School Details

Southwest Senior High School

3414 West 47th St, Minneapolis, MN 55410
(612) 668-3030
7

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 1752 students 23 students/teacher (MN avg is 16)

Test Scores by grade

91%
72%
88%

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment-II Graduation Required Assessments for Diploma (MCA-II/GRAD)

In 2011-2012 Minnesota used Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment-II Graduation-Required Assessments for Diploma (MCA-II/GRAD) to test students in grade 9 in writing, 10 in reading, and 11 in math. The MCA-II/GRAD is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Minnesota. Students must pass the MCA-II/GRAD in order to graduate from high school. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.
  • This school in 2013
  • Minneapolis Public School Dist. average
  • Minnesota state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

57%
35%
52%

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment-II (MCA-II)

In 2011-2012 Minnesota used the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment-II (MCA-II) to test students in reading in grades 3 through 8 and 10, and math in grade 11. The MCA-II is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Minnesota. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.
68%
45%
66%

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment-II Graduation Required Assessments for Diploma (MCA-II/GRAD)

In 2011-2012 Minnesota used Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment-II Graduation-Required Assessments for Diploma (MCA-II/GRAD) to test students in grade 9 in writing, 10 in reading, and 11 in math. The MCA-II/GRAD is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Minnesota. Students must pass the MCA-II/GRAD in order to graduate from high school. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.
  • This school in 2013
  • Minneapolis Public School Dist. average
  • Minnesota state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Southwest Senior High School is a public high school in Minneapolis. The principal of Southwest Senior High School is Bill Smith and can be contacted at bill.smith@mpls.k12.mn.us. 1,752 students go to Southwest Senior High School and identify primarily as Hispanic; White, non-Hispanic; and Asian/Pacific Islander. 32% of the 1,752 students here have subsidized lunches. The ratio of students to teachers at Southwest Senior High School is 23:1. Quest Academy is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities

Arts

  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Orchestra
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • French
  • Japanese
  • Spanish

Sports

  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • P.E. classes
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Hispanic 9% 18%
White, non-Hispanic 62% 30%
Asian/Pacific Islander 5% 9%
Asian 5% %
Black, non-Hispanic 22% 38%
Native American or Native Alaskan 1% 5%
Multiracial 0.3% %
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.3% %

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 32% 63%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (1 year ago)

    It was okay. My daughter would have done well at any school however. In regard to the IB program - it is a failure considering what it is supposed to accomplish vs what AP can accomplish. In the end they both have the same result. The problem with IB is that you have to actually GET the grad certificate for it to mean anything. And less than 5% do. My daughter's class had 200 IB students - at graduation 7 of them received their diplomas. When considering the cost of the program training & time needed to implement it is in fact a failure. On the other hand my daughter completed one full year of college before she graduated no thanks to IB. She was in the Arts & Humanity side (when they had one) and she excelled as did many of her classmates. All IB courses were available to her - but so was a huge amount of everything else. She was confined and she was freer to explore her options.

  • (2 years ago)

    I am responding to comments from another parent. The IB program provides two opportunities. First classes and exams can be taken for possible college credit if sufficiently high scores are achieved. IB grades on both coursework and the exam score and I believe it more accurately reflects the student's work where AP is solely based on the test score. Colleges seem to warming up to IB but historically like AP better. Students can do a combination of both. Second IB students can earn an IB Diploma. I do not believe AP offers any opportunity like this - although AP does have different levels of AP Scholars based on how many tests are taken and scores received. Both are good programs and both are done well at Southwest. As far as the school itself the physical layout is difficult especially for the large enrollment. The short passing time between classes lack of study halls and tight busing schedule makes it hard for students to socialize during the school day. Kids are very welcome (starting at 6 00am) to come early for activities or to stay late (many activities after school and even into the evening). These are the real social time opportunities.

  • (2 years ago)

    The Community Ed summer programs that share the campus in the summer are very well organized and run. Although it is not a part of MPS perse' being there for longer periods of time and considering SW for my 8th grader now did shed some keen parent observations. The school layout itself is haphazard and diced up. A lot of doors meant he need for consistent security measures. Children then are not able to really mingle and may in part account for the culture of cliques and a sense privilege that is clearly palpable. Children routed here from Lake Harriet Upper /area private schools may feel this is diverse but really its not culturally and socioeconomically when compared to the TC we live in. The IB program is misrepresented. It is actually the test at the end of your child 4 years that qualify for college credit - unlike the AP pathway most do not make it. The IB pathway is much more stressful for the child & families during the already tough years of teenage development and learning. Surprisingly we actually preferred South! Re the revised bus zones...Curious... For the east side of the Isles to get MPS bus but not East Lake Harriet only a stones throw away ?

