Mark T. Skinner West School

School Year 2012-2013



Sept. 10, 2012

Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update 

Monday, Sept. 10
Teacher Strike Contingency Plan in Effect

Chicago Teachers on Strike 
DAY ONE:  Monday, September 10, 2012

The Skinner West Contingency Plan described below will be in effect on Monday September 10th. 


Strike Questions 


As you know, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) administration is engaged in contract negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).  CPS is committed to being at the negotiation table every day until a fair agreement is reached and a strike is avoided so kids aren't removed from the classroom. CTU leaders set a strike date of Monday September 10 and  has announced the "Children First" plan to provide students with essential services should the CTU leadership choose to strike. The plan includes providing a safe environment, daily meals and positive, engaging activities for students. CPS will partner with City Sister Agencies and Departments, faith organizations, non-profits and other stakeholders to ensure students receive the support they need in the event of a CTU strike.  Please check out this press release detailing that plan. 


Decisions regarding a strike will be communicated to parents and students through the news media and the 311 Center. Parents, guardians and students should monitor news reports and the CPS web-site for school closing information.  


For more information about CPS plans in the event of a CTU strike, you can visit the Children First website at this link, on this Children First FAQ or by visiting or by calling the hotline at 773-553-1000 for the latest news and updates.


We are aware of the inconvenience that school closings may cause parents and families but please know that the safety and security of students here at Skinner West is and will continue to be our top priority.   

Skinner West Contingency Plan

While CTU has set a strike date for Sept. 10, that does not necessarily mean there will be a strike. Please listen to the news Sunday night to find out if an agreement has been reached and a strike has been averted.  However, in the event the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) chooses to strike, 144 CPS "Children First" site locations will be open with limited hours to students during the strike.  Please find attached a copy of a letter from the Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard  regarding the Children First Plan.

SKINNER WEST is one of the Children First Sites. 

However, this does not mean that you can automatically bring your child to Skinner West if there is a strike.  Every CPS student has been assigned a designated site in their community that is not necessarily their regular school but will be equipped to address their needs and provide a safe environment.
Parents are encouraged to register their children in advance to help ensure that the staff at the site are prepared for any needs a child may have. However, if a child shows up at a site they will not be turned away. Information and registration tools are available at the Children First website at

to help parents identify nearest sites, sign their student up and provide additional information and assistance. Parents may also call 311 to assist with registration or with any questions. 
Student ID numbers will be required to register. Parents without access to the internet can call 311 or visit their local library to sign-up their child. The student ID number can be located on all CPS progress reports and report cards or by visiting the Manage Students page in the CPS Parent Portal. Parents of high school students can also find their student's ID number on their child's identification card. If parents are unable to find their child's ID number they can also obtain it from their principal.

In the event of a teacher strike, Skinner West will implement the following contingency plan: 

  • The main building will be open from 8:30am-12:30pm for Kindergarten - 8th grades. Pre-K supervision will occur from 8:30am- 12:30 also.  
  • All grades (including Pre-K) will report to the main building. The Branch will be closed.
  • Free Breakfast and lunch will be offered.
  • All students will enter through the main doors on the Adams  side only (1260 W. Adams). 
  • Tuition-Based P-K Attendees: Reimbursement credit information will be available at a later date.CPS will not be able to provide transportation for students to sites. CPS will be working in close partnership with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to help ensure families are supported as much as possible in getting their children to and from the District sites.   CPS Children First sites will have fare cards available for Students in Temporary Living Situations (STLS) for assistance in getting to and from the sites. Students and families will be able to pick up the fare cards at any Children First site.  Students in temporary living situations (STLS) and students with disabilities who are currently eligible for transportation as a related service on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan will qualify to receive a CTA pass or mileage reimbursement.  Parents of students in grades K-6 and who are eligible for a CTA pass to Children First sites may receive a CTA pass to accompany their child to and from the site.

  • Instruction will NOT take place at Skinner West or any of the Children First sites.  However, students will be able to participate in positive activities to keep them engaged, including independent reading and writing, arts and journaling, sports activities, and computer-based programming.
  • You can register online at for the "Children First Site" nearest your home.   
  • You must be an approved CPS Volunteer to sign up to help at Skinner West.  Volunteers that wish to sign up to help may do so by emailing your name, your child's name and grade and the date and time of your availability to  Please come to the office when you arrive for an assignment.   
  • Skinner West will close at 12:30pm each day during the strike and no supervision or care will be provided after that time.   
  • Sports programs and afterschool programs will not be available during the strike. 

CPS is also working in close partnership with City Sister Agencies - including the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Chicago Fire and Police Departments and the Office of Emergency Management - as well as faith-based organizations, non-profits and other stakeholders to ensure students receive the support they need in the event that the leadership of the CTU chooses to strike and until the leadership of the CTU chooses to provide instruction in the classroom. In addition, in an effort to support students and families of CPS, 60 faith based organizations will provide Safe Haven sites in the event CTU leadership chooses to strike. 


Registration is free and available on a first come first serve basis. Space is limited. For additional information please call 773.553.2500.  For a list of the Children First sites or Safe Haven sites please visit: 




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                            Deborah M. Clark