Mark T. Skinner West School

School Year 2012-2013

Week 13

Nov. 29 - Dec.7, 2012 

Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update 


Friday, Nov. 30 
Spirit Day:
Pajama Day- Wear your pajamas, slippers and/ or robe
Pizza Day
PTO Family Fun Night 
Gym & Cafeteria
Popcorn Fundraiser Due
Saturday, Dec. 1

Primary Chorus

1st thru 3rd

Mary Bartelme Park

5 pm


Wednesday, Dec. 5
Final Day for Poinsettia Orders
School Improvement Day
Classes 8:30 am to Noon
NO STAR Program
Park District Program
Noon to 6pm
Friday, Dec. 7
PTO Holiday Bazaar

Skinner West School Calendar

CPS School Calendar


Neighborhood News
What's Happening in the West Loop?  Visit the 
 Did you miss last week's Week-At-A-Glance e-newsletter? Click here to catch up on a must-read!


Does your Superstar have an accomplishment or honorable mention you would like to submit to the newsletter?  

Reply to this email or email us at



Are you supporting Skinner through these NO additional cost fundraisers?

SUPPORT OUR SCHOOL and Share this with Family and Friends! 


Box Tops/ Labels for Education
Collect everyday labels from groceries to earn points and funds for our school library

e-Scrip (Dominick's & other retailers)
Visit to designate your eScrip accounts to Mark T. Skinner. A percentage of your purchases go to the school. However, you must renew your e-Scrip annually. Look out for special bonus days too!


1% goes to Skinner on ALL purchases made with Target Card (additional 5% all purchases for you!)
Designate Skinner Classical as your school




5% of purchases go to Mark T. Skinner Classical School (Code A5BY) 









Please submit pictures from any Skinner West events (concerts, parties, presentations etc) to
 We prefer .jpg or .gif files of up to 350kb. 
Thank you!






Click on the link to advance to the article you wish to read! 


topIn This Issue...


New Articles:


 Repeat Articles and Updates


 New Articles 
early dismissal

Wednesday, December 5th
Half Day of School

  • School is in session from 8:30 am to 12 noon
  • STAR Program will NOT be available
  • The Park District Programs will be available from 12 noon to 6pm for current registrants; Walk-ins are not available
  • Breakfast and Lunch will be available for all students
  • Please remember to pick up your student on time.  Thank you!
Morning Dropoff Policies Reminder

We are pleased to allow morning dropoff on both the Monroe St. and Adams St. entrances, but we ask that parents and students please remember the policy.
  • Students must report immediately to the lunchroom (KDG. through 4th grade) and the gymnasium (5th-8th)
  • At 8:30, teachers will pick their students up from the lunchroom or gym.  
  • Parents and students should not go into classrooms or roam the hallways on any of the floors, including the first floor
  • Teachers' official start time is 8:30 am, therefore, they are unavailable for conferences in the morning, unless a conference has been pre-scheduled.  
  • Please remind our Superstars to follow these simple rules
Thank you for your cooperation!

 Reminder of Volunteer & Security Policies

Volunteers!  Thank you so much for your overwhelming interest in volunteering.  We truly value and appreciate our parent volunteers!
However, in order for teachers to properly prepare for incoming volunteers while providing minimal disruption to classroom time, we ask for your cooperation in following our school and security policy. 

1. Please work with your teacher and/or room parent to identify volunteer needs.  Each teacher's needs will vary. 
2. Morning volunteers (who come in with the children at 8:30 and who have pre-arranged volunteering with teachers) should sign in at the security desk with Officer Hudson and wear a visitor's pass.  
3. For all other volunteers: Please sign in and have security or the office staff contact the classroom teacher. 
   ***Volunteers WILL NOT be permitted into the classrooms without teacher approval.
4.  Lunchroom and Recess Volunteers are always appreciated between 11am and 1:15pm.  Please check in with Officer Hudson to sign in and wear a pass before helping in the lunchroom or in the playground.
Thank you for your cooperation!




STAR Afterschool Payments are Due
  • Payments for Quarter 2 were due Nov. 9th.
  • YOU MUST EMAIL A RECEIPT IF YOU PAID VIA PAYPAL to to receive credit of payment. Coordinators need this info in email or hard copy form; not verbal form. Thank you for your cooperation!
  • There is no "discount" for the teacher strike days. These days are being made up and the program is as well.

Thank you!


Would your Family Like to
Host a Class Pet for the Holidays?


Classroom pets teach students many positive things, such as animal growth and development, the characteristics of different kinds of animals, and how to properly care for a pet.  This year, the Science Lab (room 226) is home to 8 pets.  The pets include three mammals, two amphibians, and three insects. 


We are currently looking for families who would like to take the pets home for a long weekend or holiday break.  All of our pets are easy to care for and will come with everything they need.


