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SWHS Weekly Update

Have a Great Thanksgiving Break!


Principal Selection Task Force

·         Task Force Mission: To gather diverse, representative stakeholder input and be part of determining who will lead Southwest High School into the future.

·         What It Involves: Participating in planning meetings, developing a stakeholder survey, encouraging survey participation, conducting stakeholder focus groups, summarizing stakeholder input, and developing a Southwest High School Principal Leadership Profile. 

·         Timeline and Commitment: Planning is starting now, we will gather stakeholder input in November and early December and then finalize the Southwest High School Principal Leadership Profile in December. As a task force member, you will attend planning meetings and assist with the work of the task force – the time commitment will vary depending upon the role you choose for yourself but it will be a minimum of 1-2 hours per week over the next couple of months.

The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 28th, from 3:30 - 5:30, in the Commons area at Southwest High School.  If you are interested in this opportunity please contact Caroline Cochran, parent at Southwest and Leadership Council member at


Parents - please take the time to take this survey:
Take the MPS Values Survey – an excellent tool for helping MPS better understand what’s important to our students, staff and community partners.


Preliminary ACT for ALL Juniors on Tuesday, November 28

All SWHS Juniors will take a Preliminary ACT during the school day on Tuesday, November 28. This is an UNOFFICIAL, practice, full-length ACT test to help students become familiar with the ACT and receive baseline scores for use in college test and search processes. Juniors with last names A-M will be in the West Gym and juniors with last names N-Z will be in the East Gym. Juniors should bring #2 non-mechanical pencils, calculator, and photo ID to gyms by 8:00am. Juniors only will be released for the day after testing and lunch, at 1:15pm. Additional information will be shared by email and can be found on the Southwest Counseling website:  Note: all other grades (9, 10, and 12) will have a full day of classes as usual on November 28.


Mountain Biking Congratulations!

We have the second best mountain biking team in the state...second only to Stillwater. Last Friday in Northrup Auditorium at the University of Minnesoa, the SW mountain biking team received the trophy for second place...OUT OF 59 TEAMS and almost 1300 riders...from the entire state of Minnesota. Congratulations to the entire team.


Looking for Host Families

The Japanese Program is looking for host families for Kasugaoka High School’s visit from March 1st, 2018. The visit is five nights.  Visitors will be in Minneapolis from Thursday, March 1st to Wednesday, March 7th. We would like to be able to host 13 students, 2 males and 11 females. They spend their last night in a hotel, prior to departure (night 6).  Optimally, the hosts would be able to offer their prospective guests a private room and bed. Because of transportation concerns for group meetings and events, families should also be in close proximity to Southwest High School. If you are in a situation to be able to offer such hospitality, please contact me by email at:


Equity and Diversity Impact Assessment (EDIA) Committee

There will be an open meeting with the Minneapolis Public Schools’ Equity and Diversity Impact Assessment (EDIA) Committee held on Thursday, December 7 from 12pm-2pm at Saint Anthony Library. Come learn about the efforts to expand equity in the district, the Equity and Diversity Impact Assessment (EDIA), and the role of the EDIA committee. You’ll have an opportunity to meet current EDIA committee members and hear about their experiences. A light lunch will be provided. Please RSVP here. Below is additional information about the EDIA.

·         The EDIA is a component of the Minneapolis Public Schools Equity Framework and is centered on strengthening the district policies, practices, procedures, programs, and budgets that significantly impact student learning and resource allocation. It is both a tool and process that guides decision making. The EDIA intends to: identify which MPS students are disproportionately affected by bias or discrimination in policies, procedures, practices, programs, and budgets; assess the impacts and unintended consequences of existing and new policies, practices, procedures, programs, and budgets; engage public participation and feedback in planning and decision making; and evaluate and monitor implementation progress for continuous improvement.

·         To learn more about the EDIA, visit


Please let me know if you have any questions. Feel free to share this information with your network. We hope you can join us on December 7th!



Credit Recovery - Winter Break Academy Registration now open

Winter Break Academy will be held at Roosevelt and North High  Dates will be Wed.-Fri. Dec 27-29 and Jan. 3-5 (must attend all six days) from 8:30-12:45

Can make up to two quarter credits, classes are face to face or online.  Applications can be picked up in the counseling office and the Deadline is Dec. 8th


Senior Siblings Photos for the Yearbook. 

Calling all siblings!  If you have a senior who has a sibling in SWHS, we want to include you on the Yearbook sibling page!  Please email a photo of both siblings, together one photo, to



More than 2100 Southwest parents, guardians, and community members are entertained by (or at least tolerate) the weekly SWHS Performance Arts newsletter every week. Why? Because it's got the latest news on SWHS Arts, brilliant (or at least tolerable) writing and occasional pictures of happy high school kids, maybe even yours.

Sign up here in less than 20 seconds, or your money back:


Complete Your FAFSA NOW!!!

ALL seniors are strongly encouraged to complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which opened on October 1st. Nearly all colleges will use this information to determine eligibility for grants, low-interest loans, and work study. Sooner is better!


Do you need to complete the CSS Profile?

Seniors, in addition to the FAFSA, around 200 institutions also require the CSS profile, an additional financial aid form typically used by private liberal arts institutions. The CSS profile is often do at or around the time of the application, so be sure to check! MN institutions:  Carleton, Gustavus, Macalester, and St. Olaf. The list of participating schools and the application.


