It's the Spirit that Counts!

Skinner in the News


CPS Selects Skinner West's Principal Clark Inaugural Independent School Principal Program

We're proud to have been selected as one of the inaugural independent schools selected as part of the Independent school principal program.  CPS will allow experienced, high-performing principals to run their schools with less oversight from Central Office and greater flexibility to innovate.
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Skinner West is awarded with a 2013 National Blue Ribbon Award



Congratulations to Skinner West -  A Top Ranked School
Skinner West is ranked as a Top 10 school in Illinois!  Skinner West ranked 7th among 2,202 elementary schools in Illinois and 1,430 middle schools in Illinois, with 99.2% of Skinner West students meeting or exceeding state standards!   The rankings are based on the Sun-Times' analysis of state achievement test data, and reflects the average scores of students within each school. Congratulations to  Skinner West's students, faculty, administration, and parents for Skinner West's continued success.

Congratulations to the Skinner West Science Team! 
On Sunday, October 7th, Skinner West was one of 11 science experiments to participate in the launch of the Space X Dragon from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The winning micro-gravity science experiment and mission patches created by our Superstars are traveling to the International Space Station. Read more:

POW Kids Chicago Adopts Skinner West Elementary School
POW Kids Chicago ( announces today that the company has recently "adopted" Skinner West Elementary School as part of the Box Tops for Education program. 

Chicago Magazine ranks Skinner West  as one of the Best Public Schools in Chicago and the Suburbs
According to the Chicago Magazine, despite the strains on public schools right now-especially in Chicago-the best schools still deliver a terrific education.  They rank Skinner West as one of the best.

Check out the rankings of the 133 top elementary and high schools in the area. PLUS read how to get your child into the best CPS schools and find out about their methodology for ranking the top schools.

June 2012 ~ Many thanks to the State Farm representatives and State Representative Art Turner, who presented Skinner West with a $25,000 check to purchase new laptops! Our Superstars came ready to cheer, designed several "thank you" posterboards, and welcomed our guests like true Superstars.  Ms. Lohman, Mrs. Clark, and the school were even featured in this NBC5 News segment highlighting the effort.

CPS Spotlight ~ June 22, 2011

Shooting for the Stars
Skinner West Students to have science experiment performed on the Space Shuttle Atlantis

When the Space Shuttle Atlantis takes to flight for the final time in early July, the work of CPS students will be along for the ride.  That’s because two students from Mark Skinner Elementary School (Skinner West) had the winning proposal in the school wide science competition in partnership with the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP).

The winning proposal, “Will Microgravity Effect the Development of Goldfish?” was written by a team of 5th graders, Eren F. and Eric C.  It was one of 77 proposals that were judged by a panel of judges from around Chicago—including scientists from Fermilab, IIT and Adler Planetarium—in early May.  Eren and Eric’s experiment will send a fertilized goldfish egg into space and study the effects of microgravity on the growth of the embryo.  When Atlantis returns to Earth, the vial holding the subject will be returned to Skinner West so the students can study the results.

Thanks to a generous grant from Motorola, a donation of goldfish from PetSmart and the hard work from teachers like Kori Milroy, Skinner West was able to team up with SSEP who works with NASA to send student experiments into space.  Teachers and judges alike were impressed with all the proposals that the Skinner West students submitted showed much creativity and involved a wide range of scientific disciplines.

Milroy says that she can already see the positive impact on Skinner West students – even the young scientists whose experiments were not chosen.  A number of students have mentioned a new interest in studying science and engineering in college, and several students are now aspiring to careers as astronauts.

While the SSEP program might have been a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience, it inspired the next generation of space pioneers and let the students from Skinner West to reach for the stars.

Chicago Tribune ~ May 24, 2011

Chicago students' experiment to fly on final shuttle mission

It's not every day that a fifth-grader has a chance to send a project into space with NASA'
May 24, 2011|By Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Tribune reporter

In a carefully crafted experiment, a pair of fifth-graders at Skinner West Elementary School will fertilize a goldfish egg, then watch the embryo grow.

Only the embryo won't be developing inside an aquarium at the West Loop school. Suspended in an itty-bitty test tube vial, it will soar into space on the space shuttle's final flight this summer.

The students who came up with Skinner West's winning experiment studying microgravity's effect on an embryo are ecstatic. Over the moon, really.

"It's kind of actually crazy," said Eren Fitzgerald, 10, of Chatham, who found out Tuesday that she and her partner, Eric Chen, won a coveted experiment vial aboard Atlantis. "It's not every day that a fifth-grader has a chance to send a project into space with NASA."

She said she's been dreaming about going into space since she was 2 years old, inspired by Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space.

Eric, 10, of Bridgeport, said he's always wanted to be a scientist. "It just feels good," he said. "Tomorrow we have to start researching how we're going to get the eggs and sperm."

Skinner West landed the slot through the efforts of science teacher Kori Milroy. She heard about the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, which sends student-developed experiments into orbit through NanoRacks, a company that contracts with NASA to send up commercial payloads. But instead of getting daunted by the $20,000 fee, Milroy got busy writing a grant proposal.

That proposal helped the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, which runs the student space experiment program, land Skinner West a $20,000 gift from Motorola, which essentially secured a spot for the school.

Then the hard work began.

First, Milroy had to teach fourth- through eighth-grade students about microgravity.

Then she had to explain the experiment's parameters, or, rather its limits — the entire experiment needed to fit into a vial one-eighth of an inch in diameter and 0.6 inches in depth. The contents of that vial had to be able to survive 12 days in a sealed container in orbit and a few days in that space before and after the launch.

Students paired up or worked alone to produce 77 experiment proposals in all. A few weeks ago, a group of scientists from Fermilab, Illinois Institute of Technology and Adler Planetarium whittled down the proposals to three finalists — also including fourth-grader Nadia Czekajewski's study of rust in space and seventh-graders Amy Yip and Kristel To's experiment to study the effects of microgravity on plant growth.

The winners were chosen by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education. The program also has a Lincolnwood student's experiment on the space shuttle Endeavour, which is currently in space.

Milroy will blog about the experience and use the blog to get Eren and Eric help from the scientific community. Once the vial returns to Earth, the students will get to study the results.

5/16/2012 - West Loop students make a scene Skinner West students gear up for Redmoon's Youth Spectacle 2012

"Most second graders can’t spell commitment, much less discuss it. Not so for Ashley Howlett’s Skinner West Class.

“My commitment is to treat others how I want to be treated,” said Kaila Williams. “If you, like, commit to things it can, like, help you with your life.” Well, still not bad from an 8-year-old.

For the past six weeks the class has been discussing commitment as part of an artist in residency program with Redmoon, the West Town theater company known for its love of whimsy and spectacle. Students from three second grade classes at the West Loop school have been creating the world in which they are living their commitment — complete with a short poem — inside small, wooden boxes..." read more

Chinese New Year Performance 2012

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Mark T. Skinner West Elementary School
1260 W Adams St., Chicago, IL 60607
Tel: 773-534-7790

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