March 16, 2007

The Seward K8 Girls Basketball team beat the Field School 37-35 in a nail biter game.  Seward overcame a 10 point deficit, to win the Championship game.  Congratulations to the girls and Coach John, Seward's Head Engineer. This was an impressive first year. 

 Many thanks also to Athletic Director Doug Brown, parent Tom Hanson, and to all those who supported the girl's and boy's teams.  Special thanks goes to our PTSO for the funding they provided.




The Seward Montessori Plant Sale is right around the corner! As we shovel the snow, our thoughts turn toward spring and gardening! Important dates to make note of: The order forms will be coming home with your children at the end of February/beginning of March. Additional order forms will be available on the Seward School website and in the school office. Orders are due March 19th. Set-up for the sale will be on Wednesday May 9 and during the school day Thursday May 10th. We are looking for volunteers! Plants will be available to be picked up Thursday May 10th and Friday May 11th. There will be NO Saturday pick-up. Contact Kristen Stuenkel (612.721.7491) or Jennifer Tatsuda (612.724.7264) Thanks for supporting your school through this wonderful fundraiser!   

---Kristen Stuenkel


Seward Montessori Leadership Council Meeting, 1/18/2007. In attendance: Marilyn Levine, Kari Kleven, Gwen Lyon, Linda Reiner, Joel Lutz, Laura Murray, John Lauber, Agnes Kilpatrick, Karen Swigart, Claire Colliander, Lisa Ray, Mary Ford, Tom Hanson

Principal’s Report:

** Currently, there are 867 students enrolled at Seward.  About 20 children left, and 20 entered Seward over the break.  The school district will closely review school choice cards and enrollments, as well as building usage and space with concerns over the need for closures.

** Libby White had her baby.  Harold Benson is temporarily replacing Libby. He is a former Seward student and staff member.  Other staff shifts were reviewed (Stacy, Angela, & Brad).

Updates from Grade Level Reps:

 E1 à They continue to work on a new report card.  With assistance from a grant that buys teacher time, they can focus more on math.  They have a poet in residence working for 7wks (one hr per wk).

E2 à  Also working on reporting grades, with particular focus on “everyday math” scores.  Currently have an artist in residence, with a focus on photography, and a theme of “Using My Voice.” It has been very well received by the children. 5th grade reading is focusing on what makes a classic.  They produced plays of the stories Midsummer Nights Dream and Three Little Pigs.

Middle School à History Day happened. The boys and girls each have a basketball team for the first time.  Robotics Teams competed at the state level. An Internet Safety workshop was held, and the annual 6th Grade ski trip happened 1/31.  Preparations are beginning for the annual Wigiwagin trip for 6th graders in March.  Fundraising will take place to defray some costs.  As in past years, it may be possible to work with PTSO regarding a grant.  At the end of February, 8th graders heard about their program/school choices for high school

Budget Committee formed:  Mary Ford, Joel Lutz, Lisa Ray, Kari Kleven, and Dr. Marilyn.  First meetings will be a review of the budget and budget items, with follow-up meetings involving teachers, as well where the new budget will be drafted.  Discussed using a survey to parents, to look at budget items and priorities.  A similar survey is out among teachers.

Old Business:

Lunch room changes à the room has been freshly painted.  It did mean painting over the shark.  Some discussion about how informed and involved kids were about this.  Flags are yet to go up near the ceiling, as well as soundproofing tiles.

Update on Middle School changes à A draft was passed out at the meeting entitled, “Middle School Teacher Expectations.  It focuses on:

    1. midterm grades on Discovery each quarter, and mailed by district;
    2. teachers setting turn-around time expectations for return messages to parents;
    3. provision of course syllabi to students, parents and administration and the components to be included within syllabi;
    4. teacher expectations for the provision of feedback on student work (assignments and projects); the number of times per quarter and types of feedback to be expected;
    5. teacher contributions to the weekly Middle School Update newsletter (content quantities and qualities), and its purpose for communication between parents/guardians and students, the school and home.

Next Meeting: March 15th at 5:30.



The Rollergarden Skating Night has been rescheduled and will be held on Thursday March 22 from 6-8PM



 Does anyone need a Blue Sky Guide?  Seward Space Campers are selling them to raise funds for their week-long trip to a NASA Space Camp in Huntsville AL in May.  For a list of Space Campers to buy from, call Susan Sullivan at 721.6026 or email



 Thanks to Fariba Sanikhatam, Dunn Brothers by the Lake Street Bridge is now collecting Kemps Milk Caps (each worth 5 cents for school fundraising), and we're looking for volunteers to stop by there 1-2 times per week, to pick up the caps and get them to Seward.  Please call Susan Sullivan at 721-6026.  We're also looking for Seward parents to ask at other coffee shops in their neighborhoods or workplaces about collecting Kemps milk caps.  Zachary and Olivor Hersey's grandmother started doing this at a Starbucks coffee shop more than a year ago, and it's been a BIG contribution to Seward for fieldtrips and school supplies.  Never hurts to ask!



