2020-2021 School Year 
Week #14: January 7 - January 15

Dates to Remember

Thursday, January 8th - CPSGo & Sibling Lottery Deadline
NWEA Testing @ Skinner - January 12-19th 9:30-2:30
Monday, Jan. 18th NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Tuesday, January 19th- LSC Meeting 6pm
Wednesday, January 20th - Free COVID Testing @ 955 W Grand

CPS 2020-2021 Calendar: here
Front Office Hours: 8:45am-4:00pm - BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
New Articles
CPS Reopening GuideOpen
Please make sure you review the information about CPS' Reopening Plans.  You can find that information HERE.  Skinner West will share more information about our reopening plans including pod assignments soon.  Stay tuned to the newsletter for more Information.

Please click HERE for the December LSC meeting agenda.  Our next meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, January 19th at 6pm.  More information including instructions for attending will be on the school calendar.  All are welcome to attend!  As a reminder, previous LSC meeting notes including the principal's report can be found on Skinner's website.

GoCPS Applications for high schools and selective enrollment elementary schools has been extended from December 11, 2020 to January 8, 2021. CPS announced this deadline to ensure that everyone has the time they need to go through school options and decide which schools best match their talents, interests, and abilities. To learn more about this change and the process go to

If you have a child that you want to enroll in a Skinner West for the 2021-2022 school year, and you have another child enrolled in Skinner's Classical Program, you must submit an application through the GoCPS application process. The currently enrolled sibling's last name, CPS ID number, and current school name or code must be included on the application.

Siblings applying to elementary magnet, magnet cluster, or open enrollment schools are selected first and will be offered seats to the extent that space is available. If a school receives more applications from siblings than there are seats available, a computerized lottery will be conducted to fill the seats.

The term "sibling" refers to natural siblings, step-siblings, foster siblings, and adopted siblings only. In order to be eligible, the currently enrolled sibling and the sibling applicant must live in the same household. Your child cannot be enrolled as a sibling if their brother or sister graduates in 2021 or transfers to a different school in the 2021-2022 school year.

With colder weather forcing us indoors for the next few months, getting our Superstars (and ourselves) enough physical activity is going to be a challenge. To help with meeting that challenge, Ms. Westy and Mr Johnson have put together resources aimed at creating a more active home environment. We aimed to provide resources from super simple to very structured to allow for parents to choose what best suits their needs. 

On our sites we have different resources depending on the age or your Superstar. There's also videos to help explain each resource. 

K-2 resources can be found HERE and HERE. 
3-5 resources can be found HERE.
6-8 resources can be found HERE  

We hope that you will find these resources helpful and if you have any questions or need additional support please let us know.  

Happy New Year!
Mr. Johnson -

The Skinner West Debate Team participated in the Chicago Middle School Debate League's Tournament One for the 2020-2021 season on Saturday, October 24. 

The overall topic for the year is: 'Criminal Justice Reform', and the cases being debated at this Tournament were 'Money Bail'  and 'Predictive Policing'. 

About 140 debaters across 73 teams from 11 schools competed at the tournament, but the students did a great job against some tough competition and won the awards listed below.

Some highlights we would especially like to point out are: 

1) Skinner West won 1st place in 4 out of 6 award categories. 

2) Skinner West won 51% of all possible awards at the tournament (38 out of 75).  

