Washburn High School provides students with an education that promotes excellence in academic, artistic and athletic achievement!

9/2/16 -- Issue 2

Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year.  As we engage in the new school year, we do so with much anticipation of the challenges and triumphs ahead.
Within this newsletter you will find important school information.  I strongly recommend that both parents and students read it from top to bottom.  Several articles will provide dates and timelines, along with important expectations that will ensure each student and family is prepared for a successful school year.
Washburn High School will offer two new programs and several new classes this year. 
  • Ninth Grade On-Track: A new program designed to identify and track ninth grade student's academic progress.  The goal of 9th Grade On-Track is to increase the four-year graduation rate.
  • The Newcomer Program: This program allows students new to the country to attend their neighborhood high school. It is for level 1 and level 2 English language learners. 
In addition to the new programs, we are offering several new classes including:
  • Prep (9) - pre AVID program
  • Sophomore Support Class (10) - Focuses on essential skills and vocabulary in Math, Science, English, Soc. St.
  • Miller Athletic Academic Program (MAAP) - Focuses on academic support for student athletes
  • African American Studies (continuation)
  • Chicano/Latino Studies
  • Arabic (Levels 1 & 2)*
  • Black Voices
  • IB Sports Exercise Health Science
  • Consumer Education
  • Dance
* Washburn received funding to offer Arabic Level 1 in early August.  Consequently, this class was not on the registration card last Spring.  
The staff has been working all summer to prepare for the over 1600 students registered to attend Washburn High School. We continue to learn and grow as a professional learning community to find ways to address unique needs, learning styles, and learning gaps in our students so that ALL students can demonstrate competency in all standards and graduate prepared for their next level of learning.
On behalf on the entire faculty and staff at Washburn High School we welcome each of you, both the familiar faces and those new to our school for the first time to the new school year.
Rhonda Dean,

9/5    NO SCHOOL - Labor Day
9/13  Community Presentation -- "Screenagers" 7:00pm WHS Auditorium 
9/19  Curriculum Night 
9/22  Counselor Event - Senior Financial Aid Night
9/22  Site Council 4:30-6:00pm & Parent Council 6:30-7:30pm (Room 107)
9/30  Homecoming Game

10/1  Homecoming Dance (all grades) 
10/10 Picture Make-up Day
10/18 Parent-Teacher Conferences 4:30-8:30pm (Arena Style in Main Gym)
10/19 Parent-Teacher Conferences 8:00am-12:00pm (individual in classrooms) 
10/20, 10/21  NO SCHOOL

11/2    1st Quarter Ends
  • If students have a question about their schedule, they should see their counselor before or after school. Counselors cannot take questions through e-mail or over the phone. Students (not parents) need to meet in person with their counselor. 
  • All schedule changes will be final as of 9/2/16 at 4:00pm.
Attendance Information
Please keep in mind that our attendance office is trying to maintain accurate records for over 1600 students. Please read these tips and help us reduce interruptions at school:
  • If your child needs to leave early during the day, they MUST bring a note and drop off first thing in the morning so a pass can be created and delivered to your child at the appropriate time. Calling the attendance line for leaving early is not preferred. It makes it difficult for us to excuse your child in a timely manner.
  • We can reduce the number of class interruptions by having notes ready for students in the office (instead of interrupting a whole class by calling into classrooms).
  • We can get your child out the door much faster when it is pre-planned (calling at the moment you need the student creates problems if students are at lunch hour or their class has changed locations for the day). 
  • When you send a note, you can avoid having to enter the school (hassle of finding parking) and just wait to pick them up in the parking lot at a prearranged time. 
  • Please call the office by 10:00am if calling in your child sick for the day. 
Girls Varsity Soccer -- Senior Recognition Night 
Girls Soccer Senior Recognition Night is Saturday 9/10 at 5:00pm with a home game against Cretin-Derham Hall. Please come out to cheer on the Girls Varsity Team and show support to our graduating seniors who have been a part of this amazing soccer community the last four years! 

Girls Tennis News
The girls opened the 2016 season with a bang. The varsity team trounced section rival Bloomington Kennedy 7-0 before defeating Fairmont by a score of 5-2. The girls all played hard and supported their teammates. Also noteworthy is the  JV team. They got some good match experience against quality opponents. There were some nerves, as high school match play was a new experience for most of them. Coach Jack reports that his players had a very positive experience. Congratulations to Isabel Frye, who got the season's first JV victory for the Millers. Kudos also to Nadia and Kenisha who, despite losing their doubles match, managed to stretch two sets into a 2 hour and 15 minute marathon. That's tenacity!

Football Opening Game
Come out and support our Football team for Friday Night Lights! The season opener is against MPLS North on  Friday 9/2 at 7:00pm . Let's cheer on our Millers! 
Help Keep Kids Safe
Students can be dropped off or picked up for school near doors 10 & 3.
  • In the mornings, students may enter school through Door 10 (50th Street) & Door 3 (49th Street) and soon will be required to show school ID cards upon entering;  
  • CARS CANNOT STOP ON 50TH STREET. It's dangerous to hold up traffic at this location and those who do may receieve a ticket. 
  • According to Mpls Ordinance 478.110 students can only be dropped off/picked up on Pleasant Ave or 49th Street
  • You can drop off at door 10 if you pull all the way into the parking lot on 50th street (entrance on Pleasant; exit only on 50th)

Picture Day was Friday 9/2/16
Picture forms were included in Welcome Back Night packets. If your student missed the chance to turn in an order form and you would like to still order pictures, you can do so online within 48 hours of 9/2/16 as all students present at school on Friday had their photo taken.  If you miss that deadline, you can order pictures on retake day on 10/10/16. 

