Mark T. Skinner West School

School Year 2015-2016

Week 2: Sept. 14 - Sept 18          



September 17, 2015



Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update 

Gallery 111
Tuesday, 9/22
Art Room

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)
Tues, 9/22
5:30 PM 

Local School Council Meeting
Tues, 9/22
6:30 PM

Volunteer Meeting for the FOSW Walkathon
Thursday, 9/24
9:00am - 10:00 am

Wednesday, Sept 30th
Open House for Current Parents  Grades 2-5
5:30 -6:30

Thursday, Oct 1st
Open House for Current
Grade 1   - 5:30 -6:30
Grades 6-8  5:30 -7:00

Thursday, 10/8


Skinner West School Calendar

 CPS School Calendar 2015-2016



FREE Breakfast and FREE Lunch Menus


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!




Would you like to add another parent, guardian or caregiver?  Sign up for this newsletter, using this form:


Not Receiving Newsletters?

If you have been missing a weekly newsletter, be sure to check your spam email for any email that comes from

 New Articles 


Skinner West has a new Resident Principal for the 2015-2016 school year! We are excited to have Ms Bush join our administrative team as she prepares to become a contract principal within the Chicago Public Schools.

Please stop by the office and say hi to Ms. Bush!

See here for Ms. Bush's bio!




Please welcome new teachers joining the Skinner West family!

- Ms. Thiel  (2nd grade)
- Ms. Ferrara (3rd grade)
- Mr. Willis (4th grade)
- Mr. Linke (5th grade)
- Ms. Cole  ( 5th grade)
- Ms Douvris (student teacher)
- Ms Vanderheyden (student teacher)

See here for their bios!


School Absence Policy

If your child is absent, please provide your teacher a note with a parent's or doctor's signature in order to receive an excused absence. This is mandatory to receive an excused absence .
Please see here for school absence policy


Gym Uniform Policy Update!

It is our goal to have all of our Superstars dressed appropriately for every physical education class. All clothing should be light and easy to move in. Any clothing that restricts movement should be avoided.

Also, appropriate footwear is necessary. We strongly recommend purchasing items through Land's End. All items on the website are accepted and each purchase benefits the school. The school's page can be found here.

Please also see here for more information related to ordering through Lands' End.

Please note that students will not be allowed to change in or out of clothes for PE. We kindly as for you to send your Superstar in clothes that abide by the guidelines shown above on their physical education day.

Also, please be aware that accidents do happen and there's an increased likelihood that they will happen during physical education so please take necessary precautions when it comes to bringing or wearing expensive items such as glasses. If your child wears glasses you may consider having them wear an inexpensive/spare pair for P.E.

Thank you for your support.

Mr. Johnson & Ms. Westendorf
PE Teachers


Reminder to send in your Ancillary Supplies!

Celebrate your child's successes on the Beyond the Desk bulletin board!

Thank you to all the families who have sent in their ancillary supplies! These supplies ensure that every classroom your child visits is stocked for a clean, healthy, engaging learning experience.

If you have not sent your ancillary supplies in, please send them in by the end of September. The Ancillary Supply List can be found here.

Take Learning Beyond the Desk...
At Skinner Library, students are encouraged to become life-long learners, thinkers, and doers. School is a vital part of their education, but not the only part- personal interests, sports, hobbies, community organizations, volunteer work, cultural experiences and travel are a few other ways children learn and grow.

We would like to celebrate your child's learning and accomplishments on our "Beyond the Desk" bulletin board outside of the library. If your Superstar has learned something interesting or achieved something they are proud of OUTSIDE of the classroom and want it celebrated, please let us know!

Include your child's name, grade, and a  description of their "Beyond the Desk" experience. Pictures can be included if desired. If you have any questions, please email Ms. Ranftl at



Please come out to the first PTO meeting of the new school year!

We meet for one hour just before the LSC meeting.

Date:  Tuesday, Sept 22nd
Where:  library (3rd floor)
Time:  5:30-6:30 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you Tuesday!


FIRST Gallery 111 Meeting is coming up!
September 22, Tuesday
4pm (Art Room)

Who is Gallery 111?
Gallery 111 is an organization within Skinner West that is run by parents, teachers & community volunteers that provide more than $30,000 in arts programming on an annual basis to every grade at Skinner West. We procure the best programming, from Chicago's great art institutions, such as:
  • Redmoon Theater
  • Old Town School of Folk Music
  • "May I Have this Dance"
  • The Poetry Center of Chicago
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Lyric Opera in the Neighborhoods
  • Emerald City Theater
  • House of Blues
  • Steppenwolf Theater
  • Hands on Stanza
  • Adventure Stage Theater
  • Djembe Drum Workshop

What is our mission?
Gallery 111's mission is to provide arts exposure and education as it relates to the core subject areas. It is our belief that the arts supplement, heighten and expand all of our subjects. In addition to benefiting their academics, we also see the arts as a tool to promote higher order and abstract thinking skills.

How can you contribute?
  • Sign up to volunteer for our winter student art show event or mosaic fundraising!
  • Be on our "No Art Left Behind" silent auction committee, a spring event that raises most of the money for programming the following year.
  • If you can't make meetings we still have other volunteer options for our spring event that can be done from home!


Mark your calendar for the annual WALKATHON!
October 8th, Thursday!

This year, our Walkathon will be held on Thursday, October 8th. Students will be participating in fun events like walking, biking, using a bounce house and dancing with a DJ from9:30 until 2:30.   Our goal is to raise $40,000 which will go directly to products that help support student learning.  A minimum pledge of $55 per student is being requested ($75 to ride a bike/scooter).  However, a minimum $5 is required to participate.  You may pay via PayPal using the link below or by cash or check in the envelope provided.  Your cancelled check or PayPal invoice is your receipt. 

