End of 2015-2016 School Year Newsletter

Dates to Remember

Skinner Summer Camp, Starts Monday, June 27th
Skinner Basketball Camp, Starts Tuesday, July 5th

Skinner Summer Newsletters: Look for August emails for Important Reminders!

First Day of School 2016, Tuesday, September 6th @ 8:45am
CPS 2016- 2017 Calendar: Click Here

New Articles
As we reflect on the past school year, we continue to celebrate the incredible growth and accomplishments of each of our Superstars, the unwavering support of our parents, the focus and dedication of our entire faculty and the support of our community. Thank you!

We have much to celebrate this year!... We congratulate our eighth grade graduates. We also say farewell and congratulations to our 26 sixth graders who are moving on to Academic Centers. Our sixth and eighth graders have worked hard during their years at Skinner and we are confident they are prepared for the next step in their academic careers and wish them much success in their future. Read below for more details of our recent celebrations.

Our Superstars continue to represent in the community with strong academics, artistic ability, athleticism and more.  Our Superstars are diverse and well-rounded and we are proud of each accomplishment!

We wish our fond farewell to Mr Cox, Dr Cavaretta and Byron Burkes. Each has been part of the Skinner family for many years and will leave us with such great memories!

Unfortunately, we are closing our Preschool 3 year old program and our Preschool Autism class, as per request by CPS Central Offices. Closing those two programs will create more classrooms for our mandated programs. Next year, we will utilize the six classrooms at the Branch for our neighborhood kindergarten and first grade classes. As we continue to seek flexible and creative space solutions for all of our programs, your ideas, support and flexibility will be welcomed.

As always, every volunteer effort is truly appreciated.  Every minute sacrificed, every dollar donated, and every idea offered to help support the academic and social needs of our Superstars is truly appreciated.  It takes a village!  Without each of the parent, community and faculty volunteers, we wouldn't be as successful in driving the best educational and childhood experiences for each one of our Superstars. 

Furthermore, you'll read in another newsletter of exciting news from Springfield...CPS funding has been approved and we're excited that school WILL start on time on Tuesday, September 6th. We're appreciative of the voices each of you raised to our legislators, heightening the importance of funding our children's education.I would like to think that our Superstars' letters to the governor and state legislators also helped to make a difference !!!! Thank you!

As always, if you have any questions for me, please contact me using the parent-only email address:

Try to balance the summer with our Superstars with some academic maintenance of skills and plenty of fun ! Have an enjoyable, restful summer - we look forward to each Superstar returning on Tuesday, September 6th!

Deborah M. Clark

Thank you for all of your efforts. Please read this attachment         

We will miss you, Dr C! The Skinner family appreciates your many years of service, dedication and love you gave to each and every one of your students. Best wishes in your next endeavors .
Congratulations to our 8th Grade Graduates!

We're so proud of our 58 Superstars who will be moving on and carrying forward the Skinner spirit! Our graduates are being accepted into:

Al Raby HSFenwick HSWestinghouse College Prep
Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep HSHancock College Prep HSHansberry College Prep
Kenwood Academy HSLane Tech College PrepLincoln Park HS
Latin School of ChicagoNoble Street College PrepNeuqua Valley HS
Northside College PrepPhillips Exeter AcademySaint Rita of Cascia HS
St Ignatius College PrepWalter Payton College Prep HSWayland Academy
Whitney Young Magnet HSWilliam Jones College Prep HS

Proudly displayed around the school, the graduating class donated a class gift of pillows, reflecting the theme of the graduating class "We see a colorful future".  Congratulations to our Graduates and their will always be Skinner Superstars!     

Walter Payton HS Summer Youth Basketball Camp

Who: Rising 5th through 8th Grade Boys
When: August 1st through 5th // 9AM to Noon 
Where: Walter Payton College Prep High School - Gymnasium
Cost: $125
Contact: for questions
How: More Information and registration details by clicking HERE
Repeat Articles
Farewell To Mr. Cox

Mr. Cox (4th grade teacher) will be retiring at the end of this school year. He is retiring to Canada to be closer to his family.

We thank Mr. Cox for his 16 years of dedicated teaching at Skinner West. He has been one of our most beloved and requested teachers of all time. The students' tributes truly say it best: 

Andrew B. "He was the person who invented the single, double, and quadruple purple slips which caused purple clip mania where purple slip boxes were stuffed to the limit.  I remember going against the 5th graders who were clearly better and faster at multiplying fractions than us 4th graders, but for our bravery, were were given the quadruple purple slips.  I remember the apple rattler that smelled like coffee and learning how to sign the pledge of allegiance. I still do"

Ethan D. "An amazing teacher leaving this amazing school.  He meant something to all of us.  Of course, he taught us with his amazing teaching skills, but what he will most be remembered for are his traits.  His kindness is a trait to be rivaled.  He had courage, trusting us to organize parties and projects.  Mostly though, he encouraged us.  He encouraged us to get good grades and improve them to our extent.  To push ourselves so we can do our best.  He helped us when we were feeling sad or mad.  He had fun with us!  He will always be one of my favorite teachers." 

Aysia G. " Mr. Cox, I remember how excited I was to enter your class. I heard a lot of great stories from your past students.  I also remember how you made learning fun.  Being in your class was one of the highlights of my elementary school years.  4th grade was such a long time ago but I am still able to remember the great experiences I had.  Thank you for taking time to compliment me or give me knowledge for the future.  I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to learn from such a great teacher.  You had an ample amount of knowledge in all subjects and will forever be one of Skinner's finest.  I think I can speak for all of us that you have taught us a lot and we will cherish your time at Skinner. You're a golden apple, Mr. Cox! You have helped so many superstars at Skinner develop and build a future that is bright! Thank you so much for all you'e taught."

