadaha waxbarshashada fasalada .

Waxaan lakulanay labbo dhacdo oo mudaaharaad ah dugsiyadeena dhexdooda. Labaduwba qas ayey ahaayeen, ardayda waxaa lasiiyey meel ay mudaaharadku ku qabsadaan si nabad-galiyo ah kuna soo bandhigaan maskax dhigooda leh,fikaradooda iyo adareemadooda. Aradayda qaar ayaa doortay inay iska baxaan dugsiga. Sida aad la socotaan, waxaa lasoo dhaafay wakhtii da’yarta, kumana qasbi karo ilmahan yaryar inay kujiraan dhismaha .Maamulayaasha iyo macalimiinta ayaa kasoo shaqeeyey xal u helida xuquuda hadalka xorta ah, halka ay sameynayaa waxkasta oo suurogal ah inay ku hayaan aradayda meel ammaan ah oy kumuujin karaan dareenkooda.

Koox-danadad dhibaatada waxay kujireen feejignaan intii lagu jiray dhacdooyinkan . Shaqaalaha bulshada iyo lataliyeyaasha dugsiyadu waa laheli karaa.Shaqaalaha nabadgaliyada ayaa feejigan arimaha kusaabsan ammaanka. Waxaan siinaa kheyraadka heerka kasta oo ugu sareeya ilaa inta ay u baahan yihiin. Waa muhiim taageerida ardaydeena iyo waxa ka agdhaw dareenkooda waxay kaloo ay akhriyaan wararka hore maalin kasta iyo khibrada bulshada.

Waxaan usheegay maamuleyaasha inay dhiiri-galiyaan macalimiinta si ay u isticmaalaana kuwaas oy adag tahay inay isticmaalaan si ay u caawiyaan aradayda sahmiyaan aragtidooda aduunka iyo micnoyaasha ay kadhigan tahay ah in lagu noolaado dimuqraadiyada . Waxaan ku dhiirigalinayaa waalidiinta iyo mas’uuliyiinta inay sameeyaan sidaas oo kale. Waxaan u haynaa ilmahaaga si taxadarkanaga saacdo maalintii. Way idin aaminsan yihiin wayna isku kiin haleeyaan la wadaag waxay u baahan yihiin daneeyntooda iyo aragtiyaha sidaada oo kale.

Dhacdooyinka waxay ina xusuusinaysaa inaysan waxbarashadu waysan istaagi doonin irridaha fasalada. Ma hilmaami doono barida ilaha waa iskaashi kadhaxeeya waalidkooda iyo macalimiintanada. Waad kumahdsan tihiin noqoshada nala dadaalayaasha muhiimka nala ah .ha ogaado maamulaha dugsigaagu haddaad qabto wax su’aalaha ma walaacyo ah.
Si-daacdnimo leh,

Khadijah Siferllah-Griffin National YoungArts Foundation Winner in Dance/Hip Hop

Media Contacts:
Dejha Carrington, National YoungArts Foundation / 305-377-1140

La’Kisha Hollmon-Griffin

National YoungArts Foundation Announces
2016 YoungArts Winners

Khadijah Siferllah-Griffin of Minneapolis, Minnesota is a YoungArts Merit Winner in Dance/Hip Hop

Siferllah-Griffin Selected Out of Record Breaking Number of
 Applications from Emerging Artists across the Country

MIAMI, FL (November 19th, 2015) – Khadijah Siferllah-Griffin of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who hails from Southwest High School, has been named a 2016 National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) Merit Winner in Dance/ Hip Hop. Selected out of more than 12,000 applications—the largest number to date—Siferllah-Griffin has been recognized for her outstanding work and accomplishments and joins 819 young artists from 42 states across the literary, visual, design and performing arts who are being presented with this year’s honor. Winners receive cash awards of up to $10,000, validation by renowned mentors, opportunities to participate in YoungArts programs, a strong professional network, and guidance in taking important steps toward achieving their goals. A complete list of the 2016 Winners is available online at  

“On behalf of everyone at YoungArts, I want to congratulate all of our Winners and look forward to welcoming the Finalists to our campus in January,” stated Lisa Leone, Vice President of Artistic Programs for YoungArts. “As we kick off our 35th anniversary, we’re thrilled to see that YoungArts is continuing to grow and develop into a remarkable and vibrant community of more than 20,000 artists who are making contributions to the art world today. I am excited to see how this year’s Winners thrive as they participate in our transformative programs.”

