Mark T. Skinner West School

School Year 2014-2015

Welcome Newsletter            

  August 7, 2014


Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update 

Monday, August 25- Friday, August 29

Staff Only Days 

Thursday, August 28

New Parent/Student & Kindergarten Orientation  
Main Building 
4:00- 5:30 pm


Tuesday, September 2nd

First Day of School 
8:45am - 3:45pm

Star Program After School Program Kickoff 
3:45 -6:30pm

Skinner West School Calendar

CPS School Calendar2014-2015  



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 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 (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!




 New Articles 
 First Day of School & School Hours
The first day of school for all CPS students is TUESDAY, September 2nd 

School hours this year will be 8:45am to 3:45pm - no change from last year.


Please also note the  2014-2015 school calendar, which lists the days off and other important dates.



Skinner West School

Neighborhood Program Registration Resumes August 20th


Skinner West will accept registration for Neighborhood Grades K-4 Neighborhood Program beginning August 20th from 10:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M Monday - Friday.  Please bring the following items:


  1. Original Birth Certificate
  2. 3 Proofs of Residency (Valid Driver's License, State I.D., Copy of Housing Lease, Current Utility Bill, Voter's Registration Card, Library Card, Health Insurance Card, etc.)
  3. Current Medical/Shot Record
  4. Current Dental Exam/Vision Exam for students entering Kindergarten
  5. Obtain a transfer from current school (If the current school does not release your child, we cannot register him/her into Skinner School

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Kindergarten and New Student Orientation  

Before school starts, new parents and students can come and meet their new teachers and fellow new students at an orientation on Thursday, August 28th.  You're invited to come and learn how to get involved at Skinner West through the various parent organizations. Both parents and students are welcome to attend! This event is sponsored by the PTO. 

  • New Students  Grades 1-8th 2:00-3:00
  • Kindergarten Students  4:00 - 5:30

Entering Kindergarten? 
A kindergarten checklist will be available soon via the newsletter and on the Skinner West website.

Are you a new parent with questions?  Send an email to and title it, "New Parent Question."  Parent volunteers will attempt to help answer your questions. We'll try to get back to you within 24 hours, but your patience is appreciated.

FY 2014-15 Application for School Bus Service 


Any child needing bus transportation from CPS must complete an Application for School Bus Service.


Please obtain a form from the school office. Do not send or fax any forms directly to Bureau of Student Transportation. Completed forms must be returned to the school office. If you have questions about your student's eligibility for transportation, please contact the school office for additional information concerning bus service.  All student transportation eligibility standards, forms, policies and procedures are available at the school office, on the Skinner West web site or on the CPS web site at this link.  


Forms received after the June deadline may still be forwarded by the school to the Bureau of Student Transportation; however, but they cannot guarantee requests will be processed and approved by the 1st day of the school year.


Please know that there may be a few busing hiccups during the first week of school. In the upcoming weeks  CPS Dept of Transportation will announce the bus companies that will serve Skinner West.



If you have not received a post card with your child's busing information, you may contact the bus companies directly to find out your child's bus route and pick up and drop-off times.

Buses should arrive at school between 8:00 a.m. and 8:45a.m. and leave school grounds at 4:00 p.m.
Your child's bus driver or the bus company can give you the bus drop-off time. If there is an emergency or other situation and your child will not ride the school bus in the afternoon, you must send/fax a note to the office before 12:00 noon. Telephone requests to keep your child off the afternoon bus will not be accepted. For the safety of all our students, no adult, even a parent, is allowed to remove a child from the bus line outside, or from the school bus, while on Skinner West property.

If your child will be picked up by a private busing company supply your child's teacher with the busing company's name, contact information and phone number.  

Appropriate behavior is also critical to bus service.
Children who are discipline problems on the bus can lose bus privileges. Children must remain in their seat at all times and be respectful of each other and the driver. No food, drink, video games, balls, etc. are allowed. 


Student transportation policies can be found here. 


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Minimum Health Requirements


If your child is entering preschool, kindergarten, 6th grade or you are entering a Illinois school for the first time, you must submit proof of immunizations and health exams to Skinner West before October 15th.  All necessary documentation, including the immunization requirements and copies of the health requirement forms are available on the CPS website. Here is information on dental and vision exams requirements. For more information, contact CPS Coordinated School Health at (773) 553-1830.


Attention 6-8th grade students!
All students grades 6-12 are required to show proof of receiving one dose of Tdap (Whopping Cough vaccine) by October 15, 2014.

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 health requirements:  


PDF icon. Student Medical Information Form | Spanish: This form is necessary to help identify students with chronic health conditions


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School Supply Lists & Fees 
Updated school supply lists can be found here.  Fees will be updated soon.  Stay tuned! 
PTO Schoolkitz Order
Did you order Schoolkitz school supply kits from the PTO last year?  If so, they will be delivered to your child's classroom and will be available for the students on the first day of school.  Questions regarding the school supply kits can be directed to Stephanie Majca at


Physical Education class schedules will be available soon!   


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.  


Parents may send their kids to school on PE days in clothes purchased from outside vendors--as long as the colors are in accordance with CPS policy and are the purple/gold school colors or navy blue/white CPS colors. Any Skinner PE clothing purchased in previous years also is acceptable.


All students must have appropriate footwear (gym shoes).  Boots, flats, sandals, flip flops, dress shoes, high heels, and crocs are not appropriate- if a student does not have appropriate footwear they will not be able to participate in PE.