Families may choose from among these adorable critters:

  1. Zhu Zhu is our chubby brown guinea pig.  He loves being held and petted.  He eats timothy hay and goes crazy for fresh fruits and vegetables.
  2. Watson and Crick are our two firebelly toads.  They live together in a small aquarium, where they eat live crickets and spend their time swimming and climbing.
  3. Bugsy and Scurry are two female guinea pigs (they are sisters) who live together in one cage.  They love hay and all kinds of fruits and veggies.
  4.  Marie and Pierre are our two Madagascar hissing cockroaches.  They recently had a baby, who we are calling Irene until we can figure out her actual gender.  They make a gentle hissing sound when they are disturbed.  They are an exotic pet and will not infest your house if they escape.  They like to eat fresh vegetables (esp. lettuce) and dog food.

  Families who are interested in hosting a pet in their home are invited to contact Mrs. Milroy via e-mail at


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NEW: Discount Codes now Available!
Reminder: Wear Your PE Uniforms Starting 12/3!

PE Uniforms are MANDATORY for all students.  The goal is to have all Skinner students in their PE Uniforms by December 3rd

New!  Use Discount Code BT445 to save $9!
To order Skinner PE Uniforms or additional Skinner apparel- go to:  

Any questions? Contact Mr. Johnson or Ms. Westendorf at



3rd graders 


3rd Graders Collect Food Donations for the Needy
Please Donate Generously through Dec. 19th

The third graders (from Ms. Carlson, Mrs. Christiansen, & Mrs. Shildenmeyer's classes) are having a food drive to help feed Chicagoans in need of food this season. We need any canned food we can get...beans, canned fruit, vegetables, cereal, chili, jelly, macaroni and cheese, pasta sauce, soup, stew, and tuna.  If you see any boxes in the lobby, and you have canned food, please put it in the boxes.  Thank you for your support.

Room 218 (Mrs. Christiansen's class)

(Read HERE for more details about the 3rd graders' efforts!)

 momsnightMoms Night Out at DeCollage
Thursday, Dec. 13th 4pm to 8pm
20% off All Purchases



Ms. Clark   

November's Principal's Report

Please review the November Principal's report HERE, as discussed at last week's Local School Council Meeting.



Support our Singing Superstars &

Purchase a Poinsetta!

Mark your calendar to attend these December concert dates to see our Superstars perform! Note: Updates are in Red


Saturday, 12/1 5:00 p.m. Mary Bartleme Park 115 S. Sangamon. 2nd and 3rd Grades only by RSVP to Ms Maatouk.

Saturday, 12/8  3:30 p.m.  Metra French Market.  1st through 3rd Grades only by RSVP to Ms. Maatouk More students needed for this performance, esp 1st graders!

Monday, 12/10 1:00 p.m., Block 37, 1st Grade only. 
Tuesday, 12/11 12:00 Noon, City Hall, 2nd and 3rd Grades. 

Wednesday, 12/12  11am - 2:30pm, 12 noon performance, CNA (private venue) Grades 2-3.  

Monday, 12/17  1 p.m. performance, Block 37 mall, 108 N. State Street, 3rd grade only.

Thursday, 12/20 Skinner West Holiday Concert, 
  • 10 a.m., pre-K, kindergarten and Primary Chorus Jr. (1st Grade)
  • 1:30 p.m. Primary Chorus (2nd and 3rd Grades) & Grades 4-6
If you are able to chaperone for the City Hall, CNA, or Block 37 trips, please contact your child's homeroom teacher.
All other RSVPs to Ms Maatouk @
Click HERE for 1st Grade Primary Chorus Jr. letter schedule.
Click HERE for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grade Primary Chorus letter schedule. 
Visit Ms. Maatouk's website for audition results, and more information:
Holiday Poinsettia Sale
Support our Chorus program and bring home beautiful poinsettias! The Holiday Poinsettia Sale has begun and runs until Wednesday, December 5th.  For every $12 plant sold, our school makes a $4 profit!  Poinsettias can be brought home December 20th or 21st. 

Click HERE or stop by the front office for the poinsettia sale flyer!

Join Us for our next Gallery 111 Meeting
Tuesday, December 11th 7:30 pm

Gallery 111 is an organization within Skinner West that is run by parents, teachers & community volunteers that strive to provide approximately $20,000 in arts programming on an annual basis to every grade at Skinner West.  We procure the best programming, from Chicago's great art institutions, such as: 
  • Redmoon Theater (10 week residency + performances)
  • Old Town School of Folk Music
  • "May I Have this Dance" (4 week residency + performance)
  • The Poetry Center of Chicago (10 week residency)
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Lyric Opera in the Neighborhoods
  • Emerald City Theater (6 week residency)
  • House of Blues
  • Steppenwolf Theater
  • National Mexican Museum of Art
  • Adventure Stage Theater (10 week residency + performance)
  • Djembe Drum workshop

Interested in supporting Gallery 111? Join us for meetings and events! The next Gallery 111 meeting is 12/11 @ 7:30 pm. At the last meeting, committee members present thought an off site evening meeting would be fun, and wanted to accommodate members unable to make meetings scheduled right after school ends.  Please rsvp email Dina ( if you plan to attend and she will send you all the info.

