Mark T. Skinner West School

School Year 2015-2016

Week 10: Nov. 12 -Nov. 19               




November 12, 2015



Skinner Banner 2011
Weekly Update 

Friday, Nov. 13th 
School Improvement Day

Monday, Nov. 16th

Yankee Candle Fundraiser 
Orders Due Today

1:00-2:00 pm
Facility Services Committee Meeting

4:30 pm
School Improvement Committee Meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 17th
5:30 pm
PTO Meeting
Skinner Library

6:30 pm
LSC Meeting

Wednesday, Nov. 18th

Report Card Pick-Up Day

STAR Program
Quarterly Payment Due

Thursday, Nov. 19th

Bilingual Advisory Committee (BAC) 
Second Floor Landing
Friday, Nov.20th

Illinois Superintendents Visit Skinner 
9:00- 12:00


Skinner West School Calendar

 CPS School Calendar 2015-2016
Put your child's name on the Skinner Marquee!

Looking for a unique Way to Say "Happy Birthday" to Your Child? Surprise your child with an electronic greeting on the Skinner West marquee for only $25.  

In addition, a birthday greeting will be sent to your child via the intercom during morning announcements . All proceeds will help our Skinner 8th graders go to Washington DC.
  • Complete the announcement request form -  click here 
  • Enclose $25 cash or check to Skinner West with the form
  • Turn the form into Room 320 or 326
  • All forms must be turned in at least one week prior to your requested date.
Your child's birthday announcement will run for 24 hours. If your child's birthday falls on a weekend, the announcement will run the Friday before.
Neighborhood News 
What's Happening in the West Loop?  Visit the 
Did you miss last week's Week-At-A-Glance e-newsletter? Click here to catch up on a must-read!



Does your Superstar have an accomplishment or honorable mention you would like to submit to the newsletter?  

Reply to this email or email us at




Are you supporting Skinner through these NO additional cost fundraisers?

SUPPORT OUR SCHOOL and Share this with Family and Friends! 


Box Tops/ Labels for Education
Collect everyday labels from groceries to earn points and funds for our school library

e-Scrip (Retailers)
Visit to designate your eScrip accounts to Mark T. Skinner. A percentage of your purchases go to the school. However, you must renew your e-Scrip annually. Look out for special bonus days too!


1% goes to Skinner on ALL purchases made with Target Card (additional 5% all purchases for you!)
Designate Skinner Classical as your school






Please submit pictures from any Skinner West events (concerts, parties, presentations etc) to
 We prefer .jpg or .gif files of up to 350kb. 
Thank you!




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 New Articles 

Report Card Pickup Schedule
Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Grades K-5:
11:45 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Parent Conferences
Grades 6-8:
11:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. Parent Conferences
3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Teachers Lunch Break
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.   Parent Conferences

Parents, after going to your child's classroom, please stop by the Cafeteria on Report Card Pickup Day.  Lost and Found items will be displayed for parents to view and find any missing items from First Quarter. 
November No-School Holidays:
  • Friday, November 13th- School Improvement Day
  • Wednesday, November 18th- Report Card Pick-Up Day
  • Thanksgiving Break is: Wednesday, November 25th - Friday, November 27th

CPS Budget 
Parent Rally

Parents and Guardians,
In just two weeks, CPS may be forced to cut 5,000 teachers and slash educational programs, unless state politicians break their political deadlock and plug a $500 million budget shortfall. 

More details will be passed along next week regarding the projected budget cuts, the impact the cuts might have here at Skinner, and ways parents can voice their opposition to such cuts.

Next week, there is a parent rally planned to protest state budget cuts impacting CPS. The rally will take place on Tuesday, November 17th3:45 PM to 5 PM on the plaza outside the Thompson Center (100 W. Randolph Street). Please try to attend the rally !



 Skinner Sibling Lottery is Cancelled 

CPS has cancelled the sibling lottery process for Skinner's 2016-17 school year

  • Over the past years, the sibling lottery program has been an important benefit and need for Skinner families, bridging the gap for families who want to keep their siblings together at the same school.
  • The sibling lottery has been a critical program, allowing students to fill the classroom spots only AFTER neighborhood seats have been filled. Sibling slots have never been filled in substitution of neighborhood openings.
  • The sibling lottery has enabled us not to have split classes where enrollment might be low for a grade level.
  • Every student counts towards critical state funding for Skinner 's curriculum and program needs.


