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Southwest High School (Minneapolis)

Southwest High School is a public high school in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is one of 10 high schools in the Minneapolis Public Schools district. Southwest offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

Southwest High School
Southwest High School Minneapolis.jpg
Southwest in 2018
3414 West 47th Street


Coordinates44°55′06″N 93°19′29″W / 44.9182°N 93.3248°W / 44.9182; -93.3248Coordinates: 44°55′06″N 93°19′29″W / 44.9182°N 93.3248°W / 44.9182; -93.3248
TypePublic secondary
MottoInspiring Excellence in Arts and Academics
School districtMinneapolis Public Schools
PrincipalMichael Favor
Teaching staff92.88 (on a FTE basis)[1]
Enrollment1,757[1] (2015-2016)
Student to teacher ratio18.92[1]
Color(s)Purple and White          
Athletics conferenceMinneapolis City Conference
NewspaperThe Anchor



Southwest High School was opened in 1940 with the main entrance at Beard Avenue South and West 47th Street.[2] The school drew 841 students from Minneapolis, Edina and Richfield its first year.[3] Two additions were made to the original structure, the first opening in 1956 and the second (Southwest Junior High) in 1968.[3]

With the reorganization of Minneapolis schools in 1982, Southwest returned to just grades 9–12, with seventh and eighth graders going to Anwatin or Anthony Middle Schools. Most of the students who attended West High School were transferred to Southwest when it was closed the same year.[citation needed]

In 1987, the International Baccalaureate Programme began at Southwest.[4] Currently, all 9th and 10th grade students follow the IB Middle Years Programme curriculum.[5]

Also in 1987, Southwest High School was one of the first high schools in the country to stop using a Native American for its mascot and nickname.[6] The Southwest student body voted to change the nickname of the school from the Indians to the Lakers.[7]

In 2016, the Minneapolis school board approved a $47+ million renovation which would add a new building and let the school have space for 450 new students.[8] The renovation was completed for the 2016-17 school year and added 20 new classrooms to the school building. The new 60,346 square foot building was constructed between the original east (Southwest Junior High building) and west buildings. As a part of the renovation, 12,400 square feet of the east building was demolished. The main offices of the school were moved to the new structure, and a large part of the 60,346 square foot building was the new 10,000 square foot lunch room. The renovation also included mechanical upgrades like air conditioning that classrooms in the school had never had before.[9]


The demographic breakdown of the 1,757 students enrolled in 2015-2016 was:

  • Male - 48.7%
  • Female - 51.3%
  • Native American/Alaskan - 1.0%
  • Asian/Pacific islanders - 5.5%
  • Black - 26.0%
  • Hispanic - 10.1%
  • White - 57.0%
  • Multiracial - 0.4%

35.9% of the students were eligible for free or reduced cost lunch. This is a Title I school.[1]

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "SOUTHWEST SENIOR HIGH". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  2. ^ "Southwest-Southwest Community". Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "History and Facts about SWHS". Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  4. ^ "IB Profile Southwest 07-08" (PDF). Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  5. ^ "IB Middle Years Program". Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  6. ^ Hirschfelder, Arlene B. (2000). Native Americans Today: Resources and Activities for Educators, Grades 4-8. Libraries Unlimited. p. 205.
  7. ^ Neff, Craig (February 1, 1988). "Scorecard-A SIGN OF CHANGE". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  8. ^ "MPS board to vote on controversial high-school enrollment plan | MinnPost". Retrieved 2018-09-19.
  9. ^ "Hot Property: Southwest High School addition, Minneapolis". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
  10. ^ Agency, Iowa Legislative Services. "State Representative". Retrieved 1 November 2016.

External linksEdit