2020-2021 School Year 
Week #31: May 14 - May 20
Dates to Remember

IAR Testing - May 10 - May 21
LSC Meeting - Tuesday, May 18 @ 6:00pm
Memorial Day - May 31 - NO SCHOOL
School Improvement Committee - Thursday, June 3 @ 5:00pm
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
IAR Test RemindersIAR2

IAR testing continues into next week.  Below are some helpful hints to assist your student in performing to the best of their abilities:

- On their testing days, students should bring a water bottle and dress in comfortable layers.  

- Our classroom can be warm sometimes so I suggest light clothing with a sweater or something they can take on and off.  

- Lunch will be served or students can bring their own lunch as usual.  

- Also please ensure everyone gets a lot of sleep and eats a healthy breakfast prior to testing.  

- Lastly, students should bring a book to read if they finish the test session early.

8th Grade Drug EducationDrug

In order to ensure our 8th graders are prepared for all they may encounter in high school, they will be receiving standards-based instruction on alcohol, tobacco, vaping & other drugs. The teacher's guide for all three topics is attached for your review. Information to be presented can be found in the handouts in the 'For Teens' section of the teacher's guide. Instruction on these topics will take place during PE starting in late May and continuing through the week of graduation. Please email me at with questions or concerns.

Chicago Public Schools CEO SearchCEO

Since 2017, our schools have been led by an exceptional leader, Dr. Janice K. Jackson, who has helped CPS build on its record setting academic progress while navigating our schools through significant challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Jackson has chosen to step aside when her contract ends in June, and we want your help to find our next CEO. 

To help lead this inclusive and transparent selection process, the Board will be partnering with BWP & Associates, an Illinois-based executive search firm with experience conducting national superintendent searches. We have begun the search process, and we hope to identify strong candidates to be our next CEO this summer. 

We need input from you and a variety of stakeholders to help identify the right choice for our next CEO. To do this, we are inviting over 300 school community members to participate in small focus groups to gather feedback about the qualities we want in a new leader for our school district. To ensure diverse voices are heard and represented, we ask community members to complete this interest form, which will allow us to ensure focus groups representing all members of our school system can be formed. There will also be Spanish-only focus groups to ensure our Latinx families are heard and engaged while we search for a new CEO. The interest form will close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18, so please sign up today.

Desde 2017, nuestras escuelas han sido dirigidas por una líder excepcional, la Dra. Janice K. Jackson, quien ha ayudado a CPS a seguir logrando su nivel récord de progreso académico mientras lideraba nuestras escuelas durante desafíos significativos, incluyendo la pandemia de COVID-19. La Dra. Jackson ha decidido dejar su cargo cuando su contrato termine en junio, y queremos que usted nos ayude a encontrar a nuestro próximo director ejecutivo (CEO).   

ara dirigir este proceso de selección inclusivo y transparente, la Junta se asociará con BWP & Associates, una empresa con sede en Illinois que tiene experiencia en la búsqueda de ejecutivos y superintendentes a nivel nacional. Hemos comenzado el proceso de búsqueda, y esperamos identificar excelentes candidatos para ser nuestro próximo CEO este verano. 

Necesitamos su opinión y la de diversas partes interesadas para que nos ayuden a identificar al candidato adecuado. Para ello, queremos invitar a más de 300 miembros de la comunidad escolar a participar en pequeños grupos de discusión en que nos podrán dar sus opiniones sobre las cualidades que queremos en un nuevo líder. Para que las diversas voces sean escuchadas y representadas, pedimos a los miembros de la comunidad que completen este formulario de interés, lo que nos permitirá formar grupos de discusión que representen a todos los miembros de nuestro sistema escolar. También se llevarán a cabo grupos de discusión solamente en español para que nuestras familias latinas sean escuchadas y participen en este proceso. El formulario de interés se cerrará a las 5 p.m. del martes 18 de mayo, así que por favor inscríbase hoy mismo.

