Week at a Glance: September 8th - September 15th

Chicago Tonight Explains School Rankings

Repeat Articles

Dates to Remember

* KDG -2nd Basketball Tryouts, Tuesday, 9/13 at 4:10
* Communications Meeting, Tuesday, 9
/13 at 6pm
9/13 at 6pm
* FOSW Meeting, Tuesday, 9/13 at 9am  
* 3rd-4th Boys Basketball Tryouts, Wednesday, 9/14 at 4:10pm     * 5th-6th Boys Basketball Tryouts, Thursday 9/15 at 4:10pm  
* Gallery 111 Meeting, Tuesday, 9/20 at 4:00pm 
* LSC Meeting , Tuesday, 9/20 at 6:30
* Forum/ PTO Meeting, Tuesday , 9/20 at 5:30
New Articles
Dear Superstar Parents ,

I hope the first week of school has been as exciting for you as it has been for us.  We are delighted to see all of our returning students as well as all of those beautiful new faces we see in the halls! Watching both Moms and Dads enter the building on the first day loaded down with supplies and smiles , is a major reason why Skinner is a top ranking school in Chicago ! We love how you are in support of your child's education on so many levels !

First off, we'd like to welcome our new teachers - Mrs. Rachel Alexander (1st - Branch), Mrs. Cusack (maternity leave for Mrs Oluewu ), Ms. Gabriela Melendez (6th), and Mr. Patrick O'Brien (4th).

Congratulations to our newly weds: - Mrs Daigle (nee Schwartz) and Mrs Wyper (nee Ferrara).  Welcome Mrs Haddad , former preschool teacher from Skinner Branch to our 2nd grade team and Mr. Willis , former 4th grade teacher to our 6th grade team ! 

We are still in the process of searching for a 5th grade teacher and a teacher for Ms Dalal's maternity leave. We are grateful to Mrs Thorne, our science teacher for temporarily filling in as the fifth grade teacher and to Mr. DiRuvage for temporarily filling in for Mrs Dalal.

Farewell to those who have moved on - Mrs. Kong ( Mandarin teacher) and Ms Thiel ( second and kdg)  have accepted teaching positions in the suburbs. We also say goodbye to Ms Miranda, one of our teaching assistants , who is now ready for a school counselor position.

Take a look below at our selfie of all the new kindergarten families who are joining Skinner West this fall!  We are so lucky to have such a wonderful group of Superstar families. We know they are in for an amazing kindergarten journey !

To our families who are experiencing hiccups with CPS transportation, just be patient as we try to work with CPS in stabilizing all bus routes - both morning and afternoon times.

Thank you to our Forum/ PTO for providing the refreshments for our new student and parent orientation and continental breakfast for parents on the first day of school.

Let's keep up the Skinner spirit !

Mrs. Clark 

Parents and caregivers, please mark your calendars for Skinner's Open House:

Grades 1-5: Wednesday, September 28 from 5:30-6:30pm

Grades 6-8: Wednesday, September 21 from 5:30-7:00pm 
Please click here to see the details of this year's gym uniform policy.   
Please save the date for the annual Friends of Skinner West Walkathon.  The Walkathon will be held on October 13th (rain date October 14th).  Our goal this year is to raise $50,000 to help offset the loss of $150,000 from our school last year.  More information and donation envelopes will be sent home with students soon and they are due back to your child's home room teacher by Monday, October 10th
If you would like to help with the Walkathon you can join us for a brief informational meeting on October 5th at 6:00 pm at the school or sign up on our Google Doc at  If you are interested in joining Friends of Skinner West,  please attend our first meeting on September 13th at 9:00 am in the cafeteria. 
Gallery 111's Mission Statement
Gallery 111's mission is to provide arts exposure and education as it relates to the core subject areas. Due to the rigorous nature of the academic structure at Skinner, arts are used to reinforce the curriculum in a creative way. 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. The arts are also used to embrace our cultural differences. Art appeals to the whole child, encouraging them to be well-rounded individuals and instilling in them a lifelong love of learning. 
Chicago Tonite

Chicago magazine is out with a new ranking of the best public schools in the Chicago area.  The magazine has expanded the criteria for ranking schools to include more than just standardized test scores. Please click on the link to see a discussion of the criteria, methodologies, and information about this year's top picks. 
Thank you PTO!

Thank you PTO!  PTO hosted breakfast for our teachers on the first day of school!  We need your participation to continue to provide programming and solutions for our teachers and students.  If you are interested in signing up for PTO, please click here to download a registration or donation sheet. 
Repeat Articles
Pickup and Dropoff Procedures for Main Building
Parents- Avoid a Ticket and Keep Our Students Safe!   

Drop Off and Pick Up

 Doors at the main building will open at 8:00 am. Students will not be allowed to enter the building before 8:00 am.  We do not have staff available to supervise students before 8:00 am.
  • Please do not block any driveways in the community area, double-park or block a crosswalk while dropping off or picking up your child.
  • In the morning the Monroe Street side is a "kiss & go" (drive up- drop off and drive away) area. Please do not park there - even temporarily. Other parents need to be able to use this area to drop off their children. Find parking in another area if you are going to exit your car for ANY period of time.
  • After school, the Monroe Street side is reserved for the bus lane. There is no parking or area to wait for your child.
  • Do not park on the Adams Street side directly in front of the school in the mornings. The Adams side is used for school bus drop-off only.
  • In the evening, the Adams street side school parking zone is a "pick up & drive away" area. Do not leave your car for extended periods of time. Please find legal parking in other areas if you are going to exit your car for ANY period of time. 
Parking Lot
  • Our parking lot has limited spaces and is for SKINNER STAFF ONLY. Please do not park in the staff lot or block other cars.  It is permit parking only!  All non-permit cars will be towed. 
  • Lastly, thank you to our parent and teacher volunteers that work hard to keep our children safe as they walk across the busy crosswalks on both the Monroe & Adams Street side. As a community we all play an active role in keeping those crosswalks safe.
Pickup and Dropoff Procedures for 
Kindergarten and 1st Grade Neighborhood  

Arrival Procedures: Main Building
  • Students may be dropped off as early as 8:15 at the main bldg for breakfast. KDG students will sit in the designated areas for their class. Ms. Hampton and other Skinner staff will be present to  supervise.
  • @8:45-8:50am Students line up to board the shuttle bus
  • @8:50am Shuttle to the branch departs; If the child misses the shuttle, it is the parent's responsibility to dropoff at the Branch at the Aberdeen entrance
- OR -
Arrival Procedures: Branch
  • @8:40am, dropoff  arrival begins; Students may eat breakfast at the Branch. Students must wait in the cafeteria for their teachers and are not allowed in the classroom unless the teacher is present.
Dismissal Procedures - Pick up at Branch OR Main Bldg
  • You may pick up your child from the Branch by 3:35pm
  • @ 3:35pm Students board the shuttle bus to the main building on Monday/Wednesday/Friday.  If a parent has not arrived by 3:35pm at the Branch, they MUST pick up at the main bldg
  • @3 :45pm, Parents pick up  in the cafeteria main bldg
  • Students reporting the STAR Aftercare or Skinner Park aftercare program will report to designated areas
  • In cases of early dismissal before 3:35pm, the child must be picked up at the Branch
Don't Forget to Turn in Your Box Tops!

Please make sure you send in box tops you collected over the summer!  Every bit helps!
Stay Connected

 Visit our website at for more information about what's happening in school.
Please consider a donation of time or funds to Skinner West!  Click the link to donate: 
All comments, suggestions or requests to submit information to this newsletter should be emailed to
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Deborah M. Clark
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