Mark T. Skinner West School
eek 31 (2014-2015) 
Week At A Glance
April 17 - April 24


Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update  

Thursday, April 16th

Report Card Pick-Up Day
No School for Students

Friday, April 17th

School Spirit Day!

Tuesday, April 21st

FOSW Meeting in Cafeteria

5:30 Forum Meeting

6:30 LSC Meeting

Wednesday, April 22nd

Celebrate Earth Day with Gallery 111 at City Winery!

Friday, April 24th
4:00pm - 7:00pm

Money Smart Week Family Game Night!

Saturday, May 16th

12th Annual Gallery 111 
No Art Left Behind Gala

Put your child's name on the Skinner Marquee!

Looking for a unique Way to Say "Happy Birthday" to Your Child? Surprise your child with an electronic greeting on the Skinner West marquee for only $25. 

In addition, a birthday greeting will be sent to your child via the intercom during morning announcements . All proceeds will help our Skinner 8th graders go to Washington DC.
  • Complete the announcement request form -  click here 
  • Enclose $25 cash or check to Skinner West with the form
  • Turn the form into Room 320 or 326
  • All forms must be turned in at least one week prior to your requested date.
Your child's birthday announcement will run for 24 hours. If your child's birthday falls on a weekend, the announcement will run the Friday before.




Skinner West School Calendar

CPS School Calendar
2014 -2015

CPS School Calendar



Neighborhood News
What's Happening in the West Loop?  Visit the 
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Reply to this email or email us 





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0.5% of eligible Smile purchases go to Skinner West!




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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) 







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Thank you!




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 New Articles 

History Fair Winners Advancing to City-wide Competition!

We would like to take a moment to congratulate every student whose hard work, effort and finished projects helped them advance to our sixth through eighth grade Skinner West History Fair. Students embraced this year's theme and created projects that were well researched, well supported, thought provoking and informative.

  • 8th Grade
    • Mairi G., Christine M., and Amanda W. (Urban Industrialism Derailed)
    • Diego A. and Jeffery R. (Bernarda Wong)


  • 6th Grade
    • Connor C. (J.W. Thomas)
    • Jada M. (Dorothy Geautreaux)
    • Najeo S. and Ruthie Z. (Women and Children First)
    • Rory A. (Henrietta Lacks) 
Exhibit Board
  • 8th Grade
    • Suki C., Amanda M., and Christina P. (Two-Faced Lincoln)
    • Allison G. and Cyanna J. (Jane Addams)
  • 7th Grade
    • Olamide B. (Memorial Day Uprising)
  • 6th Grade
    • Corrie B. (Hull House)
    • Ameli H. and Elizabeth M. (Red Summer)
  • 8th Grade
    • Iman A. (Ida B.-Journalist of the Century)
    • Jai Yi K. (Bacon's Rebellion)

See here for more detail!

Family Game Night Coming Up!!




Executive Functioning Development in Children

Tuesday, 4/28/2015, 6pm-7:15pm

Skinner West Elementary (exact location TBD)


Please join us as we provide information and resources to parents for supporting executive functioning in children. 


6pm-7pm: Presentation by Janet Schmidt, Learning Specialist from Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago


7:00pm-7:15pm: Q&A


Presentation includes:

  • Information on planning, organization, task-management
  • Executive functioning and the ADD/ ADHD connection.
  • Strategies for parents to establish routines and good habits at home.    
  • Supporting student's executive functioning growth.


Please RSVP for this event by emailing Ms. Montgomery, Skinner West School Counselor at



DASH for the STASH!

This statewide event is much like a scavenger hunt - but instead of finding objects, you leave answers to quiz questions. 

You can play by smart phones or tablet. 

Everyone can learn something about investing and one lucky player will win $1,000 for an IRA (Individual Retirement Account).

Thanks to your State Securities Administrator and the Investor Protection Institute.

See here for more detail!


The Demonstration Garden project at Skinner Park has been selected as a finalist to obtain a grant from the National Parks and Recreation Association. 


