March 2, 2007


Letter from the Principal


Dear Parents and Guardians:


As budget time approaches for fall 07/07 I have decided to make you aware of special funding our school receives.  In the last newsletter I wrote about Title One Funding.  This newsletter will be about Compensatory Education funding (Comp. Ed.).

Comp. Ed. funding is given to schools based upon the number of children receiving free and reduced lunch.  The law requires districts to allocate the compensatory revenue to each building in the district where the children that have generated the revenue are served.  This statute provides that compensatory revenue is “used to meet the educational needs of pupils who enroll under-prepared to learn and whose progress toward meeting state or local content or performance standards is below the level that is appropriate for learners of their age.”

Seward received $354,942 for this current school year.  These monies can be used in a variety of ways to support programming.  This year we used the money to fund part of our special education teachers’ positions, to fund a Hmong-associate educator, and a portion of our four educational assistants.  We used the money to add on to three kindergarten teachers’ positions to fund all-day kindergarten.  The Seward health assistant and a portion of the social worker were also funded with Comp. Ed. money.

Compensatory funding is very important to Seward School, as it provides some flexibility in its use.  This flexibility allows us to develop a program based upon student need.  Our use of the money changes, as the needs of students change.

If you would like to participate on the Seward Budget Task Force, please come to the next meeting, scheduled for February 27th at 3:00 pm in the staff lounge.

I also want to make you aware that copies of the School Improvement Plan (SIP), the Parent Involvement Plan, and the Report to the Community are available in the school office.




Dr. Marilyn

Seward Principal



Parents who are guests at Seward are encouraged to address improper behavior issues they might see. For example, it's okay to let kids know that they shouldn't be running in the hall. If you have an issue with a child while you are visiting, please report the incident to Marilyn Levine, Principal.



 There will be NO after-school programming on Thursday, March 8! Please come and celebrate History Day with us!



SMLC Committee Meeting Minutes

December 14, 2006

 Present: Parent representatives Lisa Ray, Kari Kleven, Angela Mansfield, Joel Lutz, Lohn Lauber, Claire Colliander; teacher representatives Linda Reiner, Gwen Lyon, Agnes Kirkpatrick, Susan Hughes; PTSO representative Laura Murray; guests Mary Ford, parent, Abdsalan Mohamed, parent; Marilyn Levine, administration.

 1). Principal's Report: Marilyn Levine reported that there has been much new student interest. She has been meeting with district representatives to discuss the limited classroom space now available at Seward. Dr. Levine also discussed how the Institute for Learning, a program for operating procedures, will be incorporated into the TAP program.

 2). Grade Level Reports: Reports were given by grade level representatives. Children's House has been dissecting eggs. No report from E-1. E-2 teachers received a grant from the Star Tribune Foundation, and are working on aligning the state and district standards for the math curriculum. Middle School report cards will have letter grades and will be mailed out by the district. Most of the Eighth graders have completed their applications to high school. Special Education reports no issues at this time -- all is going well.

 3). New Business: Guest Mary Ford asked the teachers to contact the new head of the Minnesota Federation of Teachers re: how the TAP program is working for Seward.

 Seward is considering having an onsite Montessori teacher-training program.

 SMLC members volunteered to be on the budget committee, which began meeting in January.

 The multi-purpose room was repainted during winter break, and will be soundproofed during spring break.

 Middle school parents brought some issues to the staff regarding communication between parents and teachers. Parents were also concerned with the lack of textbooks available for students to take home. The policy for the Middle school is that there are not enough textbooks available for students to bring home; however, students may check copies out from the library.


Student Council Meeting Minutes, February 23, 2007: Because Dr. Marilyn was out sick today, only the Middle School Council met; no response has been received from engineers regarding letter
written about getting a supply cabinet in Middle School, but bathrooms seem cleaner; baseball and softball team practice begins March 19th,
basketball practice ends March 9th, so a dance could happen in between there, possibly; order of Spirit Week chosen: Mon. (May 21st) PJ Day
(Jersey Day in MS), Tues. Twin Day Wed. Wacky Day Thus. Opposite Day Fri. Hat Day; criteria for a new mascot was discussed, including: intimidating, intelligent, strong, an animal, tough, athletic, likes
to have fun, visually appealing; meeting adjourned.
Collin Knopp-Schwyn, SC Secretary




Volunteer over spring break! Improve the heart of our school, by helping to install sound tiles in the Multipurpose (lunch) Room.

What: Improve our kids’ lunchtime experience!

When: April 2, 9 am until it’s finished.

To sign up: send an email to, or call Deb at 612-722-9946. Please tell her your name, phone number, and if you need child care.

This project brought to you by the Lunch/Recess Task Force.



Teen Book Club Meeting! Nokomis Library, 5100 34th Avenue South, Tuesday, March 20th from 6:30-7:30 pm. We'll be reading 'Freak the Mighty,' by Rodman Philbrick.

Questions? Call 630-6701. There will be treats!



Seward Fund Drive Final Results

Thank you to everyone who donated and/or helped with the Seward Fund Drive this year.

The drive was a success, raising $15,273 (last year=$14,555)!

Participants went up, as well =154 donors (last year= 139).

The money raised helps to keep Seward Montessori strong and thriving- it helps to pay for many additional programs, field trips, supplies and more.