Each YoungArts Winner is designated as a Finalist, Honorable Mention or Merit Winner through a blind adjudication process by an independent panel of highly accomplished artists. Some Winners are awarded for excellence in multiple disciplines. All Winners are eligible to participate in YoungArts’ regional programs, including YoungArts Los Angeles (February 16 – 21, 2016), YoungArts Miami (March 8 – 13, 2016), and YoungArts New York (April 12 – 17, 2016), space permitting.

“To have such a formal organization acknowledge you as a young artist, saying that you have talent, was highly motivating for me,” said Terence Blanchard, multiple Grammy Award-winning trumpeter and composer and a 1981 YoungArts Winner in Music, the inaugural class of YoungArts Winners. “I was part of YoungArts when it first started, and the mentoring and scholarships I received definitely took my artistry and career to new heights which may not have been possible otherwise.”

YoungArts Winners become part of the organization’s expansive alumni network of leading professionals, including visual artists Doug Aitken (1986 Winner in Visual Arts) and Daniel Arsham (1999 Winner in Visual Arts); musicians Conrad Tao (2011 Winner in Music and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) and Jennifer Koh (1994 Winner in Music and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); filmmaker Doug Blush (1984 Winner in Cinematic Arts); recording artists Josh Groban (1999 Winner in Theater) and Chris Young (2003 Winner in Voice and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); writers Jenji Kohan (1987 Winner in Writing) and Sam Lipsyte (1986 Winner in Writing and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); actors Viola Davis (1983 Winner in Theater), Andrew Rannells (1997 Winner in Theater) and Kerry Washington (1994 Winner in Theater); renowned choreographer Desmond Richardson (1986 Winner in Modern Dance and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); and 2015 So You Think You Can Dance winner Gaby Diaz (2014 Winner in Dance).

YoungArts supports its alumni by providing opportunities to participate in the organization’s programming nationwide, including its annual YoungArts Awareness Day, a national advocacy campaign that promotes the arts as a rewarding and viable career path. The organization also seeks to support the artistry of its alumni and their projects throughout their careers; builds a community of YoungArts winners across generations; and establishes connections with partner institutions across the country, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, American Ballet Theater and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

About the National YoungArts Foundation
The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and support the next generation of artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts; assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development; and raise appreciation for the arts in American society. In recent years, there have been approximately 11,000 applications to YoungArts; in 2015, the organization received a record breaking number of more than 12,000 applications from 15-18 year old (or grades 10-12) artists, and from these, approximately 800 winners are selected.

YoungArts Winners work with renowned mentors, such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Plácido Domingo, Frank Gehry, Jeff Koons, Wynton Marsalis, Robert Redford, Rebecca Walker and Bruce Weber; receive cash awards of up to $10,000; gain access to significant scholarships; become eligible for nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts; and perform and exhibit their work at some of the nation’s leading cultural institutions, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The Museum of Modern Art (New York) and New World Center (Miami). YoungArts Winners also become part of the strong YoungArts alumni network artists, which offers them additional opportunities throughout their careers.

YoungArts alumni who have gone on to become leading professionals in their fields include actresses Anna Gunn, Viola Davis, and Kerry Washington; Broadway stars Raúl Esparza, Andrew Rannells and Billy Porter; recording artists Josh Groban, Nicki Minaj, Chris Young and Judith Hill; Metropolitan Opera star Eric Owens; musicians Terence Blanchard, Gerald Clayton and Jennifer Koh; choreographer Desmond Richardson; visual artists Daniel Arsham and Hernan Bas; internationally acclaimed multimedia artist Doug Aitken; television writer, producer, and director Jenji Kohan; and New York Times bestselling author Sam Lipsyte.

Carnival Foundation is the YoungArts National Premier Sponsor.