The winner will be based on votes collected online from now to April 30. 


Voting is allowed once per day, every day per person until April 30th.


See here to vote!!

How it works:

Register to vote with your email, facebook, etc.

There are two ways to help:

1) Submit Skinner Park, Chicago IL as your favorite park for a chance for Skinner Park to to win $20,000 when you first register. This part only has to done once


2) Select Chicago, and then Community Roots Demonstration Garden at Skinner Park and be sure to then scroll down and submit your vote. Be sure to vote every day!


Please visit the NRPA website for more information to vote.


The Skinner Park Advisory Council have been in discussion with the Park District and the Park District is willing to having a true community garden as part of the project so that community residents can get a bed to grow their own veggies, etc. There will be no fee for residents to get a bed but they have to commit to a certain number of volunteer hours to help with the garden and Skinner Park. Any excess food grown in the demonstration part of the garden will be donated to a local food pantry in the West Loop.



The 12th Annual "No Art Left Behind" Gala is Here!
May 16, 2015 from 7pm-10pm
The Lofts at 406 N. Aberdeen

You are invited to the 12th annual "No Art Left Behind" Gala benefiting Gallery 111, an organization that funds create arts programming for Skinner West Elementary.


Join us for an evening of fundraising, food, music and drinks all for a good cause! 


Pre-sale tickets: $50 ($60 at the door)


Purchase tickets here!


Reserve your tickets before May 1st and become eligible for complimentary Uber transportation on the night of the event!


We look forward to seeing you there!



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Please join us this coming Wednesday and celebrate Earth Day with Skinner's Gallery111 at City Winery!

April 22, 2015 from 6 - 8:30pm
1200 West Randolph Street 


Come out and help Skinner West's Gallery 111 build a wine cellar for our May 16 "No Art Left Behind Auction".
Join other Skinner Parents and Staff for a fun night of conversation, wine and cheese.
We are asking everyone to donate a bottle of wine (approximate 
value of $14.99 or higher) to contribute to this great auction item. 
Purchase wine from City Winery or bring a bottle. Our goal is to 
collect 50 bottles. 
A complimentary glass of wine and light appetizers will be served.

See here for more information!


OPERA is Coming Alive for Third Grade Superstars!

Don't be surprised if you walk into a Third Grade classroom and see the lights dimming three times to signal a production! 

They recently started an arts partnership with Lyric Opera of Chicago. During this residency, students will express themselves creatively though the study of music, drama, movement, and creative writing. 

This 15-week residency will culminate with a student performance showcasing our social studies theme: CHICAGO HISTORY

Be on the look-out in June for a special invitation to see this masterpiece! This is a not-to-be-missed production. 

A heartfelt thank you to Gallery111 for funding this partnership!

Skinner Superstars in the Spotlight!

Boys age group 8-10yrs old, won the 2015 Citywide Chicago Park District Basketball Championship!




Steve & Kate's Camp Info Night!
Wednesday, April 22 at 5:30pm  7:00pm
Andrew Jackson Language Academy (1340 W Harrison)

Come learn more about Steve & Kate's Camp at Andrew Jackson Language Academy!

The West Loop Community Director, Patrick, will give a short presentation, provide time for Q&A and give campus tours.

We'll also have our Stop-Motion Animation Stations available for children (and adults!) to play with, so bring the whole family and invite your friends!

Check out the West Loop location page to RSVP and learn about other events in the community.
Repeat News and Updates

Room 120 and Room 123 want to THANK 
Mrs. McCaskey!!


We can't fully tell you how happy and excited we are to report that Mrs. McCaskey has volunteered to work with our Classical first graders again this year!


Mrs. McCaskey has been volunteering her time almost every week with the most amazing lessons. She is an amazing teacher that not only inspires the students but also the staff. 


Mrs. McCaskey just finished a unit about "The Underground Railroad". In connection with this unit, the students have been working on a special project. Each child was expected to complete a "quilt square" with what they learned. The squares were joined together to make a group quilt.

