January 19, 2007




A Letter from the Principal



Dear Parents and Guardians:


            The Internet is a wonderful resource for children, as well as a danger.  On January 30th and 31st, Christy Mulligan (Head of Teen Central at the Downtown Minneapolis Public Library) will come to Seward to speak to our 7th and 8th grade students.  She will talk to students about the importance of internet safety, focusing on social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook.  Seward students are involved with these websites, and parents need to be aware of what their children are experiencing.
            Christy came to a PTSO meeting last spring, and her message was very well received and extremely educational for families.  I invite you all to attend one of the sessions.
            Please call Mary Delander (Parent Liaison) at 612-668-4952 if you are able to attend. All sessions will be in room 201.
            January 30- period 1 (

                                period  2 (8:45-9:30)
            January 31- period 3 (
                                  period 4 (
                                 period  5 (

            The following article is also about the internet and online activities.  Please take a few moments to read and reflect on your children and internet use.

Dr. Marilyn











Safety Reminder for parents who drive their children to and from school: Please continue to drop off and pick up your children on the 28th side of the building (circle drive). The 29th side is reserved for buses.  We have 19 different buses that transport students to Seward!                                      Students waiting for their parents at the end of the school day need to wait in the office.  Some older students wait for their parents by the flag pole on the 28th side of the building. We have buses and cars moving in and out of that area.   There is a concern that this area is not safe for students to play in. If your student is old enough to meet you at the door after school, please have them wait quietly in the front doorway.      Thank you,                                                             Elizabeth (Libby) White
Assistant Principal                                                  Seward Montessori Pre/K-8 School
wk 612-668-4957
cell 612-290-1474


Seward Montessori Leadership Council Meeting Minutes (November 9, 2006)

Members present: Angela Mansfield, parent; Tom Hanson, parent; Karen Swigart (E1 teacher); Claire Colliander, parent; Lisa Ray, parent; Gwen Lyon (K teacher); Linda Reiner (Sp. Ed. teacher); Agnes Kilpatrick (E2 teacher); Libby White (administration); Susan Hughes (MS teacher); Marilyn Levine (administration)

Guests present: Mary Ford, parent; Laura Murray, parent; Joel Lutz, parent; Mary Delander, (administration)

Meeting began at 5:30 p.m.

Principal’s Report: Dr. Levine reported that about 860 students are enrolled. Overall, there is good behavior. There are more requirements for teachers this year. Band is meeting in the Multi-purpose room, Matthews Center, and the Music room are being used for lessons. The Orchestra meets in the Matthews Center and in the Multi-purpose room.

Classroom space is an issue; rooms are being shared. Teachers and staff move their materials around with carts.

The administration received the MCA test scores (from tests given last spring). All students did well in reading; scores in math for non-white students were down. Seward will be placed on the federal Watch List for special education students. Dr. Levin expressed that the federal standard for special education students is impossible to achieve: by definition, SE students must be two grades behind their age group, but the No Child Left Behind standards require year-to-year improvement for all students. Next year the SE students might be given an alternate assessment.

Teachers and administration have met to establish strategies to improve students’ mathematical reasoning skills. Teachers will implement a procedure to help solve math problems called GAPS: What is given? What is asked for? What is the procedure? Check the solution. A committee is also looking at how to better integrate Montessori math principles and the Everyday Math curriculum.

Site Improvement Plan: Administration sought suggestions for the Family Involvement section of the School Improvement Plan. (Handouts: Family Involvement Plan draft; completed School Improvement Plan). The School Improvement Plan is submitted to the Department of Education for Title 1 funding, and the Minneapolis School District is being audited this year. Suggestions addressed ways to achieve the objective “Encourage and facilitate increased family participation in school activities.” There was discussion about targeted parent nights, room parents, and the Seward web site.

New Business: Meetings between the district food service, administration, and parents have been held. Plans are being made for improved food service. Seward offers five hot breakfasts per week.

Volunteers will eventually be needed to help install the new sound panels in the Multi-purpose room. The panels were paid for by the district and the PTSO. Arrangements may also be made to paint the Multi-purpose room.

Teachers have submitted their textbook needs for the year to Claire Colliander.


Reminder:  Minneapolis Public Schools prohibits students from bringing any electronic devices to school.  This includes but is not limited to cell phones, IPODS, CD players, and electronic games.  If staff members see or hear an electronic device, they will confiscate items and turn them over to the administrative team. Parents/guardians will be asked to come to school to reclaim confiscated items.  This policy allows students to keep focused on learning while at school and ensures the safety of expensive personal belongings.


