September 22



Dear Parents and Guardians,

I'm writing to you about the importance of regular school attendance. At Seward Montessori School, we know that student achievement depends upon regular school attendance. Seward School is committed to achieving the Minneapolis Public Schools' goal of 95% attendance for each student (8 or less days absent per year). We are concerned because some of our students have already missed four days of school.
            Students are expected to attend school regularly and to be on time, well-rested and ready to learn. Students must be at school all day, every day, to benefit from the learning that goes on at Seward. School starts at
7:30. Every morning we have students arriving late. Some of these students miss the same class every day, and are missing out on part of their education. We feel strongly that student achievement relies on regular contact with other students, active participation in well-planned instructional activities, and relationships with competent, caring school staff.
            An absent student may be able to make up some of the school work missed, but cannot make up for the learning missed by being absent from class. Regular attendance, therefore, is imperative. The Minneapolis Public Schools has a new policy on excused absences for family activities.  This policy will allow a five-day excused absence when:
1). The parent/guardian requests permission 10 school days prior to departure; and
2). The teacher assigns homework and the parent agrees it will be completed; and
3). the parent/guardian agrees that their child will miss five or fewer days of school; and
4).The student will not be gone during CALT or MCA testing; and
5).  The administrator gives written approval.
            Appeals for extended days must be made in writing to the administrator. 

Determination of the appeal is to be made in writing by the administrator.  If the appeal is granted, an academic report and/or presentation is required, for any days beyond five to be counted as a family activity.
            Supporting student attendance is a joint effort between family, student, school, and community. Each plays a critical role in making sure that students are present in school and involved in the learning process. Everyone at Seward wants to support you in your efforts to have your child(ren) in school every day. If you are experiencing difficulties getting your child to school, please let us help. Please stop over--my door is always open to parents--or give me a call. I want to help you help your child succeed.
Dr. Marilyn Levine



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Volunteers are needed for our Lost & Found (someone to sort through it once a month, contact people if names are found on items, and donate the rest). Please call Mary Delander at 668-4952, if you’re interested.


Kids, Get Published! Children ages 5 and up are invited to participate in the SillyBooks ( Children’s Book Writing Contest.


Attendance Phone Number!

Call 668-4956 when your child is absent for any reason; include your child’s name and room number (or the color group for Middle School), the date, and the reason for the absence. Please call as soon as you realize that your child will not be in school!

Dear Seward Families,

Welcome to the new school year! This letter outlines some of the ways you can get involved to support your child’s education at Seward. 

Our Seward PTSO (Parent Teacher Student Organization) funds teachers’ requests for such things as field trip transportation, media center materials, the Amity Scholar program, the Environmental Learning Center trip, special family events like the Ice Cream Social, and much more. 

We raise these funds through four major fundraising activities sponsored by the PTSO, coordinated by parent volunteers:

v     Seward Wraps for Success (September) – direct and online sales of high quality gift wrap, candles, candy and other gifts.  (Chair:  Michelle Coady)

v     Direct Donation Campaign (October) – families are asked to write a check to the Seward Montessori Fund where all the money directly supports the teachers’ requests described above.  This was new in 2004 and is the result of parent feedback from a 2003/2004 survey.  (Chair:  Jane Goodnight)

v     Read-Around (January/February) – promotes reading, students get pledges from family and friends for reading a certain amount of time. (Chair: TBD)

v     Plant Sale (March/April) – beautiful plants ordered and delivered just before Mother’s Day.  (Chairs:  Jennifer Tatsuda and Kristen Stuenkel)

The PTSO also sponsors several on-going fundraisers such as: collecting Kemp’s milk caps (5 cents/cap), Campbell’s soup can labels, General Mills Box Tops for Education (10 cents/box top), and using a Target charge card (1% of sales goes to Seward). 

Seward counts on the generous support and involvement of many, many families.  We invite you to participate in any way that you can!  Thank you.

---Mary Cady McCauley, PTSO Fundraising Chair

Seward wRaps for Success! 

Each student should have brought home a wrapping paper fundraising packet last week.  If for some reason you did not get one, there are extras in the office.  These gift-oriented products are top notch, and compare well to discount and premium products found in stores.  Your friends and family can take care of their gift lists without leaving home, and more than half of the proceeds return to support our school.  Last year we raised over $16,000!  Remember to collect checks (no cash) when taking orders.  FORMS ARE DUE ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th. 



Thanks to the following parents and students who helped the Kindergarten students get on their buses for the first two days of school:

Etta Harkness-Bartholdi, Eva McCauley,

Daria Pruitt, Sadoff Pruitt, Ari Eady, Sorcha McGuire, Troy Cook, Jean Blakely-Cook, Patti Tufvesson



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



If you would like your name in the Seward Montessori Student Directory, all forms must be turned into the office by September 25.


