Mark T. Skinner West School
Week 28 (2015-2016)
Week At A Glance
April 1st - April 8th

Skinner Banner 2011
Weekly Update 

Friday, April 1st

CTU Day of Action

Tuesday, April 5th thru Thursday April 7th

PARC Testing 

Wednesday, April 6th

Picture Day

Thursday, April 7th

End of 3rd Quarter

Friday, April 8th

School Improvement Day


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 

Friday, April 1st 

CPS has released the details of the alternative sites during the CTU Day of Action on Friday.  
  • As a reminder, there will be no classes on Friday. 
  • Click here to read a letter from CPS about Friday.
  • Click here to find a contingency site and to register your child.
  • Skinner West is one of the listed contingency sites.


PARCC Testing Schedule

Dear Skinner Parents:
As you may have read in a previous correspondence from Janice K. Jackson, all Chicago Public Schools must administer the new state mandated PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessments.  These assessments:
  • Are aligned to the more rigorous Common Core Standards which will be crucial to their success in college and careers.
  • Will measure how well students are progressing on what they should know at each grade level including problem - solving and critical thinking skills
  • Will also give teachers information on improving instruction and helping individual students.
Our PARCC schedule is as follows:
3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th
English Language Arts
April 5,6,7th
3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th
April 12, 14
April 11, 12, 14
April 27, 28, 29
English Language Arts
May 3, 4, 5th
English Language Arts
April 27,28,29
May 3, 4, 5th
Make-Up Testing
April 26-May 13
In preparation for PARCC assessments, please do the following:
  • Have your child get a good night's rest
  • Have your child eat a good breakfast on the mornings of testing, and arrive to school on time.  Students who are tardy will work in the library until the test session is over, and make up any test sessions missed during the make-up testing scheduled time
  • Please bring 2-3 #2 pencils for testing dates (Grades 3-4th)
  • Let your child know that you have confidence in his/her ability to do his/her best
Thank you for your continued cooperation and support in making this testing experience successful for your child.

School Council
Skinner's LSC News

Skinner's Local School Council (LSC) met on March 22, 2016.  Please click here to read the latest LSC Report from that meeting.

Elections for Skinner's LSC will take place on Report Card Conference Day, Wednesday April 13th. Two teachers, 10 parents, and 2 community members applied to run for these positions.  Candidate statements are posted on the bulletin board in Skinner's lobby.  A candidate forum was held on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 6:30 pm in the Skinner gymnasium.   Click here for more information about the upcoming LSC election. 

The following individuals are running for Skinner's LSC (listed in order of filing):

Trisha Ruster
Michael McMurray
Fadi Matalka
Ashley Kohn
Stephanie Majca
Melvin Flowers
Matthew Letourneau
Laurie Mullick
Nellie Strong 
Sharlene Hobson

Tom Kim
Armando Chacon

Donna McSpadden
Ramel Werner

Non-Teacher Staff
Sheila Howard


Gallery 111  
13th Annual Gala 

This year's Gallery 111 Gala will be on Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 7:00-10:00pm at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Join fellow parents, Skinner faculty and staff, and Skinner community members for an evening of fundraising, food, drinks, music and a silent auction to benefit Skinner West art programs. For a closer look at the invitation to this big event, go here.



Volunteer Banner
Volunteers Needed
Money Smart Week Family Fun Game Night

The Skinner PTO is planning a Family Fun Game Night in conjunction with Money Smart Week.  The Family Fun Night will take place at Skinner West on Friday, April 29th, 4pm to 7 pm.

The PTO is in need of individuals who work in the banking or financial service industries to assist with running a game, exhibit or presentation.  Volunteers are also needed for serving food, acting as a room monitor, etc.  All interested parties should contact the PTO. Donations for small giveaway items are also needed.  

If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Ronetta- a member of the PTO board-at



Register for Skinner Summer Camp

Superstars Summer Camp registration will begin Monday April 4th! Our informational pamphlet, camp flyer, and registration forms are available in the office and can be sent to you electronically if you reach out to Mr. Johnson and Ms. O'Brien at Space will fill up quickly!


Picture Day

Skinner West Spring Picture Day is Wednesday, April 6th.  Look for flyers to come home in your student's backpack this weekend.  Lifetouch National School Studios will be taking the portraits of each student.


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, including a DNA Detectives Camp on April 1st. Click on the following for more information: on the spring session  or summer camp
To register, go to

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Repeat Articles 


Mark Your Calendars
Important Dates to Remember

April 1          No Classes 
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 



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.  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 
Additional Sessions

Skinner teachers are continuing to offer 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. 

In addition to above listed sessions, Ms. Travis in 4th Grade is offering Math PARCC tutoring.  The focus is on Number and Operations.  The sessions will be held
Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00-5:00pm.



Skinner West Upper Grade History Fair

On Friday, March 18th, 2016, our 6th, 7th and 8th graders exhibited their History Fair projects in the Skinner gymnasium. The theme of this year's National History Day is Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in Chicago/Illinois History. Skinner students and Skinner parents visited the Fair and were able to view the projects and learn more about Chicago's fascinating history.  Congratulations to all the upper grade students for all their hard work and a special congratulations to the upper grade students who were selected to advance to the Metro Junior History Fair! The Metro Junior History Fair will be on April 9, 2016 at Lane Tech High School.


 "MATHCOUNTS Competition"     
On Saturday, February 27th, Skinner "Mathletes" competed in the MathCounts - Chicago Chapter competition at the CNA building in downtown Chicago.  Congratulations to Ethan B., Andrew B., Sophia C., and Len W. for proudly representing Skinner West as "Mathletes" in this competition.  
There were a total of  37 schools and 267 students that participated in this competition.  Skinner took 2nd Place as a team in their division and Sophia C. advanced to the State Competition for her outstanding performance in the individual portion of the competition.  

The team did a terrific job, please congratulate them when you see them!  Congratulations!!

Congratulations to Skinner Chess Stars!

Skinner Superstars did very well on Saturday, March 19th at Chicago Chess Scholars Spring Tournament. In the K-3rd grade division, they took first place for best school team.   Paras C., a first grader in Ms. Sittner's class, took first place in his division! In the 4th-8th grade division, Darryl H., Vincent P., and Alonzo M. finished second in the team category!  Darryl H. finished second overall for the tournament.  Vincent P. and Alonzo M. turned in fine performances earning honorable mention.  Way to go Superstars!


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

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.


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