Art News: students at Seward have been weaving; Children’s House are currently weaving on 8 oz cups, using yarn. We looked at an Appalachian Basket, made of split oak before we started our weavings.

E1 students study Texture and Emphasis from SRS curriculum, weaving small rugs or wallhangings.

E2 students studied backstrap weaving by an Osage artist from 1885. Emphasis and Pattern looked at small versions of a backstrap loom. Their weaving choices were wristbands, pouches, or wall-hangings.

Middle School: weaving on beading looms, studying Native American bead designs from Ojibwe or Sioux. Students made their own looms, designed a beading pattern, and completed the beading into a wristband, barrette, or earrings, by adding leather.

Look for student weavings in the glass display case! If you have any ideas of what you would like to help do in art, let me know by email (Catherine.o’, or come in and visit.                                 –Cathy O’Brien, room N100.


Employment Opportunity at Seward: A girl's softball coach is needed for our Spring team.  Please call or email Doug Brown if you want more information (668-4950 or


Fit-for-Fun: This spring, Seward Montessori students, families, and staff are encouraged to participate in the popular Get in Gear Fit for Fun 2K race. The route follows the Mississippi River Road, with start and finish lines by Minnehaha Falls Park. The race will be held on Saturday, April 28 at 8:30 am, so the timing is perfect to build on students’ training for the mile run in their PE classes. To register, go to

Click to register now, select “Fit for Fun (2K only)—schools/teams,” select Seward Montessori from the team drop down menu, and continue filling out the registration form. Registration is $13 per person, and includes a t-shirt and finisher’s medallion. All registrations must be completed online by April 20. If you need assistance with registration, contact Sharon Alton by March 28 (668-4950, or Additional information about the races is available at A volunteer is needed on race morning to help with handing out race numbers and shirts. Contact Sharon if you can help.


To receive Seward PTSO Updates via email, contact Nancy Kessler-Moore at


St. Patrick's Day Fly (sponsored by Minnesota Kite Society), Sunday, March 18, noon to 4 p.m.
Cottage Grove Jr. High School, MN. Contact: Brad Klages, (651) 405-6928.
Directions: From I-94 in Woodbury, exit at Keats Avenue (Co. Rd. 19) and go south approx. 7 ½ miles to Indian Blvd. in Cottage Grove. Turn right at Indian Blvd. and go west approx. ¼ mile to the parking lot on the west side of the building.                                                                      

Kiwanis Kite Fly, Saturday, April 21, noon to 4 p.m. Oak Park, St. Louis Park, MN. Contact: Craig Christensen, (952) 652-5483 or email . Directions: From Hwy 100 in St. Louis Park, Exit at Hwy 7 and go west about 3/4 mile to the stoplight at Louisiana Avenue. Turn right at Louisiana and go north about 1/3 mile (past Park Tavern) to Oak Leaf Circle. Turn left at Oak Leaf Circle and park in the lot.                                                             

Earth Day Fly, Sunday, April 22, Noon to 5 p.m.
Harriet Island Park (south side of Mississippi River), St. Paul, MN. Contact: Marcus Young, 612-227-6688, or email Directions: From I-94 in St. Paul, exit at Hwy 52 and go south. Exit at Plato Blvd and go west one mile to the park.

Coldwater Spring is located on the former Bureau of Mines property. From Hwy 55: Turn east at the 54th Street light, and then quickly turn south on the new frontage road. Proceed one block to the Bureau of Mines front gate. Go through the gate and continue heading south one more block. Watch for the Historical Marker sign and the pond on the right. Park and explore. Welcome to the birthplace of Minnesota. The grounds are open from 9AM to 3PM Monday through Friday.                                                         Coldwater Spring: is the largest limestone bedrock spring in the Twin Cities; Flows at 144,000 gallons a day; At least 10,000 years old, formed by glacier melt channeling through Platteville limestone, possibly older than the most recent (Wisconsin) ice age; the water is 47-degrees Fahrenheit year around, ice-free in winter & filled with ducks; the springs form Coldwater Creek which tumbles down the Mississippi River gorge, into a wetland & a waterfall before emptying into the great river; In the fall of 1819 soldiers built Fort New Hope on the backwaters of the Minnesota River, below Mendota (Dakota word for "meeting of waters"). Tainted meat & poor sanitary practices resulted in 20-percent mortality. On May 5, 1820, soldiers followed Indian trails up the west bank of the Mississippi bluff to Coldwater Spring & took possession. "The clear, cold spring water helped restore the men & their families, who lived in tents & elm bark huts here during three summers while they built the permanent stone fort nearby." Camp Coldwater was born.