  • (4 years ago)

    My husband taught there one of our children graduated from and now teaches I've worked there. It's a strong faculty that embraces a broad spectrum of educational opportunities skills and styles to give students every chance to learn and grow.

  • (5 years ago)

    great academics arts and sports opportunities and fabulous committed teachers.

  • (5 years ago)

    I'm recent graduate who attended a highly-ranked east coast liberal arts college after high school. I was as well or better prepared academically as my college classmates who went to very expensive very well-regarded prep/boarding schools. Southwest introduced me to the 'real world' and helped me learn how to get along with all types of people from all sorts of backgrounds. The teachers and administrators know how to empower students. Many of the teachers are gifted and dedicated (although like anywhere there are some duds). Likewise while Southwest has its share of pettiness and cliques the friendships I made there were stronger than the ones I made in college and the people were on the whole much nicer and more accepting than those I've met since. Simply put although I wasn't 'popular' and did undergo difficult patches I loved and grew from my experience at SW.

  • (5 years ago)

    As a graduate of the IB program in 2006 I felt that SouthWest prepped me just as well as the high powered prep school i attened for 9th-11th grades. One might have to be a bit more self motivated but the teaching staff is superb the athletics programs are good and welcoming of all talent and the student body is vastly diverse and overall of good character. Southwest prepared me well for college and I am glad to be an alum of this great Minneapolis institution.

  • (5 years ago)

    Both my daughter and my son attended Southwest Senior High but for only a few years. Both of them transferred to South High after being constantly harrassed by the student body. They both greatly enjoy South High much better because the students and staff were so much more accepting and although the school may not be as glamorous as dearly beloved Southwest it is a much better environment and I am very glad that my children attend a school where someone's individuality is not harrassed not only by the students but by the teachers as well like it clearly was at Southwest. Southwest has been given the reputation as a great school with a fantastic acedemic program and this may be true but i find that the students and staff play a huge role in whether a student is able to learn and succeed and that wasn't possible at this school.

  • (6 years ago)

    The best school in the Twin cities as far as I am concerned. I wish I would have been able to attend this school myself.The teacher are great the athletic department is great. Ryan runs a fabulous program. My daughter is in the Arts and Humanities program and we love it. The kid's are involved in some way with all the activities at the school. Wether it be in a play sports science or musicals. Southwest has my highest regaurds. I would not have sent my child to any other school. I know I went through 4 terrible years at South with my oldest child. At southwest you get the respect you deserve from the teachers and the rest of the staff. Thats as a parent and a student. The coaches treat you like an individual and with the highest respect. I hope that other schools in the metro would learn by example. Kudos to Southwest High school.

  • (6 years ago)

    Filled with peer pressure and extremely cliquey I am happy not to be teaching there anymore!

  • (6 years ago)

    my son was a special ed student at southwest and did well the teachers worked well with him and did not overwhelm himn with work that was to hard so he felt good about himself and his grades there

  • (7 years ago)

    We too have been delighted with Southwest and its programs. We attended the dance performance last night and were impressed with the sophistication and skill of some groups and really delighted that students who were just learning to dance had the opportunity to be on stage as well. While the least experienced dancers weren't always as thrilling to watch - how terrific it is that the students can be learning new skills and have a stage and audience to perform in front of. I'm saddened that so many schools only allow kids who are already experienced athletes to participate in athletic endeavors. Hats off to SWHS for a terrific performing arts program. Thank you teachers administrators and the district for recognizing and supporting these programs which make SWHS such a rich experience.

  • (7 years ago)

    Southwest has been and continues to be a wonderful school that provides a well-rounded education for college prep through the IB Program. The dedicated teachers opportunities to be involved and the strong connections built in classroom with peers all have served graduates of Southwest well.

  • (7 years ago)

    Extremely well rounded fine arts programs. Very prestigious IB Program and AP coarses. Plus very rich in diversity and culture.

  • (8 years ago)

    I couldn't help but comment on Cher's comment about Southwest High School in Minneapolis. Poor Cher may have liked any school better if she'd only shown up. Her comment 'As a parent I was not happy with this school. The hallways are dirty with liter the students hang out in the halls during school and the teachers seem to just want to get threw the day.' Cher a liter is not the same as litter and one does not go threw the day but rather through the day. Dr. Julie Peterson Southwest HS graduate who between classes hung out in the halls.

  • (9 years ago)

    As a parent I was not happy with this school. The hallways are dirty with liter the students hang out in the halls during school and the teachers seem to just want to get threw the day. The communications between the parent and school officials did not exist. The school seems to separate the diversity in the school. The students are just numbers.

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Overall score

(based on 19 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement

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