Mark T. Skinner West School

Week 7 (2013-2014)
Week At A Glance


Oct. 4-Oct.11, 2013


Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update 

 Friday, October 4
 Parent Volunteers Needed To Set Up Library  


  Monday, October 7  
 Parent Volunteers Needed To Set Up Library 



Tuesday, October 8 
Friends Of Skinner West (FOSW) Meeting
8:45 am 

Wednesday, October 9 
High School Fair
6:30 pm



Skinner West School Calendar

CPS School Calendar





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!





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 New Articles 

Attention Parents:
Don't Risk Getting Towed!

Our parking lot east of the school building has limited spaces and is reserved for our Skinner West teachers and staff.  
Teachers and staff will now be displaying parking permits on their car dashboards. All cars that do not have the proper permits will be towed at the owner's expense.

We appreciate everyone's cooperation.


SOS- Library Volunteers Needed


Ms. Ranftl is excited to get started with Library, but needs some help setting up! Parent volunteers are needed Friday, October 4th and Monday, October 7th to help set up our newly relocated non-fiction section and prepare the library for class.  Volunteers may also be needed additional days next week.   Please contact Ms. Ranftl at with "Library Set-Up Volunteer" in the subject line if you are available to help.  Library Volunteers are also needed throughout the year to assist with shelving books, maintaining materials, and other small tasks.  If you are available to help on a regular basis (weekly, mornings, afternoons, etc) please email your availability to Ms. Ranftl at with "Library Helper" in the subject line.  If you are only available sporadically but would still like to help, please email or stop by- there is always something that needs to be done! 


SOS Back to top  

Thank you to all of the parents who donated and to the parents who volunteered for our first Pizza Day for 2013-2014!  Some of the parents who volunteered do not have a children in eighth grade but helped out anyway.  You are amazing!  We truly could not have pulled this off without you all!!!  We served 600 people!!!  We made a profit of $1000 toward the annual eighth grade trip to Washington, DC.  Five more pizza days to go.  In the future, we would like to see more parents volunteer or donate to continue and make Pizza Day a success.  We look forward to our next pizza day on Friday, October 25th. 

Box Top for School


Box Tops News


Please continue sending in your Box Tops!  Remember to be careful of the expiration date as you clip them from household products and food. Box Tops with missing or expired dates do not receive credit.  If you do any online purchasing, check out the Box Top Marketplace.  You can earn eBoxTops by shopping at over 300 online retailers- clothing, office supplies, home goods, beauty items, travel, pet care, gifts,  photos, and more! Skinner families were Superstar Box Top Collectors this summer, and kicked off the year with a great start!  Summer Challenge participants will be receiving their prizes next week.  An autumn collection contest will begin October 7th, and run through November 30th.  The class that collects the most Box Tops during this time will receive a fun prize!  Remember to ask family and friends to help you collect.


Jewel Osco Bonus Box Tops Opportunity


Buy 10 participating Box Top items and Earn 25 Bonus Box Tops at Jewel Osco, October 2nd- 8th. Check in-store for more details and a list of participating products.  


BoxTopsBack to top  




Thank you to all who voted for this good cause!  Skinner West earned $605 worth of Target GiftCards that will be used towards books, field trips, programs and other educational needs.  

Coming Soon... Book Fair!!!


Mark your calendars- the Scholastic Book Fair will be at Skinner West November 12th-19th!  Volunteers will be needed to set up the Book Fair Friday, November 8th, assist shoppers November 12th-19th, and pack up the fair November 20th.   Book Fair will be open for shopping on Report Card Pick Up Day, Nov. 12th during conference hours.  Nov. 13th-19th, students will shop during regular school hours, and parents may begin shopping at 8:15. Book fair will also be available online.  More information will follow as Book Fair approaches.  Please email Ms. Ranftl at if you are available to help with Book Fair.  Thank you!


Deadline for Submitting Medical Forms Fast Approaching

October 15th is the deadline for submitting proof of immunizations and health exams to Skinner West if your child entered preschool or kindergarten up to age 6 (physical exam and lead screen), entered the State of Illinois for the first time at any grade level or entered kindergarten, 6th grade, or 9th grade (ages 5, 11, and 15 for ungraded programs). 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.

New Rule For School! 
All 6th through 12th grade students will be required to show proof of receiving one dose of Tdap (Whopping Cough vaccine) by October 15, 2013.

In addition, ALL students must turn in the Student Medical Information Form to their schools at the beginning of the year. Please see below for a copy of this form as well as the minimum 
We would like to congratulate our 8th grade students; Eren F., Marc H., Eric L., and Nassim O., for- not only winning 1st place at an academic competition hosted by DeLaSalle- but for being the only school team to ACE every round.  The questions included categories such as Science & Engineering, Algebra, United States History, and Language Arts.  They represented Skinner West fully!



NBC Learn: New District Online Database

The Department of Libraries, Educational Tools & Technology, is pleased to announce the two-year donation of NBC Learn, a great video-based online database that is available to all CPS students from home and school.  Access the portal to all of our CPS subscription databases at See below for more information about this database.
About NBC Learn:
NBC Learn K-12, the education division of NBC News, is excited to kick off an exciting new partnership with Chicago Public Schools! NBC Learn K-12 is an award-winning collection of multimedia resources that provide an easy and affordable way to integrate 21st century technology into the library, media center and classroom, while adding relevance to lessons and engaging visual learners of all ages and abilities.
The NBC Learn K-12 resource features more than 14,000 historic news reports, primary source documents, current events, and original series including "Science of Innovation", "Writers Speak to Kids", and the Emmy Award-winning "Science of NFL Football" series. The resources are aligned to Illinois State Standards and the Common Core.
NBC Learn K-12 features robust searching, browsing and filtering tools to aid research and inquiry-based discovery. With individual accounts, teachers and staff will have complete access to our resources, 24/7, from school and from home.  To get started, please navigate to
If you have any questions, please email with any questions or the NBC Learn Technical Support Team, ( available 24/7.