  • CPS has recently notified Skinner West that the sibling lottery process is canceled for Skinner's 2016-17 school year.
Take Action
  • Spread the word! Consider contacting CPS by attending the upcoming board meeting.  To voice any concerns, CPS invites the  public to attend the next CPS board meeting on Wednesday November 18th @ 10:30am located at 42 W Madison, Garden Board Room. To learn more and to register, you can visit


Skinner's Holiday Concerts

    FRIDAY DEC.4: 1:00PM 
SAKS 5th Avenue 700 N Michigan: 121/219
Performance open to the public     
    FRIDAY DEC.42:30PM 
SAKS 5th Avenue 700 N Michigan: 123/124/217
Performance open to the public

    Saturday December 5: 5:15PM 
Outdoor Performance at the Tree lighting Ceremony
Mary Bartleme Park 115 S. Sangamon       
Performance open to the public 

Second and third grades by RSVP only. Fill out the form at:
Mariano's 40 W Halsted:     121/ 219  
Performance open to the public     
Mariano's 40 W Halsted:        123/124/217
 Performance open to the public     
   THURS. DEC. 1012:00 noon performance 
    FRI. DECEMBER 111:00pm 
Palmer House Hilton lobby 212/216
Performance open to the public
    MON. DECEMBER 141:00pm 
Palmer House Hilton lobby 214/218
Performance open to the public

10:00AM: 2nd, 3rd, 5th (211 & 314), 7th, 8th Grades, & Glee Club

2PM: Kindergarten, 1st Grade, Music House Instrumentalists, Rock Band, Glee Club

10:00AM: 2nd, 3rd, 5th (211 & 314), 7th, 8th Grades, & Glee Club

2PM: Kindergarten, 1st Grade, Music House Instrumentalists, Rock Band, Glee Club   

Click on the flyers for more details!

2nd Grade Flyer                        3rd Grade Flyer


  Audition for Holiday Concert

Monday, November 16, 2015, is the last day for Primary Chorus dance auditions for the December holiday shows.

2nd and 3rd graders may audition for Hip Hop Reindeer-- where kids showing off their own moves.

3rd graders may also audition for In The Spirit -- this is an easy Swing/Charleston that will be taught to them.

We are looking for kids who move well and have lots of fun as they dance.  Interested students should see Ms. Maatouk in the music room.


Skinner Yankee Candle Fundraiser 
Orders due Monday!

PTO is hosting a Yankee Candle Fundraiser.  The fundraiser started on Monday November 2nd, and orders are due no later than Monday November 16th, this is to ensure delivery the week before winter break. Please note that the dates on the flyer inside of the packet are not correct, please update to reflect Monday Nov 2 -- Monday Nov 16th.  

The PTO is requesting that each student sell at least one candle.  If all 1,000+ of our Superstars sell 1 candle each, we can raise over $10,000 as Skinner earns 40% on all sales.  All money raised goes right back into the school classrooms, kids programs, and family nights.

No late orders will be accepted as we want to ensure delivery of the candles to the school the week prior to winter break so you can give these wonderful scented candles as lovely gifts to your friends and family for the holidays.These will make wonderful holiday gifts for your family and friends.

If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Majca at


Skinner Superstars and Skinner Families 
Order Skinner Gear!

Grab Your Skinner West Basketball and Spirit Gear! For a limited time, we are ordering Skinner wear for adults or students.  Orders are delivered to Coach Lomax at the school for pickup by the end of November . From now until Nov. 16 order Gear on the SuperstarBasketball Website or click HERE:

If you have any questions, please contact


Thank you to all who have donated the many supplies to our program so far. We have distributed what we've received to the groups, and will begin our stewardship later this week or early next. 

The items that we still need are:

Wipes - at least 10 containers

*NEW* Clear plastic bins for Lost & Found clothes, lunch boxes, water bottles, and school supplies:|pdp|related_prods_vv|pdpv1

*NEW* One plastic bin for fragile items, i.e. glasses:

Please email Mr. Baron ( to confirm and/or drop the supplies in his area on the second floor outside of the art room. Thank you!

Skinner West Chess

Congratulations to our Skinner West Chess Superstars! On Saturday, November 7th, our chess team participated in the Renaissance Knights Cops & Kids Chess Tournament, at Moos School.
Micah A. (4th grade),  was undefeated in the K-4 group.  The Skinner team of, Micah A.,  Evan H.(3rd grade) and Benjamin M. (4th grade), placed first in the K-4 group. 


Student Principal for a Day

On Monday, November 9th, Skinner West had a new principal for the day -- student Alexandra M.!  
Alexandra's first task was to appointed her classmate Sienna B. as her Assistant Principal.  Both students then had a very busy day as they accompanied Mrs. Clark throughout the day, actively participating in principal duties at Skinner West.  The students visited the classrooms, did office work, made announcements over the PA system, opened the Student Council election assembly,talked to teachers to resolve problems,assisted with technology and musical instruments and had a great lunch of their choosing !  Principal Alexandra and her assistant Sienna had great ideas and were a delight to have assisting that day. As expected , both girls said they were so tired at the end of their busy day !!!!! Mrs Clark is looking forward to more Superstars getting the experience of being Principal for A Day.

