October 5, 2006



Dear Families;

Hello! I am the new Assistant Principal at Seward this year. I am returning to the position I held in the 2004/2005 school year. I am thrilled to be back, and loving every minute of it! 

My main responsibility is to ensure that students have a safe, calm environment to learn. I spend much of my day supervising the hallways, the lunch room and recess periods. Breakfast is served from 7:20-7:40 am. Students are encouraged to come directly to the breakfast room from their bus, eat quickly and head off to class. There is no charge for breakfast at Seward. If your child eats the school lunch, please send money each week, or complete an application for free and reduced lunches. When you send money, we’d appreciate a check or cash in an envelope with your child’s full name and room number. Call Connie at 668-4961 with questions.

The lunch room is a busy place for a good portion of the day; we have five main lunch periods: 

10:05-10:40 am- Rooms 124, 113, 114

10:10-10:45 am- 111, 104, 118, 116, 110 (115 pm)

10:40-11:15 am- 101, 102,103,105,109,117

11:15-11:45 am- 203, 204, 205, 206 (6th graders)

11:40 am-12:15 pm- 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212

12:15-12:45 pm- All 7th and 8th graders

My lunch/recess staff has worked hard this year in order to provide your child with a calm lunch and a safe recess. I have worked closely with a Lunch/Recess Task Force made up of parents and teachers. Some of the new things we are trying seem to be working out smoothly. Teachers are extending the students lunch time by coming into the lunchroom five minutes earlier than years past. This helps set a tone for the entire lunch. Students are encouraged to take their time eating, and to always clean up their own mess. This is a tough job with over 800 students passing through the lunch room every day! We are monitoring our procedures and making everyday. The children are anxious to visit with classmates and release some energy before returning to class. 

Every child at Seward receives a 15-20 minute recess period each day.  The children will go outside every day, unless it is raining or below 0 degrees.  Children are allowed to bring balls and jump ropes from home to share with their friends outside. Tackling and rough tag games are not allowed at Seward. Talk to your child about what they are playing at recess. We want everyone to have fun and be safe! One thing we need is quiet board games for rainy days. If you would like to donate a slightly used chess set, Connect Four, or other board game, we would appreciate it.

Parents and guardians are welcome to join their child for lunch on any given day. Please sign in at the office counter and receive a visitor badge. Introduce yourself to one of the lunchroom staff. Look for Bob, Darlene, Pat, Veronica, Tami, or Connie. Watch for more information about volunteering in the lunch room. It is an easy way to help at Seward, and connect with our wonderful students.

Teaching and reminding students about Seward School’s rules and expectations is another part of my job. Seward does not tolerate any bully behavior or disrespect of any kind. Teachers and support staff should always be modeling respect for one another. In return, students will reciprocate with respect and kindness for staff and fellow students.  We are lucky to have a new staff position this year. Tami Fecht-Nelson is our new Student Support Specialist. Tami and I assist students when they cannot solve a problem within their classroom. Our goal is to always have children in their classrooms learning. Sometimes we all need a little help accomplishing our goals; that’s where Tami and I can help!  Please don’t hesitate to call Tami or myself with any questions or concerns. We need families on our team, too!

Stop by and introduce yourself if we have not met. I am hard to miss lately. You’ll know what I mean when you see me.

Most sincerely,

Libby White






Interested in learning more about the school breakfast/lunch program? We will be having our second meeting on Wednesday, November 1, at 7:30 am in the Staff Lounge. Call Mary Delander (668-4952) or Marilyn Levine (668-4950) for more information.




Have you lost a coat, backpack, or lunch box? There are 2 Lost & Found buckets in the lunchroom; please look through them both for your items. They will be donated after the first of the month. Please remember to put your name on your clothing, lunchboxes, etc; we will return everything that has a name on it!



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, 651-647-0474, 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








Seward Montessori Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO)

Minutes from September 21, 2006, 6:30-8:00 pm,

Agenda:  Welcome; 2006-2007 Goals and Plans, PTSO Budget, 2006-2007 Overview from Libby White

            After introductions by more than 40 attending parents, Susan Sullivan (PTSO Chair) opened the meeting by describing the who, what, why and where of Seward Montessori PTSO.  Highlights include:

  • PTSO meeting dates for the year:  November 9th, January 18, March 8, May 10; all are held in the Media Center from 6:30-8:00 pm.  All parents are welcome!
  • PTSO Steering Committee is a smaller forum that meets to address issues from fundraising to grant requests, from school-wide events to focused sub-committee work.  Meeting dates for the year are October 5, October 26, TBD in November, December 7, January 11, TBD in February, March 1, April 12, and TBD in May; all are held at Matthews Center from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  All parents are welcome!
  • A major focus of PTSO is to build community among Seward families and to raise funds to support educational experiences for Seward students.  This year we hope to raise $50,000 through the following fundraising efforts: Seward wRaps, Direct Donation Appeal, Read Around promotion, Plant Sale, Proceeds from saving Kemps milk caps, General Mills Box Tops, Campbell’s Soup Labels and 1% on Target purchases when using their charge card.