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) at


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Are You Wondering.....

who your child's teacher is or where their classroom will be?  Teacher classroom assignments for all grades will be announced in this newsletter soon.
Room Parents Needed for the  
2014-15 School Year 


Thank you so much to everyone who volunteered to be a Room Parent during the last school year. We need volunteers for each classroom from K- 8th grade and for ancillary classes:  library, art, science and foreign language.   


While room parent's primary responsibilities are determined in consultation with each teacher, below are general guidelines:

  • Complete an email & phone contact list for your classroom
  • Serve as a resource for classroom parents/act as a liaison between the classroom teacher & parents;
  • Reach out to new classroom families & include them on email communications;
  • Solicit volunteers & donations for classroom activities as requested by the teacher;
  • Answer school-related questions for classroom parents; and
  • Communicate pertinent school/classroom news & volunteer opportunities to parents.
If you're interested in being a room parent or co-parent coordinator, contact Kavita Rao to apply. 

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The Star Extended Day program is planning a school year of fun again this program year!!  The program will provide after-school care at Skinner West for your child from 3:45 until 6:30 each school day.  The program is run and staffed by Skinner teachers and staff.  The program dates will match the school calendar dates. Classes will include homework/tutoring, physical activities, computer lab, music, games, art activities and more!


Additional programs such as ARCC Ballet, Music House, Mad Science and IMSA will be offered for an additional fee to the service providers. CPS sports programs will continue at no charge throughout the school year. Students may enroll in the STAR Program and participate in these additional programs.


Payments can be made at the office beginning August 20th. PayPal is also ready for payment; please print a receipt and bring a copy to the school on the first day.  You may also fax a copy of the receipt to 773-534-7879.  Additional registration information, forms and payment information are available on the Skinner West web site at this link.  Additional questions regarding the program may be directed to

The Skinner PTO/Forum was formed in 1994 with a mission to provide both monetary and parent-power/volunteer support to the school. Over the years, PTO/Forum has successfully filled the school's funding gap by implementing numerous school activities, outreach efforts and fundraising programs to provide: art/music/drama programs, field trips, classroom supplies, textbooks, school maintenance equipment/supplies, support for various sporting teams and activities, Teacher Appreciation Week, and support for Teacher development.


Skinner PTO Forum is excited about our upcoming 2014-2015 school year. We look forward to working with all new incoming and returning parents in fundraising and volunteer opportunities for this school year. Please take time to complete your parent volunteer form and join the Skinner PTO Forum ($10 annual fee per household).  Our Skinner Superstars need you!  Monthly meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month at 5:30pm in Room 124, right before the LSC meeting.  We'll be sending out a registration form shortly with volunteer opportunities.   If you'd like to volunteer, please email Stephanie Majca at  


We're looking forward to a wonderful and successful school year. 

Congratulations to the Class of 2014! 

Skinner's class of 2014 achieved great success!  Check out their acceptances to the following high schools and academic centers:

Al Ragby HS
Brooks College Preparatory HS
Chicago High School of the Arts
Choate Rosemary Hall
De La Salle Institute
Jones College Preparatory HS
Kenwood Academy AC/HS
Lane Technical AC/HS
Mount Carmel HS
Phoenix Military Academy
Providence St Mel
Senn HS
St Ignatious College Preparatory HS
UIC College Prep
Urban Prep Academy
Walter Payton College Preparatory HS
Waubonsie Valley HS
Westinghouse College Preparatory HS
Whitney Young Magnet AC/HS


Alumni Newsletter List

Congratulations to our Alumni and to all the parents that worked so hard to get them to this stage in their life.  Please don't forget us and remember to send us updates about exciting things happening in your life.  If you would like to stop receiving our newsletter on a weekly basis please email and let us know so that we can move you to our Alumni List.   

Summer Updates


This summer has been very busy at Skinner West.  Blue Ribbon week culminated in a wonderful carnival for the kids.  Here are some great pictures from the events!



Congratulations to Mrs. Christiansen, who traveled to New York and met Steven Colbert of The Colbert Report.  She won a contest by raising money for her classroom.

Governor Quinn made a stop at Skinner West in June to sign an anti-bullying bill.  Details are available here.

And congratulations are in order Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Lohman, who had a baby girl over the summer.


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Box Tops Summer Challenge 

Keep Saving! Box Tops are collected and used to purchase much needed equipment for our school.  Children who turn in box tops the first week of school will have a chance to win prizes!


Collect Box Tops on participating products and TAPE them to the attached collection sheets.  Turn your completed sheets in during the first week of school.  Put spare Box Tops in a ziploc with your name and room number when you return to school.    


Office Depot 5% Back to Schools Event   

This unique program for schools can not only benefit your school now, but help keep them in free supplies all year long. All you need to do is make a qualifying purchase* at Office Depot and ask them to look up Skinner West's 5% Back to Schools program ID - and they'll take care of the rest!  Click here for more information. 

Repeat News and Updates
help wanted 
Help Wanted! 
The Skinner Communications Team Needs Volunteers


As readers of the Skinner newsletter and, you have told us how important and valuable communication is to you and your family.  We've heard your voice and want to continue to deliver the information you need and want, but we need your help in order to continue to do so!


The Communications team is looking for the following volunteers on a part-time rotational basis as:

- Newsletter writers

- Website administrators

- Social media administrators 

We also are seeking general volunteers to attend meetings and offer ideas - no experience necessary!  

Interested or have a question? Please contact 

Linda King at




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
Mark T. Skinner West Classical, Fine Arts and Technology School | 1260 West Adams Street | Chicago | IL | 60607