LSC Meeting - Tuesday, May 18 @ 6:00LSC 

Skinner West Local School Council (LSC) meeting will be held virtually via Google Meet Tuesday, May 18th at 6:00 p.m.  You may attend online or via phone.  The agenda can be viewed below. The school budget for school year 2021-22 will be presented by Principal Clark for LSC review and approval.

To join the meeting via Google Meet:

To join the meeting via phone, dial (US) +1 585-667-0124 (PIN: 153496755)

Teacher Connections: Get to Know Mrs. Katherine Daigle, 3rd Grade TeacherDaigle

What three traits define you?

Kind, Organized, Silly

What is your favorite book and why?

My favorite book is constantly changing, but one of my favorite children's books is always Charlotte's Web.  I enjoy it because the characters are so relatable and the theme of friendship is so important.

What are your hobbies or interests?

I enjoy spending time with family and friends and being outdoors when possible.  I like taking walks, gardening, camping, and kayaking during the summer.  

Why do you enjoy teaching Skinner?

Skinner has such a great community of kids, parents, and staff working together.  I love the diversity and positive school culture.

What is a fun fact that you would like to share?

I have a lot of pets - a dog (Sheldon), 2 bearded dragons (Michelangelo & Rafaela), 2 dart frogs (Leonardo & Donatello), and 5 geckos (Batman, Robin, The Flash, Superman, Black Panther). 

Teacher Connections: Get to Know Mrs. Ashley Oluewu, 5th Grade TeacherOluewu

What three traits define you?

 The three traits that best define me are: ambitious, creative, and gregarious. 

What is your favorite book, and why?

 I have so many favorite books at all reading levels. Here are a few favorites that I love to teach: The Day You Begin, Reading Beauty, Dr. Maggie's Grand Tour of the Solar System, How to Feed Your Parents, Witches, The Borrowers Aloft, Riding Freedom, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Uglies, The Phantom Tollbooth, Amina's Voice and the poem "Why Read". 

What are your hobbies or interests?

 In my spare time, I like to sew, paint and do crafts. On the weekends you can catch me and my family riding bikes, going to the farmer's market and playing at the park. But one of my favorite things to do is waterski, sail, or jetski on Lake Michigan.
I am passionate about donating my time to the ALS Association, as two of my relatives have passed from ALS. I also tutor and run summer book clubs. 

Why do you enjoy teaching Skinner?

 There are so many reasons I love teaching at Skinner. The most important reason being my students. Next is Skinner's well-rounded education. Skinner is so blessed to run so many ancillary classes to enrich the core subjects. The third reason I enjoy teaching at Skinner is the rich and diverse school community. I also appreciate our administration and all of our AWESOME staff. 

What is a fun fact that you would like to share?

Phillipa Soo, from the famous musical "Hamilton," is a family friend. She played Eliza Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton's wife, in this play about one of our founding fathers. She is a strong and inspiring woman. 
Staff PhotosStaff

Thank you once again to all of our Skinner West Teachers and Staff.  We hope you felt the love last week! 


Repeat Articles

Updated IAR Testing Schedule 2021
Hybrid Students
Grades: 3-8
May 10th
May 11th
May 13th
May 14th
Pod A- Day 1
ELA (1)
Pod A- Day 2
ELA + Math
Pod B- Day 1
ELA (1)
Pod B- Day 2
1:45-3:15pm (ELA2)
1:45-3:15pm (ELA2)
May 17th
May 18th
May 20th
May 21st
Pod A- Day 3
MATH (2)
Pod A
Makeup Testing
Pod B- Day 3
MATH (2)
Pod B
Makeup Testing
Remote Learners
Grades 3-8
To be Tested in School
May 12
May 19
May 17-27th Makeup Testing if needed


IAR Testing for Remote Learners will be held on Wednesday, May 12th & 19th at Skinner School. 

