Mark T. Skinner West School

School Year 2012-2013

Week 1      

 September 6-14, 2012 

Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update 

Tues, September 11

LSC Communications Committee Meeting

Skinner West School Calendar

CPS School Calendar


Neighborhood News
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topIn This Issue...


 New Articles:     


Repeat News Articles and Updates:       

 New Articles 


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.  Recently CTU leaders set a strike date of Monday September 10.  In an effort to be  prepared for a Chicago Teachers Union strike,  CPS 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. 


Please know that any decisions regarding a strike will be communicated to parents and students through the news media and the 311 Center. We encourage parents, guardians and students to monitor news reports and the CPS web-site for school closing information.  In addition, this information will be sent to Skinner West parents via a special edition newspaper edition.  


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.


While this plan is merely a precaution, we will be prepared to provide your children with food, a safe environment and positive activities to keep them engaged, should the CTU choose to strike.  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.   





Students may not be dropped off before 8:00 a.m.  Based on new CPS policy, teachers won't be available to supervise students before 8:30 a.m.  We have a very limited number of educational support staff to assist with supervision of students before 8:30 a.m. We really need parent volunteers on a daily basis between 8:00-8:30 to help with  supervision in the lunchroom, gym and greeting students at the Monroe St. drop-off point. Just pick up an orange vest near the security desk and spend a half hour with us to help maintain order and safety.   


Drop - Offs 

Parents must drop their children off on the Monroe Street side of the building.  This year the Monroe Street door will be open between 8:00 - 8:40 a.m. for students to enter.  After 8:40 a.m., the Monroe Street door will be locked and students must enter the building through the main entrance and get a tardy slip. 


Please do not park or try to drop off on Adams Street in the bus drop-off zone.  We will have twenty-one CPS buses and additional private transportation vans dropping off in this area.  Please help to maintain safety and  smooth operations by adhering to the policy. 


As a reminder, students and parents should not enter classrooms or roam the hallways until 8:30am, when classes officially starts.  Please have students report directly to the cafeteria or the gymnasium.


For Kindergarten, 1st  and 2nd Grades  

Before entering the north entrance of the cafeteria, you may drop off your bookbags, coats, and other non-fragile items into the large rolling bins.  Each bin is labeled with the teacher's name.  The carts will be rolled to their respective classrooms at the start of class.


For 3rd and 4th Graders  

Third and fourth graders may dropoff their backpacks along the north wall of the cafeteria (just next to the kindergarten tables).  Students will have to retrieve their belongings themselves before they go to their classrooms.  


During morning dropoff, the cafeteria can get quite congested.  Please follow these simple procedures to avoid items being left behind in the cafeteria.  Also remind your children to follow these rules so they can become accustomed to the process!



If students want a free breakfast in the morning, they should go directly into the lunchroom.   If your child needs breakfast in the morning, please have them arrive at 8:15 to insure they have enough time to finish their breakfast. Breakfast starts promptly at 8:15, and students will be dismissed to their rooms at 8:30. If 5th - 8th graders are not eating breakfast, they should report directly to the gym.  


To help relieve some of the congestion in the halls we are asking parents with strollers to park them next to the security desk before going to any classroom.


Pick - Ups 

Kindergartners must be picked up from inside the gym.


First graders will be picked up from the lunchroom.


Students in 2nd - 8th grades will be dismissed outside  in front of the building on the Adams Street side.  


Students waiting to be picked up by a parent will be dismissed outside on the Adams Street side of the building supervised by Skinner Staff until 3:40 p.m.(ten minutes).  After 3:40 p.m., late pick ups will be brought inside the vestibule and parents will be charged a $10.00 late fee.  Parents MUST make arrangements to have their child picked up on time everyday.   We do not have staff to supervise late pick - ups.  We have three after school programs (STAR, Skinner Park & Union Park) which parents should look into if they need after school care. 


Teacher Availability 

This year teachers will not have  time before school to meet with parents.  Parents must make an appointment to see the teacher.  Appointments can be made via the teacher's page on the Skinner website, calling the office or by sending a note to the teacher.