20thNoviceIndividualFrances M.
18thNoviceIndividualVedika S.
16thNoviceIndividualAditi S.
15thNoviceIndividualSophie W.
10thNoviceIndividualMaxim F.
9thNoviceIndividualNatalie Z.
8thNoviceIndividualAllison C.
7thNoviceIndividualCarter H.
6thNoviceIndividualKetan N.
4thNoviceIndividualGrier B.
3rdNoviceIndividualParas C.
1stNoviceIndividualAlex M.
12thJVIndividualTanmay G.
11thJVIndividualAurelie G.
7thJVIndividualVishal S.
6thJVIndividualSabrina Q.
10thVarsityIndividualKatelyn T.
9thVarsityIndividualAadi K.
7thVarsityIndividualDarian K.
6thVarsityIndividualSophie M.
3rdVarsityIndividualAleksia L.
2ndVarsityIndividualMatthew Z.
1stVarsityIndividualMaura S.
15thNoviceTeamGrier B.Shanya Y.
14thNoviceTeamNatalie Z.
13thNoviceTeamMaxim F.Paras C.
7thNoviceTeamAllison C.Celeste D.
6thNoviceTeamFrancis M.Carter H.
5thNoviceTeamSophie W.Alex M.
4thNoviceTeamEmika M.Mel L.
3rdNoviceTeamKetan N.Emiliano B.
2ndNoviceTeamVedika S.Aditi S.
10thJVTeamVishal S.Tanmay G.
5thJVTeamAurelie G.Sabrina Q.
1stJVTeamAdrija D.Sebastian C.
4thVarsityTeamJunHui G.Matthew Z.
3rdVarsityTeamSophie MKatelyn T.
1stVarsityTeamMaura S.Aleksia L.

Congratulations to our Superstars and Mr. Lee!

Ms. Sendoun's seventh grade science scholars are participating in a NASA sponsored essay contest. Students took on the role of the leaders of NASA's Artemis expedition to explore the Moon's South Pole for a week. They considered the skills, attributes, and character traits that would be essential to succeed in this mission as they put together their exploration pods. Students also thought about a machine or technology they could leave behind to help future explorers. The students worked hard to write very thoughtful plans and we wish them luck in the contest!

Sixth graders have been traveling to the ancient past in Social Studies this year.   In our latest unit on Ancient Egypt, students discovered how this civilization impacted the world, both then and now.  See how students were inspired by writing a poem that shows what they learned HERE.
NWEA Winter Testingtest

Eligible Skinner West 6-8th grade students that opted-in for testing will take place January 12th-19th. Schedules will be sent to parents by the end of this week.  Please reach out to Ms. Maldonado if you opted in to testing and have not received your schedule.

L. DeLeeuw came up with an idea over the winter break to assemble care packages for the many homeless people in Chicago.  With his own money, he put together care packages consisting of dental care kit, Purell wipes, facemasks, a bottle of water, chips, energy/candy bars, hand & toe warmers, chapstick, and a handwritten card with an inspirational quote (all on his own).  

Our student paid for the first 4 packages ($25 each) from his own savings.  His family created a Go Fund Me to help him continue handing out these care packages.  If you are interested in donating so he can serve others in our community you can find the Go Fund Me link here:

Thank you for your stewardship!  Our school community is SO proud of you!

Have a story about your Superstar you'd like to share?  Send us a note at and we'll feature them in a future newsletter!!

Bennett Day School, Morgan Manufacturing & NEXT Restaurant have organized FREE COVID-19 walk-up testing in the West Loop.   Starting January 20th and every Wednesday after that, anyone can get a free test in the Bennett Day School parking lot at 955 W Grand Street.  Hours are from 8am-3:45pm.  All you need to provide is a contact number for the test results.
Repeat Articles

CPS has expanded Chicago Connected to continue narrowing our district's digital divide - all limited income students are now eligible for access to no-cost, high-speed internet. Check your child's eligibility:

Dear Skinner West Community,

I am very excited about the opportunity to serve as the next assistant principal at Skinner West School. I have served as a school administrator for 19 years. My success as an administrator can be partially attributed to my teaching experiences and mentorship during my tenure at Skinner Classical School from 1995 - 2001. Teaching at Skinner helped to drastically shape my understanding of how a community pulls together in support of students, families, and staff. The school celebrated and embraced its diverse, inclusive, and close-knit community. Each and every member of the community felt welcomed, safe, and appreciated no matter their different cultures, backgrounds, and unique learning styles. 