A special thanks to the committee members including:

Jane Goodnight (committee chair),

Heidi Adelsman,

Julie Brekke,

Mary Cady,

Jeenee Lee,

Lisa Ray.

Keep in mind that one can donate year ‘round on-line at



Paid Position Available at Seward Montessori: The afternoon preschool program (room 107) is in need of an adult assistant. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:10-1:50. We need someone who works well with young children, has no problem getting up and down from the floor (as we do this a lot!), can take direction, and follow through consistently with a behavior plan. Required: College education, and a willingness to take district-provided classes for certification as an SEA. If interested, talk with Dr. Marilyn Levine or Kathy Lange, ECSE teacher in room 107. Thanks!


If you have ever walked, rollerbladed, ridden a bike or driven a car in Seward or Longfellow, please read on.                                                                             

? Have you been passed in your car by another vehicle using the Parkway as a highway?                    

? Have you observed bicycles failing to stop at controlled intersections, endangering all at that intersection?                                                                         

? Do you risk life and limb attempting to cross in a crosswalk?                                                                            

? Have you noticed a decrease in tolerance for one another – walker, biker, and auto- along the Parkway and throughout Longfellow?                             

Then you need to take part in the SHARE THE ROAD kick-off event to generate awareness and create change for all of us who use the road, bike paths and crosswalks. April 20, 2007 – 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM                                                                                   

Join your neighbors at 5 key locations in Seward and Longfellow:                                                                           

24th and West River Parkway                                       

27th and West River Parkway                                     

Lake Street and West River Parkway                       

38th and West River Parkway                                          

44th and West River Parkway                                           

This is the kick-off event for a community wide ‘Share The Road’ program. It is sponsored by the Longfellow Community Council Environment and Transportation Committee and its sponsoring partners: Mayor Rybak, City Council Members Gordon, Colvin-Roy, and Schiff, MnDOT, Minneapolis Park Police, Minneapolis Public Works, MN State Bicycle Advisory Board, Seward Environment Committee, Seward Development Committee, Longfellow Business Association, The Girl Scouts, LCC River Gorge Committee, Longfellow Community Gardens, to name just a few.                                                   


NOW is the time to get involved! Bring your family, block club or business.                                     

Contact Jessica at 612 722 4529 at the Longfellow Community Council for more information and next steps to reclaim our Parkway and neighborhoods!   

Or better yet, attend the next meeting of the LCC Environment and Transportation Committee on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 at 7:00 PM at Hiawatha School Park4305 East 42nd Street.

Simultaneous events will be occurring along East River Parkway in Saint Paul.


This spring, Seward Montessori students, families, and staff are encouraged to participate in
the popular Get in Gear Fit-For-Fun 2K race.  The race route follows
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.  The race distance is two kilometers (approximately 1 ¼
To register, go to, click “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 20th.  If you need assistance with registration (for instance, if you do not have internet access or need scholarship information), contact Sharon Alton by
March 28th (668-4950,  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.


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.



To subscribe to email PTSO updates, send an email to with the word "subscribe" and your name in the subject line.


News from Maria's Closet: The response to our brand new Maria's Closet has been great! We received lots of donations of school supplies, and many teachers have used them. I want to thank everyone who has donated, and remind you that donation items can be dropped off at the office any time throughout the year. Questions can be directed to Mary at 612-724-9506, or

Thanks so much! ---Mary Hanson



The Seward Splash is a publication for the Seward Montessori community, courtesy of the PTSO (the Parent, Teacher, and Student Organization of Seward Montessori). It is distributed on alternating Fridays, with minor adjustments for holidays and breaks. Deadline for submission of material for publication is the Friday before the publication date. All material may be submitted through the Seward office or to Deb Dornfeld (612-729-3574 or ; please send your item as part of the body of your email, NOT as an attachment). We reserve the right to edit or decline material due to space or other limitations. Principal: Dr. Marilyn Levine, 612-668-4950 or


Saturday puppet shows at Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre (1516 East lake Street)! Show times: 10 am and noon. $1 donation suggested for those who live in the Central, Phillips, Powderhorn, or Whittier neighborhoods; $3 suggested for those who live elsewhere. Shows are in English, unless otherwise specified, but children love puppets regardless of language.  

March 3: Punch & Judy, by Fifth of November Puppeteers

March 10: Batten Down the Hatches (The Unlikely Story of Mutineer Mark), by Mike Huber, Mary Jo Nikolai, Amy Ballestad and Mark Safford

March 17: The Adventures of Baby Little One, by Daniel Polnau

March 24: Bate, Bate, Chocolate (Stir, Stir Hot Chocolate), by Magic Lantern Puppet Theater


Seward PTSO Officers for the 2005-06 school year:
Susan Sullivan, Chair,

Laura Murray, Vice Chair,
Julie Brekke, Communications Chair, 
Fariba Sanikhatam, Treasurer,
Mary Cady, Fund-raising Chair,
Katherine Lewis, Events Co-Chair,
Kerry Cashman, Events Co-Chair,

SMLC, 2006-07

Parent Representatives
Kari Kleven (co-chair):

Angela Mansfield:

Lisa Ray:

John Lauber:
Tom Hanson:
Claire Colliander:

Teacher Representatives

Linda Reiner (Special Ed; co-chair):

Susan Hughes (Middle School):

Agnes Kilpatrick (E2):

Karen Swigart (E1):

Gwen Lyon (Kindergarten):