The committee looks forward to seeing anyone who can make it.
Library, Book Fair & Box Tops Update
Book Fair 
GIANT thank you to all the parents who helped set-up and run book fair!!! The book fair could not happen without the fantastic parent volunteers we have at Skinner.

Box Tops

  • The Fall Semester Box Tops Competition will end on Wednesday, Dec. 12.  Please bring in all the Box Tops you have saved up.  Remember to check your home and classroom for any Box Tops expiring 12/31/12!
  • Thank you to everyone who signed up for Bonus Box Top opportunities on the iPads at Report Card Pick Up!  If you missed it, go to the following websites, register, and select Skinner West as your school. and  Each offer is worth 50 cents, which adds up quickly. 
  • If you shop online, shop through the Box Tops Marketplace!  Over 250 stores and websites provide Box Tops to Skinner at no extra charge.  Here's how:

1. Register for the Box Tops website (

2. Click on:

3. Choose from over 250 stores

4. Shop as usual, and earn eBox Tops for Skinner West!  

5. Send a printout of the eBox Tops you earned in the Market Place to school with your child so his or her class receives credit.


Birthday Book Club
Book Selection has been rescheduled to Tuesday, Dec. 4 for the students with August-December birthdays.  

Skinner Popcorn Palace Fundraiser 
Make Great Holiday Gifts!

The Skinner PTO is raising money to fund classroom activities and the Study Island computer program. The Popcorn Palace Fundraiser ends Friday, November 30th.  

Orders will also be taken at Friday's Family Fun Night, so please bring stop by and place your order!  Orders will be delivered before the holidays!  Also, the top selling classroom will win a pizza lunch for their class. 
Click HERE for the flyer with more details and a list of prize incentives. 
Repeat News and Updates

Family FUN Night!

Fri, Nov. 30th 4pm-7pm

Don't Miss It!


The Skinner West PTO is pleased to sponsor Family Fun Lego and Game Night.  Drop in anytime on Friday, November 30th from 4:00-7:00PM!   


Family Fun Night is FREE and open to EVERYONE:   

Parents, teachers, staff, Skinner West students, Star After School Kids, Skinner Park District kids are all welcome. Family Fun Night is FREE, however, Pizza will be sold (no need to pre-order for this dinner):


1 slice & 1 little bottle of water for $3

2 slices & one little bottle of water for $5.00.


Take a look at this link to see what you can look forward to!


girlscout logo
Skinner West Brownie Troop's Collection for Chicago's Ronald McDonald House 
Skinner West Second Grade Brownie Troop # 23000 is collecting donations for the new Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children's Hospital.  Ronald McDonald House Charities provide a "home away from home" to keep families of hospitalized children together during their greatest time of need.  
Skinner's Brownie Troop is accepting donations now through Friday, December 14.  Bring your donations to the library or any of the second grade classrooms.  The Brownies will personally deliver them to the Ronald McDonald House.  

Items needed include Gift Cards, individually wrapped snacks, toys, household staples (i.e., paper towels, hand soap, etc.) and postage stamps.  For a full list of items needed, click HERE

Save the Date for the Fifth Annual Ski and Splash Day 

The 5th Annual Skinner Ski and Splash Day has been set for Friday, February 1, 2013, 10 AM to 10 PM.  Save the date for a fun and exciting day of skiing and/or waterpark at the Grand Geneva Timber Ridge Resort.  This event is open to all Skinner West students!

Click HERE for more details

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The PTO will be holding its annual holiday bazaar on Friday, December 7, 2012.  The bazaar gives our Skinner Students an opportunity to go shopping for the holidays.  Students can purchase items starting at 25 cents to give away as holiday presents to family and friends.  

Please bring in your gently used items you no longer want or need to help Skinner raise funds for the school.  Some examples of items to bring in:  clothing (with tags on), books, toys, CDs, DVDs, and jewelry.  



2013-14 Application Process - Final Days!

The 2013-2014 application process is now open for elementary magnet, selective enrollment and high school offerings. Click here to obtain more details.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket!!  Remember, there are several ways for a sibling to enroll into Skinner for K-4th grades for the 2013-2014 school year. 
Classical Program by completing the Selective Enrollment Application for Elementary Schools.  
- Lottery for Neighborhood magnet (separate application- Options for Knowledge Standard Elementary Application)
Both applications must be received by the Office of Academic Enhancement by Friday, December 14, 2012 via the online process at or by paper application.  Best wishes to all of our siblings who will be participating in the testing and /or lottery process for enrollment.

Visit our website at

for more information about what's happening in school.
 All comments, suggestions or requests to submit information

to this newsletter should be emailed to

 Deborah M. Clark