Mark T. Skinner West School               Week 8 (2014-2015) 

Week At A Glance
October 17th - October 24th


Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update  



Monday, October 20th 
Communications Committee Meeting  
6:30 pm

Tuesday, October 21st  

Gallery 111 Meeting
5:00 pm
Art Room

PTO/Forum Meeting
5:30 pm

LSC Meeting
6:30 pm  

Wednesday, October 22nd 

Picture Day

Friday, October 24th

After School Pizza Day  


Skinner West School Calendar

CPS School Calendar
2014 -2015



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 





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


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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Skinner West Families are invited to join Gallery 111 at Redmoon's "Skelebration" as a special fundraiser for our art programming at Skinner.

This year we are raising money for a mural project with "Green Star Movement" to celebrate Principal Clark's 20 years, our Blue Ribbon Award, our staff, students & our community.  We also will provide programming for all students at Skinner, i.e. CSO, House of Blues, Steppenwolf Theater, "May I Have this Dance", Spudnik Press Printing Workshop & more.

Tickets purchased for the October 18-19 Saturday & Sunday shows (1pm & 4pm) with the special code entered at check out "Skinner", will profit our school.  Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for youth, with our school receiving 50% of the revenue towards fundraising!

Families are invited to Redmoon's new warehouse in Pilsen (2120 S. Jefferson St) to experience an otherworldly playground that re-invents the seasonal rituals of Halloween.

No matter how young or old, delight in: 
  • Riding inside a spinning UFO powered by skeletons on bikes
  • Watching a cauldron full of candy descend from the heavens
  • Playing "The Bedroom Swat-a-Fly", a larger-than-life human fly swatting game.
  • Testing your bravery in "The Nest", Redmoon's frightening haunted attic maze.
  • Indulging in "The Chocolate Bar", a delectable room of dip-able treats.
  • Entering Redmoon's "Cartoon Adventure", a mini movie theater where children & adults don headphones and enjoy 5 original short films.
For more information & to purchase tickets, visit Don't forget to enter "Skinner" at check out.

Gallery 111 puts the fun in fundraising!!! Invite your friends & family for a great cause.

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Friends of Skinner West would like to thank all of the parents, grandparents, staff, administrators, and volunteers who came out to help and so generously donated for our Walkathon. Our event was a huge success and we are very pleased to announce that FOSW raised nearly $30,000 through the event, 100% of which will go toward our students and school.
The results are still being tallied, but the classrooms that raised the most and the winners of the Frozen Yogurt Party will be announced soon. 
Many thanks to Pepsi Co. who  donated over 900 bottles of water and Gatorade for our event. Students stayed hydrated during the walkathon while enjoying the Pepsi products. Thank you Pepsi!  
Thank you to  MT Foods for donating 500 pieces of fruit for our walkers.  The apples, oranges and bananas were enjoyed by all! Thank you MT Foods! 
A special thank you to the Skinner Park Advisory Council for coming out to volunteer with us and for  loaning us one of the bounce houses and the popcorn machine.

Thank you for your support! 


Friends of Skinner West would like to thank Michigan Avenue Real Estate Group.  They have generously donated $75,000 to Skinner West School!  Michigan Avenue Real Estate Group is a developer in our neighborhood and saw a need to give back to the community. The current projects they are working on in the West Loop are Madison/ Aberdeen and Van Buren /Morgan.  These are up and running and ready to be leased.  The developments on Warren / Huron will be open for leasing in December of this year. The Jackson and Madison/Throop complexes will be open for business in the late summer of 2015.

Michigan Avenue Real Estate Group just recently learned about Skinner West through Fadi Matalka, a LSC Member and Marla Sedler, President of FOSW. They agreed that all of our students are superstars and we need support from our community to make our school stronger.  We are grateful for the donation and it will positively affect all of our students.






Please join the Skinner West Boys' Basketball team's first alumni game on Friday, October 17th at 6:15 pm. Entry fee will be $2.00.

Solo Singing & Speaker Auditions for Primary Chorus (Grades 2 & 3) are next week!

