Mark T. Skinner West School

School Year 2012-2013 

April 19, 2013 - April 26, 2013 

Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update 

Friday, April 19
Pizza Day-
Fundraiser for 8th Grade
Field Trip to Washington D.C.
Spring Picture Day


Monday, April 22 
Earth Day-Clean Up Skinner Park Project
Grades K-8
Kindergarten Graduation Meeting
4:00 pm Room 116 

Tuesday, April 23
PTO Meeting 
5:30 pm
LSC Meeting 
6:30 pm
Thursday, April 25
School Tour for Prospective Parents
10:30-11:00 am
(weekly until 5/30/12) 
Friday, April 26 
Invention Convention:
Grades 1, 3, and 5


Student Council Spirit Twin Day


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!





 New Articles 


To all parents of Skinner West students: Please take a few minutes and participate in the following two surveys today:

Principal Performance Survey
  • The Mark T. Skinner West Local School Council (LSC) invites you to participate in a survey regarding the Principal's Performance for the 2012 - 2013 school year.  Every year, the LSC is required to provide the Principal constructive feedback on their performance.   The LSC would like to hear from you, the parents.
  • The survey will be available until Friday, April 19th.
  • If you did not already complete the survey online or at Report Card Pick Up Day, please take the survey online now: 


My Voice, My School Survey
  • Parents and guardians of CPS students are invited to complete a survey about their child's school. The survey takes about 10-15 minutes to complete and is available in several languages. It is completely anonymous. Please click on "Mark Skinner" when asked for your school name. 
  • The survey will be available until May 6th. 
  • If you did not already complete the survey on Report Card Pick-Up Day, please take the survey online now: 
Skinner Student Council Sponsors: 

Earth Day-
Clean Up Skinner Park Project
  • To celebrate Earth Day, on Monday April 22nd, all grades at Skinner will participate in Clean Up Skinner Park Project.  
  • Each room will be assigned a specific area of the park to clean up. 
  • Please make sure your student wears weather appropriate clothing.

Twin Day
  • Friday, April 26th is Twin Day at Skinner West.
  • Show your school spirit: Students in all grades-choose a friend and dress the same!

Internet Safety Presentation
Skinner 4th-8th Graders

Skinner Superstars in grades 4th through 8th attended an Internet Safety Presentation at Skinner West on Thursday, April 18th.  This event was organized by our Physical Education Department and presented by the Cook County Sheriff's Office.  The program discussed the importance of following safety rules when using the Internet.  The positive uses of the Internet, as well as the the potential problems our students can encounter, were discussed.  Please ask your student about the presentation and discuss this important topic with them. 
For parents of all Skinner students, two important things to remember about your young children using the Internet:
 (1) The Internet without supervision is like giving your child the keys to your car and telling them they can go anywhere in the world they want to go.  
 (2)  You wouldn't let your children play at the park unattended because there could be strangers just as you shouldn't let your children be on the Internet unsupervised.
Here a few helpful websites for parents:

Thank you!

Thank you to the 103 Skinner West families who participated in the PTO's 2013 Cookie Dough Fundraiser.  

1,168 units of cookie dough were sold- Gross sales $16, 361.
Skinner West received $5, 650 in proceeds as a result of this fundraiser.

Special thanks and congratulations to the 9 Skinner West students who sold 40+ units and received a Kindle Fire:
Ellie E.  - Room 120
Brooks H. - Room 121 
Destiny W. - Room 212 
Christian W. - Room 214 
Deshawn J. - Room 216
Esohe O. - Room 217 
Cornell F. - Room 217  
Madison P. - Room 217 
Aaron W.  - Room 220
Proceeds from this fundraiser, as well as the others that were sponsored by the PTO this school year, helped purchase school necessities such as tables for classrooms to use, partially paid for the new ACHIEVE computer program, and funded teacher requests for equipment/supplies.

Support Skinner's Team:
Walk Now for Autism Speaks

April is Autism Awareness month.  Support Skinner West's faculty and students -participate in Walk Now for Autism Speaks.  This walk is on Saturday May 18th at Soldier Field.  Help support fundraising for research and help change the future for all those who struggle with autism spectrum disorder. 
Show your support for Skinner's Team!  Please send in a monetary donation to your child's homeroom teacher.  Checks can be written to "Autism Speaks" with Team "I Can Do It" in the memo.   

The class that raises the most money will get a pizza party!


Skinner West is inviting you to join us this summer! We are offering a four week camp (July 8th - August 2nd) for our Superstars Grades K-6.  Please note NEW info: camp will include Skinner Superstars currently in 5th grade and siblings entering Kindergarten in the fall. Our highly qualified staff will create an exciting experience for all campers through safe and engaging activities. 
Click HERE here to view a July/August calendar to see daily activities planned.

Click here to view more details about the camp along with the camp registration form.

Get ready to have an AMAZING summer!




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Invention Convention: Fri 4/26 (9:30 - 11:45am)
Volunteer Judges Needed !

Our student Invention Fair is on April 26th, for Mrs. Milroy's students in grades 1, 3, 5 and some 6th and 7th graders. Students will come up with a problem that they can solve by inventing something. The inventions will vary as far as complexity (we expect 1st grade inventions to be pretty simple!). 
Here's the schedule:
  • 1st grade: 9:30-10:15
  • 3rd grade: 10:15- 11:00
  • 5th grade: 11:00- 11:45
Judges can volunteer for the anytime from 9:15 to 11:45 am. All are welcome and no previous experience is required (we will provide all judges with training)!  As a judge, you will ask the students to explain their invention to you, and then score the project using a rubric. We will go over all the rubric details with the volunteers in advance.  Parents may not judge their own child's project.   
It will be a fun opportunity to see how our Superstars are learning engineering in school!
Interested parents should e-mail Mrs. Milroy at


Repeat News and Updates

Spring Picture Day

Students will be taking their spring school pictures on Friday, April 19, 2013



This year's Field Day/Walkathon will take place on Friday May 31st.