Wallin Education Partners Scholarship is Open (deadline February 15, 2018)!
The Wallin Education Partners Scholarship is a 4-year renewable, $4000/year scholarship. Eligible students  must have a minimum 3.0 GPA; 19 ACT; plan to attend a 4-yr, not-for-profit in MN, IA, SD, ND, WI or any Historically Black College or University (HBCUs) immediately after high school (no gap year); and have a family taxable income of $75,000 or less, low-to-moderate assets, and have financial need with regard to financial aid. Apply here.


Power of You (POY) application now available (deadline March 28, 2018)!
The POY program is both a scholarship that covers up to 72 credits as well as an advising/support program. Eligible students will enroll directly in Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) in the fall following graduation, meet the criteria to and apply for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA), have a family (students and parents) adjusted gross income cap of $75,000. Apply now at (Note: the POY program is also available at St. Paul College. More info can be found at:


New Nutrition Class Needs!

Southwest is excited at the addition of a nutrition class which Mr. Focht-Perlberg is teaching.  We need a variety of items to set up the kitchen.  Do you have any extra cookwear in the basement?  Buy too much dish soap at Costco?  Get your third set of kitchen knives for Valentine’s Day?   Here’s what we need, any contributions are greatly appreciated!


Southwest Boys Swim Team

The boys swim and dive team are ready to start another season! The official start to the season is November 27th.  We will have a Parents Meeting Monday, November 27th at 5PM in classroom by the pool.  Please note that the calendar highlighting important information has been updated with meets and dates for team events.  To add the google calendar please go to the school website.   We look forward to seeing you in the pool! Please email coach Chris Aarseth with questions at:


Join the Lakers Wrestling Team

Varsity, JV, Beginners- all are welcome. The wrestling team is about Fun, Fitness and Friendships. We teach the values of commitment, dedication, hard work and a positive attitude.  We support our athletes in their pursuit of their goals, and to the be their best selves on and off the mat. We have outstanding student-athletes, parents, and coaches.  All wrestlers must have a current MSHSL sports-qualifying physical on file. All athletic registration forms must be submitted no later than the week of Nov. 13.  First practice is Monday, Nov 20. Season Kick-Off Meeting & Potluck Supper is Tuesday, Nov 28  at 6:00 pm in the SW Cafeteria.Head Coach Paul Porter


The Wrestling Team Is Looking for Managers

No experience necessary. We are looking for responsible and positive students.  Head Coach Paul Porter


Spoken Word Club- Guest Artist Nov 30!

Presents a student workshop with local hip-hop artist Alexei Casselle aka Crescent Moon from bands Mixed Blood Majority and formerly Roma Di Luna.

All welcome!  We meet in room W201 every other Thursday at 3:15   We will develop and learn performance poetry and spoken word technique, and plan an event locally.


Southwest DJ Club

The SW DJ Club meets after school on Thursdays in room N152. The Club DJ’d the home volleyball games and the 9th-grade Dance this year so far.

Advisors: Paul Porter & Gabriel Pass


Japanese Culture Club

The Japanese Culture Club meets Wednesdays from 3:10 to 4:30 in Room W322.  If you are interested in Japanese Culture, Japanese Food, Japanese movies/amine, or J-Quiz (Japanese language competition for high school students), please join us!


MPS Scuba/Marine Ecology

The Southwest Scuba Club meets every other Tuesday from 3:15 to 4:00 in the Media Center.  If you are interested in Marine Ecology and scuba diving, please join us!  Visit our Southwest Scuba Club webpage or see Becca Kristofitz in the Media Center for more information.

  • On Wednesday, November 29 there will be a lecture on the topic of dolphin research.  Where?  Washburn High School @ 3:30 in room 202.  If students are interested in the Biology credit, you need to attend these sessions.
  • We are going to Roatan, Honduras!  June 23 – June 30.  For more information 2018 dive trip – Roatan, Honduras.


Southwest Math Team Wins Again

The Southwest Math Team earned a first place finish during their first competition of the season on Monday, November 6th. The Lakers were well represented by 38 students from all four grades.

·         Top performers included Anvaya Ajay, Cal Colbert-Pollack, Klara Foss, Cole Graber-Mitchell, Ted Lindholm, Alexander Matoushek, and Mark Pekala, and Rachel Springer. All of these students correctly answered at least five of the eight individual math questions correctly.

·         Mark Pekala was the only student in the Minneapolis Division to earn a perfect score by correctly answering all eight questions. Way to go Mark!

Our next competition is on November 27th. Contact David McMayer at if you are interested in joining the Southwest Math Team.


Teen Stress?

After years of development, the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board is launching its mobile-friendly psychological first aid website
The idea for MYCepaz came after the 2011 tornado in North Minneapolis. The devastation led members of Minneapolis Youth Congress to reach out to Nancy Carlson, Behavioral Health & Community Resilience Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Health. 
As a result, MYCepaz was created to help teens manage some of life’s daily stressors, such as academics, relationship issues and family pressures. Through the use of journaling, music, mindfulness tips, games and yoga, itoffers youth an intimate space to release their thoughts, tension and hopefully find inner peace

 SWHS Student and Family Directory

The PTSO uses a secure online system for the student and family directory. Note that this is independent of the SWHS/MPS registration system, and your data needs to be updated annually. The directory is available on your computer and/or mobile device and has many convenient features such as searching, creating a favorites list, showing maps, and printing custom versions.

This directory is ONLY available to current SWHS families who have opted in to the system and have confirmed their data. YOU MUST CLICK THIS LINK TO CONFIRM YOUR DATA IF YOU WANT ACCESS TO THE DIRECTORY FOR 2017-2018:

Once your membership is confirmed, you should receive an email message with login information.   

If you’ve already signed up for the directory, log in at or download the MySchoolAnywhere app on your smartphone. You can update your information at any time during the year to keep it current.

Email with any questions.