Wednesday Oct 22: 8:15AM - 8:45AM & 3:50PM to 5:00PM
Thursday Oct 23: 8:15AM - 8:45AM
Friday Oct 24: 8:15AM - 8:45AM

Auditions take place in the music room. Students must sign in and fill out an audition sheet when they arrive, and then sit quietly on the risers until it is their turn to sing. Singers will be heard in order of arrival.

Song and speech sheets will be provided. Students must sing and/or speak into the microphone. The song that has solos is: "Happy Joyous Hanukkah". The speeches introduce the songs: "An African Wish," and "Happy Joyous Hanukkah."

Song sheets and copies of the speeches are available in the music room for students to take them home to practice. *If students are unable to come before or after school, they must make special arrangements with Ms. Maatouk to audition during their recess time on the audition days. No audition days will be added to the schedule.

Upcoming Auditions:

Primary Chorus Jr. (first grade) Solo singing and dancer auditions will be held Oct 28-30. Specific times will be announced next week. Primary Chorus (Grades 2 & 3) Dancer auditions will be held Tues - Thurs 11/4-6. Dancers are needed for "In the Spirit" and "Hip Hop Reindeer." More information to follow.


Congratulations to our Skinner West teachers for running in this year's Chicago Marathon. Job well done Mr. Chau, Ms. Christiansen, Ms. O'Connor, and Ms. Montgomery!


Repeat News and Updates

Book Fair is Coming Soon... Volunteers Needed!


The Scholastic Book Fair will be at Skinner West November 6th-20th. Volunteering at the Book Fair is a fun way to learn about new books and encourage the love of reading in our Skinner Superstars. Volunteer Sign-up sheets will be included in next week's newsletter. Contact Ms. Ranftl at with any questions.


  • Volunteers will earn Free Book Coupons as a "thank you" for helping!
  • Younger siblings are welcome to join adult volunteers.
  • All amounts of help are appreciated, from an hour to all day!


Volunteers are needed on the following days:

Date and Time

Help Needed

Thursday, November 6th


Book Fair Set-Up and Preview (unpack books and set up book displays, help students create their wish lists)

Monday, November 10th


Book Fair Preview (Help students create their wish lists.)

Wednesday, November 12th




Report Card Pick Up Day- Stop by to shop the book fair and help grow your child's classroom library with Book Fair Gift Certificates.

**Help is needed running the cash register and Popular Items table this day!**

Thursday, Nov. 13th -Wednesday, Nov. 19th

8:45am -3:45pm               

Student Shopping Days (Help students select books and check out, run "Popular Items" table, and restock the books.)

Thursday, Nov. 20th

9am- 3:45pm

Pack Up Book Fair

(Help pack up unsold books and place final book orders.)


Box Tops Update


Skinner Superstars have collected over $300 worth of Box Tops so far this year! We are well on the way to our goal of $3000. Please keep clipping and saving Box Tops, and be careful not to cut off the expiration date!  


Collection sheets can be found here:  Box Tops Collection Sheets.  


A complete list of participating products can be found here: All About Box Tops.



Birthday Book Club Participants


Thank you for helping grow our school library! Be on the lookout for your Birthday Book Club confirmation emails.  All confirmation emails will be sent by October 14th.


Parents of 6th graders click HERE to view CPS' cutoff scores for the Selective Enrollment Academic Centers for the 2015-16 academic year. Parents of 7th and 8th graders click HERE to view the cutoff scores for Selective Enrollment High Schools. This useful information can help inform your decision-making regarding the academic centers or high schools to which your child will apply. For more information on the Selective Enrollment process,




"Like Us" On Facebook

Have you visited the Skinner West Facebook page? Be sure to go HERE and "like us".

Just a Reminder:
Fill Out the School Forms and Pay the School Fees

Parents, please make sure the following items are checked off your "To Do" List!  If you are a parent of a 3rd through 8th grader, you will receive a copy of these forms at the Open House on Tuesday.  Thank you parents for your cooperation in getting these items accomplished. 