Avoid a Ticket 

Please do not block any driveways in the community area , double park or block a crosswalk while dropping off or picking up your child.


Parking Lot

Our parking lot is very small and is for staff only in the mornings. Please do not park in the staff lot or block other cars. Parents may park in the lot for pick-up after school if a space is available. 


Thank you for your cooperation in adhering to these procedures. We are looking forward to another safe and orderly school year.

Busing Update

Please know that there may be a few busing hiccups during the first week of school.  By the second week of school most of the busing irregularities are usually sorted out.

Skinner West uses two bus companies:
Jewels Bus Company  
Press 1 for Dispatch

The students in the special education classes use the
????? Bus Company 
Contact number????
If you have not received a post card with your child's busing information, you may contact the bus companies directly to find out your child's bus route and pick up and drop-off times.

Buses should arrive at school between 8:00 a.m. till 8:30 a.m. and leave school grounds at 3:45 p.m.
Your child's bus driver will need to tell you the bus drop-off time. If there is an emergency or other situation and your child will not ride the school bus in the afternoon, you must send/fax a note to the office before 12:00 noon. Telephone requests to keep your child off the afternoon bus will not be accepted. For the safety of all our students, no adult, even a parent, is allowed to remove a child from the bus line outside, or from the school bus, while on Skinner West property.

If your child will be picked up by a private busing company supply your child's teacher with the busing company's name, contact information and phone number.  

Appropriate behavior is also critical to bus service.
Children who are discipline problems on the bus can lose bus privilege. Children must remain in their seat at all times and be respectful of each other and the driver. No food, drink, video games, balls, etc. are allowed. 


Student transportation policies can be found at this link. 

Ancillary Supplies 
Parents thank you for submitting school supplies to your child's teacher.  If you still need to submit classroom supplies, you can upload the most updated copies of the supply list on the Skinner West web site under the parent resources tab at:   

Did you also remember to purchase ancillary supplies and drop them off in the library? 

If you did not, please find attached the ancillary supply list: 
Ancillary Supply List (Updated)  


Ancillary supplies are supplies that the art, music, library, language classes share.  These supplies should be put in a bag labeled with your child's name, teacher, and/or room number and labeled "Ancillary Supplies".  These supplies should be dropped off in the library. 

This year, at Skinner West, we continue to align what and how we teach with the Common Core State Standards.  These are the new curriculum guidelines for teachers which are replacing the IL State Standards. You may have heard a lot about that last year but may not understand what it means.  To learn more about this set of rigorous learning standards, please visit the ISBE website or the Common Core website.

Gym Uniforms

Information concerning the gym uniform will be available soon in the school newsletter and on the Skinner website.  Until uniforms are purchased and distributed please make sure your child(ren) are dressed in shorts, sweatpants, t-shirts and/or sweatshirts the day (s) they have Physical Education classes.  Also, all students must wear appropriate shoes to class, please send them in their gym shoes for PE. Please find attached the 2012-2013 Physical Education Class Schedule.

Time to Clean Out your Closets!

Request for Donated Games


We are looking for gently used board games, card games and other indoor activities for classrooms to use during indoor recess. If you have any, please drop them off with Ms Milroy in room 226.


2012-2013 Lunch Fees

If you haven't already done so, please send in money for your child's lunch fees.  These fees can be submitted to your child's teacher or deposited in the lunch room payments box in the cafeteria.  When paying, please send cash in the exact change in an envelope with first & last name, homeroom number, date of meal(s) and amount enclosed. Or you may pre-pay for 1, 5, or 10 lunches by completing the following form. (Forms/envelopes are also provided at the front office.)


Prepay Lunch form 


Full price elementary school lunch: $2.25

Reduced-price elementary school lunch: $0.40

Milk can be purchased for $0.35 each


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Currently, the Star Program is filled and has a wait list.  If you need information about the star program or want to be added to the wait list email:


or contact Ms Lohman (formally Ms. Staral) or Ms. Wardanian.