Please see here for more information!

-Students should wear school colors (purple and gold) on October 8th
-Students will only be allowed to ride a bike/scooter if they bring a helmet. 
-Students should bring their own lunch and water bottle. Water to refill their cup will be provided. 
-Monies are due to their homeroom teacher by October 5, 2015 in the envelope provided. 
-The 3 classrooms that raise the most money will receive an ice cream social and a technology item of their choice (up to $500).  
-To volunteer, see our google doc here

Thank you to all parents, volunteers and students who help make this event so memorable and enjoyable. 

Repeat Articles 

Welcome to a new school year from Forrest Claypool & Janice Jackson!
Dear CPS Families & Guardians,

As the 2015-2016 school year begins, it is our pleasure to welcome each of you as we continue to shape the next generation of thinkers, innovators and entrepreneurs to lead our great city.

Thanks to you, we have a lot to build on in the year ahead. Across all grades in CPS, students are showing exciting growth and promise, and the District is investing in proven programs:
  • Teachers in 200 preschool classrooms, double the number of just a few years ago, will welcome our youngest students for their very first day of school today.
  • All 25,000+ of our kindergartners now have access to full day programs.
  • Our 4th graders led large urban districts on the Nation's Report Card in Math two years ago; those students begin 6th grade today, on a stronger path than ever before.
  • More than 30,000 of our 7th and 8th graders are performing at or above the national average in reading; a critical stepping stone as they prepare in high school.
  • Once in high school, they continue to do well; more than 16,000 of our sophomores - 8 in 10 - will begin the year on track to graduate.
  • Our high school graduates are enrolling in college more frequently and staying there, too.  About 6 in 10 students who graduate each May are enrolling in two- and four-year programs that next fall.  And of the students who enroll, about 70 percent return for their sophomore year. These rates are growing steadily each year.
These are not statistics or numbers, they are our students and your children; they are Chicago's future. In the 2015-2016 school year, CPS will continue to focus on ensuring every student, in every part of the city, receives a world-class education that prepares them for success.

To that end, we recently launched a series of working groups to address a complex set of challenges currently facing the District. CPS is partnering with parents, students, and educators, as well as education, civic, and business leaders to recommend ideas to improve the quality of our high schools; recruit, develop and retain high quality principals; and offer better school support from Central Office. 

To learn more about the Working Groups and to track their progress, please visit here, or follow CPS on Twitter and Facebook. And if you want to share your own excitement about the first day of school this year on Twitter, please use #CPSFirstDay.

We know that CPS has made a great deal of progress over the past few years. We also know that there is much more work that we need to do to ensure that every student has equal access to a high-quality education. The upcoming school year represents the next step in creating, together, the school district we all want-and our students deserve.
Forrest Claypool
Chief Executive Officer
Janice K. Jackson
Chief Education Officer

Principal  Clark
Room Parents are needed for the following teachers!!
Grade 1 - Martin
Grade 2 - Thiel
Grade 4 - Travis
Grade 4 - Cox
Grade 5 - Linke
Grade 5 - Cole
Grade 5 - Lew
Grade 6 - Batchelor
Grade 7 - Christiansen
Grade 8 - Mellos

Please sign up through the designated database (next article below) form or contact Kavita Rao 
Complete your Student/Parent Database Form 
& Optional Volunteer for Room Parent Program

To prepare for pertinent classroom communications, we are collecting email information on behalf of your teachers. Click on the respective database form (one for each student, please!) 

  Special Ed - O Brien                   Special Ed-Cavaretta

If you are unsure of which class your child belongs to, please complete this form instead:

In addition to collecting your contact information, please include your interest in being a ROOM PARENT for your child's class.

STAR program is currently CLOSED for enrollment until December, 2015


Don't Forget School Fees!
  • School Fees are critical to ensure we have sufficient supplies for each grade.  Each is found HERE
  • Fees can be paid via cash or check payable to "Skinner West" and dropped off with your teacher. Please label it with your childs name/ grade


Register NOW for SelectivePrep's Selective Enrollment Program (for 8th Graders)

8 week classes will start on 

One third of the entrance score is determined by your child's performance on the Selective Enrollment High School Entrance Exam. SelectivePrep offers an intensive program to help prepare students for the Selective Enrollment Entrance Exam. SelectivePrep's course will review all the Exam's Reading, Math, Language, and Vocabulary topics and discuss optimal test taking techniques. Included in this program is a Study Guide containing extensive content review and exercises.

Click here for more more information or visit their website.  You can also call 312-409-8411 for more information.


September 26, 2015 
9:00am - 12:30pm
Upon registration, you will be notified of location

The Regional Ensembles consist of Elementary Concert Band (grades 4-­-8); High School Concert Band (grades 9-­- 12); Elementary Chorus (grades 3-­-8); High School Chorus (grades 9-­-12); High School Jazz Ensemble (grades 9-­-12); High School Orchestra (grades 8-­-12); Theatre (grades 8-­-12); and Dance (grades 8-­-12).

The Regional Ensembles will meet for 2 hours on Saturdays, October - January. Students from the regional ensembles may be eligible for nomination to participate in the All-­-City Performing Arts Ensembles (February - May).

Students may audition for more than one ensemble and, upon acceptance, may be able to participate in multiple ensembles as enrollment and scheduling allow.

Click  here for more more information.


Additional Skinner Afterschool Options
Karate & Mad Science
Mad Science

Click HERE to learn more about Mad Science options for your KDG - 6th Grader
  • Afterschool classes are available @Skinner Mon & Wed @ 4pm
  • Days off School camps are available @ the Mad Science location


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