This experience was one of the many fabulous items auctioned at Gallery 111's annual gala event to support the art program at Skinner.  This event is held each spring - look for more information soon on this year's gala and how your child could be next year's Principal for a Day!


Classroom Connections
Mandarin at Skinner 

On November 7th, Skinner's 4th grade Mandarin Classes participated in a Chinese Paper Cutting Workshop.  Students were excited about learning the traditional Chinese art form, enjoyed Guo laoshi's magic scissors' demonstration, and participated well in the hands on activity.

Besides learning traditional Chinese Paper Cutting technics, students followed Guo laoshi's art pattern and made a Chinese character: "Xi" (3rd tone), means double happiness.  Since Chinese loves the color red, we normally use "Hong2 Shuang1 Xi3", red double happiness as decorations for joyful events like weddings, a new born baby, business openings, etc.

Ms. Kong extends a sincere appreciation to the artist and teacher Ms. Guo.  Also, thank you to Ms. Wang, Ms. Li, host CCCI and sponsor CI for making learning more meaningful by connecting language with traditional Chinese culture and its heritage.


Spotlight on Skinner Alumni

Milan J., Class of 2014 and Ariane O., Class of 2015 both made the honor roll at De La Salle Institute for the first quarter.  We are proud of them and their academic efforts.  Congratulations!

Repeat Articles 

Halloween Fun at Skinner West

Halloween was a success!  Our students enjoyed dressing in costume, participating in the school Halloween parade, celebrating with their class, and attending the 6th-8th Grade Monster Mash party. 

Thank you to all parents and family members who donated their time to help our teachers and staff.


The Skinner West Debate Team participated in the Chicago Middle School Debate League's first tournament of the 2015-2016 season on Saturday, Oct. 24 at OA Thorp Academy. 

The overall topic for the year is: 'Domestic Surveillance', and the cases being debated at this Tournament were 'Stingray' , and 'National Security Letters'.

Out of 69 possible awards, Skinner took home 26 of them, over one-third of all possible awards. The award case is located on the 3rd floor of Skinner. 

Congratulations to our individual and team winners:

Najeo S.- 1st Place
Trip G. - 3rd Place
Chris P. -4th Place
Christina L. - 6th Place
Nia L. - 10th Place
Faizi T. - 11th Place
Olivia C. - 13th Place
Christi B. - 18th Place

Victor K. - 1st Place
Ruthie Z. -3rd Place
Matthew S. - 4th Place
Chris C. - 6th Place
Jada M. - 9th Place

Alexis C. - 2nd Place
Olamide B. - 5th Place 
Aysia G. - 6th Place

Najeo S.  and Katelyn M. - 1st Place
Trip G. and Chris P. - 2nd Place
Faizi T. and Christi B.  - 3rd Place
Nia L. and Lila A. - 4th Place
Christina L. and Olivia C. - 7th Place

Chris C. and Victor K. - 1st Place
Jada M. and Ruthie Z. -4th Place 
Nandi M. and Rory A. - 5th Place

Olamide B. and Anicia M. - 2nd Place
Alexis C. and Aysia G. - 3rd Place 


Mad Science
Days Off School and Night at the Lab

Looking for a camp for one of the November or December days off of school?  Mad Science is offering camps on all of these days.  Each camp includes hands-on fun, take-home projects, and snack-tivities related to the topic of the day.  Mad Science is also offering a Night at the Lab on December 11th so that adults can enjoy a night out, while little scientists have a fun night in their Mad Science Lab.  
See here for a flyer or go to the Mad Science website.


There is an LSC Community Representative vacancy.  Applications will be available in the main office.  Interested candidates are invited to speak at the LSC meeting on November 17th at 6:30. The application deadline is Monday, November 16th 2015 at 4pm.

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There will be a Facility Services Committee meeting on Monday, November 16th from 1:00-2:00pm. The location of the meeting is still to be determined.


Apply for 2016-17 School Year  

Want to apply for testing for your elementary school child for the 2016-17 school year? 
Read on for information on applying to Regional Gifted Schools, Classical Schools, International Gifted Programs, and Academic Centers:
If you would like to apply to these schools using the online application process, your first step is to open an account and request a Personal Identification Number at the online site, The PIN will be mailed to your home address and then you can follow the steps to schedule testing and apply to the school.

Upcoming School Improvement Committee Meetings 

Mark your calendars. Skinner West's next School Improvement Committee meetings will be:

Monday, November 16 at 4:30PM

Thursday, December 10 at 6:00PM 


Visit our website at

for more information about what's happening in school.
 All comments, suggestions or requests to submit information

to this newsletter should be emailed to


                                                                                                               Deborah M. Clark