Contact Mary Cady, Fundraising Chair, to ask questions, share ideas or volunteer!

§         Special events throughout the year build community.  The next event is the Book Fair (Nov. 17) where you can bring your old books to sell and buy bagfuls to grow your own library!  Other events include Roller Skating in March and Culture Night on May 18.

§         Parent volunteers are critical to all of our work…please turn in your volunteer form (in the meeting handouts) to Mary Delander …and call to check in if you’re not contacted.

            Susan reviewed the five PTSO goals for the academic year, emphasizing that they are consistent from year-to-year, and are responsive to parent input and involvement.

1.      Provide a welcoming environment at PTSO meetings to encourage greater participation in PTSO-related activities.

2.      Sponsor special events that help build community and appeal to many Seward families.

3.      Raise at least $46,450 this school year.

4.      Provide funds to parents, teachers, staff and students, in support of the PTSO mission to enhance educational opportunities and build community.  Grant requests are due October 10 and January 25.

5.      Communicate effectively with Seward parents, students, teachers and staff about PTSO-related activities.  PTSO coordinates or publishes the: SPLASH newsletter, school calendar, Student Directory, Seward Updates on email, Seward website (looking for help on this).

Small group discussions were held next, with the charge of brainstorming interesting topics for  upcoming PTSO meetings. 

Fariba Sanikhatam, PTSO Treasurer, reviewed the budget for the year, highlighting nine main revenue streams (fundraising efforts) that total $46,450; and six major expense categories totaling $46,150, including grants, educational supplies, communication, PTSO meetings, and events.  After a motion and a second, the budget was unanimously passed.

Libby White, Assistant Principal, gave an overview of the school year.  Highlights included: There are currently 820 students at Seward; we had surprisingly low enrollment in Kindergarten and have 20 open slots; Seward has 180 English Language Learner (ELL) students (we have a great program and many of our ELL students are making great progress and doing well); A new computer lab was installed this summer, so Seward has two full labs now; 100 lockers were installed upstairs…now nearly every student has a locker but we still need more; Seward Middle School is on a new district software system (DiscoveryNet).  Eventually, parents should be able to access grades on line (the plan is to have this up by January. The system also tracks period attendance for each student daily); Seward has 65  licensed faculty and 20 support staff, 12 of who are new to Seward this year; Seward is aiming to have 95% attendance for all students. That translates to missing 8 days or less throughout the year.



PTSO 3rd Annual Seward Montessori Fund Drive

(aka Direct Donation Campaign)

Keep your eye on your mail and your check books open! The Drive begins October 10. A letter will be mailed directly to each home.

This drive was started after funding to schools was severely cut a few years ago, and parents expressed interest in simply donating rather than buying or selling anything. This fund has been highly successful in the past and, with your help and generosity, it will continue to be so.

The goal is to raise $15,000 to help pay for many worthy causes at our wonderful school including the graduation celebration, field trips, culture night and much more.

This year, Achieve!Minneapolis will help us with the drive, but all the dollars stay with our school.  This will allow easy on-line credit card donations, as well as writing checks.

Feel free to call or email with any questions:

mplslawyer@visi.com or 804-2669



Parents:  Have you noticed your 4th-8th grader looking to the stars and wondering what's out there? Does your child think space and science is cool? Well then, Reach for the Stars is an organization for you. Reach for the Stars is an organization that works to enhance the learning experiences, and improve the achievements of 4-8 graders. We are having an informational meeting in the evening of Thursday, October 26th in the Multi- purpose room, for all parents and students interested in learning more about space exploration, aviation, and other advanced technologies. More information will be in the next Splash.                         -Thom Skelly




Plain Talk Project, which has successfully reduced teen pregnancies in West St. Paul, is now being implemented in the Central and Bryant neighborhoods of Minneapolis. Volunteer “walkers and talkers” will go door to door to recruit hosts for Home Health Parties (HHPs) for adults in the neighborhood. HHPs provide correct information and communication skills training needed to educate teens. More about the Plain Talk Project can be found at www.plaintalk.org.


