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Students enrolled: 1,723

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3414 West 47th St
Minneapolis, MN 55410

School website
(612) 668-3030
(612) 668-3080
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Map of Southwest Senior High School address.

August 23, 2014
My son is a senior at Southwest. He has had an incredible experience at Southwest because of the great leadership (Dr. Bill Smith), great teachers and parents who care so much about this school. We live in the neighborhood and the school is such an anchor for the community. I'm not really pleased with the IB curricula but other than that, I am very pleased with the school and glad my son was able to attend Southwest. If you're looking at Minneapolis schools and trying to decide on the best, I wouldn't hesitate to send my child to this school--he or she will receive a great, well rounded education.

- submitted by a parent

November 13, 2013
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.

- submitted by a parent

February 18, 2012
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.

- submitted by a parent

February 17, 2012
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 ?

- submitted by a community member

October 09, 2010
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.

- submitted by a community member
no rating
November 04, 2009
great academics, arts and sports opportunities and fabulous committed teachers.

- submitted by a parent

August 28, 2009
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.

- submitted by a student

June 19, 2009
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.

- submitted by a student

June 04, 2009
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.

- submitted by a parent

September 19, 2008
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.

- submitted by a parent

May 04, 2008
Filled with peer pressure and extremely cliquey, I am happy not to be teaching there anymore!

- submitted by a teacher
no rating
March 01, 2008
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

- submitted by a parent

December 14, 2007
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.

- submitted by a parent

December 13, 2007
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.

- submitted by a community member

October 14, 2007
Extremely well rounded fine arts programs. Very prestigious IB Program, and AP coarses. Plus very rich in diversity and culture.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
January 12, 2006
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.

- submitted by a student

November 27, 2005
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.

- submitted by a parent
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Southwest Senior High School
3414 West 47th St, Minneapolis, MN  55410
(612) 668-3030
Last modified Southwest Senior High School is a Public school that serves grades 9-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 5 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Southwest Senior High School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 22 reviews. Top