2020-2021 School Year 
Week #25: March 26 - April 1
Dates to Remember
 Spring Break NO SCHOOL - Monday, March 29- Friday, April 2
School Improvement Committee Meeting- Thursday, April 8th @ 5:00
 LSC Meeting- Tuesday, April 13th @ 6:00
Informational Parent Meetings for New 4th Quarter Hybrid Students
Kindergarten  - Wednesday, April 14th  6:00
Grades 1-4  - Thursday, April 15th  5:00-6:00
Grades 5-8  - Thursday, April 15 th  6:30- 7:30
Parent Conferences Report Card Pick-Up - Wednesday, April 21
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
Music Class Video Submissions Duemusic-form

For K, 1st, and 2nd 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.

The deadline for video submission is Friday, March 26. A signed media consent form is also required.

Ms. Maatouk is looking forward to showcasing the talents of our K, 1st and 2nd grade Superstars!

Have a Great Spring Breakspring-break

Don't forget that spring break is Monday, March 29 through Friday, April 2! We hope all students, families, teachers, and staff have a safe break. Classes resume Monday, April 5 for all students (remote and hybrid).

Debate Team Resultsdebate-team

The Skinner West Debate Team participated in the Chicago Middle School Debate League's Tournament Four for the 2020-2021 season on Saturday, February 13.

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

About 116 debaters across 59 teams from seven schools competed at the tournament. Skinner West swept the tournament--winning first place in 6 out of 6 award categories.

Winston P. won the Shout Out award (debaters praising one of their peer debaters). Congratulations to all of our Superstars that participated.

Novice Individual

JV Individual
20thTvisha H.
15thDarwin B.
18thMalachi E.
12thRebecca B.
15thXibao Q.
11thSabrina Q.
14thKinzie W.
9thAurelie G.
12thNatalie Z.
7thDaanya M.
10thCeleste D.
3rdAarav M.
4thEmika M.
2ndMiles K.
3rdMel L.
1stAnushri V.
2ndAllison C.

1stGrier B.

Varsity Individual
10thSophie M.
5thMaura S.
3rdJunHui G.
2ndAleksia L.
1stMatthew Z.

Novice Team
JV Team
15thMax F. and Xibao Q.
6thRebecca B. and Renz L.
14thCharlotte S and Nimay P. 
3rdAurelie G. and Sabrina Q.
8thMalachi E. and Tori P.
1stDarwin B. and Samar M.
5thTvisha H. and Natalie Z.

Varsity Team
4thAllison C. and Celeste D.
5thSophie M. and Katelyn T.
3rdGrier B. and Kinzie W.
2ndAleksia L. and Maura S.
1stEmika M. and Mel L.
1stJunHui G. and Matthew Z.

Congratulations to Mrs. Jackie Garner on Her Retirement!garner

After 29 years with our school, Mrs. Jacqueline Garner, special education classroom assistant and transportation coordinator for both Classical and special ed is retiring this week. Congratulations on a career well done! The Skinner West family will miss her dedication and service..

What three traits define you?
  1. I am family oriented; I love spending time with everyone which includes both sides of my family.
  2. I love working with children; my experiences at Skinner have been amazing.
  3. I'm responsible and kind. It's important to be respectful of the people with whom you work. Treat your colleagues as you would like them to treat you. Being kind to one another makes the workplace a happy place to be, which is why I've loved working for Mrs. Clark for 29 years.
What are your hobbies or interests?
Shopping, traveling, and hanging out with my friends. I love traveling the world, especially with my husband. I had the most fun in Aruba. It was easy there to wander freely and safely, to embrace the warm sun and warmer people made my time there unforgettable.
Why do you enjoy working at Skinner West?
To know that I've been here for 29 years says a lot about this school. The leadership, the bright minds, and the friends that I've made over the years have been priceless. To see the growth of Skinner has also been amazing. From 300 to over 1200 students, from two floors to four floors and know that I have been apart of it will stay with me forever.

What is a fun fact that you would like to share?
I was dance contest judge every year. I'm pretty sure I was asked every year because of my own dance moves!

What is your fondest memories of working at Skinner?
My fondest memory was working for our then assistant principal, Mr. Wawrzyniak. He was just so kind and a good person to work for. Secondly, traveling with the children's choir during the holidays was always a blast. To see the look on kids faces every year when they were given Christmas presents was a sight to see. And, lastly  working with the children with special needs.

What is the biggest challenge of being the bus coordinator?
My biggest challenge of becoming transportation coordinator at Skinner West for 28 years was learning how to create bus routes for all of my Skinner Superstars. For 10 years, there wasn't a computerized system to do this for me so I grew to appreciate the four cardinal directions "North, south, east, and west." I give good directions to this day because of it...

Repeat 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.

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