As a tenured administrator, my leadership and work concerning advocacy and social reform have always been focused on reducing inequalities and increasing the empowerment of marginalized groups to be responsive to society and ever-changing systems. Indeed, my understanding of social justice principles and my academic research have directed me to the attentive study of adolescent and young adult behaviors, perceptions, and attitudes, especially in the context of school environments.  

My new role as assistant principal will be to support Ms. Clark in every way possible. In addition, provide the necessary support and feedback to staff so that they are better equipped and prepared to deliver a relevant and rigorous curriculum supported by scientifically-based instructional strategies, innovative ideas and cutting-edge technology - all of which enhances their ability to produce desired outcomes. 

Positive participation is advantageous and creates a learning environment that promotes, celebrates and acknowledges academic achievement and natural talents. Having worked closely with educators and students, I have learned that students thrive best when you allow them to: 

  1. Problem-solve and critique knowledge in a way that tests ideas and concepts against their own understandings and cultural backgrounds.
  2. Nurture opportunities to analyze and develop overall concepts and theories to construct core meanings and understandings. 
  3. Understand the significance of courageous conversations, tolerance, acceptance, openness, and equality as paths for cultural independence and service to others and their respective communities.
  4. Explore ideas about race and equality as they prepare to navigate complex structures and systems.
  5. Collaborate more as a means of establishing networks and partnerships across social and economic institutions and groups. 
Dr. King said "Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." As a leader in education, I will continue to create a learning environment that celebrates diversity, is socially-safe, and promotes trusting, collaborative relationships with colleagues and students. I look forward to working with you and the school community. 


Dr. Jeffrey D. Brown,
Skinner West Assistant Principal 
Classroom Connections - ELA 6th Gradeelaconnect

How do we forge an identity? Can we ever change who we are?
Our 6th Grade Superstars have been examining questions of Identity, through exploring the writings of famous authors such as Langston Hughes and Shirley Jackson, as well as performing their own self-reflections through class discussions, journal entries and essays. Below are a few quotes from some of their identity writing pieces:

"Our identities are created by pushing through hardship, not hiding who you are and your past, and accepting that your past is part of who you are." -KW

"If none of us really forged identities this way, instead of overcoming hardship, we wouldn't accomplish anything because a challenge would be seen as impossible and not even attempted. If we never showed people our true self then we would all be alone with nobody to share problems with. If we never really let go of things or trusted ourselves we would always be paranoid and doubt if we could even trust ourselves . We could never really let go of things and always be mulling over them instead of just moving on." -LD

"Identities are formed by being adaptive, being confident, and being yourself.
If this isn't implemented, then everyone would be the same. This is because conforming to the societal norm makes everyone think the same. Also, everyone would be relying on others for help instead of thinking about themselves. This is because trusting in yourself makes you independent. Finally, everyone would be trying to hold back onto old experiences. I know this because without accepting something that has happened you cannot move forward. As a wise man once said... "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."-Oscar Wilde -KA

The Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) is an important part of Skinner West. They support our school through parent involvement and fundraising. We know this year is especially challenging, and many teachers need new technology and digital materials for their classes. The 2020-21 PTO grants program focuses on helping teachers purchase these resources.

There are two ways you can get involved:
  1. Donate any amount toward PTO grants: Send money through Zelle to or make a donation at
  2. Join the PTO: Email and let us know you are interested in joining the Grants Committee!

Grab and Go Mealsgo

As a reminder, Skinner West is one of more than 450 sites where CPS students, parents, and guardians can pick-up free breakfast and lunch. Families may pick up three days worth of meals for every child in their household Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information about this program, visit

Stay Connected

 Visit our website at for more information about what's happening in school.
Front Office Hours: 8:30am - 4:30pm
In-person by appointment ONLY.  Phone: 773 534-7790
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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Mark T. Skinner West School, 1260 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60607