Mark T. Skinner West School

School Year 2015-2016

Week 3: Sept. 21 - Sept 25          



September 24, 2015



Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update 



Sept 24- Oct.13th


Forum/PTO Catalog Fundraiser Sale



Sept 29th- Oct 9th


NWEA Fall Optional Testing
Kindergarten- 7th Grades  Specific Schedule Provided by Individual Teachers

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

Tuesday, Oct 6th
School Improvement Committee Meeting

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:


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 New Articles 

Come meet your teachers for the new school year!

Grade 1

Thursday (10/1) 5:30pm - 6:30pm


Grades 2 - 5: 

Wednesday (9/30) 5:30pm - 6:30pm


Grade 6 - 8: 

Thursday (10/1) 5:30pm - 7:00pm



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)
- Ms. O'Rourke (student teacher)

See here for their bios!  

See here for Ms. O'Rourke's bio!

Room Parents are needed for the following teachers!!
5th Grade - Linke
5th Grade - Cole
5th Grade - Lew
6th Grade - Batchelor
Special Ed - Werner
Science - Milroy
Music - Maatouk
Library - Ranftl

Please sign up through this online database or email


The first School Improvement Committee Meeting of the 2015-16 school year will occur on Tuesday, October 6, at 4:30 -5:30 PM. All parents and teachers are welcome.

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. 

Foodie families unite! 

Chicago Gourmet introduces a morning of wellness, family and food with Rise & Shine Gourmet presented by United Healthcare! 

Sunday, September 27 at Maggie Daley Park

Attendees will participate in a sunrise yoga class led by premier yogi, Sara Nash from Corepower Yoga and KIND Snackswhile taking in serene, breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and Chicago's famed architecture. For those who prefer to take their heart rate up a notch, a family fun run/walk led by the Chicago Area Runners Association(CARA) will do the body good. Both activities are suited to all fitness levels and ideal for families, friends, yoga clubs and more. 

After breaking a sweat, guests can enjoy a well-earned brunch prepared by some of Chicago's leading chefs, many of whom are greatly active with Pilot Light, the event's beneficiary. 

  • Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe)
  • Paula Haney (Hoosier Mama Pie Company)
  • Justin Large (One Off Hospitality - Blackbird, avec)
  • Matthias Merges (A10/ Billy Sunday/ Yusho)
  • Allison Scott (Local Foods)
  • Jared Van Camp and Anne Owen (Owen + Alchemy)
  • Paul Kahan (One Off Hospitality - Blackbird, avec)
  • Nicholas Thanas (Lou Mitchell's)

Kids can enjoy fresh fruit juices and healthy snacks, and for those over 21 years of age, Stella Artois andFour Corners Tavern Group will replenish the electrolytes with a refreshing Bloody Mary bar and beer mimosas.

Pilot Light Co-Founder, Chef Paul Kahan will demonstrate a social studies lesson taught in Chicago Public Schools about how food brings people together and everyone will take home a family-friendly recipe to try with their kids.

For more information and tickets, see here or visit their website.

SHRED415 is offering a FREE class for Skinner West parents at the South Loop Studio on Tuesday, October 6th at 9:45am!

We'd love to have you come take a class and get shredded!

Please email Skinner West Parent, Melissa Knepp, at to sign up for a class or if you have any questions.
Shred415 South Loop is located in the Roosevelt Collection, 150 S. Roosevelt Road.  
 SHRED415 is a high intensity interval training class alternating between cardio work on top quality Woodway treadmills and weight-training. You'll increase muscle and burn calories in a fun, fast-paced workout tailored to your level and your goals. Shred415 is for everyone. You select your weights; you set your pace on the treadmill. Walkers, joggers and hardcore runners are all welcome in class.

Please see here for more information!

Repeat Articles 


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

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


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.


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