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Southwest PTSO (Parent Teacher Student Organization)

Welcome to the Southwest Parent Teacher Student Organization 2016-17.

Calling all Parents interested in leadership roles at Southwest

Southwest is in the midst of a transformation. We are now a Community Partnership School (CPS), which is still developing governance and decision-making roles through the formation of specific committees and a governing body, the Leadership Council (a new version of the old Site Council).

Please consider your best leadership roles at the school, given your talents and interests. As you may have heard, the Leadership Council is looking for new members, but maybe more important are the committee positions, where the real discussions and decision-making takes place before their recommendations are brought to the Council for an up or down vote.

There are many facets of school life which will need committee involvement, and even the Council doesn't know exactly what some of those committees are yet, as this undertaking is still being created as they work through the CPS conversion at their monthly meetings. 

Leadership meetings are every second Monday of the month at 3:30 in the SW Media Center, and open to the public. It can be an inconvenient time for some parents, but is the most convenient for teachers, staff, students, and admin, who make up a bulk of the Council. If you cannot attend these meetings, someone from the PTSO will be attending, and we will create opportunities to meet evenings for updates and next-step discussions.

Please email to be added to our new leadership team!

From our PTSO President:

PTSO leaders are a small group, but we are growing and would love to have you join us. Parent leaders are integral to the overall success and positive growth of the school climate at SW. 

Parent involvement on Leadership Council happens through PTSO, and in addition to the two council positions filled by PTSO, with every parent who participates in council committees and task forces we grow our influence in Southwest governance. PTSO unites parents in support of the school, giving more weight to parent positions (on behalf of our kids) and advancing an advocacy focus.

As CPS Leadership Council develops, standing committees running the academic side are in place or in process, and a social/political need is acknowledged, but the council cannot currently address these needs. There are plans for special committees and task forces for communications, equity & school culture, etc., but for now, these are too much for the council to handle in addition to simply running the school. My hope is that you are the first in a pool of strong leaders needed to form and lead such efforts. 

Some of you are already on the task force for equity, and I look forward to learning about that work so far, as well as planning next-steps to action. Advocacy officers of the PTSO are tasked with joining/leading such committees/task forces in cooperation with the Leadership Council and communicating decisions/actions to the broader school population through the PTSO. For some of you, this may be the perfect fit.

I look forward to meeting with you to find our best roles in leadership together.

Kirsten Mair
PTSO Chair 2016-17
Contact me at


Check out the link to our new PTSO Bylaws, which are still in the comments phase. We will be voting on them this week, so if you want to take a look and enter a comment or two, feel free (whether or not you can make it to the meeting). 

The most important parts for you to look at are Articles VII and VIII, which refer to the election and duties of officers. Please scan the duties of officers and let me know via email if you think there is a position for you. The PTSO officers are poised to be on the front line of new Leadership actions at Southwest. We are excited to get you on board!

This year, we opted to drop our charter with the state and national PTA, and have become an independent PTSO

In past years, thanks to the generosity of our Southwest Community, we have outfitted highly mobile students with cold weather gear, backpacks, school supplies, and sports equipment they needed to participate fully in school activities. We have 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.

Whether you were a member of our former PTSA or are interested in the work we do now, THANK YOU. We rely on your ongoing donations of time, money, and goods. Southwest High School's newly unaffiliated Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) is able to continue to do good works thanks to you and all you do.

~Kirsten Mair, PTSO Chair & SW Foundation Board Member


The SW PTSA is now an independent PTSO.  On October 11 2016, we dissolved our charter with the state and national PTA and became an independent organization (PTSO). If you were a member of the SW PTSA and want to continue to support the MN and National PTA, please see their webpages for more information.

To continue to support Parents, Teachers and Students at Southwest, please donate to the Southwest Foundation (, on our SW Directory page (link below), or directly through the SW Volunteer Coordinator, Janice Peterson. We will be focusing our efforts on "WELLNESS @SOUTHWEST" with parent June Thiemann leading various programs throughout the coming year.

If you are interested in helping us find or arrange a guest speaker relevant to parenting teens, please contact us!


The Southwest Mental Health and Wellness Committee leader is June Thiemann.
Please contact June if you would like to be involved in any of our Wellness Fair Events throughout the year or on the Wellness Committee at 612-928-0639 or


Parent / Student Directory

The Southwest High School PTSO is pleased to announce that we have moved to a secure online system for the SWHS Student and Family directory.  The directory is available online and has many convenient features such as mobile access, searching, creating a favorites list, showing maps, and printing custom versions.

This directory is ONLY available to current SWHS families who have opted into the system.  If you are returning to SW, your data has been imported from last year's directory, but you'll need to confirm that it's accurate and make any changes necessary. You can update your information at any time during the year to keep it current.  Please confirm your information ASAP. 

Simply click on this link to create an an account and review your family's data. Make any changes and save to update.  Within a few days you should receive an email confirmation with login information.  You can then access the directory by logging in at or download the MySchoolAnywhere app on your smartphone.

Please also consider making a donation to the SWHS PTSO to support the directory.


*************Past dates and speaker content*************

PDF Parent Meetings 2014-15   --  Informational meetings held throughout the year and sponsored by Administration, Counseling, IB and PTSA.
PDF Parent Speaker Series provided by PTSA 2013-14   --  Guest speakers on parenting teen issues supported by PTSA funds. Open to all parents, students and staff.
PDF Dr. Anne Gearity - Developing Self Reliance and Resiliency in Teens   --  Power point of the Jan 14, 2014 presentation made by Dr. Gearity to parents and staff at SWHS PTSA meeting
PDF 14Jan2014SecretaryNotesPresentation   --  Notes of Dr. Anne Gearity's presentation, taken by Mark Peterson, PTSA secretary 2013-2014.
PDF PTSA Guest Speaker Series 2012-13   --  Flyer re: PTSA meetings and guest speakers for 2012-13. Speaker titles and descriptions of talk