Ann Bancroft Foundation Dare to Dream Mini-grants provide small grants to girls age 10 to grade 10 who need financial support to pursue a special interest, gain or improve a skill, or participate in a wilderness experience.

Grants can be used as resources in any

field of endeavor. The range of requests varies from camps to national conferences and trips, to dance, violin or driving lessons.

Girls must have an adult mentor who will work with them to help guide them through the process. Grants range from $100 to $500.

The deadline for the next round of mini-grants is November 15, 2006. If you know of a young woman who might benefit from this grant, please visit and click on minigrants for the application.


Minneapolis Public School (MPS) Breakfast & Lunch Program meeting (with Rosemary Dederichs, director of Food Services for MPS): October 3, from 7:30 to 8:30 am, in Seward’s Staff Lounge. Are you interested in learning more about the MPS breakfast/lunch program, why we have the meals we do, the potential to change them, and the possibility of becoming a food test site? Join us at the meeting!


Environmental Protection Agency Arsenic risk-assessment meeting: Tuesday, September 26, from 7 to 9 pm, at the Midtown YWCA, 2121 E Lake St, Minneapolis. The EPA is only cleaning properties above 95 parts per million (ppm) of arsenic now; about 13% of the yards tested in South Minneapolis show contamination levels between 10 and 95 ppm. Documentation from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota Department of Health suggest that arsenic levels above 10 ppm could put residents, especially children, at greater risk for cancer and other diseases.







Thanks to the volunteers who collated the take-home packet for the first week of school!

Ann Agrimson, Julie Swanson, Barbara Mikk, Amy Drier, Mary L. Rivers, Michele Flannery


Great Opportunity! We’re looking for a host family for this year’s Amity Scholar. The Amity Scholar is a young adult who is a native Spanish speaker who assists Seward’s Spanish teacher, Susan Hughes, in the classroom. The host family provides room and board. Hosting someone from another country is a wonderful opportunity to inspire your children to learn Spanish and about another country and culture. Contact Carmen Peota at 612/724-3514 or 612/308-7889 for more information.    


 …your kids are dropped off at school, and now it’s time for you to take a moment for yourself.  Join Debra Cota at The Movement Arts Center, for a 5 week session of Kundalini Yoga.  Tuesdays (Oct. 3rd-31st), from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.  Call or email Debra to register; or 612-630-8103.  Cost for 5 weeks is $60, and there must be 6 people for the class to operate...tell your friends!



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

Promoting Resiliency in Your Child (a tip sheet from the National Association of School Psychologists): 

Resiliency is essential to success; it gives us the ability to deal with life’s challenges and adapt to new or difficult circumstances in a positive manner. There are a number of ways adults can help children become more resilient:

v      Be loving and supportive; feeling cared for and safe builds resiliency.

v      Foster positive attitudes; help children believe they can succeed, frame failure as a learning opportunity.

v      Nurture positive emotions; demonstrate optimism, respect, forgiveness, and empathy; praise them for success and avoid harsh criticism for failure.

v      Reinforce emotional intelligence; listen to and validate their feelings, label emotions in words they can understand.

v      Develop their competence; ensure regular school attendance and homework completion, encourage them to develop talents.

v      Promote positive social connections; children need a variety of friends, relatives, and adults with whom they feel connected.

v      Provide consistent and clear expectations; set, explain, and enforce rules.

v      Encourage helping others.

v      Teach peace-building skills; avoid violent games, model how to be assertive without being aggressive.

v      Ensure healthy habits; provide good nutrition, adequate sleep, and exercise.

v      Reduce stress; teach meditation, controlled breathing, yoga, exercise, developing talents, and other “relaxation responses.”







Splash Calendar



      22: Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Yr)

      23: First day of fall

      24: 1st day of Ramadan (Islamic month of fasting)


        1: Yom Kippur (Jewish day of atonement)

         5: No half-day kindergarten or ECSE

             Steering committee mtg, 6:30

         6: No school, all students

       12: 6th-grade canoe trip


        17: Annual Book Sale!  5:30 to 8






Splash              Deadlines

goes home     for submissions
 Oct 5………..….Sept 29

 Oct 18………….Oct 13

 Nov 2…………..Oct 27

 Nov 17…………Nov 10

 Dec 8…………..Dec 1

 Dec 22…………Dec 15

 Jan 19…….…….Jan 12

 Feb 2……..…….Jan 25

 Feb 15…….…...Feb 9

 March 1….……Feb 23

 Mar 16…….…..Mar 9

 Mar 28…….…..Mar 23

 April 20………Apr 13

 May 4…………Apr 27

 May 18………..May 11

 June 1…………May 25