Eriel S. " Let's be honest what's not to love about you?  You're one of those teachers who is just...well, awesome!  I had the fortunate opportunity to experience your amazing teaching.  I remember having you as a teacher and all the fun experiences and everything we did.  Being a chief justice and being a part of some math challenges against the upper grades were just a couple of engaging opportunities you gave us.  Everything was just so memorable and an experience I won't ever forget." 

Katelyn M. "He allowed for us to become more independent, do some things our way, grow academically and discover things about ourselves.  I can't thank Mr. Cox enough for all of the help he's given me in what I want to do with my future"

Jolie D. "You inspired many students, including me, in the years you've taught at Skinner.  The knowledge you have given us will lead us all to a much brighter future.  Even if Mr. Cox wasn't your teacher, you could know the joy he brought everyone around him"

Carter W. "The biggest thing was your personality, you don't always expect a teacher to have a great personality.  But you went beyond those expectations.  You were so nice and kind and you also cracked so many jokes.  You gave everyone a chance to do their best in 4th grade.  You let the students be independent and you will be remembered as one of the greatest teachers Skinner Wet has ever had"

Rutie Z. "As students, we were treated as equals not lesser, and that meant more responsibility, because our classroom was a group effort.  A collage of nationalities and cultures that you embraced with a full heart.  You instilled in us the idea of giving back as much as receiving.  Mr. Cox, as you embrace retirement with open arms, as you have embraced every student to ever grace your classroom, I want you to know how many lives you have changed.  You didn't just give your career, but your life, to education and the power of knowledge, and for that, you are the most remarkable teacher I have ever encountered in my 8 years at Skinner.  Thank you for your gentleness, wisdom, and guidance" 


We will miss you, Mr. Cox. We thank both you and Mrs Eulett Cox for many years of creative, caring, unique and dedicated service. You are one of a kind ! All of us from your Skinner family wish you well in your future endeavors. 
Byron Burkes has dedicated many years working with Dr. Caveretta in our Primary Autism program at Skinner West. Byron is always willing to go the extra mile to assist the students, teachers, and parents.  He is a gentle spirit who has a love for all children and will be dearly missed. 

To view photos taken during the March and April performance days for Skinner West's music program, click here.

Also, here are some photos from the spring concert held on June 15, 2016.

The STAR after school program is now registering students for the 2016-2017 school year.  If you are currently enrolled in STAR, your spot is NOT reserved for next year until we receive an updated registration form. 
New students must also provide the registration form and a $50 non refundable deposit to reserve a spot.  This $50 will be deducted from your first payment.
You may fill out the attached registration form and email it to

Additionally, please review the info sheet provided to answer your frequently asked questions.

Thank you, and we can't wait to see you in the fall! 

Ms. Campbell, Miss O'Brien, and Ms. Schwartz

Information Sheet

What a Breathtaking Dance Recital!!!  Take a moment to solve this equation....

Countless Hours of Practice
+ 57  Talented Star Squad Dance Members
+ 22 Incredible Dance Routines
+ 5 Dance Techniques
+ 1 Graduating Captain Aysia G we will miss you!)
+ 1 Amazing Teacher and Mentor - Nina Wardanian
= 1 Fantastic Night of Memories

Thank you to All the Supportive Family, Friends and Students who made this happen!

Nina Wardanian (Dance Instructor)

Last week, our 6th grade classes had the privilege of taking a field trip to Madison, Wisconsin to explore the real life applications of art, science, and math.

Our visit to the Hillside Studio & Theater at Taliesin provided a detailed look into the life of one of America's greatest architects, Frank Lloyd Wright. In Art class, Our 6th graders have been studying FLW and creating original architecture inspired by him.

We finished the day exploring the 
Olbrich Botanical Gardens, consisting of 16 acres of gardens next to Lake Monona. The grounds were filled with everything from roses, to herbs, to rock gardens, and even included a Golden Thai pavilion!  This place truly made learning fun.

The next morning, we were able to visit the Chazen Museum of Art, which houses an impressive collection ranging from Renaissance to Modern Art. Our Superstars expanded their art history knowledge through discussion and reflection, while analyzing the works they saw.

Our last stop of the trip was to explore the National Natural Landmark, Cave of the Mounds. We explored above ground sinkholes, as well as stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and other formations deep underground.  It was the perfect ending to an eventful and engaging trip!

Skinner's 8th Grade Class of 2016 traveled to Washington DC for their class trip. The group toured many memorials and museums throughout the nation's capital including the Frederick Douglass home, Newseum, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, National Cathedral, Martin Luther King Jr. Monument, Lincoln Memorial and National Mall to name a few. The trip was a very fun and educational experience for all. 

Congratulations Class of 2016!

In Ms. Ferrara's 3rd grade classroom, we recently took part in the CPS Peace Hour Pledge. Students were motivated to keep the peace in their home and school communities. They proudly participated in the peace circle talk, sharing thoughtful and insightful ideas and personal stories regarding peacekeeping. The took the peace pledge, and are committed to keeping the peace over the summer and into the new school year. Each student shared an idea of how they will improve the peacefulness of their home or school, and we created a poster to be displayed these last days of school as a visual reminder of our strong and sincere commitment to peace.


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Deborah M. Clark
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