Mark T. Skinner West School

School Year 2012-2013 

June 14, 2013 - June 21, 2013 

Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update 


Friday, June 14
8th Grade Luncheon
1:00-3:00 P.M.
Game Truck at Skinner West

Last day to turn in Box Tops

Last day to pre-register for 2013-2014 STARs Afterschool Program

Monday, June 17 
9:30 A.M.
KDG Neighborhood Graduation

11:00 A.M.
 KDG Classical Graduation

Tuesday, June 18 
3:30 P.M.
Gallery 111 Meeting
Art Room
5:30 P.M.
PTO Forum Meeting

6:30 P.M.
 Local School Council Meeting
Special Notice will be sent for the Communications Meeting

Wednesday, June 19 
5:00 P.M.
 8th Grade Graduation
Whitney Young High School

Thursday, June 20 
9:00 A.M.
Facilities Meeting

10:00 A.M.
 KDG-3rd Community Concert

1:30 P.M. 
4th-8th Community Concert          
Friday, June 21 
10:15 A.M.
 6th grade sendoff

Last Day to Order Yearbooks

2:00 P.M.
Promotion Walk   


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!







In This Issue...


New Articles:


Repeat Articles and Updates:


Summer is almost here!  Don't forget to check out the Summer Camp Tab on the Skinner West Web Page at
 New Articles 
New School Hours for 2013-2014 Academic Year

New school hours have been posted by the Office of Student Transportation.  For the 2013-2014 academic year, Skinner West school hours will be 8:45 A.M. - 3:45 P.M.

End Of The Year Reminders

Return your Library Books!!!

Your student will not receive their report card or diploma until all missing books are returned or paid for! This is a CPS policy.  Please take care of any book fees BEFORE graduation day.  


Spring Book Fair was a Success!
Thank you to all the fantastic parent volunteers who made Book Fair possible! Skinner families purchased over 3,700 new books just in time for summer reading. On our library windows you can see the names of our Skinner Superstars who donated over $225 dollars worth of spare change to help the children of Moore, Oklahoma, which was devastated by recent tornadoes. Scholastic will match our donations, and the town will receive $450 to purchase books for their young residents.

Library Volunteers Needed During June
Parent volunteers are needed throughout June to help shelve books, organize shelves, check barcodes, and prep the library for summer.  If you can donate some of your time, please contact Ms. Ranftl.

Box Tops for Education

Friday, June 14th is the last day to turn in box tops. Skinner Families collected over $2,500 worth of Box Tops this year, and you will see this reflected in new books and technology in the Library come September. 

Shelf Covers Needed
Help protect the library books from dust over the summer! If you have any old table clothes, drop cloths, bed sheets, pieces of fabric, etc., please consider donating them to Skinner Library. Washable material is preferred so it can be used again each year.

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5th Grade Newsletter
Mr. Lew & Ms. Ramakrishnan

During the month of May, our 5th graders had the privilege of participating in an improvisation workshop, through Second City, designed to enhance student communication, team building, idea generation, problem solving, and empathy. Through the program, students were able to further their critical thinking skills and experience activities through multiple intelligences.

We are looking forward to a very busy and exciting June, starting with a trip to our state's capital, Springfield.   The 5th graders will enjoy an all-day trip to take in the many sights that Springfield has to offer. We will visit the Illinois State Capitol, the Old State Capitol, various war memorials, the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.


Ms. Ramakrishnan's 5th graders will be ending the school year with a literature circle unit focused on extraordinary individuals living in the Middle East. We will be reading the novels Iqbal and The Breadwinner, and researching, analyzing, and discussing issues such as child labor, the rights of women and girls, and living under oppressive regimes. Our unit will culminate in a research project encompassing character, synthesis, and theme.


Ms. Ramakrishnan's Math class recently wrapped up a unit on proportions and unit rate. We are currently studying percents, fractions, and decimals and will be working on applying the skills in real world contexts.


Mr. Lew's 5th Grade class has been busy enjoying and studying the historical fiction novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. The class investigated, researched, and discussed life in the 1960's including civil rights and racial tensions that happened in the south during that time.  This unit also included a class viewing of the HBO documentary:  "4 Little Girls", followed by a discussion and a response paper.  The novel was dedicated to the memory of the "4 Little Girls".  The novel study culminated with an individual research paper and a group story board project. The class will finish the year by studying the novel Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis.   


Mr. Lew's Math class is finishing up studying about "Equations and Graphs" where the students learned how to solve equations with more than one operation and learned how to graph equations.  Next week the students' will begin a unit on the Rubik's Cube and try and "unlock the secret!  


Thank you!

Mr. Lew & Ms. Ramakrishnan
Skinner West Debate Team

Is your middle school child engaging you in arguments on everything from individual liberty to the definition of "clean" as it applies to their bedroom? Skinner West Fine Arts & Technology School is establishing a debate team this fall for 6th, 7th and 8th graders so they can work off some of that argumentative energy!  Disciplined debate requires topic research, analytical and critical thinking, and builds confidence in public speaking - skills that will serve students well in their academic success.

