December 3 - December 9, 2021 | Week #14
This week: Community Survey | Updated COVID-19 Protocols | Covid-19 Community Notice | High School Night | Meet Our New Librarian! | Read To Me! | Happy Hanukkah! | Free TechGirlz Virtual Workshop | Classes at the Art Institute (SAIC) | GoCPS |
Dates to Remember

  • 8th Gr. High School Informational Meeting (Virtual) - Monday, Dec. 6 @ 6:30pm
  • Principal Selection Committee Meeting - Wednesday, Dec. 8 @ 5:30pm
  • PTO Meeting - Monday, Dec. 13 @ 5:30pm
  • School Improvement Meeting - Tuesday, Dec. 14 @ 4:30pm
  • LSC Scheduled Meeting - Tuesday, Dec. 14 @ 5:30pm
  • Principal Selection Committee Meeting - Wednesday, Dec. 15 @ 5:30pm
  • Winter Break Begins - Friday, Dec. 17
The Principal Selection Committee would like to send a huge Thank You to everyone who has participated in the community Principal Recruitment Survey!

The survey will remain open until Saturday, 12/4. This is your last chance to submit a survey response.
Updated COVID-19 Protocols for Families
We would like to share the updated COVID-19 Protocol for Families from CPS. A PDF document is also available through the following link: COVID-19 Protocol PDF
COVID-19 Community Notice

December 2, 2021

Subject: For Your Awareness: Investigation for COVID-19 at Skinner School

Dear Superstar Parents and Families,

The district was recently made aware that a person who was present in Skinner has tested positive for COVID-19. The CPS Contact Tracing Team is currently investigating, and out of an abundance of caution, impacted students will move to remote learning until the investigation is complete. The parents of all impacted students have already been contacted. I am sending this letter for your awareness, and you do not need to take any action at this time. If any close contacts are identified, the district will notify them directly with specific instructions.

For district updates and resources, visit If you need help locating medical care or have any CPS-specific questions, please reach out to the Healthy CPS Hotline at 773-553-KIDS (5437), which is staffed 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For the most reliable information about COVID-19, please visit or For testing inquiries or results, please contact your healthcare provider.

Thank you for your support and patience as the district investigates this situation.


Richard Smith
Administrator In Charge
8th Grade High School Informational Meeting
Monday, December 6th at 6:30 pm

Or dial: ‪(US) +1 307-543-1379‬ PIN: ‪640 940 072‬#

Dear 8th Grade Parents,

We will be hosting a virtual meeting for all 8th grade parents with information about the high school application process. Johanna Jacobson, the counselor from Skinner North, will be doing the presentation and will be available to answer any questions you may have about the process.  

If you have any questions you would like to send in advance, please email them to, and they will be answered on the evening of the meeting. The meeting will be recorded in the event anyone is unable to attend.
Meet Our New Librarian!


I am Mr. McCarthy and I am very excited to be your new librarian and to join the Skinner West community. I have several years of educational experience to bring with me, this being my sixteenth year of teaching in CPS (and twelfth year as a school librarian).  My primary goal as your librarian and as an educator is to instill a love of reading in all students, and to equip students with the skills necessary to become lifelong learners.

Fun Facts:
  • Prior to embarking on my career in education, I graduated from Marquette University with a B.S. degree in Advertising, and earned a M.A. degree in Elementary Education from Chicago State University with endorsements in both Library Information & Media Science and Language Arts.
  • I live in the Avondale neighborhood with my wife and in my free time I like to read, travel, collect vinyl records, and spend time with my family.
Read to Me!

Mr. Lew's 5th graders made excellent use of their Language Arts time to proudly read aloud to Mrs. Sittner's 1st grade class in the multi-purpose room. First graders listened attentively as students read various articles from Achieve 3000.

The Achieve 3000 website is used by our Skinner Superstars to introduce and develop proficiency in understanding non-fiction and fiction reading material.
Happy Hanukkah from Ms. Growe's Class!

