Magnet Cluster Schools


Skinner West is both a Fine Arts and Technology magnet cluster school. 

Magnet Cluster school is a specialized neighborhood school – it has a neighborhood attendance boundary and accepts students who live within that boundary. Magnet cluster schools focus their curriculum on one of five subject areas: fine and performing arts, world language, International Baccalaureate Primary or Middle Years, technology, or STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Students who live outside of the neighborhood attendance boundary must submit an application in order to be considered for acceptance. A student may apply to any magnet cluster school. Transportation is not provided to incoming students.

Fine and Performing Arts

The Fine and Performing Arts Magnet Cluster Program (FPAMCP) is a network of arts-focused elementary schools in CPS. Arts teachers at FPAMCP schools work with students and other classroom teachers to provide intensive and integrated instruction in the arts.

  • Students have the opportunity to learn and grow in multiple art forms: dance, drama, media arts, music, and/or visual arts.

  • The fine and performing arts programs develop cultural awareness and understanding.

  • Schools strive to use the program to make connections between arts learning and other subject areas (curriculum integration).

  • Students are exposed to arts opportunities and environments, both in and out of the Chicago community, whether through visiting artist partnerships, performances, or museum trips.


Technology Magnet Cluster Program schools thoughtfully integrate technology and digital media throughout the curriculum to ensure that students develop the skills and habits of mind that will enable them to be successful in whatever endeavors they wish to pursue. This includes enabling students to use technology and digital media to demonstrate creative thinking and construct knowledge; communicate and work collaboratively; gather, evaluate and use information; conduct research, manage projects, and solve problems, practice legal and ethical behaviors while online; and understand technology concepts, systems, and operations (National Educational Standards, 2007).

  • Technology lead teachers at each school serve as site-based experts who work with staff at the school and district level to incorporate technology and digital media throughout the curriculum.

  • Technology lead teachers and classroom teachers attend and provide professional development on the integration of technology and digital media across the curriculum.

  • Technology magnet cluster schools incorporate new and emerging technologies and digital media such as blogs, wikis, podcasting, and video production as they engage students within core curricular areas such as reading and mathematics.

To learn more about Magnet Cluster Schools including an overview of the application process, eligibility requirements and FAQs, please see the CPS Magnet Cluster page.