(1) CPS (Lunch) Fee Waiver Form 2014 - 2015 

Each Skinner family must turn in a form, even if it is labeled "N/A".   This form replaces the free/reduced lunch application.  Our goal is have 95% compliance.  Please help us meet our goal and turn in your form today.  If you are in need of a fee waiver form, you may get one from the front office.


(2) Media Consent Form - for a copy of this form, click here 


(3) Emergency Contact Form- for a copy of this form, click here 


(4) Email Sign-Up- go to here for a copy of the sign-up form, especially for those who are not getting this weekly school newsletter sent to them via email on Thursdays


(4) The Medical Compliance due date is October 15, 2014. If your child has entered kindergarten, is in sixth grade or recently transferred from a non-CPS school, please submit this information to our office staff as soon as possible.


(5) Pay the Student Fees : In order to ensure our Superstars continue to receive a quality education, we are asking parents to please pay student fees as soon as possible.  With limited school budget allocations from CPS, school fees help us to provide additional enrichment activities that could not otherwise be done with the limited CPS budget.  
If you are unable to pay, please click here for a copy of the fee waiver form.  
Please click on the link below find the student fee letters for your child's grade and class.



Apply for 2015-16 School Year  

Want to apply for testing for your elementary school child for the 2015-16 school year? 


Read on for information on applying to Regional Gifted Schools, Classical Schools, International Gifted Programs, and Academic Centers:


If you would like to apply to these schools using the online application process, your first step is to open an account and request a Personal Identification Number at the online site, You can do this starting September 19th at 9 a.m. The PIN will be mailed to your home address.

Starting October 1st at 9 a.m., you can go to the online site and schedule your child's test (for Regional Gifted Centers [grades K-8}, Classical Schools {grades K-8], International Gifted Programs [grades 6-8] and/or Academic Centers [grades 7-8]) for the times and dates that are most convenient for you. Then, any time between October 1st and December 12th, you can identify the schools to which you want to apply and submit your Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools application. Remember -- this is a two-step process: (1) SCHEDULE, then (2) APPLY.

If you want to submit a paper application instead, you can visit the website, (click 'Apply' and 'Application Materials'), starting October 1st at 9 a.m., to print a copy of the Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools application. After your application is received, their office will schedule your child's Selective Enrollment admissions exams and notify you by mail of the date, time, and location.

Please note that, in addition to applying for schools that require testing, you can also apply, using the Standard Elementary Schools application, for magnet, magnet cluster, and open enrollment schools, which select students through a computerized lottery.


Gym Schedule For All Classes Is Now Posted
The 2014-2015 Physical Education Class Schedule has been set. Please click HERE to see what day(s) your child has gym.  This year there are increased physical education minutes in each student's schedule. There are ninety minutes of physical education per week for all students which includes 20 minutes of health instruction per week.  Skinner's Physical Education teachers will teach 45 minutes of physical education to our Neighborhood Program students and the additional 45 minutes will be taught by their classroom teacher and Health by their science teacher. 


PE Uniforms are MANDATORY for all students. Students in grades K-5 must wear their PE uniform to school on their designated PE day(s). Upper grade students (grades 6-8) are allowed to change into their PE uniforms in the first 5 minutes of their PE class time, but must change back into their clothes on their own time.


Skinner PE uniforms are available through Lands End at the following link: Click on Find my School.   Clothing purchased with our logo is acceptable for PE class.  PE Uniforms need to be in Skinner school colors, either all purple or purple/gold, or they can be CPS uniform colors of navy blue and white.  


If you have any questions about the PE Uniform or the school policy, please contact your child's PE teacher: Mr. Johnson (K, 1, 5-8th grades) at  or Ms. Westendorf (K, 1,2-4)




2013-14 Skinner Yearbooks

2013-14 School Yearbooks are in! If your Skinner student pre-ordered their yearbooks, Ms. Growe will be sending them home with those students in the next week or two.
Interested in purchasing a 2013-2014 yearbook?  We have plenty in stock!  Please see Ms. Growe in room 118 or email her at
The cost is: $30.00 per yearbook. Send in cash or check payable to: Skinner School.


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