May 6 - May 12, 2022 | Week #33
This week: Community Health Notice | COVID Case | Skinner Air Chiller System | Traffic Notice | Letter from CPS CEO | PE Newsletter | Fun Fair | Spring Concert | Classroom Connection | Classical Music Concert | Summer Camps
Skinner School Health Community Notice
Dear Skinner Community, 

The safety and security of Skinner Superstars is our top priority. Please see the attached letter regarding significant updates regarding Skinner’s health and safety.

Skinner Family Letter Moderate Covid Risk [English]
Skinner Family Letter Moderate Covid Risk [Spanish]
Skinner Family Letter Moderate Covid Risk [SimChinese]
Reported Case of Covid-19 in Skinner Community
Friday, May 13, 2022

Dear Skinner Community, 

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is committed to keeping you informed of the most current developments regarding COVID-19. A person who was in our school building on May 9-12, 2022 tested positive for COVID-19. We are sending this notification for your awareness, and you do not need to take any further action at this time. If you have been identified as a close contact, you should have received a separate notification from the Office of Student Health and Wellness with additional information.
 
As a reminder, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 as a CPS school community by getting vaccinated, social distancing whenever possible, signing up for weekly testing at school, wearing masks in public spaces including schools, washing our hands thoroughly, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. 
The best way to keep you and your child safe from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. Vaccines are safe, effective, and available to everyone ages five and up. In addition, vaccinated students who are exposed to COVID-19 can avoid staying home and stay in the classroom as long as they remain without symptoms. To find a vaccine appointment, you can search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, call 1-800-232-0233, or visit cps.edu/vaccinations
CPS also strongly encourages families to sign their child up for weekly COVID-19 testing at school by visitingcolor.com/readycheckgo-cps. If you need help locating medical care or have any CPS-specific questions, please visitcps.edu or reach out to the Healthy CPS Hotline at 773-553-KIDS (5437), which is staffed 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
I am here to support you as we move forward together as one healthy, supportive, and engaged school family. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Bush, Principal
Principal Update: Skinner Air Chiller System
Hello Skinner Community,

This message is to provide a quick update regarding the chiller (cool air) system at Skinner. 
A vendor is currently onsite performing a troubleshoot on the chiller. Mobile Air will deliver 49 temporary cooling units this afternoon for classrooms until the chiller issues are resolved.
Thank you for your patience as we work to get this issue resolved. 
Traffic Notice from Dr. Bush

Student safety is our number one priority. Skinner’s Local School Council and Chicago Police Department (CPD) are in collaboration to determine a safe and viable system for student arrival and dismissal. In the near future, we will host community forums and your input is valuable.

To immediately address the safety concerns during arrival and dismissal, CPD will issue tickets to drivers who are parked in crosswalks, double and triple parked, blocking bus drop off/pick up (on Adams St.), and blocking residential driveways on Adams and Monroe. CPD will enforce a Zero Tolerance Policy for traffic violations.

Ultimately, we ask each stakeholder to be neighborly and support student safety by adhering to the City of Chicago’s parking regulations, but also by dropping off or picking up your scholar in a safe and orderly manner. As previously stated, Skinner West is partnering with CPD to determine a safer system for arrival and dismissal.

If you have immediate questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to contact me (rrbush@cps.edu).

In partnership,
Dr. Rhea Bush
Principal
Letter from CPS CEO Pedro Martinez
Dear CPS Colleagues, Families, and Supporters,
 
While hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 thankfully remain low, the City of Chicago has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases in the past several weeks and has now moved from a “low risk” to a “medium risk” category on the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) COVID-19 Community Levels index. Learn more about the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels here.
 
Thankfully, CPS is doing more testing than ever, and our positivity rate from our in-school testing program remains very low at 0.68 percent, compared to the city of Chicago’s positivity rate, which is 3.9 percent.
 
As we have done since the start of the pandemic, CPS will continue to follow the recommendations of the Chicago Department of Public Health when making decisions about how this change will impact our schools. 
 
