December 17 - December 23, 2021 | Week #16
This week: Happy Holidays! | Principal's Report | Principal Selection Committee Update | CPS Bathroom Protocols | Skinner Performs Holiday Carols at CNA | New Initiatives in Quarter 2 | Accountability Redesign Survey | Indoor Recess Update | Things To Do Over Winter Break
Dates to Remember

  • Winter Break - Monday, Dec. 20 through Friday, Dec. 31
  • Classes Resume - Monday, Jan. 3
  • PTO Meeting - Monday, Jan. 10 @ 5:30 pm
  • School Improvement Committee Meeting - Tuesday, Jan. 11 @ 4:30 pm
  • Principal Selection Meeting - Wednesday, Jan. 12 @ 5:30 pm
  • Communications Committee Meeting - Wednesday, Jan. 12 @ 6:00 pm
Happy Holidays!

Wishing our Superstars and their families, our teachers, our staff, and our community friends a joyous and safe holiday season!

Please keep in mind to follow the CPS Travel Guidelines if travelling during the winter break.

We look forward to a happy and healthy 2022!
Principal's Report

Please read the Principal's Report here which was presented at the December 14th LSC Meeting.

The next Skinner LSC Meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, January 25.
Principal Selection Committee Update

The principal selection process is on schedule. The principal posting was live for 21 days and we received a total of 10 eligible candidates. The PSC will meet in closed session on January 5th to review and discuss all candidate applications.

Following the PSC meeting on January 5th, the LSC will meet and vote on candidate advancement for 1st round interviews. From there, the PSC will conduct first round interviews and the LSC will select candidates who will be invited for 2nd round interviews. The timeline for our Principal Selection Process can be found on Skinner’s website.
CPS Bathroom Protocols


Dear CPS Community,

In recent weeks, CPS has received many inquiries about our bathroom protocols, and we want to provide you with more information and resources.

We recommend that you consult this Frequently Asked Questions document that will answer many of your questions regarding the protocol.

Since 2016, CPS’ protocol has allowed students to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. In November 2021, the Office of Student Protections and Title IX required all CPS schools to post updated bathroom signage to reflect this protocol and to comply with federal law. But more importantly, this change reflects our commitment to making every student feel safe and welcome in CPS schools.

In addition to the Frequently Asked Questions document, we have provided additional resources and materials for you, including:

Over the next weeks and months we will be developing additional resources that will be available to staff and families upon request, including:

  • Curriculum support for teachers to facilitate conversations around bathroom usage
  • A student-friendly one pager with information about the change in signage and available restroom facilities
  • A guide for parents to discuss gender identity and bathroom usage with their student

As we move forward, we will continue to take into account feedback from staff, students, and families, including and especially our Gender & Sexuality Alliance members and advisors and our department’s Civil Rights Scholars.

Thank you for your interest in this important matter that will ultimately make our school communities safer for all students. For questions or concerns related to CPS bathroom protocols or signage please feel free to contact me at

Camie C. Pratt, JD
Chief Title IX Officer
Chicago Public Schools
CNA Logo
Skinner Performs Holiday Carols at CNA

For 25+ years CNA, one of the largest U.S. commercial property and casualty insurance companies, has had a special partnership with Skinner West. They host our students for special educational events and give financial support for books and technology. Every year, students from Skinner West perform holiday songs for the CNA employee Holiday Party.

Last year when they invited students to sing, we were unable to perform since all classes were remote. Luckily, they have an archive of videos from all the years that Skinner West students have been singing there, and they were able to put together a "greatest hits" reel for their 2020 Virtual Holiday Party.

This year The Skinner West Glee Club was able to sing in person to a small group of employees while the performance was live streamed to those working remotely. At the end of the performance, they presented Skinner West with a check for $10,000!

Thank you to our friends at CNA and Happy Holidays!
New Initiatives in Quarter 2

Progress reports will be sent home on Friday, December 17. Beginning in quarter 2, students will receive grades in the category of Speaking/Listening as part of a new district initiative from the Office of Literacy. Providing grades for Common Core State Standards in Reading, Writing and Speaking/Listening aligns with the key practices of the CPS PK-12 Vision for Advanced Literacy.

Students develop advanced literacy skills when they are immersed in reading diverse, engaging, and culturally relevant texts; when they and their classmates have opportunities for extensive discussion of what they are reading and writing, using discipline-specific academic language; when they engage in the writing process, creating and sharing their own stories, informational texts, persuasive pieces, and poetry; when they have opportunities to apply language and literacy skills in authentic, real-world experiences; and when they use technology to investigate, critique, and create content in a modern, digital environment.

