Mark T. Skinner West School               Week 5 (2014-2015) 

Week At A Glance
September 26th - October 3rd


Skinner Banner 2011

Weekly Update 


Tuesday, Sept.23- Oct 3rd

NWEA  Map Testing

Reading and Math

Friday, September 26

PTO Catalog Fundraiser
Ends Today

 Tuesday, September 30th 

Parent Open House
Grades 3-5
6:00-7:00 pm

Parent Open House
Grades 6-8
6:00-7:30 pm


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
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Thank you!





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Skinner West Parent Open House


Thank you to all the parents who joined us for the First and Second Grade Open House earlier this week!   It was a very informative and well-attended event. Parents of 3rd through 8th Graders, please join us on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 for the Back to School Open House to meet your child's teacher and learn about academic expectations.


3rd - 5th Grades
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

6:00 - 6:15 P.M.                                General Session in Gym
6:15 - 7:00 P.M.                                Visit Homeroom Teachers



6th - 8th Grades
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

6:00 - 7:00 P.M.                            Follow Your Child's Schedule
7:00 - 7:30 P.M.                            General Session in Gym

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.


Room Parent Orientation Meeting

The Room Parent Orientation will be held:

 Monday October 6th, 6pm in the lunch room

All room parents or those interested in volunteering to be a room parent should plan to attend the meeting.  There are still some classrooms that are in need of a room parent volunteer!  If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please email Kavita Rao at


Skinner West Walkathon  
October 9, 2014
Sign Up Today to Volunteer

Friends of Skinner West  is hosting our annual school Walkathon on October 9, 2014.  We need many volunteers for the day to help make this day a success!

All Room Parents are requested to be there on that day to help out their respective classrooms.

Also, we are need of volunteers for the following committees - 
Pizza Committee, First Aid Committee, Bounce House & Popcorn Committee, Bikes & Scooter Committee, and Monitor/Stamper Committee.

To volunteer,  simply click here for the the link to our volunteer spreadsheet and then add your name and email to the committee of your choice. Close the document and your changes will be saved.  Thank you for helping us make the Walkathon a success!  If you have any questions, please contact Marla Sedler at

Last year, our Walkathon earned over $20,000.  Fundraising information and pledge sheets were already sent home.  The Walkathon is a half day event which includes the walk around Skinner Park, fun activities, and pizza lunch.  Students who raise $75 can bring their bike or scooter from home and ride on Adams street (which will be closed during Walkathon hours).   Please help your child raise money to make our walkathon a success. For more information, go here to view a copy of the flyer.  To donate by Paypal, go directly to our website:


Well-Deserved Cups of Coffee

As part of the Blue Ribbon Celebration at the end of last school year, Friends of Skinner West purchased and presented the teachers with a new commercial Keurig coffee unit as well as a year's supply of coffee.  The coffee machine was recently set up for all teachers and staff to use in the cafeteria. 

Congratulations to all teachers and staff on your hard work and enjoy your new coffee machine!



STAR & Park District 
Students, Parents, and Teachers
Pizza Fundraiser

To help our 8th Graders get to Washington D.C., there will be a pizza fundraiser Tuesday, September 30th at 4:30 pm. Pre-ordering was required to participate in this fundraiser. For those that ordered already, enjoy your pizza on Tuesday!  And thank you for all who supported this fundraiser! 
chess pawn  

Afterschool Chess Club

For a second year, Skinner students have an opportunity to participate in an afterschool chess club.  The fall session consisting of 10 classes with professional instruction will take place on Tuesdays 3:45-4:45 pm starting October 7th. This session is open to grades K through 8th for a fee of $100.  No previous knowledge of chess is necessary.  Both beginners and experienced players are welcome and will get to the next level under the guidance of an experienced Chess Scholars coach.  For further information and registration, view a copy of the flier here or contact Chess Scholars at 847-482-8999.




8th Graders - Register NOW for SelectivePrep's 

After School Selective Enrollment Program 


One third of the entrance score is determined by your child's performance on the Selective Enrollment High School Entrance Exam. SelectivePrep offers an intensive program to help prepare students for the Selective Enrollment Entrance Exam. SelectivePrep's course will review all the Exam's Reading, Math, Language, and Vocabulary topics and discuss optimal test taking techniques. Included in this program is a Study Guide containing extensive content review and exercises.

Classes at Skinner Elementary will start on Thursday, October 9th and run for 8 sessions from 3:45 PM - 5:45 PM. We will need a minimum of 10 students to run the class at Skinner Elementary - so please spread the word. Click here to register NOW.

If you need more information or have any questions, please visit the SelectivePrep website at   or call 312-409-8411 or ask Ms. Montgomery



Karate Superstars

Skinner Superstars competed in the first Karate tournament of the season on the competition team. Maquan, Cornell, Tyler, Gabrielle, Emma and Alex all were outstanding at the tournament. The team did great winning three 1st place trophies, four 2nd place and one 3rd place trophy. A great start to the karate season!



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.




October 4th and 5th

CPS has partnered with Parent Power Chicago to co-sponsor the Chicago School Fair to help 7th and 8th grade students and their parents explore their options for high school. The Chicago School Fair is free and open to the public and will take place at McCormick Place on Saturday, Oct. 4, and Sunday, Oct., 5 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event is designed to give parents answers in real time about their student's school options: from public and private schools to e-learning and home schooling. The Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Archdiocese of Chicago and the Illinois Network of Charter Schools have officially endorsed the fair and will have schools from throughout the city exhibiting. CPS is showcasing all of its school types: traditional neighborhood schools, charters, magnet ,and selective enrollment.   For more information, go to



PTO Fundraiser
Send In All Catalog Fundraiser Orders by 
Friday- September 26th

All orders and payments for PTO's catalog fundraiser are due Friday, September 26, 2014Items ordered will be able to be picked up at Skinner on November 12, 2014  (which is also Report Card Pick-Up Day).     


Thank you to all who participated in this fundraiser and raised money for Skinner West!


Repeat News and Updates

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)




Principal Clark's Report
Local School Council Meeting


The Principal 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 meeting and discussed. 

Parents, click on this link for a copy of the LSC Meeting Principal's Report from September 16, 2014.  


Join the Skinner PTO Today!

We invite and encourage all Skinner West parents to join the Skinner PTO/Forum.   PTO/Forum was formed with a mission to provide both monetary and parent power/volunteer support to the school. The PTO strives to raise money to help fill the school's funding gaps.   In addition, the PTO organizes many events including Orientation Night for New Parents, Family Fun NIght, Holiday Bazaar, and Teacher Appreciation Week. 


Please take the time to complete your PTO parent volunteer form and join the Skinner PTO Forum ($10 annual fee per household). Click here for a copy of the PTO form.  Completed forms may be sent in with your student to their homeroom.   


The Skinner PTO is looking forward to another wonderful and successful year!


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

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