What This Means for Students and Staff
  • Masks. As we have done since students and staff returned to in-person learning, CPS will continue strongly encouraging the use of masks in our schools, especially among our unvaccinated students, and especially when cases are rising. The District has plenty of high-quality KN95 masks, and we will continue providing them to anyone in our school communities who need them.
  • Learning and Working at Home. CPS will maintain our policy that all students and staff who are not yet fully vaccinated and who are exposed to COVID-19 must learn or work at home for five days, and then must wear a mask when they return to school on days 6 through 10.
  • Contact Tracing. We have increased our contact tracing capacity in the past several months and will continue to closely monitor all cases of COVID-19 among our students and staff.
Slowing the Spread through Vaccination
Vaccines are the safest, most effective tool we have to slow the spread of COVID-19 and return our community to a low-risk category, so I strongly encourage all students and families who are not yet fully vaccinated to take this step as soon as possible. Anyone age 5 and up is eligible to receive a vaccine. 
 
If you have been vaccinated and are eligible for a booster, please make an appointment today to increase your protection against COVID-19. Anyone over 12 years of age should get a booster shot five months after their second Pfizer or Moderna shot, or two months after their Johnson and Johnson shot. Anyone over the age of 50 and anyone who is moderately or severely immunocompromised who has already received a booster shot should get a second booster four months after the initial booster. Please view this guide from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for more information on boosters.
 
To make an appointment at one of the upcoming vaccine events being offered by the District, visit cps.edu/vaccinations. You can also visit vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find an appointment. To request in-home vaccination, which is available to all Chicago households, call the City's COVID-19 hotline at (312) 746-4835. Up to 10 people can be vaccinated at a time, so Chicagoans can invite family, friends, or neighbors to their home to be vaccinated together. 
 
Importance of In-School Testing
Testing students regularly for COVID-19 is a key part of our strategy for detecting and limiting the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. Families who have not done so already are encouraged to visit color.com/readycheckgo-cps to register their children for our free, in-school testing program. 
CPS will continue doing everything possible to provide all students with the safe, in-person learning environment they need and deserve. You can do your part by carefully monitoring your family’s health, by ensuring that everyone in your household who is eligible receives their COVID vaccines and boosters, and by signing your child up for regular COVID-19 testing in school if you have not done so already. 
 
We thank you for your support and will continue to update you when there is new information to share. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Pedro Martinez
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools
Skinner Spring PE Newsletter
Get Ready for the Fun Fair!!!
Fun Fair: Friday, May 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

A couple of important notes: 

  • Fun Fair is a Skinner School event and not a community event at this time. The event is for Skinner Superstars only. 
  • Adams street will be closed May 20th from 1300-1359 W. Adams. (Throop to Loomis). Please consider walking to school that day or allow extra time to drop your child. Monroe Street will be running as usual. The closure is for the safety of students during the Fun Fair and for setting-up the events. 
  • Students were presented with a behavior policy in order to attend the event. It aligns with the CPS Student Code of Conduct booklet sent home at the beginning of the year.  Student Code Conduct

What about lunch?
Students will have their regular lunch periods in the cafeteria. Send your child with lunch or school meals will be available as they normally would.

Can I help out?
Of course! The volunteer form did close, but if you are wanting to help, please contact your child's teacher individually to see if they are in need. Mrs. DeJulio and the Safety Team contacted parents last week for AM and PM safety shifts and send a large thank you to all volunteers!
Skinner Spring Concert
Mark you calendars Skinner Spring Calendar is back!

When: Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Time: 9:45 AM
Performers: 5th, 6th, 7th Grades and the Glee Club
Where: School Gymnasium

Masks are optional but encouraged.
Classroom Connection: Welcoming Skinner Chicks
Skinner Chicks have hatched!

Students in all grades learned about embryology by incubating and hatching chicks. This past week, 22 chicks were welcomed and cared for by students and staff! This project is supported by the University of Illinois Extension.

The students were able to watch this via livestream.

