February 25 - March 3, 2022 | Week #23
This week: Farewell from Dr. Smith | Principal Selection Update | Thank you from the Principal Selection Committee | Current COVID-19 Statistics at Skinner | COVID-19 Vaccination Services at Skinner | Skinner Spirit Week 2022! | Shoutout to our Skinner Superstars! | Debate Team Tournament Results | Classroom Connections: Ms. Newmark and Ms. Schneider's Class
| Baseball and Softball Opportunity
Dates to Remember

  • LSC Election Application Deadline - Friday, March 4
  • PTO Meeting - Monday, March 14 at 5:30 p.m.
  • LSC Meeting - Tuesday, March 15 at 5:30 p.m.
  • School Improvement Committee Meeting - Tuesday, March 22 at 4 p.m.
  • Spring Picture Day - Thursday, March 24
Farewell from Dr. Smith

Dear Skinner West Families,

My last day as the Administrator in Charge at Skinner West will be Friday March 4th. As a retired CPS employee, I am only allowed to work 100 days each school year. I am approaching the limit on the number of days I can work.

Dr. Brown, the Assistant Principal, will be in charge until a new principal is in place. I am hoping that will occur sometime in mid-March.

It has been a pleasure to be a small part of the Skinner West family these past 4 months. I have greatly enjoyed getting to know your children and the incredible staff at Skinner.

Most importantly I want to thank all of you for the tremendous support you have shown me during my time at Skinner. The patience, understanding and flexibility demonstrated by the Skinner West families during the recent surge in Covid-19 and during the teacher work action in January is something I will not soon forget.

I know the support you have shown me will continue with the new principal.

All the best to you,
Dr. Richard Smith
Principal Selection Update

We hope you had a chance to attend our Principal Candidate Forum. The recording will be available until Friday, February 25 and can be access via the link below. This week, the PSC visited each candidate's school and began to conduct reference checks. We will convene next Wednesday in private session to discuss the feedback from students, teachers and our community. Taking all the information from the entire selection process into account, the PSC will deliver a final recommendation to the LSC.

The LSC will announce a special meeting next week to vote & select Skinner’s new principal.

Candidate Forum Recording
Dr. Rhea Bush & Ms. Christina Laino (begins at 1:06)

After reviewing each candidate's background and viewing the recording, please let us know who should be Skinner's next Principal! Share your feedback, and cast your vote here.
Thank you from the Principal Selection Committee

The Principal Selection Committee would like to send an extra special thank you to the following people for their work in hosting last week’s principal candidate forums: Ms. Howard, Mr. Lomax, Ms. Fisher, Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Crump, Mr. Werner, and Mr. Hughes. THANK YOU! We could not have done this without you.
Current COVID-19 Statistics at Skinner

As of February 24th, Skinner's COVID-19 statistics are as follows:
  • Percentage of students in quarantine: 0% 
  • Percentage of student population vaccinated: 66% (Reported)
COVID-19 Vaccination Services at Skinner

Beginning Monday, February 28, Skinner will be a vaccination site for students and their parent/guardians! Please see the flyers below for additional information.
Skinner Spirit Week 2022!

Skinner School Spirit Week will be from March 7 through March 11! Skinner Superstars are encouraged to show their school spirit by sporting the following:

  • Monday, March 7 - Pajama Day
  • Tuesday, March 8 - Hat Day!
  • Wednesday, March 9 - Decades Day! (Classes can vote on the decade they’d like to represent.)
  • Thursday, March 10 - Sport/Jersey Day!
  • Friday, March 11 - School Spirit Day! (Wear you Skinner gear or purple/yellow.)
Shoutout to our Skinner Superstars!

Sixth grade Superstars, Clarke B. and Kennedy W., were 2 of the 7 finalists that were selected to participate in the Chicago Debate’s Black History Month Oratory Contest. The program took place virtually on Thursday, February 24, where the judges selected the winners, and both of our Superstars won!

Clarke B. won 2nd place and Kennedy W. won 3rd place!!

The entire program can be found on YouTube by the following link Chicago Debates Oratory Contest
Kennedy's speech begins at the 18:00 mark.
Clarke's speech begins at the 32:38 mark.
So exciting! Congratulations to Clarke B. and Kennedy W.!!
Debate Team Tournament Results

The Skinner West Debate Team participated in the Chicago Middle School Debate League's Tournament Four for the 2021-2022 season on Saturday, February 12. The overall topic for the year was: 'Water Resources', and the cases being debated at this Tournament were 'Fracking' , 'Agricultural Runoff', and 'Water Infrastructure'.

About 141 debaters across 72 teams from 8 schools competed at the tournament, and the students did a great job against some tough competition and won the awards listed below.

Some highlights we would especially like to point out are:

  • Skinner West won 1st place in 6 out of 6 award categories, sweeping the tournament. 
  • Skinner West won 61% of all possible awards at the tournament (34 out of 56).
  • Samar M. won the Shout Out Award, which is a peer award given by debaters honoring the conduct and decorum of another debater.