Field Day is a special day set aside at the end of the school year for fun physical activities. Some Field Day events include relay races, basketball shooting, sack races, and soccer shootout.    


Mr. Johnson and Ms. Westendorf will be organizing and planning the events for Field Day again this year.  Ms. Westendorf will be handling the K-5th grade activities and Mr. Johnson will take care of 6th-8th grade.  They have already begun planning and wanted to reach out to those of you who are interested in volunteering this year. The students will begin practicing these activities soon, therefore, Mr. Johnson & Ms. Westendorf simply need volunteers to remind the students of the activity, keep them on task, and help with rotating to the next station.  At this time, we are only requesting volunteers strictly for the AM and PM field day events for grades K-5. We especially need volunteers in the afternoon. 


Please include your first and last name (including your child or children's name-this helps us put a name with a face), as well as your phone number and e-mail address.  


We will be sure to keep you informed.  Thank you so much for all of your support!


Mr. Johnson & Ms. Westendorf 



 Skinner West Girls Track 
  • Track practice begins Thursday, April 18th
  • Practices will be every Tuesday/Thursday from 3:45pm -4:45pm
  • Dress appropriately for all weather conditions
  • Make arrangements for your child to be picked up from the school promptly at 4:45pm
  • Track meets are TBD
  • Please be sure to fill out a Girls Track permission slip 
  • Questions can be directed to:  Mr. Johnson ( and Ms. Helfrich (  




Earth Day Recycling Event

(April 10 to April 30)

Go Green with Soles4Souls

How is Soles4Souls Green?

Soles4Souls can save your shoes from early death by cleaning them and shipping them to needy people around the world, who will treasure the gift for years to come. Since its inception following the Asian tsunami, Soles4Souls has distributed over 19 million pairs to people in 125 countries.

We offer a simple way to help reduce the strain on our environment: donate 
your "gently worn" footwear to people in need instead of throwing them away. Last year alone, Americans discarded more than 300 million pairs of shoes. When these shoes break down in our landfills, the toxic glue that holds the shoes together can leak into our water supply and atmosphere.

Drop off shoes at Skinner Branch (Preschool location) or the Main (K-8th location) building in the Soles5Souls Box between (April 10 to April 30).

Sponsored by Skinner Preschool (Mrs. Haddad)



Attention Kindergarten Parents:

Kindergarten Graduation is right around the corner (Monday, June 17, 2013). We will have a BRIEF meeting after school on Monday April 22, 2013. ALL parents are welcome. We will be discussing the different committees and their duties. Please join us and sign up.
Date: April 22, 2013
Time: 4:00-4:45
Location: Room 116 (Ms. Wardanian's Room)

** If you are unable to attend Monday's meeting, but are still interested in volunteering your services in preparation for kindergarten graduation, please send your email address to your child's teacher and the information will be sent to you.
Thank you,

The Kindergarten Team

Skinner West Calendar 
There are a number of key dates on our calendar for the rest of this school calendar year that you should know about: 
May 08     Half Day of Student Attendance 
May 18     Gallery 111 10th Annual No Art Left Behind
May 27     No School - Memorial Day 
May 31      Field Day/ Walk-A-Thon
June 17     Kindergarten Graduation

June 24     Last Day of School
                  End of Fourth Quarter

Money Smart Week April 20-27, 2013


  • Saving for college?  Preparing for retirement?  Just wish you were better at managing your money?  Sign up today for one of 500 free financial education programs during Money Smart Week Chicago April 20-27,  sponsored by The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and more than 250 local partner organizations.  Money Smart Week events are open to the public and on a variety of topics including kids and money, credit building, managing student debt and retirement.  Event information is available at
  • Money Smart Hunt is a FREE, nationwide, photojournalistic, scavenger hunt promoting financial literacy!  Money Smart Hunt begins Monday, April 1st at 12:01am CST and runs through Sunday, April 27th at 11:59pm CST, during which time participants can join the hunt by downloading the "ScavengeHunt with Friends" mobile app and uploading creative photos from the list of items.  Money Smart Hunt is presented by The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.  For more information:
  • Please join us in congratulating our very own Amiri D. (5th grade) for being selected as a runner up in the 2013 Money Smart Kid Essay Contest. As a runner-up, Amiri will be the recipient of a $2,500 scholarship. Great job, Amiri!
  • Follow the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on Twitter and friend them on Facebook for the latest Money Smart Week information. 




@ChicagoFed on Twitter.  Please use hash tag #MSWCHI for Twitter conversations involving Money Smart Week.




On Facebook, visit and "like" the page. 




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Have you submitted your $25?

In January, our Local School Council approved to adopt the Achieve 3000 reading program for 18 months by picking up a portion of the cost and having parents pay a portion. As a result, we are asking parents to pay $25.00 for access to the program from February to August. We will include the cost for next year's access within the 2013-2014 school fees.
Click here to view the parent letter detailing the benefits of Achieve 3000, how you can submit payment for the program, and what  our next steps are.


Help Skinner West Teacher Go To Space

One of our Skinner Superstar Teachers, Joy Westendorf, has entered the AXE Space Academy for a chance to go to space! Ms. Westendorf teaches PE at Skinner West Elementary and is a terrific teacher. 

The AXE Space Academy will pick two (2) people based on the number of votes they receive.   Help one of our very own Skinner Superstar Teachers by voting now:

Voting closes Sunday, April 27, 2013 and you can only vote once.

Thanks, West Loop Community for your help!


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