Mark T. Skinner West School

School Year 2012-2013

Week 14

December 21, 2012  thru January 4, 2013 

Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update 


Friday, Dec. 21
Poinsietta Pickup
Last Day of School 2012
Happy Holidays!

Monday, Dec. 24 thru
Wednesday, Jan. 2

Winter Vacation -
No Classes

Thursday, Jan. 3
Classes Resume 

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! 


topIn This Issue...


New Articles:

Repeat Articles and Updates  

 New Articles 
Have a Wonderful & Safe Holiday-
December's Principal's Report & Safety Update

This week, we reinforced our lockdown training in each and every classroom and with every student and staff member.  Your children are our number one prioirity. Please be sure your child understands the importance of listening to their teachers, the importance of silence, and following specific instructions at all times.  
To learn more about the other activities at our school, professional development of our teachers and more, CLICK HERE for the December principal's report.
As we all celebrate the holidays with our family and friends, we are thankful for all that we have.  We are especially thankful for our wonderful Skinner Superstars, families, and staff.  On behalf of everyone here at Skinner, have a safe and wonderful holiday.  We look forward to a restful break and seeing our Superstars on Thursday, January 3rd.  

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Take the 2013-14 CPS School Calendar Survey- Your Voice is Important!

Take the survey by clicking HERE 


Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) are working collaboratively to develop a single-track calendar for all schools next year and we need your input to ensure that it reflects the best interests of all students and their families. The new calendar will do away with the District's two-track schedule and give students across the District the same start and end dates and days off.  This means that families who currently have children enrolled in separate track schools will be able to plan for both vacation time and child care needs while their children are out of school. 


In addition to aligning all schools with start and end dates as well as vacation time, a unified calendar will allow for far better planning among principals, teachers and families and support a better structure for implementing a more rigorous curriculum and intervention for students in need.  


The new calendar would go into effect next school year and your feedback as parents is a vital part of the development process. Please take a few minutes to complete this brief survey so that you can help inform our decisions going forward. We ask that you complete the survey by January 11, 2013.


Click HERE for to take the survey

Note: In order to complete the survey, you will need to enter a student ID number. Your child's ID number can be found on all progress reports and student report cards, or by visiting the Manage Students page in the CPS Parent Portal. If you are unable to locate your child's ID number, please contact the school for assistance 
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 Jones High School 
Career and Technical Education Program Application Due January 15th 
Beginning fall 2013, Jones College Preparatory High School, 700 S. State St., will offer a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program in Pre-Engineering
and Pre-Law. The CTE program will open at the ninth grade and add one grade each year until it serves grades 9-12. Applicants will be selected based on standardized test scores and final (cumulative) grades from the 2011-2012 school year.
The deadline to submit the form is Tuesday, January 15th. 

Skinner Fifth Annual Ski and Splash Day 
Forms are Due Jan 11th

The 5th Annual Skinner Ski and Splash Day has been set for Friday, February 1, 2013, 10 AM to 10 PM at the Grand Geneva TImber Ridge Resort.

  • Start booking your hotel room if you plan to stay overnight. Special rates are available, but rooms will sell out!
  • Complete & submit the form with payment for ski lessons and lift tickets. These are due January 11th.  NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • Plan your visit and purchase gift cards from Skinner by January 11th!  9% of all purchases turn into a cash fundraiser for the school! Gift cards can be used on hotel rooms, food and amenities on site (excludes lift tickets and lessons)
  • This event is open to all Skinner West students!(Travel is not provided by the school)
  • All Skinner students are encouraged to come have a fun time with other Skinner families!

CLICK HERE for the forms and more details.

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PTO Little Caeser Pizza Fundraiser 
Be on the lookout for the Little Caeser's Pizza Fundaiser!  
  • Catalog and forms are being sent home by Friday, December 21st 
  • Orders and checks made out to Skinner PTO are due back on Friday, January 11th
  • Pizzas will arrive January 30th, just in time for SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!!  
  • Skinner PTO is raising money for school insurance, classroom activities and supplies (toners). Skinner earns up to $5.00 for every kit sold.  
  • The Top Selling Class will get a pizza lunch!! Look for other incentives on your fundraising package.
If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Majca at

Thank You from the PTO!
Thank you to all the parents who donated items for the PTO's Annual Holiday Bazaar and to all the parents who sent their children to school with some extra spending money.  On Friday, December 14th, the students were excited to shop for holiday gifts! Despite the low cost of the items, the Bazaar raised $1,090 for Skinner West School!  Thank you also to parent Jacinta Wong for her donation of the profits from her scarf sale.

