Mark T. Skinner West School

School Year 2012-2013

Week 14

December 14-21, 2012 

Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update 


Friday, Dec. 14
PTO Holiday Bazaar
Last Day for Brownie Troop Toy Donations 
Applications Due for Selective Enrollment & Neighborhood Magnet
Siblings are encouraged to apply for both programs on separate applications. 
Monday, Dec. 17
Block 37 Performance
108 N State
Open to Public
Third Grade Chorus
Tuesday, Dec. 18
PTO Meeting
5:30  pm
LSC Meeting
6:30 pm
Wednesday, Dec. 19
Music House Performance
10 am
Final Day for Canned Food Drive Donations
Progress Reports Distribution
Thursday, Dec. 20
PreK thru 1st Grade Holiday Concert
10 am
2nd thru 6th & Glee club
Holiday Concert
1:30 pm
Poinsietta Pickup
Friday, Dec. 21
Poinsietta Pickup
Last Day of School 2012
Happy Holidays!

Skinner West School Calendar

CPS School Calendar


Order you Customized School Uniform or Spirit Wear HERE
(Discount Code BT445 to save $9 on your order)
Uniform and Spirit Wear

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!
We also have a Skinner West Shutterfly Account.  
Post your pictures here!







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


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New Articles:

Repeat Articles and Updates    

 New Articles 

Update on Substitute Teachers and Ancillary Classes
You may have noticed periodic cancellations of some of our ancillary classes.  Here's why:
  • When a teacher is absent, the CPS substitute teacher pool is contacted, so that a substitute is asked to be sent to Skinner in the morning.  
  • There is a citywide shortage of approved CPS substitute teachers. In most cases, we receive enough coverage.  In cases where we have multiple teachers absent, we may have a shortage.
  • In order to insure each class is managed by a CPS teacher, we often are asking our ancillary teachers (language, library, PE, art, music) to step up and manage the classroom.  Teachers typically have lesson plans in place.
  • We feel that the value of having this plan in place is important for our Superstars to stay on track with their core curriculum.  As a result, the ancillary class may be cancelled on occasion.
  • Thanks for your understanding and patience as we continue to research other CPS -approved options.
school attendance  
Absent from School? Bring a Note when You Return

With increased absences due to illnesses, we want to remind you of the official policy that Students should comply to:
  • If your child is absent, please provide your teacher a note with a parent's or doctor's signature in order to receive an excused absence. This is mandatory to receive an excused absence
  • A phone call to our main office is strictly optional
  • You may receive a recorded phone call from CPS indicating that your student is absent.  
  • According to the CPS promotion policy, 3rd, 6th, and 8th grade students will NOT be promoted to the next grade level if they have more than 9 unexcused absences.  
  • Click HERE to review the promotion and absentee policy
  • If you know in advance your child will be absent, please work with your teacher to make up missed time.


Increased Travel Time During Inclement Weather
As winter approaches, and inclement weather may come, we want to remind you that extra travel times may be needed
  • Classes start at 8:30 am.  Students will be marked tardy by 8:45 and should obtain a tardy slip from the office
  • Transportation times may increase for buses as well.  If your child is running late, the bus company will have the most up-to-date information on the bus status.  
    • Jewel Bus Company 773.291.9900 press 1
  • We suggest that you contact the bus company before contacting the front office.  The front office staff can also assist in providing a status update
  • Bus information can be found HERE


Applications Due for Selective Enrollment and Neighborhood Magnet

Friday, 12/14 is the last day to apply for selective enrollment and neighborhood magnet.  Visit for more details.


 Donations Needed for Mercy Home for Boys and Girls: School Supplies, Toiletries & Treats
The 4th graders in Mr. Cox (Room 312), Ms Howlett (Room 223) and Mr. Chau (Room 220)  are participating in a community project to help our West Loop neighbors, Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. Mercy Home for Boys and Girls is a children's charity dedicated to provide a solution for at-risk children. 
If you are able to donate,  we are seeking the following donations no later than Tuesday, Dec 18th 
  • School supplies:  notebooks, pencils, pens,  folders, colored pencils, markers, highlighters, etc...
  • Toiletries:  Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes, etc...
  • Donate unopened treats that you may have left over from Halloween.
On Wed, Dec 19th, the students will be delivering care packages. Please consider donating to this worthy cause!  Please dropoff items at Room 312.  Thank you!

 Uniform and Spirit Wear
Pick Up Your $10 Coupon Cards for My

Uniforms and school spirit wear are available year-round!  Better yet, Coach Westendorf now has $10 coupon cards available for your next online purchase on  Drop by to pick up your card today!


Mad Science: Winter Registration Available!

Winter Registration is now available for Mad Science.  Click HERE to download the latest form.

Repeat News and Updates

Call for Volunteers

The PTO will be holding its annual holiday bazaar on Friday, December 14, 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.
  • We are seeking volunteers from 8:30 am to 3pm on Friday 12/14 (to help sell items)
  • To volunteer or ask questions, please contact Joey Pinaglia @ or at 773.941.0683 

school supplies   

Skinner West LSC Community Representative Vacancy


The Skinner West Local School Council (LSC) has one community representative vacancy and invites interested candidates to apply.