Visit mylifetouch.com and enter Washburn's picture day ID -  MI206167Y0.  If you have any questions please contact Deb Keefe at dekee001@mpls.k12.mn.us

Students who are active in extra curricular activities tend to do better in school and are happier. And we are finding that colleges are now very interested in the types of things students do beyond academics. We strongly recommend students get involved. The reality is that sometimes students need a gentle push from their parents to join a group or club. Here are a few ideas of clubs that are actively recruiting new members right now:

Urban Farm
If your student is interested in free food and learning more about a low-commitment club, they should check out Urban Farm's first meeting on Friday, September 9th at 7:30am at the picnic tables out on the mall. This is just an informational meeting, so come see what Urban Farm is all about and enjoy some muffins and donuts while you're there.

Debate Team
If your student likes learning about current events, meeting new people and eating pizza, they should come to the debate team's first meeting next Tuesday, September 6th at 3:30. You'll learn how to win arguments, speak your mind on issues you care about, and yes, there will be pizza. Hope to see many students next Tuesday in Ms. Dierkes' room 315! 

Student Council
Student Council is a group of leaders from 9th-12th grade. They help plan school wide events, dances and service projects. Student Council meetings are held on most Wednesdays at 7:30am in the choir room. The first Student Council meeting will be at 7:30am on September 7th. Our first meeting will discuss future plans like service projects and homecoming dances. There is a limit to how many kids can join student council, so if your student is interested they should try to attend the first couple meetings.

Fall Musical
Auditions for the fall musical, Zombie Prom, will be held Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 3:15pm in the auditorium. You only have to attend one of these days. This show is open to all freshman, sophomores or anyone that hasn't performed in a Washburn musical before. Students who missed auditions may want to consider being part of the stage crew. If you have any questions, please see Mr. Lynn in room 336 or Mrs. Lee in the choir room. 

Mark your calendars for the upcoming great event on 9/13 @ 7:00pm. Many parents have questions and concerns about how "screentime" is affecting their families. Please join us for this special showing of a highly acclaimed film. 


Dine in, or take out dinner from Davanni's- (Richfield location) on Wednesday, September 7th 4:00-8:00pm. Help raise $$ for the Millers Football Team!! 20% of proceeds from that night's purchases of dine in, take out, or buying gift cards, will be donated to the team!! Grab a coupon, or make sure to tell the cashiers you are from Washburn! Go Millers!!

Outreach Group Seeks Donations
Last year the Parent Council began a committee called "Washburn Cares."  This committee focuses on finding and securing donations that we can use to provide items to students as a form of outreach to our highest need students (students with housing instability, attendance problems, or behavior concerns). Washburn Cares seeks donations as needed for the following categories:
-         Clothes Closet (located in main office)
-         Food Shelf (newly located in main office)
-         Toiletries (given out through School Based Clinic)
-         School Supplies (fill school supply boxes located in the school)
-         Holiday Assistance (Gift Card Drive) 

This year we will seek to involve more student leaders in addition to our parent volunteers. If you or your student would like to get involved in this important work, please contact Erica Lebens-Englund erica.lebens@mpls.k12.mn.us

Student Leader in Action 
Student Samantha Wheeler is a shining example of student leadership. She agreed to let me share her story in hopes of inspiring others to get involved in Washburn Cares.

Samantha took it upon herself to solicit donations for students who had back to school needs. This year she donated everything to Washburn. Here's her story in her own words.

" I started this project 3 years ago as a small drive in which my neighbors would bring supply donations to our block party, which I would then donate to a local charity. This year, however, I really wanted to grow the project and find a way to give back to my own school, which is why I contacted Mr Jubenville.  I did most of the organizing on my own, but I have had lots of help from my parents (especially in the years before I could drive). And of course the project wouldn't be possible without the people in the community who made donations and spread the word about it to their friends and neighbors!  I made posts about the project on NextDoor and Facebook. I also connected with three different churches in the area and put an article about it in their bulletins. I placed donation boxes at each of the churches so that there would be a drop-off location for anyone who was interested.  I ended up with over 250 notebooks, 39 binders, 86 packs of pens/pencils, 145 folders, and several more supplies. I then organized this into 18 backpacks complete with all the supplies a high school student would need to start the year. Monetary donations totaled to $745 It was truly the generosity of the South Minneapolis community that made this project a success! We are lucky to live in a place where people are so willing to help out."


This week we recognize our staff in the SWISH program. The SWISH (School within a School) program helps students with credit recovery. Last year 200 plus credits were recovered by students who felt this was their last hope to reach their goal of on time graduation.  SWISH is one reason this was possible!  Thanks to Dani Brandes, Patrick Scanlon, and Erik Miller, the three teachers, who along with the students, ARE the program. Dani will be joining the English department for 2016-17 but Patrick and Erik will carry the SWISH torch into this next year. We wanted all three of you to be acknowledged for starting this program and teaching with fidelity. Congratulations to a great Washburn team! 
Washburn High School | Main Office 612-668-3400 | Family Liaison 612-668-3440