Mark T. Skinner West School
eek 34 (2014-2015) 
Week At A Glance
May 1 - May 8


Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update  

Thursday, April 30th
10:00 am

Skinner West Tours for Neighborhood parents!

Saturday, May 2nd
9:00am - 1:30pm

Spring Parent Conference 
@ Whitney M. Young Magnet High School

Week May 4th-8th
Teacher Appreciation Week

Tuesday, May 5th
4:30 pm

Skinner LSC
School Improvement Committee Meeting

Week May 12-15th

Grades 3-8th

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 
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! 





0.5% of eligible Smile purchases go to Skinner West!




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!




TopClick on the link to advance to the article you wish to read! 
 New Articles 

May 2nd; 9:00am - 1:30pm
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School

The goal is to have at minimum two parents per school, but please encourage all parents to attend

You can register in 2 ways!
On-site registration will also be available, but not encouraged as we need an accurate headcount to prepare enough food and material for the event.

If there is a high number of parents from one school, or parents from schools near each other are attending, there is funding to cover a school bus to transport them to the conference. 

Please see here for more detail!

Thank you to the many exhibitors, presenters, Skinner West volunteers, teachers and staff who made Money Smart Week Family Fun Game Night a success!

BMO Harris Bank

Economic Awareness Council

Enterprising Kids

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Felicia Slaton-Young-Edward Jones

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger

Illinois Secretary of State Securities Department

Illinois Student Assistance Commission

Investor Protection Institute

Lathy Johnson, CFP

Steve and Kate


Special Thanks to:

Stephanie Macja

Pam Hennessy

Nell Strong

Joey Pinaglia

Amaya Mason

Isabella Simon

Michelle Norman

Sharon Rayford

Dyone Taylor

Denise Shorter 




Classroom Connection :
 Spanish 6th Grade Reading of Novel "Pobre Ana"

Skinner West is one of the few schools in the city of Chicago that has a foreign language program.  Because of this, students take their foreign language experience very seriously, especially the ones in 6th grade Spanish. 

After the introduction of a few hundred words during their 5th grade experience, as well as the introduction of basic grammatical concepts, students are ready to go and read their firstSpanish novel. It is called "Pobre Ana".  It is about an American teenager who travels to Mexico as a student, and how her experience reshape herself and teaches her to appreciate who she is as well as what she has.

One of the strong outcomes after the reading of each chapter is to develop strong writing skills. Students are required to rewrite each chapter with the use of the notes they gathered in English, as well as vocabulary being introduced. Another required assignment gears more towards exploiting students' artistic skills.  Students are to create a storyboard (comic strip) that will represent all of the main events that happened in each individual chapter. As it can be noted, the two assignments mentioned above allow different students with different skills to reflect upon their understanding of the same events. This ensures everybody get to express what they understand 

In the following two years, students in 6th grade will read two more novels, one each school year.  By the time they graduate, they will have a vocabulary base of 1,200 to 1,400 words and a strong foundation of grammar structure.  Several students in our graduating class this year will be placed at a higher level of Spanish when moving to High School.  We are proud to mention that some of them will even be place at an AP level from the start 

Way to go, Skinner Superstars!


Congratulations to our Skinner Mathletes for winning 3rd place nationwide in the MathCon national math competition!

On Saturday, 4/25/15, Skinner students participated in the MathCon national math competition at UIC.


There were 42 states, 330 schools, and 45,000 students that participated in this math competition resulting in 700 students being invited to compete in the final round. 


Participating Skinner students included:


Joseph E.

Asata Y.

Christina L.

Benjamin K.

Sophia C.

Abhinav G.

Martin M.

Andrew B.

Faizi T.

Ryan W.

Len W.

Aaron W.


Skinner students did awesome overall!


Skinner finished with the 3rd best average score among all the elementary schools.


Individual student awards included:


5th Grade 

Christina L. - 3rd place


6th Grade

Abhi G.- 3rd place

Sophia C. - 7th Place

Faizi T. - 9th place


Congratulations to our Skinner Mathletes!



Congratulations to Alec S. (4th grade) for winning the GOLD award in Chinese Speech Contest!

Our 4th grade superstar Alec Small participated in Chinese Speech Contest for Chicago Public Schools and suburban schools on Saturday 4/25 at Northside College Prep High School.  He won the Gold Award in his category.  He is one of the youngest contests from his group as well as the only one from a non-language school.  

Congratulations Alec, for your achievement!  And a BIG thanks to Ms. Kong for all the work and guidance she provided!


DASH for the STASH!
Contest continuing through 5/15/2015

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!
Repeat News and Updates

Please see here for the principal's report from the latest Local School Council meeting!

The next LSC School Improvement Committee meeting is on Tuesday, May 5, at 4:30pm

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., Ashley 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)
  • 7th Grade
    • Jai Yi K. (Bacon's Rebellion)

See here for more detail!


Please support Girl Scouts Brownie Troop #20728 in a food drive to support the Greater Chicago Food Depository!
April 13 - May 13

Items in high need are:
  • Canned beans
  • Canned chili
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned tuna
Did you know that if we can fill 20 boxes of canned food we will help serve 1,183 meals?

Together we can help someone in need!!!


Wondering why you should support our annual Gallery 111 Gala?

Currently our 2nd & 4th graders are working with Hand On Stanzas in a 20 week residency. Poet-in-Residence, Larry O Dean brings in a published poem to discuss with the students, uses that as a prompt for the students to write original work, and then perform. Each week he publishes several exemplary poems from each class on the Skinner West Hands On Stanzas blog.

Our 5th & 6th graders started their 10 week drama residency with Emerald City which has strong literacy ties and heavily aligns with school curriculum. A performance is in the works! 

7th & 8th grade have begin working with Green Star Movement, making tiles and working on the design for our outdoor Mosaic!

Kindergarten are learning about drama through stories and music in their 4 week residency and 1st grade starts next week learning dances from around the world with May I Have This Dance! 


Gallery 111 is excited to reveal the first steps of the mosaic that is being made in partnership with Green Star Movement and our Superstars! 

Watch this piece of art develop on the Adams side of the building that will be there for the community to enjoy for years to come!

Our 7th & 8th graders are hard at work making porcelain tiles and helping to layout the design.

News to come on how you can help sponsor a part of this exciting project!


The Track & Field team started up again after spring break!

Key Dates to note:
  • April 27th (Monday): Girls in grades 5-8 will be competing against different schools from the network meet
  • May 7th (Thursday): Network Championship
  • June 1st (Monday): Super Regionals
Both meets will start at 5pm at Hanson Stadium (5501 W. Fullerton) 

Come out and cheer on your Superstars to victory! 

Good luck girls! 

We raised $5,200 in the latest cookie dough fundraiser!

Thank you to all who participated!


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!



Back to Top



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!




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