2020-2021 School Year 
Week #24: March 20 - 25
Dates to Remember
Wednesday, Mar 24 @ 5 p.m.: School Expansion Committee Meeting
Monday, March 29-Friday, April 2: Spring Break NO SCHOOL
Thursday, April 8 @ 5 p.m.: School Improvement Committee Meeting
Every Wednesday - Free COVID Testing @ 955 W Grand

CPS 2020-2021 Calendar: here
Front Office Hours: 8:45am-4:00pm - BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
New Articles
Principal's Reportprincipal-report

Skinner West's Local School Council (LSC) held its monthly meeting virtually on March 16, 2021. Principal Clark presented her report during the meeting.
Highlights include:
  • CPS will be allocating an additional three teacher assistants and one teacher for 5th or 6th grade this school year!
  • New technology for the school include the addition of:
    • 10 document cameras for teachers
    • 200 iPads
    • 50 sets of headphones
    • 200 Chromebooks
    • 50 surge protectors and extension cords
    • 20 classroom microphones
    • Approximately 50 webcams

Read more in the March Principal's Report (PDF)


Past meeting minutes and reports


The next LSC meeting is scheduled for April 13, 2021.

Progress Reports and Address Verificationaddress

Progress reports will be mailed to students' home addresses this week. In an effort to make sure you receive your child's progress report, report card, and other future mailings, Skinner staff will be contacting families for updated or correct address information. You may be asked to provide proof of address so that our mailings get to you in a timely manner.

Proof of address examples include:
  • Copy of mortgage or lease
  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Driver's license or state ID
  • Voter registration card
  • Library card
If it is determined that a family no longer lives within the Skinner West school boundaries, a transfer will be issued in June for the 2021-2022 school year.

Classroom Connections: Get to Know Your PE Teacherpe

What three traits define you?
        1. I am student-centered.
        2. I have a good sense of humor, which is needed when working with children.
        3. I'm a doer. I pride myself on all of the things I've done for this school community over my time here.
What is your favorite book and why?
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie has really helped me with human relations over the years. In education, much of what you are able to accomplish is dependent on relationships and this book has really helped me maintain good relationships with students, colleagues, and parents.

What are your hobbies or interests?
I have too many to list! Basically, anything physically active plus I love to cook. Playing golf is a new one I've taken up over the last year because it's been one of the safer activities to do during the pandemic.

Why do you enjoy teaching at Skinner?
Working at Skinner is responsible for one of the most meaningful experiences in my life--meeting Mrs. Johnson! One additional thing I love is the diversity we have at Skinner. I value learning about other cultures and Skinner is a great place to do that. I also love working with our students both in and out of the gym. Spending summers with our Superstars and coaching Special Olympics have been two of my favorites over the years.

What is a fun fact that you would like to share?
My brother, sister, and I are all PE teachers! We often refer to it as the family business. My sister's husband is a PE teacher and they met by working together. That means that of my siblings and all of our significant others four of us are PE teachers and five out of six are teachers. At one point a few years back, all five of us worked for CPS at the same time.

What three traits define you?
  1. Drive: I set goals and work towards achieving them. One example of this is striving to be the best in my field so I pursued my National Board Certification!
  2. Connection/relating to others: I value relationships and make it a point to connect with others regardless if it is someone I have known my entire life or a person I just met. My family and friends have expressed how they value my ability to have empathy for others.
  3. Self confidence: I am confident in who I am. I reflect on what I need to work on. I embrace turning a weakness into a strength. For example, I am afraid of heights but love challenging myself with adventure activities such as climbing Via Ferratas', which allows me to conquer my fear!
I try to live my life with a youthful approach, seeing the joy in each day and truly living every moment of life!
What is your favorite book and why?
I love to read, especially non-fiction and travel books. Two of my favorites are Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflection On and Off the Court by Coach John Wooden and The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. My grandfather is almost 97 years old and a few years ago wrote a book about his life as a teacher and a coach, so his book is one I treasure; Manual Labor by Dick Van Scyoc. When I am traveling I find myself getting caught up on my favorite travel magazines such as Travel and Leisure, Conde Nast, and AFAR!
What are your hobbies or interests?
Traveling, adventure activities, visiting National Parks, exercising daily, hiking, backpacking, biking, golf, tennis, watching sports, and Netflix. I love traveling the world. A few of my adventure activities I have tried include skydiving, climbing Via Ferratas, white water rafting through the Grand Canyon, and paragliding. I love learning about new cultures, meeting new people, and experiencing the wonders of life!
Why do you enjoy teaching at Skinner?
I absolutely love learning about my students interests, talents, and ambitions! I enjoy inspiring my students to live healthy and active lives! I feel so fortunate to work at a school with students from so many different backgrounds and cultures. Every year I look forward to the wonderful events our students, families, and teachers organize centered around the celebrations of holidays such as Diwali, Chinese New Year, and Black History, which provide our school and community the opportunity to learn about different backgrounds and experiences.

What is a fun fact that you would like to share?
I played Division 1 college basketball and coached at the college and high school level. I attended high school with my sister at the same school where our mom, dad, and grandfather all taught, that was awesome! As a huge Michael Jordan fan, I had the opportunity to coach his son. I think I did less coaching and more observing him just sitting in the stands watching our games!

Nominate a Teacher of the Yearisbe

Do you have a favorite Skinner West teacher? Nominations for the 2022 Illinois Teacher of the Year will be open until Friday, April 23, 2021. Learn how to nominate your teacher for this Illinois State Board of Education sponsored award.

Repeat Articles
4th Grade Teamfourth-grade

The fourth grade team has a socially distant fun Friday. Looking good, Ms. Barnes, Mrs. Rosenzweig, Mr. O'Brien, and Mrs. Johnson!!

Opt-in Open for 4th Quarter Hybrid Learningopt-in

All CPS families, who have not yet returned to schools in-person, should have received a form via email to submit their choice on in-person or remote learning for the fourth quarter.

The opt-in window is available to students in all grades (pre-K through 12) and will remain open for two weeks until March 19. This will be the final opportunity to choose in-person learning this school year. Please ensure you complete this form.

Families who opt-in will be able to return Monday, April 19--the first day of the fourth quarter. Families who are already enrolled in classroom-based learning will not need to fill out the intent form to remain in-person.

There is a CPS-wide elementary school town hall on Tuesday, March 16, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. to learn more about the plans. REGISTER for the town hall.
Skinner Superstar Spotlightsuperstar

Congratulations to 1st grade Skinner Superstar, Prisha T! Her artwork has been published in Chicago Sun-Times. She is the runner up for The Imagination Project student art contest. 

Free Month with Music Housemusic

This year, Music House is celebrating 70 years providing arts education to Chicago Public Schools! We want to celebrate with you! Register by March 15 for a free month of music, dance, art, acting, and musical theater classes on us. Plus, a free "how to audition" for our upcoming musical theater production "Echoes!" This offer is for students new and returning students to Music House. Sign up here by March 15 and use code MH70 for your first month free! 
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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