Please find attached the student star schedule for 2012-2013.  In addition, it contains scheduling information for dance and guitar.  


If your child is in the STAR program, please do not forget to provide your child with a healthy snack and drink to eat during the after school program. 


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Repeat News and Updates

Minimum Health Requirements


If your child is entering preschool and kindergarten up to age 6 (physical exam and lead screen), entering the State of Illinois for the first time at any grade level or entering kindergarten, 6th grade, or 9th grade (ages 5, 11, and 15 for ungraded programs) you must submit proof of immunizations and health exams to Skinner West before October 15th. For assistance, contact Skinner West or call (773) 553-2242 to speak with one of the district office CPS support staff.  All necessary documentation, including the immunization requirements and copies of the health requirement forms are available on the CPS website. Information regarding the dental and vision exam requirements are also available online at the attached links. For more information, contact CPS Coordinated School Health at (773) 553-1830.

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Please, Please Pay the Fees! 


Various school fees are collected annually to allow us to provide a number of enrichment opportunities for students and enhance the educational programs.  Each grade has different fee and below are PDF copies of each grade level fee sheet.  Fees are payable via check to "Skinner West" to your child's homeroom teacher during our open house or during the first week of school.   We are in the process of updating our Paypal account so that school fees may be paid via Paypal.  We will email you via this newsletter as soon as Paypal has been updated.  


Kindergarten Classical Fees  

Kindergarten Neighborhood/Magnet Fees 

1st Grade Classical Fees

1st Grade Neighborhood/Magnet Fees

2nd Grade Classical Fees

2nd Grade Neighborhood/Magnet Fees

3rd Grade Classical Fees

3rd Grade Neighborhood/Magnet

4th - 5th Grade Classical Fees

6th - 8th Grade Fees 



Help!!!!!  Recent contract changes will limit the time teachers have available to assist with activities such as morning supervision,  lunchroom and recess duties, assisting with drop off and pick up, etc.  Consequently, it is very important that we  utilize parent volunteers to help fill  some of the gaps. 


The first week of school is especially difficult.  In addition to the jobs listed above we will also need parents to assist with directing parents to the correct classroom.  We also need parents to assist with curbside drop- off on Monroe St. between 8:00 - 8:40. Please contact our Assistant Principal, Mrs Robinson , if you can volunteer between 8:00 and 8:40.

In addition, there are many other ways that parents can volunteer at Skinner.  Please check out the attached Volunteer and Parent Guide to learn more about volunteer opportunities and who to contact.


 Skinner PTO Forum is excited about our upcoming 2012-2013 school year. We are looking forward to working with all new incoming parents and returning parents in fundraising and volunteer opportunities for this school year. Please take time to complete your parent volunteer form and join the Skinner PTO Forum ($10 annual fee per household).  Our Skinner Superstars need you!  Monthly meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month at 5:30pm in Room 124, right before the LSC meeting.  The first meeting for PTO is scheduled on Tuesday September 18th @ 5:30p. 

Please check the Skinner West web site at for additional information. You can either submit the information to your child's teacher or email it to  Ms. Majca can also be reached at 312.543.9974 for more information. 


Looking forward to a wonderful and successful school year.

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Room Parents Needed for the
2012-13 School Year 


Thank you so much to everyone who volunteered to be a Room Parent during the last school year. We appreciate all of the parents who volunteered to fill this key communication role.  Unfortunately, we didn't get an opportunity to activate the room parent program last year. We hope to activate the room parent program in the upcoming 2012-2013 school year and we need volunteers for each classroom from K to 8th grade.  In addition, we also need volunteers to help in the following ancillary classes:  library, art, science and foreign language.  If you are interested in volunteering please email 


Please include your name, email, cell phone number, student name, grade level and homeroom teacher's name and let us know if you're interested in volunteering as a homeroom room parent or which ancillary classroom you're volunteering to help with.     


If you volunteered last year, there is no need to volunteer again.  We still have your name on the list.  Once we have rosters for the classrooms, and have filled in the names of the volunteers we get in this round, we will be back in touch with everyone to schedule our room parent training.    


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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