For more information, visit, or To watch a brief video about YoungArts, click here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Minneapolis Superintendent Search Finalists

Tonight the Board of Education announced its selection of three candidates as finalists to be our next Superintendent. They are:

·        Charles Foust, School Support Officer for Houston Independent School District (Houston, TX)
·        Michael Goar, Interim Superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools (Minneapolis, MN)
·        Sergio Paez, Ed.D., Former Superintendent of Holyoke Public Schools (Holyoke, MA)

The next steps in the search process are additional interviews and school visits scheduled for Dec. 1 – 3. There will also be a community reception at Webster Elementary on Dec. 2.  All staff are invited to attend the reception, meet the candidates, and ask questions. Following this, the Board will meet to identify and select our new Superintendent. The announcement is expected to happen around Dec. 7.

What:           Community reception with Superintendent finalists*
When:          Wednesday, Dec. 2
                        6:30–8: 30 p.m.
Where:        Webster Elementary School
                        425 5th St. NE
                                        Minneapolis, MN 55413

                                *Childcare and translation services will be provided.

Please feel free to share this information with students, parents and families. Look forward to seeing you on Dec. 2!

MPS Communications

Southwest Presentation of Antigone Open Thursday 7:pm

Antigone by Sophocles
Directed by Margaret Berg

Main Stage Theatre in Southwest High School Auditorium

November 19, 20 and 21 at 7 pm
November 22 at 2 pm

Tickets at the door or online : "ANTIGONE" TICKETS

Antigone is one of the trilogy of famous classic plays, known as the Oedipus plays. Antigone's brother is killed in the war. Their Uncle Creon has inherited the throne and will not bury the brother, claiming he is a traitor. Antigone rebels against the new king in defense of her brother.

This is THE drama you want to see this fall – imaginatively staged, produced and acted on our own Southwest High School Main Stage – at the best priced ticket cost around! 

Flowers available for purchase at all performances.

Donations for American Refugee Committee welcomed during the performances.

ARC works for refugees in 11 countries worldwide, helping people who have lost everything to events beyond their control. ARC helps them survive crisis, rebuild lives of dignity, health, security and self sufficiency.

Haiku Contest Time!

Haiku Contest time came back.  This Contest is sponsored by the Minneapolis­-Ibaraki Sister City Association (MISCA), the International Friendship Association of Ibaraki, the Minneapolis Public Schools, and the Hennepin County Library.  

Entries are divided into four categories: K-5, 6-8, 9-12 and Adult. 

Last year Southwest High School did a fantastic job again, placing with eight winners out of eight. Three parents won the prize for the adult category. 

The entries will be judged by the Board of Directors of MISCA, and the top 30 entries in each category will be sent to Ibaraki, Japan for final judging. 

Final results will be available in March, with an award ceremony to be held in April. 

This year’s theme is “Hon” which translates in English to “book”.  

If you put your entry or your students’ entry forms in my mailbox by 4:00 pm Wednesday, December 16th.  I will send the forms to the committee.  Please encourage your students to participate in this contest.
Thank you for your consideration.
Kyoko French
Japanese Teacher
Southwest High School
Phone 612-668-8155

For more information and entry form, please contact Ms. French.

Southwest Students Perform at Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies

Great Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCY)

On violin with the Philharmonic is Southwest Cooper Lu Newsmith.

In the Symphony are Southwest Sarah Edinburgh on Violin; Emerson Clay and Sien McFalls with Viola; Andrea Kloehn plays the Flute; Sophia Stevens are on Clarinet and Elan Rochell-Share on Percussion.

Congratulations to all the participants.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Southwest Jefferson Project Warm and Fed Challenge

3rd Annual Warm and Fed Challenge to collect gently used clothing and nonperishable food items to help those less fortunate this holiday season.  11 schools compete to gather the most items.   

It is not about how big the school is, but about how much a student body and teachers get involved. SW students, parents and staff got involved with three blue bins overflowing with clothes and food.  

We are proud for the time and  effort to help those less fortunate.  It was great to see so many students working as a team to help our community. 

