Mark T. Skinner West School
Week 26 (2015-2016)
Week At A Glance
March 18th - March 25th

Skinner Banner 2011
Weekly Update 

Friday, March 18th

Upper Grade History Fair
Parent Viewing 

Last Day to Apply for

Sunday, March 20th

BAC Event
1:00 pm

Tuesday, March 22nd

Gallery 111 Meeting
Art Room 
4:00 pm

PTO Meeting 

LSC Meeting
6:30 pm 

Friday, March 25th

  No School 

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 


Mark Your Calendars
Important Dates to Remember

March 25     No Classes - Furlough Day
April 7          End of 3rd Quarter
April 8          No Classes - School Improvement Day  
April 13        No Classes - Report Card Day
April 18-22  No Classes - Spring Break 

In addition to the above dates, this week CPS sent this letter for distribution regarding the Chicago Teacher's Union planned 'Day of Action' on April 1st.  We will continue to communicate any additional information regarding April 1st as soon as our school receives updates.  


PARCC Testing

The  PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessment in English language arts and math will be administered to students in grades 3 through 8 this spring. The CPS testing window is March 28 - May 13.  Exact test dates are not yet available but will be shared as soon as possible. There have been several changes to PARCC this year including a reduction in testing units and testing time.  Students in grades 3-4 will test using paper/pencil while grades 5th-8th will take the on line version of the assessment. 

PARCC Prep Sessions 

Skinner teachers are offering tutoring sessions to all interested students (grades 3 -8) to help prepare for the upcoming PARCC testing. These sessions are offered before school, after school or on Saturday mornings. Below is the schedule for the tutoring sessions.  However, parents, please check with your student's teachers in case there is any schedule change or for updated information. 


Skinner West Upper Grade History Fair

On Friday, March 18th, 2016, our 6th, 7th and 8th graders will be exhibiting their History Fair projects in the Skinner gymnasium. The National History Day 2016 theme is Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in Chicago/Illinois History. Skinner students from all grades will have the opportunity to view the projects and ask the upper grade students questions during their designated time.  Parents are also invited to stop by and visit the History Fair in the gym on March 18th, at any time after 1:30 PM.  View this flyer for more details about the day.  


NED Talk

On Friday March 11th, our 1st-6th grade students listened to a presentation by the NED Show.  The NED Show is a character education program designed to help kids become champions at school and in life.  The NED show discussed three foundational stepping-stones: 

(1) Never give up
(2) Encourage others
(3) Do your best

During the past two decades the NED Show has seen more than 25 million students in all 50 states, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.  The White House has even invited them to perform for special events on 11 occasions. You can learn more about The Ned Show at 

If your child would like to purchase a yo-yo like the ones used in the show, please see Ms. Westy.   Prices are $8 for NED Glow-in-the-Dark Yo-Yo, $10 for Boomerang Yo-Yo and $15 for Excelerator or Cosmic Spin Yo-Yo.  String packs ($4) and holsters ($5) are also available.  Yo-yo's will be available for purchase through Thursday March 24th. To learn some new tricks to perform with your NED Yo-Yo, click here:


Mrs. Milroy and Mrs. Thorne hosted The Skinner West Invention Convention on March 10th. Over 120 third graders competed for a chance to represent Skinner in the Chicago Invention Convention. Our creative students made several inventions to care for and help others. They invented an attachment to help people on crutches carry items, an apparatus to help blind dogs navigate the world around them, and a double-sided teeth flosser -  just to name a few. 

All the third graders did an amazing job. The students listed below were selected to advance to city convention.  We wish them good luck as they take their inventions to the city convention on April 2, 2016 at Clemente High School.

Room 212Room 214Room 216Room 218
Alex G. Roman M.Darian K.Athena C.
Sophia N.Aramis R.Julia C.Brooklyn N.
Charlotte M. Estaban G.Carina B.Karsten E.
Elijah W.Emmy T.Ila L.Livvy A.
Daniel B.Molly S.Michaela W.Ailey K.
Alexandra M.Isabella G.
Ethan W.
Miles K.Daniel R.
Maura S.

Nolan M.

Spotlight on Skinner Classroom
Dyson Foundation Conducts STEM Workshop 

On March 15, Room 216 and Room 218, two 3rd Grade classrooms, participated in a rapid-prototyping STEM workshop. Bailee Lauer, Community Relations Specialist at the James Dyson Foundation, and Sean Hopkins, a Dyson engineer (and Skinner alumnus!), led the workshop. Students were inspired by the fact that engineer James Dyson created over 5,000 prototypes when designing the world's first bagless vacuum cleaner. First, students worked in teams to brainstorm everyday problems they face at school. Next, they chose one issue and sketched a prototype of a product that could solve that problem. Then students created a 3-D prototype of their invention using cardboard, hot glue guns, and X-acto knives. Finally, students shared their work with the class, explaining why their designs were viable solutions to the problems they identified. Great job, future engineers!