The primary responsibilities of an LSC include approving how local school funds and resources are allocated, approving and monitoring the implementation of the annual Continuous Improvement Work Plan (CIWP), & hiring and evaluating the school's contract principal.


Eligible candidates must fulfill all of the following criteria: 1) live within the attendance area of Skinner West School (The School Attendance Boundary is listed on the Skinner West FAQ Website, click HERE to go to the site), 2) is not  parent or legal guardian of a child currently enrolled at Skinner West; and, 3) is not an employee of the Chicago Board of Education. The candidate must also be willing to subject themselves to a background check, in accordance with CPS rules. The commitment is to serve the remainder of the two year term which began on July 1, 2012.


Friday, December 14, 2012, 3:00 p.m. is the deadline for Skinner West candidates to submit the nomination packet, in person, to the Skinner West Main Office. A LSC 2012 Nomination Packet (Candidate Nomination Form, Criminal Conviction Disclosure Form, Telephone Disclosure Form, and optional Candidate Statement) may be obtained from Skinner West's Main Office, the Office of Local School Council Relations at 125 S. Clark, 5th floor, or at


All candidates are invited to present themselves at the December 18, 2012 Regular LSC Meeting, in the Skinner West Gym around 7:00 p.m. The Skinner West LSC intend to fill the community representative vacancy at the Dec. 18, 2012 Regular LSC Mtg.




There are currently repairs to the alley on the Monroe Street Side.  Consequently, parents are unable to turn into the alley on Monroe.  In an effort to eliminate congestion flow problems, please DO NOT PARK ON THE MONROE STREET SIDE.  Do not leave your car for any period of time during the 8-9am morning drop-off. Please know that the drop off area is NOT intended for long term parking. It is NOT intended as an area for parents to park while they escort their children to their classroom. It is intended as a "Kiss-N-Go" area - this means that: 

  1. Parents make sure that your child is ready to exit your car when pulling up to the drop off area: they have their bookbag, lunch box, coat, hats, gloves, etc.;
  2. Drive up to the drop off area;
  3. Parents remain in your cars;
  4. Kiss your kids while they're in the car;
  5. The kids jump out and
  6. drive away.

Please do not stay longer then the time needed to watch your son or daughter walk into the school. Please don't drop your child off in the middle of street and don't block the alley or park in the alley when you're dropping off your kids. Due to the large amount of traffic occurring during drop off, parents are requested to follow this procedure. Please inform your caregivers and private transportation services of this request. We need to keep this area clear so that all parents have a place to pull up to drop off their kids. If you need to come into the school or you want to stay with your child until 8:30 - please find parking on the street in an area other than the drop off area.


We are trying to make sure that volunteers are available to assist with drop off.   If you are interested in volunteering, email the volunteer coordinator at We really need more volunteers in the morning to assist!



Cold Weather Reminder - Update your Winter Wear!
As weather gets colder, please remember these important reminders:
  • Be sure your children are dressed appropriately for outdoor recess.  Students will be going outside daily, conditions permitting.  Make sure they have hats, mittens and warm outer garments.  Please make sure that all garments are labeled with the students names.  
  • For the younger students with emergency clothing already in their classrooms, please be sure you have weather appropriate clothes.  Accidents and spills happen, so we want to keep our kids warm and healthy!  

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chorus - french market
chorus- french market 2
French Market Performance 12/8/12


Support Our Singing Superstars!

Final Days of Concerts

We had a fabulous week of holiday concerts at the French Market, City Hall, Block 37, and CNA !! Our Superstars were amazing!  Many thanks to the organizations for welcoming our Superstars to share the gift of music!  


Mark your calendar to attend the remaining December concert dates to see our Superstars perform!   Remember to dress your Superstars in Black & Red!

Wednesday, 12/19 10 a.m. Music House Concert - Gymnatorium
Featuring  Kindergarten through 6th grade violinists, and 
4th through 8th grade guitarists of Rock Band.
Thursday, 12/20 Skinner West Holiday Concert - Gymnatorium
  • 10 a.m., Pre-K, Kindergarten and Primary Chorus Jr. (1st)
  • 1:30 p.m. Primary Chorus (2nd and 3rd Grades) & Grades 4-6 & Glee Club

Shutterbugs!  Don't forget to forward your pictures to our Shutterfly account HERE:


and to Ms Maatouck for her teacher page 


 Congratulations to Miss Wardanian's class, winners of the Poinsettia Sale Contest, and have invited Mr. Snowman to stay in their classroom for the winter. Congratulations, 116!


Visit Ms. Maatouk's website for more information:


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.  


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.

  • 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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donation3rd graders 


There's Still Time to Support the 
3rd Graders Collect Food Donations for the Needy
Please Donate Generously through Dec. 19th

THANK YOU to for all the canned food donations!  There's still time to donate, as 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. (Read HERE for more details about the 3rd graders' efforts!)
Room 218 (Mrs. Christiansen's class)
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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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