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What does the PTSO do?

Hello from the Southwest Parent Teacher Student Organization, and welcome to the 2017-18 school year! If you have donated money, time, or goods, we want you to know that we have done some great things with what you provide to us:

Thanks to the generosity of our Southwest Community, we have outfitted highly mobile students with cold weather gear, backpacks, school supplies, and sports equipment that they needed to participate fully in school activities-- we raised special funds for a laptop computer, continuously stock our in-school free store, outfit classrooms and study hall with tissues, cleansing wipes, and other basic needs; provide meals for teachers on long conference days, and host guest speakers on topics relevant to parenting teens.

THANK YOU. We rely solely on generous donations of time, money, and goods. Southwest High School's Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) is doing good works thanks to you and all you do.

~Kirsten Mair, PTSO Chair 2017 (formerly PTSA)

Activities begun by the PTSA and adopted by Southwest's Volunteer Coordinator, faculty and staff:
  • Plan and organize evening PTSA Speaker Series and Informational Meetings (3x per year)
  • Compile fall packet of forms & information that is distributed to each student (August)
  • Organize and staff Freshman Orientation (August/September)
  • Procure & provide food & drinks for all staff - first day of school (August/September)
  • Distribute student schedules the first day of school (September)
  • Help distribute textbooks during the first two weeks of school (September)
  • Organize and staff Picture Day (September)
  • Student Directory coordination, data entry, printing and sales (September/October)
  • Organize and staff the Open House (September)
  • Organize dance chaperones for school dances (throughout the year)
  • Procure donations of food and organize meal for staff during parent-teacher conferences (October & February)
  • Organize and staff 8th Grade Info Night (December)
  • Plan, organize and distribute gift certificates and/or thank you's to all SW faculty and staff with the support of local merchants and PTSA funds (December/January)
  • Host SWHS Community Forums
  • Recruit test proctors school-wide (throughout the year)
  • Organize and staff teacher appreciation event (mid-May)
  • Organize Senior awards (May)
  • Organize Senior party (May/June)
  • Fund teacher supplies, available through the volunteer center, such as: markers of all kinds, clip boards, pens, pencils, notebooks, sticky notes, sticky tabs, antibacterial wipes, tissues, staplers, etc. (throughout the year)
  • Attend District info meetings (monthly)
  • Attend Area C meetings to advocate for our students (throughout the year)
  • Plan and attend PTSA Executive meetings with the school's Principal and Volunteer Coordinator (monthly).
  • Coordinate and share information with the Southwest Foundation (monthly)
Join the PTSO and volunteer with or donate to SW by contacting our Volunteer Coordinator. Your dollars fund educational nights like these:
  • Project Success Director of Curriculum Jason Brown on Motivation, Study Skills and Self EsteemSee this recent article: Project Success Finds Academics and Soft Skills are not Either Or and see the link to the night's power point presentation "southwest_parent_night..." at the bottom of this webpage.
  • Make Good Choices: Respectful Guidance & Engagement on topics of Substance Use, Sexuality, & Impulse Control. Parenting adolescents can be an incredible experience. The pleasure of co-starring in one of the most memorable periods of their lives can bring about a sense of purpose and pride as well as be intimidating and cause one to feel like an innocent bystander. While there is no handbook for parenting, there are some strategies that can be used to maintain the parent-child relationship during this fragile time as well as enable a parent to use their own experiences to demonstrate real life consequences of decisions. Please join us for an open dialogue about the up’s and down’s of parenting a teen and how both parties can come out closer and stronger than ever! See also the Southwest student newspaper "The Anchor" for the November 4th article on mental health resources at Southwest.
  • Making the Most of Summer (see below)
  • PTSA SPEAKER SERIES 7:00 p.m.: 


    Making the Most of Summer:  Productive Fun through Volunteerism, Community Engagement and Service Learning
    Presented by: Zeeda Magnusson and Rose Maanum from HandsOn Twin Cities

    Date:                              Tuesday, March 10

    Time:                              7:00 PM

    Location:                         SWHS Black Box Theater

    About HandsOn Twin Cities (

    HOTC is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting and facilitating meaningful volunteerism, education and leadership development in the Twin Cities Metro Area.  This effort is continuing the outstanding volunteerism in Minneapolis and St. Paul; which has again ranked #1 in the nation for volunteerism.  Building on 95 years of experience as the Nation’s first Volunteer Center, HandsOn Twin Cities and 300 plus affiliates give communities the opportunities to Be the Change.