Thank you Mrs. Milroy for this great learning opportunity.
From Carnegie Hall to Home at South Loop
Enjoy classical music at Women's Park & Gardens on Sunday May 15th at 4 PM.
Chicago Debates Summer Camp
Who:
  • Middle School students entering 5th grade through 8th grade (Middle School CDSI)
  • High School students entering 9th grade through 12th grade (High School CDSI)
What: Chicago Debate Summer Institute
Where: The camp will have BOTH an in-person and a virtual debate camp. Students who select the in-person option will be at Whitney Young. Students must pick one or the other.
When: July 25th – August 12th, M-F
  • Virtual Camp will be 9 am – 2 pm. In-person camp will be 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
  • For the first time ever, a Virtual Speech Camp is being offered from July 25th to July 29th
  • The traditional two week Debate Camp will be held from August 1st to August 12th 
Why:
  • Fun, supportive environment with students from throughout Chicago area
  • Great staff drawn from the best teachers in Chicago, successful CPS alums, and instructors with national college coaching experience
  • Tuition free for Title I CPS students
  • Lowest cost camp in the Midwest for all other students. Specific details are available on the website.
ACTION ITEMS
1)      Please check out the camp information below, as well as on the CMSDL website here: 2022 Summer Debate Camp 
2)      Complete the Registration form here (link is also on the website above): CDSI 2022 Registration Form
 
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at: jmlee18@cps.edu
You can also contact the league directly at: Chicago Debates
We hope to see as many Skinner students as possible at the Chicago Debate Summer Institute!
summer reading
Start Planning for Summer!
There are only six weeks left in the school year, so now is the time to start planning summer activities for your student. CPS elementary schools will be offering academic, enrichment, transition, and athletic programs for eligible students. More details to follow!
Summer Camps: Skinner West School Special Offer
Looking for an Affordable Summer Day Camp?

The Midtown Educational Foundation offers an affordable, holistic, in-person, summer day camp via Midtown Center for Boys and Metro Achievement Center for Girls. The camps are open to rising 4th-12th graders.

The six week camp runs June 27-August 5, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tuition for the entire camp is $275.*

Registration is open until Jun 1, 2022.

For more information contact: Vince Meno, Director of Community Outreach & Marketing at Midtown Education Foundation: vmeno@midtown-metro.org, (773) 270-5202.

*Scholarships are available to six (6) Skinner West students targeting low-income families (based on the most recent HUD income limits). The deadline to apply for scholarships is May 6.
In case you missed it....
Reading March Madness Results!
During the month of March, our 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Superstars participated in March Madnessa friendly competition to see which class can complete the most Achieve 3000 articles. Our students logged in during the entire month to read articles and complete the associated activities.

Congratulations to Mr. Lew's 5th grade class, who won for completing the most articles! The class MVP was Mason B., who completed more than 300 articles and activities. Fifteen other classmates completed more than 100 articles each. The class celebrated with a pizza party, and top performers also indulged in some ice cream.

The Achieve 3000 website is used by our Skinner Superstars to introduce and develop proficiency in understanding non-fiction and fiction reading material.

Great job to all of our upper grade Superstars! Keep reading!
Step into Spring at the Art Showcase

Save the date for the Spring Art Showcase on May 12 from 3:45-5:30 p.m. outside of the main entrance! (Rain day scheduled for May 13.)

You can see our student's visual art and hear the Glee Club perform at 4:30. There will also be a cash concession stand to benefit our arts program!
Classroom Connections

This week, Ms. Eck's 1st grade and Mr. O'Brien's 4th grade classes teamed up to start a chapter book together. Reading with a buddy is a great way to read!
Led by Mrs. Oluewu, our fifth grade Superstars engaged parents by hosting a Poetry Slam on the plaza in front of school.
Congratulations Superstar Debaters!
The Skinner West Debate Team participated in the Illinois Middle School Debate State Championship Tournament for the 2021-2022 season on Saturday, April 23.

The overall topic for the year is Water Resources, and the cases being debated at this tournament were "Fracking," "Agricultural Runoff," and "Water Infrastructure."