Skinner is partnering with the Chicago Debate League.  Comprising fifty-nine high schools and fourteen middle schools from across the city of Chicago, the CDL is one of the nation's oldest, largest, and most successful urban debate leagues. To find out more about CDL and the schools that participate in the middle school league, click here.

Our team will incur expenses including a fee to CDL, transportation, team shirts, stipends for coaches, etc.  We are seeking sponsorship from area businesses, but will need to ask students to pay a fee - tentatively set at $50.

Please let us know if your child is interested in participating next year. Please also consider contacting your employer about making a tax-deductible contribution to become a sponsor. An invitation to sponsors and reply form for parents is attached here.

Contact Beverly Wong, Parent Volunteer Debate Coordinator, with questions, suggestions and feedback at .


Skinner West Caps & Water Bottles for Sale!
Support Technology!

Parents, Students and Family.....

You may have seen students sporting the new Skinner West baseball caps or drinking from Skinner water bottles.  Show your school spirit while supporting technology needs for our kids!

Baseball hats (one size adult/child soft cotton hats with adjustable straps) are just $10.  Water bottles (extra large screwtops) are $5 and are great for extra summer camp use! 


If you are interested in purchasing either item, click here.  NOTE: Complete the survey for faster ordering.  Cash or checks made out to "Skinner West" can be sent to your child's homeroom teacher.
Products will be sent to your child's classroom before the last day of school. 


Questions?  Please contact Marla Sedler @

Repeat News and Updates


Skinner West School

Neighborhood Program Registration Now Open 


Skinner West is currently accepting registration for the Program Grades K-4 Neighborhood Program Monday to Friday from 10:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M.


Please bring the following items for registration:

  1. Original Birth Certificate
  2. 3 Proofs of Residency (Valid Driver's License, State I.D., Copy of Housing Lease, Current Utility Bill, Voter's Registration Card, Library Card, Health Insurance Card, etc.)
  3. Current Medical/Shot Record
  4. Current Dental Exam/Vision Exam for students entering Kindergarten
  5. Obtain a transfer from current school (If the current school does not release your child, we cannot register him/her into Skinner School

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Updates & Reminders - Skinner West PTO


Please save June 14th for a Potluck End of Year Celebration at Skinner from 4:00-7:00pm.  All Skinner families are invited to participate!

On June 14th, the GAME TRUCK is coming to Skinner West from 1:00-3:00pm.  All students who won entrance from the cookie dough fundraiser will be invited to participate.

Call for Volunteers!  The PTO needs your help on Friday, June 14th.  If you are able to help from 1:00-3:00pm with the Game Truck or any time from 3:00-7:00pm with the Potluck Celebration, please contact PTO members Joey Lynn Pinaglia  or Stephanie Majca. 

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Central City High School Proposal



In case you missed one of the two recent community meetings, Connecting 4 Communities (C4C) shared their proposal for a new high school in the Skinner area, called Central City High School.  C4C is looking for concerned parents and community to support the under-served high school needs of our Superstars (and other schools) 
  • Skinner West graduates would be provided guaranteed seats to attend the proposed high school
  • Central City High School would support about 300 students at each grade level (9th - 12th grade), based on demographic studies
  • The proposal already has strong support by 7 influential alderman who have signed a letter of support to Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale.
  • Click here for the presentation:

What can you do to support or learn more?

  • Sign up for the newsletter and join the database here:  
  • Share this information with others in the boundary areas (Slide 2 of presentation)  
  • In Fall 2013, you may be asked to show your support by writing letters and advocating for this important need

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  STAR News: 2013-2014 School Year
Pre-registration Now until June 15th
  • STAR Program pre-registration for the 2013-14 school year has begun. STAR Program is taking Preregistration forms for 2013-14 now until June 15th.  
  • A new 2013 - 2014 re-registration form (available in the office or on the STAR table) and a nonrefundable $50 fee will be due upon pre-registration.  Click HERE for the form. 
  • Even if your child is currently enrolled in the program, a new form must be filled out and the $50 fee must be paid in order to reserve a spot. (The $50 fee will be applied to your fall 2013 payment.)

Thank you to all the children, parents, teachers, volunteers and sponsors who helped make our Field Day and Walk-a-thon a HUGE success!  Mother nature was kind to us, hundreds of students had an amazing day walking around Skinner Park or riding their scooters, skateboards, rollerblades and bicycles, and exercising their bodies.  Field day was an exhilarating and fun way for the students to play while exercising.  There were bean bag tosses, relay races, basketball shooting, sack races, a soccer shootout and so much more! Just ask your kids how much fun they had!
The final / preliminary total for Walk-a-Thon fundraising for technology is a whopping $20,000.  THANK YOU!
  • Congratulations to the class with the highest funds raised - Ms. Ellis' 2nd grade, room 221
  • Congratulations also to the 8th grade families of Markos P. and Iben K. and the KDG familes of Evelyn M. and Mayumi C. Their families will receive front row seating at their respective graduations.
  • Children meeting minimum goals of $70 received baseball caps and water bottles.  If they met their minimum goal of $50, they received their water bottle. 
It's Not Too Late to Donate!
Cash, Check and Online donations are accepted here:
Choose Paypal or email this link to your friends and family!
Did you hear about the Fun Photo Booth?
During the event, our professional photographers snapped pictures of our Superstars in various hats, costumes, boas and more.  It was such a fun way to capture the spirit of the day!  Take a peek here, where pictures will be available online (all proceeds go toward Friends of Skinner West Walk-a-Thon).