Thank you also to all the families who participated in the PTO's popcorn fundraiser.  This fundraiser raised over $2,500 for Skinner West!

The proceeds from these and other PTO fundraisers help fund special requests from Skinner teachers and administration that benefit all of our Skinner Superstars.   This month the PTO also provided money to purchase tables needed for the school and for school insurance.  
Attend the next PTO meeting on Tuesday, January 15th @ 5:30pm to learn more about how PTO helps  support school needs! Or visit our website to learn more:

Box Top for School  
Box Tops from Around the World! 
Box Tops are being counted up, and the winners will be announced after winter break. Thank you to everyone who brought in Box Tops- keep saving!

Next semester, Skinner will be participating in a "Where in the World?" Box Top Challenge.  Families are asked to contact friends and family living outside of Chicago and request them to mail in a few Box Tops to fill our map.  The goal is for students to collect Box Tops from all 50 states, and maybe even other countries.  This activity will be tying in with geographical and multicultural activities that several grades will be doing in library.  A large world map will be posted outside the library, and cities/states/countries will be "flagged" as the envelopes are delivered.  This will be a fun way for students to learn geography as they help their school!
Please have friends and family help reach our goal of all 50 states by sending one (or more!) Box Tops to Skinner West, along with a note stating where the Box Tops are coming from, and the name and room number of your student(s).  
Envelopes can be mailed to:
Skinner West Elementary School 
c/o Kelly Ranftl
1260 W. Adams St.
Chicago, Il 60607


Packing the boxes!Food drive 3


Thank You for Doubling Our Goal and Donating Over 500 Pounds of Canned Food!!

THANK YOU to for all the generous canned food donations! The Skinner family came through with giving back to the community and the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  We accomplished so much because of your generosity!
  • Our 3rd graders filled over 25 boxes of food...approximately 500 pounds! Our goal was to raise 250 pounds, and you helped us DOUBLE our goal!
  • We will also be giving a monetary donation of $84.06, which will provide about 260 meals to people who need a meal
  • More importantly, you've provided our 3rd graders a sense of accomplishment and pride while teaching them the value of giving

holiday concert collage 2012  
holidaySkinner Concerts Were a Success!
Thanks to all the choir, soloists, musicians, dancers, speakers and volunteers for making the Skinner Concerts a success!  And a special thanks to Ms. Maatouk for working tirelessly to prepare our students  for the shows!  We hope you were able to enjoy the holiday season with the gift of music.  The children certainly enjoyed performing for the many audiences.
If you have any pictures you would like to share, please send to  Ms. Maatouk and the school's Shutterfly account:


Results from Last Weekend's 
Skinner West's Boys Basketball
Oswego East Shootout Tournament
On December 16, 2012, all three basketball teams from Skinner West went to Oswego, IL to participate in the Oswego East Shootout. Our 4th grade team (3rd and 4th combined), 6th grade team (5th and 6th combined), and 8th grade team (7th and 8th combined) performed really well. 
  • The 4th grade team took two early losses by a combined 8 points in two very tough competitive games and finished the day with a 40 point win over the Oswego Hustle finishing in third place.
  • The 6th grade team took one loss in the beginning to a tough team, and came back and took the next two games to finish second place in the sixth grade division. 
  • The 8th grade team also took a hard fought loss against a top ranked Waveland team in the first game, giving them the only challenge they had all day. the 8th grade team responded by beating the next two teams by a combined 50 points finishing 2nd place in the tournament. Their were big efforts across the board.

The teams represented Skinner very well and were invited back for future tournaments. We would like to thank all the parents who made the trip and were there to support our teams. Thanks to the coaches and players for representing our school well!

Repeat News and Updates

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 Co. 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

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

Uniforms and school spirit wear are available year-round!  Better yet,  $10 coupon cards are available to Skinner West families, through 1/13/13. To redeem:


Mad Science: Winter Registration Available!

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


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