19th Novice Individual Nyla M.
18th Novice Individual Joshua M.
17th Novice Individual Aayush K.
15th Novice Individual Amay M.
12th Novice Individual Connor G.
7th Novice Individual Clarke B.
5th Novice Individual Kennedy W.
4th Novice Individual Sam A.
2nd Novice Individual Deven G.
1st Novice Individual Sophia W.

6th JV Individual Vedika S.
5th JV Individual Charlotte S.
3rd JV Individual Celeste D.
1st JV Individual Allison C.

5th Varsity Individual Vishal S.
4th Varsity Individual Tanmay G.
3rd Varsity Individual Sabrina Q.
2nd Varsity Individual Darwin B.
1st Varsity Individual Samar M.
15th Novice Team Nyla M. / Maya S.
13th Novice Team Lucy K. / Simone S.
12th Novice Team Alisa H. / Katherine X.
11th Novice Team Sam A. / Grayson K.
7th Novice Team Aayush K. / Amay M.
4th Novice Team Jimmy H. / Joshua M.
3rd Novice Team Neil D. / Elio G.
2nd Novice Team Sonya T. / Kennedy W.
1st Novice Team Deven G. / Sophia W.

5th JV Team Maya S. / Ashok C.
3rd JV Team Vedika S. / Charlotte S.
1st JV Team Carter H. / Tvisha H.

3rd Varsity Team Vishal S. / Tanmay G.
2nd Varsity Team Aurelie G. / Sabrina Q.
1st Varsity Team Darwin B. / Samar M.

Congratulations to our Superstar Debaters!
Classroom Connections: Ms. Newmark and Ms. Schneider's Class

Ms. Newmark and Ms. Schneider's class began the Buddy Band Program! Buddy Band is an inclusive, musical group that aims to break down barriers by bringing children with and without disabilities together to make music and to form friendships. Participants are paired into “buddies” who are encouraged to learn about each other and support each other through fun, engaging musical activities and small group times. Each week, buddies work not only on learning parts on their instruments, but on relationship-building skills and social skills.

All students that participated in the Buddy Band Program this week had a wonderful time! Thanks, Dr. Smith, for your assistance in getting this set up!
Baseball and Softball Opportunity

The Sheridan McGuane Baseball and Softball League is a great community baseball and softball league open to players of all abilities. There are also all-star divisions for more advanced players. Registration is currently open, but spots are filling up fast! Use this link to register today!
In case you missed it....
Computer Menu
Get to Know Our Principal Candidates!

If you did not have a chance to attend Wednesday's Candidate Forum, you can view the recording and get to know our candidates. Learn what makes them a great fit for our school. 

Candidate Background and Experience

Candidate Forum Recording
Dr. Rhea Bush & Ms. Christina Laino (begins at 1:06)

The recording link will remain active until next Friday, February 25. After reviewing each candidate's background and viewing the recording, please let us know who should be Skinner's next Principal! Share your feedback, and cast your vote here.
LSC Principal's Report

Please read the Principal's Report here which was presented at the February 15th LSC Meeting.

The next Skinner LSC Meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, March 15.
CPS COVID-19 Protections To Remain In Place

Dear CPS Colleagues and Families,

You may recall that on February 4, a downstate court issued a legal decision regarding Governor Pritzker’s requirements for COVID-19 safety measures in schools. This decision was immediately appealed by the Illinois Attorney General, and today, we received the results of that appeal.

Late last night, the appellate court confirmed that CPS has the authority to enforce key COVID-19 safety measures, including the required use of masks by all students and staff while they are at school.

We are gratified by the court’s decision, as universal masking and other proven safety measures are what have allowed us to provide our students with the in-person learning environment they need throughout this school year. We will continue to follow these proven protocols until such time as our public health partners advise us that restrictions can be safely lifted.

We are encouraged to see COVID-19 cases dropping, and we remain optimistic about what this will mean for our school communities in the future. For now, though, our top priority must continue to be safety and stability for CPS students, staff, and families.


Pedro Martinez
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools
For Your Awareness: Investigation for COVID-19 at Skinner School

Dear Skinner West Community,

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is committed to keeping you informed of the most current developments regarding COVID-19. Individuals in our school building on February 14 and 15, 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, wearing masks in public, washing our hands thoroughly, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

For district updates and resources, visit www.cps.edu. 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.

We are here to support you as we move forward together as one healthy, supportive and engaged school family.


Skinner West Administration
Physical Education Winter Update

Interested in learning more about what your student is doing in Physical Education this winter? The PE department has a quarterly newsletter for all Superstar families. Check out the winter newsletter here!
Information for Families About 2021 Tax Credits

Please see this folder for important information and helpful resources about child-related tax credits that can help families receive tax refunds, even if they are not required to file. The linked materials are in both English and Spanish.