Volunteer needed for our Lost & Found. Once a month, sort through Lost & Found items, contact families with labeled items, and donate the rest. Please contact Mary Delander (668-4952) if you’re interested.

            Thanks to Jamie Buss for taking care of the Lost & Found every month until now; remember, if an item has a name on it, it will be returned!


Combined Band/Orchestra Concert: Thursday, January 25, 6:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room.





The East Lake Library renovation is nearing completion, and remains on schedule and within budget.  Come to Grand Opening day on Saturday, March 3!


Read, Read, Read
SEWARD PARENTS: Read-Around 2007 starts today!
               The Read-Around is a PTSO promoting reading by Seward students. They are encouraged to read or have someone read to them every day during a two-week period. The Read-Around also serves as a 
fundraiser for the school. The money raised supports field trip transportation, programs in art and music, and other special educational and family-oriented 
activities. Our school-wide goal is 200,000 minutes of reading, and $3,000. If every Seward student participates, it will take just 20 minutes 
of reading per day, and $4 (total) per student. With your help, we can reach those goals! 
(Students do not need to get pledges to participate in the Read-Around. However, we want to see all students logging their reading minutes.)
               When:  January 19 through February 1, 2007 (14 days total)
               Look for Read-Around forms coming home in your child(ren)'s backpack today, and start logging those minutes!
               Questions or want to volunteer?  
Contact PTSO volunteer Connie Lanphear at 612-721-3329 or clanphear@earthlink.net.


Thank You to all families that donated to Seward’s food drive in November: You gave over 1,000 pounds of food! Awesome!!! All food went to Groveland Food for Youth.



Children’s Theatre “Pay What You Can:” families pay a minimum of $1.00 per ticket (only 12 tickets per family allowed per season). Call 612-874-0400 for more information.


Become a Homework Helper for the Minnesota Literacy Council: a 3-hour training to give you skills to guide 3rd to 12th graders through their daily assignments.  When: 6 to 9 pm on Monday, January 29, Wednesday, February 28, OR Tuesday, March 27. Where: MN Literacy Council, 756 Transfer Road, St Paul. To register, contact Kate Gipp at 651-645-2277, ext 225 or kgipp@themlc.org.


Metropolitan State University’s School of Nursing
needs young children aged 0-5 years for their pediatric skills lab (for Family Nurse Practitioner students), on Thursday morning, January 25. The FNP students will be looking in ears, listening to hearts, doing developmental screenings, performing visual exams, etc. If a child becomes scared or tired or just doesn't want to participate, they can quit at any time. Children will choose a book to take home as a thank-you for helping out. Juice/crackers/coffee will also be available. Healthy, pregnant women (between 18 and 36 weeks gestation and NOT high risk) are also needed on Wednesday January 24, from1:30 pm to
3pm.  FNP students will be learning how to palpate and measure uterine size, assess fetal heart rates, and the positioning of the fetus for those further along. An instructor will be present at all times. A small stipend is available for participants. If you or someone you know are interested in participating, please contact Barb Hoglund, 651-793-1389, barbara.hoglund@metrostate.edu. Please indicate what time you would like to come (9:00a, 9:30a, 10:00 am, 10:30 am, 11:00 am), and the age and gender of your child, or indicate how many weeks gestation as of January 24.

















Seward PTSO Officers for the 2005-06 school year:
Susan Sullivan, Chair, sullivancoadyhome@yahoo.com
Julie Brekke, Communications Chair, julie.brekke@ppl-inc.org 
Fariba Sanikhatam, Treasurer, Pruitt@mcg.net
Mary Cady, Fund-raising Chair, mfcady@aol.com
Katherine Lewis, Events Co-Chair, klewismpls@aol.com
Kerry Cashman, Events Co-Chair, kerrymcashman@hotmail.com

SMLC, 2006-07

Parent Representatives
Kari Kleven (co-chair): klevens@mn.rr.com

Angela Mansfield: angelalbm@earthlink.net

Lisa Ray: lisaray321@msn.com

John Lauber: jlauber@mn.rr.com
Tom Hanson: tadhanson@msn.com
Claire Colliander: colliander@visi.com

Teacher Representatives

Linda Reiner (Special Ed; co-chair): lreiner@mpls.k12.mn.us

Susan Hughes (Middle School): susanh@mpls.k12.mn.us

Agnes Kilpatrick (E2): phoxisland@aol.com

Karen Swigart (E1): kswigert@mpls.k12.mn.us

Gwen Lyon (Kindergarten): gwenlyon@mpls.k12.mn.us