Click here to view the Fall schedule for Mad Science Lab activities.

Repeat News and Updates

Skinner West Wins National Award:
Named a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School

Skinner West was named a national Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education this week.  Our school was nationally recognized as an exemplary high performing school.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students' levels of achievement.

Skinner West was one of only 11 public elementary schools in Illinois named a Blue Ribbon School this year.

Skinner West was selected for being an "Exemplary High Performing School."  This category of schools are recognized among their state's highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.

"Excellence in education matters and we should honor the schools that are leading the way to prepare students for success in college and careers," said Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, Arne Duncan.  "National Blue Ribbon schools represent examples of educational excellence, and their work reflects the belief that every child in America deserves a world-class education."

The U.S. Department of Education will honor Skinner West, along with the other award winning schools, at a recognition ceremony held November 18th and 19th in Washington D.C.  Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Robinson, and three teachers have been invited to attend this ceremony.

This national award confirms what we at Skinner West have known for a long time-- our school is truly a Superstar School!

Click here to read the Department of Education's 

press release.



Skinner West LSC Parent Representative Vacancy


The Skinner West Local School Council (LSC) has one parent representative vacancy and invites interested candidates to apply.


The primary responsibilities of an LSC include approving how local school funds and resources are allocated, approving and monitoring the implementation of the annual Continuous Improvement Work Plan (CIWP), & hiring and evaluating the school's contract principal.  For more information about LSC responsibilities and the Skinner West LSC committee, please go to our school website.


If you are a Skinner parent and would like to be a member of our Local School Council, please fill out the required Candidate Nomination Forms.  You can obtain the application in the Skinner  West Main Office.   Applications are due in the office on Friday,

October 18, 2013 by 4:00pm. 
All interested candidates will be invited to speak at our next LSC Meeting in the Skinner West Gym on October 22, 2013 at 6:30 pm


Girl Scouts

Skinner West Girl Scout Troops

Currently, there are Girl Scout Troops here at Skinner for 3rd and 5th grade girls.  The girls that belong to these troops here at Skinner have benefited so much from participating in this great organization.  

We are looking for parents interested in starting separate Girl Scout troops for our Skinner students in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 4th grades.  If interested, please contact the scout leaders of the 3rd and 5th grade groups--- these parents would be happy to help interested parents get organized and get started!

Diane Rand  (3rd Grade Girl Scout co-leader)

Suzanne Prisco (3rd Grade Girl Scout co-leader)

Kathleen Lyons (5th Grade Girl Scout co-leader)

From the Skinner Science Department:
Looking for a Pet?
The Science Department is proud to announce the birth of ten baby Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.  The babies are thriving and are finally big enough to be adopted by loving Skinner Superstar families. 
Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are an exotic species of cockroach and will not infest your home.  They are extremely easy to care for and make a great first pet for children.
Information about caring for Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches can be found here.
Families who are interested in adopting one or more of the new babies should contact Mrs. Milroy at
The Science Lab needs a small aquarium to house Shelly, our little river turtle.  If you have an used aquarium that you would be willing to donate to us, please contact Mrs. Milroy at

Last Chance to Buy 2012-13 Skinner Yearbook
Order by October 4th!

Get your 2012-2013 Skinner West Yearbook today!  
The yearbook captures all the highlights from the last school year.  
The cost of the yearbook is $30.00  Send your payment (cash or check made payable to Skinner School)  in with your child.  Please have the envelope addressed to Ms. Growe in Room 118 and include your student's name, teacher's name and room number.
All orders are due on or before Friday, October 4, 2013. 

Thank you for supporting the Skinner Yearbook!

Traditional Indian Dance Classes
Skinner West will be offering a traditional Indian Dance class held on Mondays from 4pm-5pm for students grades k-5.  The class will begin October 7, 2013 and run for 7 weeks.  The fee for the class is $105.00.  The dance class is being taught by the Kalapriya Center for the Indian Performing Arts.  More information can be found at  or by emailing Ms. Montgomery at



Looking for a PIN for the 2014-2015 online application process?

If you want to apply online for a student who will be entering PreK through eighth grade in 2014-2015:


  •  You can request a Personal Identification Number (PIN) starting September 19th at the online application site,


If you want to apply online for a student who will be entering ninth grade in 2014-2015, your PIN will be in your child's Eligibility Letter:


  •  Students enrolled in CPS and Charter Schools will receive their Eligibility Letters through their school counselor the week of September 9th.
  • Students enrolled in non-CPS schools will need to request their Eligibility Letters by submitting a Non-CPS Eligibility Letter Request Form, along with a copy of their seventh grade final grades and standardized test scores. After this documentation is processed, the Eligibility Letter will be sent to the student's home.

Applications will be accepted starting October 1st. 


If you would like to apply using a paper application, these applications will be available on the Chicago Public School website (click 'Apply') starting October 1st.




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