Please let us know if your child will be present for testing on May 12th and May 19th HERE. 

IAR testing for Hybrid students will begin May 10th during their scheduled attendance day. 

Music Class Video Submissions Duemusic-formmusic


For 4th Grade Parents:

If you are interested in giving your child a chance to perform by video (on an instrument, singing or dancing) for their class, please read the letter for the details.

Due to IAR testing, the deadline for video submission has been extended to Friday, May 21. A signed media consent form is also required.

Ms. Maatouk is looking forward to showcasing the talents of our 4th grade Superstars!

Children's Drawing Contest drawingcontest

We would like to share with you the information of the XXV Children's Drawing Contest "Este es mi Mexico", organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Institute of Mexicans Abroad. For this year's edition, the topic for the drawings will be the Independence of Mexico. This is a drawing contest for children who are Mexican or of Mexican origin and between 6 and 14 years old. The deadline will be August 15, 2021. The complete details and other resources about Mexico's Independence in Spanish can be found here.

Teacher Connections: Get to Know Mrs. Amanda Shaf, 3rd Grade TeacherShaf

What three traits define you?

Organized - I love organizing, planning, color coding, laminating and all the other things that luckily go right along with being a teacher! 
Thoughtful - I love giving gifts and sending nice messages to people to try to make their day better. 
Fun - I love playing games and being silly, especially with my students. 

What is your favorite book and why?

There are so many that come to mind, but I guess one that sticks out would be A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I like books set in the past and I feel like I can relate to the main character. 

What are your hobbies or interests?

I love to read and collect all types of books. I also enjoy cooking and baking, doing yoga, watching Superhero movies, and writing. 

Why do you enjoy teaching Skinner?

Skinner is the only school I have taught at; I even did my student teaching here! I have gotten to meet so many amazing students who teach me things every day and make my job so fun and worthwhile. I have also had so much support from my co-workers in my time here and they have helped to make me a better teacher, my third grade team most especially! 

What is a fun fact that you would like to share?

I like to collect vintage tea sets, tea cups and other dishes. I even have a china platter that was given to me by my grandma and she got it from her grandma! It was brought here from Ireland. 

Teacher Connections: Get to Know Ms. Julia Jogmen, 8th Grade ELA TeacherJogmen

What 3 traits define you?

 Kind, Creative, Organized

What is your favorite book and why? 

After teaching first grade for 14 years I have developed a fondness for children's literature.  My all time favorite children's author is Kevin Henkes. I find that his children's books portray a very sweet, endearing message that can carry significance into everyday life lessons. Every now and again, you can find me incorporating a children's book in my 8th grade ELA curriculum.  They are a great resource to enforce literacy skills and enhance the theme in young adult novels. My dream one day is to write my own children's book!

What are your hobbies/interests?  

I love being active! Anything from long walks on the lake to trying a fun, new workout class. I love learning new things and exposing myself to unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. When I am not a busy body, you can find me relaxing on the beach enjoying some quiet time.

Why do you enjoy teaching at Skinner?  

Skinner's vast range of diversity greatly appeals to me. As a lover of traveling, I find it extremely interesting to learn about other cultures. Our Skinner Superstars teach me something new everyday!
Our Skinner parents are the best in the city! From the moment I started working at Skinner I was welcomed with open arms by parents. I have developed many great parent-teacher relationships, which I believe to be the cornerstone to a child's academic success.

What is a fun fact that you'd like to share? 

I spent my last semester in college teaching in Australia. It was a remarkable experience that I will never forget! I lived with an Australian family that I am still in close contact with today. I traveled all over the continent and even made my way down to New Zealand. I hope to head back to Australia one day soon!

Mrs. Clark Sings for the TeachersSing
Mrs. Clark was highlighted on ABC7 showing her appreciation for the Skinner Teachers.  See the videos below:

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
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Deborah M. Clark
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Mark T. Skinner West School, 1260 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60607