The Citizens' Budget Advisory Committee is seeking new members. Since 1982, the School Board has empowered a standing committee of citizens to advise them on matters of finance and budget. This Committee has been effective over time in changing district budget practices, and in highlighting situations needing attention. The Committee sets its own agenda and schedule, and usually meets about twice a month between October and June.     

Membership is open to anyone who: is the parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the Minneapolis Public Schools, OR is a resident (taxpayer) of Minneapolis, OR is employed by the Minneapolis Public Schools. As more financial discussion and decision-making is moved to the site level, it will be helpful to have as many people as possible knowledgeable about district financial practices, constraints, and opportunities.
            Our first meeting is scheduled for:
Tuesday, October 10, 2006 at 7:00 pm, at the District Office (807 NE Broadway), in Conference Room 1.
If you need further information, please email Eli Kaplan, Chairperson (cbac@sihope.com)


Band is up and running (around the building)!
Band is alive and well at Seward, as our beginners got their lessons started the week of October 2, joining the schedule that already saw the start of Wind Ensemble and advanced lessons.  Scott the band guy (me!) has been on the move every Tuesday and Thursday, teaching lessons early at the Matthews Park Center (thanks, Matthews!), later in the Barbara's Music Room (thanks, Barbara!), and then rehearsing the Wind Ensemble in the Multi-Purpose Room.  I'm looking forward to another great year working with Seward students!                                  --Scott Erickson, Instrumental Music Teacher,
Richard Green Central Park School, Seward Montessori School, Sanford Middle School
Voicemail:  612.668.8015











School nurses in Hennepin County (from 173 schools, in 15 districts) completed a survey which showed that, per 100 students, 9.2 have asthma, 8.1 have allergies, 4.9 have ADHD, 4.2 have mental health disorders, 5.2 have seizure disorders, 2.8 have diabetes, 7.3 have cancer. During one month in 2005, nurses made 84 911 calls and 125 child protection reports, helped 436 students with “carbohydrate counts” or insulin shots, administered 1,124 emergency meds, helped 405 students with daily living tasks, screened 42,034 students for hearing, 47,887 for vision, 7,934 for scoliosis, and 5,544 for height and weight.  



Kids Voting Minneapolis: On November 8, 2005, for the first time in Minneapolis, more than 2,800 youth, representing over 100 schools, cast ballots in the city general election. They went with their parents to their neighborhood polling place to vote. While their votes did not impact the city election's outcome, the simple act was an important step toward a future of political engagement and civic involvement. Minnesotans note with pride that the state had the nation's highest voter turnout for the 2004 presidential election. In the same election, however, nearly 200,000 Minnesotans between the ages of 18 and 24 did not vote, despite near constant exposure to candidates, news coverage and debates resulting from Minnesota's status as a "swing state."

Kids Voting Minneapolis is a non-partisan organization that recognizes that the future of our community and the country lies in the hands of the next generation of voters. It is working to prepare our next generation to accept the responsibility and embrace the opportunities civic involvement offers.

Volunteers are the life-blood of Kids Voting Minneapolis. Volunteers are needed throughout the year to keep Kids Voting Minneapolis up and running. We need almost 800 volunteers on Election Day in November to adopt and staff 130 neighborhood polling places so that students can vote. For more information, check out www.kidsvotingminneapolis.org.



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.                                                                          October 7, 2006: The Amazing Gnip Gnop Circus (a           classic glow-in-the –dark ping pong ball      circus!                                                               October 14: The Adventures of Don Quixote          (Bilingual English & Spanish)                                   October 21: Professor Freshwater’s Punch and Judy October 28: Halloweeno (kids, wear your costumes) November 4: Freaksout!                                           November 11: Creation Stories from Around the    World                                                                              November 18: The Old Woman Who Swallowed a             Fly                                                                                    December 2: The Adventures of Can-Man                December 9: Where’s Claudia?/ Donde Esta Claudia?             (bilingual Spanish & English)                                  December 16: Shadow Puppet Poetry                           January 6: Amazing Girl Heroes

Puppet-Making Workshops (nearly every Saturday from October to March, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, and 1:15 to 2:15 pm, on the third floor of HOBT’s Plaza Verde). For kids 3 to 12 (please, no unaccompanied kids). $8 per adult and child pair.






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 shepanddeb@usfamily.net ; 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 MarilynLevine@mpls.k12.mn.us.