Mark T. Skinner West School               Week 9 (2014-2015) 

Week At A Glance
October 24th - October 31st


Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update  

Friday, October 24th 

2nd & 3rd Grade Solo Singing and Speaker Auditions for Primary Chorus
8:15am - 8:45am
Music Room

After School Pizza Fundraiser

Tuesday, October 28th  

1st Grade Solo Singing and Speaker Auditions for Primary Chorus 8:15am - 8:45am
Music Room

School Improvement Committee Meeting

Wednesday, October 29th

1st Grade Solo Singing and Speaker Auditions for Primary Chorus
8:15am - 8:45am
3:50pm - 5:00pm
Music Room

Thursday, October 30th

1st Grade Solo Singing and Speaker Auditions for Primary Chorus
8:15am - 8:45am
Music Room

Kids' Doc - Day Two 




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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 New Articles 
Principal Clark's Report
Local School Council Meeting


The Principal's Report is prepared monthly by Mrs. Deborah Clark, Mark T. Skinner Elementary School Principal. These reports are presented at the Local School Council (LSC) monthly meetings and discussed.


Parents, click on this link for a copy of the Principal's Report from October 21, 2014. 



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Kdg thru 4th Superstars! 
Join our Halloween Parade
Oct 31st, 10am - 10:45am

The Skinner West Halloween Parade for grades KDG thru 4th grade is scheduled for Friday, October 31st from 10 am -10:45am.
Students will walk around Skinner Park and have the chance to take a class photo for yearbook dressed in their costumes. Parents are welcome to watch!   5th thru 8th graders will also have the option of watching. 
10:00 am             Kindergarten and 1st grade
10:10 am             2nd grade
10:15 am             3rd grade
10:20 am             4th grade



Solo Singing & Speaker Auditions for Primary Chorus Jr (1st grade) are next week!

Tuesday Oct 28: 8:15AM - 8:45AM
Wednesday Oct 29: 8:15AM - 8:45AM & 3:50PM to 5:00PM
Thursday Oct 30: 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: "A Song of Peace." The speeches introduce the songs: "I Have a Little Dreidel," and "Christmas Wishes." 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 (Grades 2 & 3) Dancer auditions for "In the Spirit" will be held Tuesday Nov. 4 before and after school. Dancer auditions for "Hip Hop Reindeer" will be held Wednesday Nov. 5 before and after school.

Primary Chorus Jr (1st grade) dancer auditions for "Hip Hop Reindeer" will be held before and after school on Thursday Nov. 6.
Dance auditions will take place on the 3rd floor landing outside the library.



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 25-26 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.



PTO is pleased to annouce it's officers for the 2014-2015 School Year.

President:  Nell Strong
Vice President:  Joey Lynn Pinaglia
Secretary:  Pam Hennessy
Treasurer:  Stephanie Majca
Reporter:  Ronetta DeWitt Hall

Please be sure to attend our next meeting on Tuesday, November 18th @ 5:30pm in the Library. All are welcome. 

Thank you to all the families who took part in our Catalog Fundraiser!!  All items will be ready on Report Card Pick Up Day. We are looking for volunteers to help sort and organize the orders for pick up from 9am - 11am on Wednesday, November 12th.  Please contact Joey Lynn Pinaglia ( if you are able to help.

Thank you for your support.




Each year, we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Skinner West has been celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month this week with a variety of cultural activities! Click here to view a schedule of events that our Superstars have been enjoying. 


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Chicago Public Schools' Office of Health and Wellness aims to remove health-related barriers to learning such that all CPS students may succeed in college, career and life. Healthy CPS improves academic achievement by providing daily physical education in all grade levels and nutritious foods. We know that by being active and eating right, children learn better!

To learn more about the CPS health and wellness program, click here. Download a list of CPS's suggested healthy snacks by clicking here.

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Join Mad Science for their annual Halloween Spook-tacular Laboratory Open House on Sunday, October 26th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at 1053 N. California Ave. Click here for more details.


The Skinner West Debate Team participated in the Chicago Middle School Debate League's first tournament of the 2014-2015 season on Saturday, Oct. 18th at OA Thorp Academy. 


The overall topic for the year is: 'Ocean Exploration and Development', and the cases being debated at this tournament were 'Aquaculture' and 'Oil Exploration'.
We had the following debaters win individual speaker awards:


Alexis C. - 1st place
Avery B. - 2nd place 
Olamide B. - 3rd place 
Daisy S. - 5th place 
Spencer H. - 6th place 


Victor K. - 9th place 
Arrow S. - 13th place 
Chris C. - 14th place 



We also had the following teams win team awards:


Spencer H./Avery B. - 1st place
Alexis C./Daisy S. - 3rd place 
Olamide B./Zavella S. - 4th place 


I'deyah R./Arrow S. - 2nd place 
Matthew S./Vanessa W. - 4th place 
Jada M./Ruthie Z. - 5th place 
Chris C./Victor K. - 8th place 


Thank you for all your support!


Parents, are you aware that many high schools have open houses in the month of October and November?

If your child is in 6th, 7th or 8th grade you should begin having discussions with them about the various high school options.  In addition, you might want to attend some of the upcoming open houses.  They are great opportunities to learn more about the schools.  Faculty, staff and students are available to answer questions about curriculum, extracurricular activities, sports programs, tuition, financial aid, etc. Take a look at this list of Selective Enrollment Open Houses from the CPS Office of Access and Enrollment. 

A list of the Catholic High School Open Houses can be found here. 


Information about each school's open house can be found by going to that school's individual web page.  





Congratulations to our very own Superstars Noah, Jalen, and Josh for taking 2nd place in the Skinner Park District Flag Football league's championship game!


Kids Doc - City of Chicago will be returning to Skinner West on Thursday, October 30th to process the rest of the students that were not seen on October 16th.  Please make sure your child comes that day with their forms filled out if they did not get an id card the first time around.

We need parent volunteers for that day to go to the classrooms and bring students to the Kids Doc table and return them to their classrooms once they are done.  If anyone is available to help for any amount of time, please contact Stephanie Majca at


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.





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 was 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.


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