2019-2020 School Year 
Week #19: January 31 - February 7
New Articles

Dates to Remember
School Improvement Day, No Classes - Friday, Jan 31
Wear Red for CHD Awareness - Friday, Feb 7
President's Day, No Classes - Monday, Feb 17
LSC Meeting - Tuesday, Feb 25, 6:00
PTO Meeting - Tuesday, Feb 25, 7:00
CPS 2019 - 2020 (Revised) Calendar:  here
New Articles
Want to Get More Involved with CPS?

The 2020 LSC election application window is open. 

Serving on an LSC provides a unique opportunity to become engaged in your school community & play an active role in making policy decisions affecting your school. LSCs are responsible for:
  • Monitoring the school improvement plan (CIWP)
  • Monitoring the school's budget & expenditures
  • Evaluating the school's principal annually, as well as selecting a new contract principal for the school or renewing the contract of the current principal
LSC members serve 2 year terms.  To apply, candidates must complete the application forms. Forms can be returned to school or the Office of LSC relations:

Office of Local School Council Relations - Garfield Park Office
2651 W. Washington Blvd, Third Floor
Deadline: February 25, 2020

Deadline: March 5, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.

2020 LSC elections will be held on Wednesday, April 22 for elementary schools. Visit the Local School Council's web site for more information. Applications are also available in the Skinner West school office.

Branch Library Volunteers Needed

Thank you to everyone who has donated books for the new Branch Library! We are still accepting donations, if you have them. We would love for the kids to be able to begin checking out a book each week, but the books need to be organized and stamped first.

Please contact parent volunteer Amanda Rzepka ( if you can volunteer for the following times to help organize the Branch Library.
  • Wednesday, Feb 12: 11:15 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb 14: After Valentine's Day classroom parties

Skinner West's 17th Annual Gallery 111 Gala

Gallery 111 funds creative arts programs for Skinner West. Some of the past activities Gallery 111 has funded include:
  • Kindergarten: Tiny Tunemakers Residency
  • 1st Grade: May I Have This Dance Residency
  • 4th Grade: Poetry Center of Chicago Residency
  • 5th Grade: Lifeline Theater Residency
  • 6th Grade: Ghana drumming workshop and performance
  • 7th Grade EPIC - Silk Road Rising Residency- Creative Play Writing
  • 8th Grade: Mosaic Workshops - Green Star Movement
  • Diverse Learners: Hubbard Street Dance Residency
Join us for an adults only evening of food, drinks, music, and a silent auction to continue these worthwhile programs. ALL of the proceeds of this event go to Skinner West art programs.

February 29 from 7-11 p.m.
National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W. 19th Street, Chicago

Tickets can be purchased for $60 before the event at or for $70 at the door. Contact Jennifer Christiansen ( for more information.

Support Skinner West PTO

The Skinner West Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) supports our school by providing classroom resources, cultural experiences, and community building events. All parents are welcome to join! Mark your calendar for our next meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. You can support the PTO at any time by making a donation at:

You can also support Skinner West PTO while you shop on Amazon. Simply visit and select Skinner School Forum as your charity. The PTO will receive a portion of every eligible purchase you make at no additional cost to you.

Help Fund the 8th Grade Class Trip with Burritos!

Chipotle is sponsoring a day of sales towards the Skinner West 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C. Visit the Chipotle at 1132 S. Clinton Street on Wednesday, February 12 from 4 - 8 p.m. Make sure to have the flyer in hand or on your smartphone and mention Skinner West at checkout (33% of the proceeds will go to Skinner West). Online orders will NOT count towards the fundraiser.

Superstars in the Spotlight

Congratulations to some of our hockey-playing Skinner students!

St. Louis first place winners include 2nd graders:
  • Hudson R.
  • Aidan B.
  • Aaricia G.
They are first year mites with the Chicago Jets Organization.

Local Chicago tournament first place winner includes 7th grader Esteban G. He is a second year peewee with the Chicago Hawks.
Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo

Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) will be at Chicago's McCormick Place from February 28 - March 1. C2E2 created their Power Up to Read program to empower Chicago students to read.

To participate, students must:
  • Read eight (8) books, comics, or graphic novels. They must be from a school, classroom, or public library.
  • Record the reading activity on the reading log.
  • Turn in the completed reading log to Ms. Ranftl in the library by February 13.

Students will receive:
  • A free three-day kid pass to C2E2
  • One 50% off adult ticket for a parent or guardian
Students must be accompanied by an adult at the event.

Repeat Articles
Classroom Connection: Ms. Chen's Chinese Class

Happy Lunar New Year!  January 25 marks the Chinese new year and 2020 is the year of the rat. To celebrate, Ms. Chen's Chinese class had guest Chinese artist, Guo laoshi visit. He taught the class about Chinese culture and the game weiqi (also known as Go). Skinner students are really enjoying the game and activities in our Chinese classroom!

Wear Red to Support Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week
Congenital Heart Defect (aka CHD) Awareness Week kicks off on February 7 and runs through February 14. Did you know that every 1 in 100 live births in the U.S. is a child born with a heart defect? Heart defects are conditions that people live with throughout their entire lives. There are an estimated 1 million children and 1.4 million adults living in the U.S. that are living with heart conditions.

By wearing red on February 7 you help show your support for those living with these heart issues. This week is also a time to recognize those who care for children and adults born with heart defects, as well as researchers and other heart experts!

Please wear red on February 7 to support your friends, classmates, and family who live with heart issues.

Superstar in the Spotlight

Congratulations to Superstar third grader Michael S. from Mrs. Daigle's class. This fall, Michael started taking singing lessons at the School of Rock. And, he recently sang "Come Together" by The Beatles with the Rock 101 band. He's now learning to play drums.
Eighth Grade Trip Fundraisers!

Show your Skinner spirit by purchasing a one-of-a-kind magnet! The Class of 2020 will be selling magnets as a fundraiser to support their 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C.

Please fill out the order form and place it in an envelope along with the amount collected. Return the envelope to your homeroom teacher. Magnets will be distributed to each classroom. Thank you for your support!

Skinner Faculty and Staff:  There is "merch" available for you as well!  Think how great you'll look sporting Superstar Logo Gear!!  Online ordering details are here.

Stay Connected

 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
Communications Volunteers are welcome. Donate your time to help increase communications and contact us!
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Deborah M. Clark
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Mark T. Skinner West School, 1260 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60607