This week Ms. Growe’s Kindergarten class kicked off the month of December with Hanukkah! Students spent the week learning all about the fun traditions of Hanukkah! They read stories, sang songs, and made crafts. Finally, they ended their week with a fun game of Dreidel!

Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate!
Free TechGirlz Virtual Workshop

There will be a free, virtual workshop next week that’s a great opportunity for 5th-8th grade girls to get involved in STEM! The workshop, Make a Website Using WordPress, is hosted by TechGirlz, a CompTIA 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to inspire middle school girls to explore the possibilities of technology through free, fun, and interactive workshops. This curriculum is designed for students with a more introductory / basic skillset (no coding required in this workshop), but the event is still open to girls of all skill levels. Technology consultants from Protiviti (located in the Loop) will help facilitate the event and also field questions about what it’s like to embark on a career in tech as a female.

Event details are below – registration will remain open until the workshop begins!

Workshop Topic: Make a Website Using WordPress

Skill Level: Basic

Time and Date: Wednesday, December 8th, 3:30-5:30pm

Location: Virtual – Microsoft Teams (meeting link accessible upon registration)

Devices / Software Needed to Participate: Any PC, laptop, tablet, etc. with Internet access. Access to is free! Microsoft Teams is also required, as it will be the virtual meeting platform for the event.

Classes at the Art Institute

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is offering online and on-campus winter and spring courses for ages 10–18+ which are designed to allow young artists to focus on their interests, learn new skills, and bring their ideas to life. Courses start in January and February!
Read more here.
Reminder: GoCPS Application Window Is Open

GoCPS allows families to learn, research, explore, and apply to nearly every CPS school and program through one online platform. Whether you are a current CPS family or new to the district, GoCPS is the gateway to finding the right school for you. Learn more at

GoCPS may be the right choice for your family if:
  • You have a child entering Kindergarten next year
  • Your Superstar is in 6th grade and is would like to apply for an academic center
  • Your child is entering high school next year
  • You have a child in the Skinner West neighborhood program that you would like to have tested for the selective enrollment program
  • You have a child in the Skinner West classical program and would like to apply for the sibling lottery

The GoCPS Application window closes on Wednesday, December 15, 2021.
In case you missed it....
Happy Thanksgiving!

We are forever grateful for our Skinner West families, teachers, staff, and of course all of our Superstars, that make up this wonderful school. Together we are able to create a supportive environment to learn, teach and share.

Wishing you a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!
Bilingual Advisory Committee Meeting

The Bilingual Advisory Committee (BAC) will have its 2nd meeting on Thursday, Dec 2.

To Join with Google Meet:

To Join by phone:
(US) +1 262-674-7056 (PIN: 878677169)
Picture Day is Here!
Picture Day will be Friday, December 3 and provided by Lifetouch.

Pictures will be taken for Grades Pre-K through 8th grade.
Don't Put Your Eggs in One Basket

Superstar families are encouraged to apply for all of the programs that Skinner West has to offer. The application process for the 2022-2023 school year for selective enrollment & sibling lottery closes on December 15th.

  • Skinner West will once again offer a sibling lottery. If you have a student in the Classical Program, you may apply for the sibling lottery.
  • If you already have a student in the Neighborhood Program, you are encouraged to apply for Classical Program.

Please visit for more information to activate your account, conduct research and apply.
Meet the Teacher
Ms. Stephanie Travis will be the new 6th grade science teacher, taking over for Mr. Willis. She is looking forward to furthering the climate that he's already created with the students. Her mission is to create visible and real change in the lives of all the students in her classroom by fostering meaning relationships with them, as well as always challenging them to be their best selves.

Fun Facts:
  • Chicago born and raised, and a graduate of Whitney Young HS
  • Bachelor's Degree in Marketing (Minor in Education) from Columbia College, and Master's Degree in Education from Roosevelt University
  • This is her 8th year teaching at Skinner West
  • Favorite hobbies include cooking new dishes, playing piano, and Netflix binge watching
  • Always excited to utilize each student's skill set to create a vibrant and productive community they will flourish in.
POW! Kids Gym Events

Read below for details on upcoming Winter Break Fit Kids Camps!