Skinner West Baseball

Skinner West is starting a Baseball program this spring!  This program is open to Skinner Students in 4th through 8th grade and will include training, practice, fundamentals, and games.  The season will begin on March 28, 2016 and run until June 13, 2016.
The teams will practice on Mondays and Fridays.  

4th and 5th Graders          4:00PM - 5:30PM
6th, 7th, and 8th Graders 5:30PM - 7:00PM

For more information, contact Coach Leon Muhammad at


MAD Science

Mad Science is offering after school programming to K through 6th grade Skinner West future space explorers on Mondays from April 4th to June 13th. Mad Science is also offering camps during April on the days that school is not in session.  Go here to view the Skinner West Mad Science programming options and to register. 


Spotlight on Superstars

  • Congratulations to second grader Addison A. from Mrs. Rupp's class!  She qualified to compete in USATF Indoor Youth Nationals 400m and 800m in Staten Island, NY.

  •  Congratulations to 5th grader Jason L. and his Chicago Hawks hockey team!  They captured the 2016 Illinois Tier II Squirt A State Hockey Championship by defeating the Chicago Blues. The game was played in front of a capacity crowd of 300+ people, some of which were high-level executives from USA Hockey and the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois (AHAI).  

skinner potluck
Recipe Contest

Do you have a child between the ages of 8-12? Is your child a chef in the making?  Can you imagine his or her recipe being featured in a cookbook? Would the two of you like to represent your home state or territory at a Kids' "State Dinner" at the White House this summer?

First Lady Michelle Obama, WGBH Boston, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture invite you to enter your child's healthy inspired recipe between February 22 and April 4, 2016.

Check out the 5th Annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge  today and encourage them to submit a recipe.

Repeat Articles 
School Council


The deadline to submit LSC Candidate Forms has been extended to March 18 at 3pm. Elections for elementary school LSCs will still be held April 13 (the next parent/teacher conference and report card pick-up day).  See the press release here.

Learn more!
CPS Local School Council information
Skinner Local School Council information


Art Show and Annual Auction

Gallery 111's Art Show was a success thanks to all who 
attended! We raised about $8,000 to put towards our mosaic project and art programming for the entire school! 

Special thanks to Glee for their spectacular performance, 
all our creative volunteers, and parents who came out in support of our superstar artists. We couldn't do it without YOU!

Mark those calendars for our annual adults only silent auction! Ticket information and details to follow. 

chess pawn

Chess Club

Develop your child's interest through the royal game of chess!  All Skinner students (K-8) are invited to sign up for the Spring Session of Skinner's Afterschool Chess Club presented by Chess Scholars.   The classes will be on Tuesdays, March 29 - June 14, 3:45-4:45 pm.  

Both new and returning participants are welcome - No previous knowledge of chess is necessary.  Each class will consist of a fun interactive teaching period and guided practice time.  There will also be a chess competition towards the end of the session.  

To sign up for the chess club, please visit  and enter the class code SKW3.29.16 to register.  Register by March 15th for the early bird price of $125.  If you have any questions about this offering, please contact Chess Scholars at 847-482-9999.
Bilingual Advisory Committee

Save the dates: Our upcoming BAC happenings on 3/20!
Join us for our third installment of Around the World in 80 Dishes on 3/20/16 at Zaytune Mediterranean Grill in Bridgeport. All families and children are welcome. Click here to view event flyers.

Thanks for your continued support,
The Skinner West BAC    


Motivational Speaker Visits Skinner

On Wednesday, March 2nd, our 5th-8th grade students were treated to motivational speaker, Lloyd Bachrach.  Despite Lloyd's congenital bone deficiency, he developed his physical skills at an early age with his passion for swimming, baseball, and bowling. By his teen years, Lloyd began to excel in the sport of gymnastics, competing against able body gymnasts. He won a staggering 25 gold, 27 silver, and 20 bronze medals in various competitions including the Prairie State Games, Chicago Park District Gymnastics on the Beach, the Midwest Open, and other intercollegiate meets.  Lloyd was also a member of the 1996 U.S. Paralympic Team and competed in sit volleyball in the 1996 Atlanta games.  

Lloyd talked to our superstars about being "differently-abled."  A word he prefers to use rather than disabled.  Lloyd shared his experiences of perseverance.  He also left our students with 5 keys to success:

  1. Build high self-esteem
  2. Focus with a positive attitude
  3. Set goals
  4. Perseverance: don't give up, don't quit
  5. Take care of your health

In addition to being extremely fit and an extremely talented athlete, Lloyd is also an entrepreneur and author.  Lloyd is married and has two girls who attend Lane Tech High School.  You can read more about Lloyd by visiting

We are excited to announce that this year's Money Smart Week takes place April 23-30. In support of Chicago's Money Smart Week, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and its partner organizations are once again sponsoring the Money Smart Kid Essay Contest. Students in grades 5-8 are encouraged to answer this year's Money Smart Question with an essay of 300 words or less. Go here to learn more about this year's Money Smart Question. Essay submissions are due by March 15th.


PTO will be hosting Family Fun Night on Friday, April 29th in celebration of Money Smart Week. Stay tuned for more details.


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