Connie Overhue
Jefferson Project Advisor

Monday, November 16, 2015

Soiuthwest Academic All-State

2015 Individual Academic All-State

Jack Walker got academic all state!!  He was the only person in Minneapolis for 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Southwest Womens' Swim Team at Sectionals

The Girls Swim and Dive Team wrapped up their section meet last night.  The Lakers qualified three individuals and one relay to the state meet. 

Junior Ceci Crosby started the three day event off coming in with a 3rd place finish in 1 meter diving.  Her finish advanced her to the state meet this week at the U of MN.   

Sophomore Amelia Baxley qualified for the state meet in the 100 freestyle with a time of 53.35 equaling her school and MPS district record she set last season.  She also will be advancing in the 100 backstroke with her second consecutive section championship.    

School Record Breakers
Junior Maya Knutson set a school record while finishing second in the 200 Freestyle.  She also set another school record and finished 4th in the 500 Freestyle.  Both of these swims qualified for the state meet.

The Laker 400 Freestyle Relay, which included junior Madeline Peak, 8th grader Elle Niebuhr, sophomore Amelia Baxley, and junior Maya Knutson, qualified for the state meet while setting a new school and MPS district record of 3:37.45. 

Overall as a team the Lakers finished 3rd, bettering their 4th place finish last season.  Our girls have worked extremely hard this season all while maintaining a 3.73 team GPA.  

We look forward to seeing the results of their hard work at this weeks state meet.  All state meet info can be found at  

Thanks, Chris Aarseth
Women's Swim and Dive Coach

Southwest Music Booster and Parent (or Alumni) Volunteers

Winter is heading our way ~ and parent volunteers are working to make sure that the upcoming Hot Notes on a Cold Night Cabaret 2016 will be a a fun community-building event!

Here are a few important FAQs:

What the heck IS Hot Notes on a Cold Night anyway!? Hot Notes is SWHS’s biggest fundraiser. It features student entertainment, light appetizers and dancing to the wonderful SWHS Jazz Big Band! It is simply the best party of the year!

What does the fundraiser support? The proceeds raised at Hot Notes are vital to the health and sustainability of the Southwest High School’s music, theatre and dance programs. Hot Notes proceeds over the past few years have purchased band and orchestra instruments, guitars, provided students with lesson scholarships, purchased thousands of pages of sheet music and supported the school’s spring musical!

When and where is Hot Notes on a Cold Night Cabaret? It will be held on Saturday, January 30th 2016 starting at 7 p.m. at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church on the east shore of Lake Calhoun. Tickets will go on sale before Thanksgiving and will be available at the December 14th Basilica Concert.

What can I do to help it go off without a hitch?! Thank you for asking! Do you have something of value you could donate, such as: frequent flyer miles, concert or theatre tickets, sporting experiences, vacation properties? How about hosting a party or an experience after Hot Notes that we can sell tickets to?

How do I let you know I’d like to help? Now that’s easy – just reply to email address below and you will hear back from us shortly!

SWHS HotNotes!
We sure hope to see you on January 30th!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Native American Family Involvement Day November 19

November 19, 2015 is 
Native American Family Involvement Day (NAFID)

?        Native American Families are invited to join their student for lunch from 11:45 - 1:15 in our Southwest High School cafeteria. 

?        Native American College Fair – Native American families are invited to attend the college fair from 5:30 - 8:00pm at the Midtown YWCA.  

Representatives from Post secondary schools will be there to answer questions.  

Music by Tall Paul.  Food will be available to purchase.

Thank you for being a part of our community!

THIS Tuesday, November 17: Preliminary ACT and College & Career Readiness

THIS Tuesday, November 17: 
Preliminary ACT and College & Career Readiness

There will be building-wide activities to support college and career readiness for all students this Tuesday, November 17.  Additional information can found on the Southwest webpage (
9    9th Grade: Explore Test (1st floor West Building) and Team activities (see 9th grade team teachers for  location information)

?        10th Grade: Career Day and IB MYP Personal Project (pick up schedule for day in Auditorium before 8:05am)

?        11th Grade: Preliminary ACT (East Building rooms)

?        12th Grade: Core Academic Enrichment (1st floor West Building) and ALC- 12th grade only (Media Center)