Only the best teams from across the state qualified to compete at the tournament. Our Superstars did a great job against some tough competition and won the awards listed below.

Highlights include:
  1. Skinner West Superstars won the Novice and Varsity Divisions, making us State Champions in two out of three divisions!
  2. Skinner West qualified 11 teams for the State Tournament (out of 18 total qualifying teams from the Chicago Debate League, and out of 36 total teams in the tournament)

Congratulations to all our Superstar debaters! And, thanks to the our debate team coach, Mr. Lee.

Qualifier Novice Teams
  • Nyla M. and Maya S.
  • Neil D. and Elio G.
  • Sam A. and Grayson K.

Quarter Finalist Novice Team
  • Simra K. and Simran M.

State Champion Novice Team
  • Lucy K. and Simone S.

Qualifier JV Team
  • Charlotte S. and Vedika S.

Quarter Finalist JV Team
  • Allison C. and Celeste D.

Semi-Finalist Varsity Teams
  • Vishal S. and Tanmay G.
  • Kyle L. and Tialoc R.

Finalist Varsity Team
  • Aurelie G. and Sabrina Q.

State Champion Varsity Team
  • Darwin B. and Samar M.
Pre-K Application Window Now Open

Citywide pre-school applications for the 2022-2023 school year are open from April 19-May 10.

Skinner West will offer full-day pre-school at our Branch building for children who will be 4 years old by September 1, 2022. (Skinner does NOT have a half-day program for 3-year-olds.)
Teacher Appreciation Week
A big THANK YOU to Friends of Skinner West and the PTO for organizing events, distributing goodies, and celebrating ALL staff during Teacher Appreciation Week.

We appreciate our teachers, staff, and volunteers at Skinner West!
Get Ready for Fun Fair

What is the Fun Fair?
A schoolwide day of outdoor fun and activities, including:
  • Jumping in inflatables
  • Playing basketball
  • Dancing to a DJ
  • Sampling Dippin' Dots and other treats

Teachers will sign their classes up to take them outside at various times. In addition, students will be separated into an upper grade area and a primary grade area.

When is the Fun Fair?
Friday, May 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

What about lunch?
Students will have their regular lunch periods in the cafeteria. Send your child with a lunch or school meals will be available as they normally would.

Can I help out?
Of course! Our goal is to gather plenty of parent/guardian volunteers to make the event safe and successful for all of our Skinner Superstars. We have both morning and afternoon slots available. Mrs. DeJulio and Friends of Skinner West are coordinating our group of volunteers.
Note: Per CPS guidelines all volunteers must complete the CPS Level 2 Volunteer Application before volunteering.
CPS Virtual Academy Enrollment Open

Interested in CPS Virtual Academy? Enrollment is no longer limited to only COVID-related conditions. Qualifying students (pre-K through grade 12) must have a medical condition indicated on an active IEP/504 and their medical professional must determine that the student would benefit from the virtual learning format.

Applications for the 2022-2023 school year are accepted until July 1, 2022 with acceptance notification by July 15, 2022. If demand exceeds capacity, acceptance will be determined by lottery. Qualifying students who were not accepted will be placed on a waitlist.

Accepted students will be dually enrolled with the Virtual Academy and the district-run physical school. The physical school will still receive funding for the student and will be required to host the student for in-person testing for required state assessments.

To begin the application process, parents/guardians need to complete the interest form:

Questions? Email VirtualSY23@cps.edu.
Looking for Girls Who Love Math and STEM!
Does your 3rd or 4th grade daughter love a STEM challenge? Does she think math is the best? Then, join MathematiGals! This extracurricular group is run by female students from Walter Payton College Prep High School. They teach fun and engaging math lessons not typically covered in a classroom setting. Their goal is to encourage young girls’ confidence and increase their interest in mathematics and STEM.

Although they usually teach only at schools within walking distance from Walter Payton, this year they are also offering a virtual session on Wednesdays. You can sign your daughter up for one of their free, virtual classes or find more information on their website: www.mathematigals.org.

If you have questions, email MathematiGals at mathematigals34@gmail.com.