Mrs. McCaskey is now moving on to our new unit on William Shakespeare. We have no doubt this will be special and memorable unit because Mrs. McCaskey is teaching it. 






Atia's Project Ladybug Fund


On March 13th students from Rm. 120 took part in the Ladybug Bash held at the Drake Hotel. 


Atia's classmates helped to show Atia's journey through dance. It was a memorable performance by all.


The annual fundraiser helps to fund the charity's many programs and celebrates Atia, a Skinner student who battled Leukemia and thankfully is in complete remission. Atia is the namesake of the Chicago chapter of Project Ladybug whose mission is to ease the struggles of childhood cancer. 


It is an amazing organization with a great mission and I'm so glad Room 120 was there to support it.



2014-2015 Debate Team Tournament Results are in!



The Skinner West Debate Team participated in the Chicago Middle School Debate League's fifth tournament of the 2014-2015 season on Saturday, Mar. 14 at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Science. 
The overall topic for the year is: 'Ocean Exploration and Development'

The cases being debated at this Tournament were 'Aquaculture' , 'Oil Exploration' and 'Wind Power'.
Avery Bolden - 1st
Olamide Babayeju - 9th
Spencer Huynh - 13th
Carter Milan - 19th
Ruthie Zolla - 6th
Victor Kostov - 9th

Spencer Huynh/Avery Bolden - 1st - CITY CHAMPIONS!!!
Olamide Babayeju/Carter Milan - 7th
Jada Middleton/Ruthie Zolla - 3rd

CMSDL 7th Grade Debater of the Year - Olamide Babayeju
CMSDL Coach of the Year Finalist - Mr. Lee




Six Point Aquatics Swim Lessons!! 


Six Point Aquatics offers both club swim team options and a Learn-to-Swim School for kids of all ages and skill levels. 

The team's goal is to help kids interested in swimming push towards the next level using teaching progressions from our expert instructors and coaches. 

Registration for spring and summer programs is open now. Check out our website for more info on the club swim team, group swim lessons, and private swim instruction.


Dear Parents,

As we enter the 4th quarter of the school year, Ancillary classrooms (Library, Science, Art, Music, Foreign Language, ESL, SEL, and PE) are running low on some supplies essential to good health and learning. 
We are in need of:
  • Pencils
  • Tissue
  • Lysol Disinfectant Spray (or any disinfectant spray)
 Any donations would be appreciated!  Donated supplies can be dropped off in the Library. 
Thank you in advance, 
The Ancillary Team




     Skinner West won 1st place for the K-3 team Chess Championship!!

Skinner West Elementary played brilliantly in the latest Chess Scholars tournament on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at Chesterbrook Academy in Naperville.  


Our chess masters took home FIRST place in the team division by half a point!


Skinner West participants were Leon Cao (3rd grade), Rolando V. (3rd grade), Evan Haddox (2nd grade), and Jaylen Jeffries (2nd grade).  They all scored really well and had fascinating games.  


Other schools will need to step up their game if they want to have a chance of winning the next Chess Scholars team tournament. 


This competition was part of the Chess Scholars After School Program here at Skinner. 


We are very proud of our Superstars!  

Introducing... The Skinner West Spring Book Bazaar

The Skinner West Spring Book Bazaar will be a used book sale that allows students and families to donate items they are no longer using, and purchase new-to-you books and items for a very low price.  All proceeds will be used to add new materials to the Skinner West Library.
We are looking for donations of used books for all age levels (Baby books-Adult), audio books, educational toys and games, puzzles, activity books, stationary, and all other fun learning materials. Anything your family has finished using, grown tired of, or your children have outgrown! Donations of small garage sale style stickers or blue painter's tape would also be appreciated for price tag labeling.

Donations can be dropped off in the Library throughout the month of April . Please label your donation with your child's name and room number.  All families that donate will receive a thank you voucher that will be redeemable at the Book Bazaar.


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