Speaking/Listening grades will not be used for promotion or selective enrollment applications. Currently, only the reading grade is utilized for these purposes/programs.
Accountability Redesign Survey

CPS is improving how it rates the quality of its schools and needs your help. The district wants to know what every student (grades 6-12), parent, teacher, administrator, and staff member thinks is important when measuring school quality. To accomplish this, we’re asking you to complete this short survey.

As an additional thank you for your time and effort, you can enter to win one of 25 $50 Amazon gift cards after completing the survey! You will need to provide your contact information to enter, but it will not be linked to your survey responses.

If you have questions about the survey or how CPS measures school performance, please email
Indoor Recess Update

The LSC recently approved a purchase of tables for the gym to be used for Indoor Recess on these very cold Chicago days. Now our kids need something to do! The PTO and the school will be purchasing some games and we are looking into a partnership with Cat-N-Mouse in the new year.

Until then, let’s clean out our homes before the holidays and donate games and puzzles! Remember the kids have 25 minutes for recess so think about size of puzzles and length of games for donation.

Please send donations with your kids to school with a label stuck or taped on that says:
Skinner West Indoor Recess

Thanks in advance for your help and here are some ideas.

Teachers please bring all donations to Room 434 for parent volunteer organization after winter break.
Things To Do Over Winter Break

If you are in town over Winter Break, check out some of these events near the West Loop, Pilsen and Downtown:

  • ChiTown Drive-In Movies: Fun and safe experience located at 2343 S. Throop ChiTown Website
  • Art on the Mart: Runs at Merchandise Mart nightly at 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm until December 30 View Website
  • Time Out Market: Merit School of Music presents Storytime on Dec. 18 at 10:00 am at 916 W. Fulton Market
In case you missed it....
CPS Recommended Vaccines
COVID-19 Community Notice

December 9, 2021

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

Dear Superstar Parents and Families,

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 this week 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, wearing masks in public, washing our hands thoroughly, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

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 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.


Richard Smith
Administrator In Charge
Sign up for weekly COVID testing

For the entire school year, CPS is offering COVID testing through a partnership with ThermoFisher Scientific and Color Health and their ReadyCheckGo™ testing program. This program is completely voluntary.

NOTE: You only need to give consent ONCE. So if you already have provided consent it is not needed again.  

The link to sign up for student weekly FREE testing is here: Register for COVID Testing with Color Health

Read more:
For Parents of Fully Vaccinated Students

If your child is fully vaccinated - Please Let Us Know! 

If your child has received BOTH doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, you can:

1. Send a copy of your child's vaccination card along with the child's full name to our school nurse, Stephanie Johnson at


2. Bring a copy of the vaccination card to our main office

CPS Policy states: Fully vaccinated students who are not experiencing symptoms do not need to quarantine. It is recommended that they be tested 3-5 days after the last day of exposure.

A person is considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks post their second dose. 
Meet the Teacher - Ms. Munoz

My name is Hillary Muñoz. I am a bilingual special education teacher will be the new Special Education Resource Teacher at Skinner West. I started my journey in the field of education after graduating from the University of Michigan with a major in Spanish Language & Literature in 2013. I received my M.Ed. in 2015 from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA as part of the Urban Teachers Program. I have taught special education for 8 years. I taught in Baltimore City Public Schools for 3 years before moving to Chicago to be closer to my family. I am married to a wonderful man from Guatemala. When not in the classroom, you can find me walking my dog or baking.
Meet Our New Security Officer - Mr. Sanders

Hi! My name is Steve Sanders and I've been working here at Skinner since 2011. I've had the pleasure of working in the Special Education department since I've been here. I'm looking forward to working in my new position as the new Security Officer, helping to keep all the Superstars and Staff members here at Skinner safe.
Skinner Spreads Holiday Cheer!

Skinner West 3rd Grade Chorus and Glee Club are back and spreading holiday cheer! They performed at the tree lighting ceremony at Mary Bartelme Park on December 4th.

Many thanks to Ms. Maatouk for preparing our Superstars for this holiday event!
8th Grade High School Information Presentation

If you were not able to attend the 8th Grade High School Information Session, please view the following presentation. If you have any additional questions, please contact Johanna Jacobson at