There are so many people to thank for making this a success.  We can't thank everyone individually, but here's just a few key people we want to call out!
  • Coach Westy and Coach Johnson - for tirelessly organizing the Field Day and getting our Superstars ready (yes, they were there at 6am setting up the field)!
  • Marla Sedler -  for leading the Walk-a-Thon effort for the 3rd year in a always, fantastic leadership. 
  • The Friends of Skinner West committee - brainstorming and organizing since the beginning of the school year!  
  • Michael Norsk, Skinner parent and personal trainer from West Loop Athletic Club - for lending fitness equipment and leading field day activities - He was a tremendous help!  
Thanks you to our generous sponsors who nourished our children's bodies and brains with their donations!

    MT Food Service - Nutritious apples, oranges, and bananas
    Costco South Loop - Delicious pizza lunch (stop by to say thank you!)
    PepsiCo - Hydrating Gatorade and water!    
    State Farm agent Linda Mitchell

Thank you!



Thank you to all the parents who made this a success.  If you would like to be part of the planning committee to donate ideas for next year, please email us at 


Yearbooks for Sale 


Please see Ms. Growe in room 118 to purchase Skinner West 2012-2013 yearbooks through Friday, June 21st.  Cash or checks (made out to Skinner West) are accepted in the amount of $30.

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STAR Program & Enviroprint Team Up for Bio-Diversity
The Skinner West STAR program and Whitney Young's Enviroprint sponsored a field trip to the Greenhouse at Whitney Young High School last week. On the trip, students were introduced to themes of biodiversity through the exploration of a fully-functioning greenhouse and aqua-phonics system. Check out the pictures of their wonderful, hands-on experience! A big thank you to the Whitney Young students who brought this 8 week, Enviroprint experience to STAR after-school program. 


Skinner West Students Achieve High Marks at the 

Fulton Network Invention Convention 


Parents, faculty and students, thank you so much for your hard work and your support of this year's Fulton Network Invention Convention!  Numerous volunteers at this year's events commented on how impressive our students are.  Click here to see photos of the event.  We'll shortly send follow up information and feedback forms, but in the meantime, we'd like to recognize this year's winners from Skinner West:


1st Place - Mag Matty, Tommy V, 1st Grade
2nd Place - The Cool Shirt, Nur A., 3rd Grade
3rd Place - The Homework Helper, Jaden S. and Emmett S., 3rd Grade

1st Grade:
1st Place - Super Pakarella Umbrella, Nikolette W.and Diya A.
2nd Place - The Unforgettable Bag Tag, Kaleb N.
3rd Place - Sofa Blocker, Colin J.

3rd Grade:
1st Place - Cage Hugger, Taylor K. and Zoe G.
2nd Place - Pressure Point Glove, Lila A.
3rd Place - The Pet Player, Kaila Theresa W. and Maya B.

5th Grade: 
2nd Place - The Fix it Machine, Zachary M.

6th-8th Grades:
1st Place - Duck X, Spencer H. and Jeffrey R., Skinner West
2nd Place - The E.Z. Hanger, Eric L. and Marcanthony H., Skinner West
3rd Place - The Warmbrella, Devin B., Skinner West

Congratulation to all participants!  What a truly amazing accomplishment by our STARs.


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Asian Heritage Month & Taste of China!

Skinner West was proud to celebrate Asian Heritage month this past May with two events - The Asian Heritage Month hallway presentation (5/20-21) and Taste of China (5/22-23).  Both events were sponsored by the Skinner West parents and Ms. Kong's Chinese Mandarin Program. 

Thank you very much parents for your generous donations and support to make these events possible for all the students in the Mandarin Program.  Photos can be found here:  

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Success at 2nd Grade History Fair!

The Second Grade Teachers want to commend all of their students and parents on the overwhelmingly unique and entertaining  History Fair Projects this year. We were pleased to see so many parents come to our event. What creative and well planned projects.  Well done second grade! 

The Second Grade also would like to thank Gallery 111 for providing us with an outstanding poetry residency this year. Our 20 weeks are coming to a close and we are all sad to see it end. Mr. Dean has been a great teacher and inspiration to the second grade this year. Check out student work here. It is updated each week with our students' poetry. 

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So You Think You Can Dance?
Skinner STARs Dance Team Can!

Thanks to all who attended Friday's STAR spring dance recital to support our Superstars.  Led by the talented Ms. Nina-Rose Wardanian (Skinner alumni), the dance squads focused on 4 dance techniques - Pom, Jazz, Hip Hop and Kick.  The STARs dance team is one of the featured programs available to STAR aftercare students of all ages.  We're so proud of all our Superstars! 


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Did your child receive a Skinner cap? 

Send us a picture of your superstar wearing their cap and we'll fill up an album.  Send your pictures to


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