Good morning! I hope everyone is doing well on this sunny Friday. Thank you to those who were able to attend our Reopening Meeting, focused on procedures and protocols for those attending in person.
Please see this link for the presentation Mr. Kimbrough and I shared. In addition, I have attached a visual of the pick up and drop off doors.
We look forward to seeing our K-5 students who opted for in person learning on March 1 and we will see our 6-8th students who opted into in person learning on March 8.
Remember to complete your student's health screener at cps.edu/healthscreener each morning.
Have a wonderful weekend,
Good afternoon! I hope everyone is doing well. I am so thankful for our school community and happy to be back after my leave. I want to give a special thank you to Mr. Kimbrough for his leadership while I was out and appreciated the time I was able to spend with my new daughter and family.
Please read below for a few updates and reminders.
Have a wonderful weekend,
We are excited to welcome our K-5th grade students in almost 1 more week and our 6-8 grade students in almost 2 more weeks!
At 6:30pm on Thursday, February 25th we will hold the Skinner North Reopening Information Session. This presentation is targeted for parents who have students who are returning to the building. We will highlight key information, logistics and reminders for a successful return to in person school.
Please also feel free to review our Reopening Guide.
Next Week (2/22) for K-5
K-5 Teachers will not be available during asynchronous time the week of 2/22 as as they prepare for the return of students in the building, participate in professional development customized around simultaneous teaching, preparing their classrooms, etc for the hybrid and remote learning formats the following week.
Week of 3/1 for 6-8
6-8 teachers will not be available during asynchronous time the week of 3/1 as as they prepare for the return of students in the building, participate in professional development customized around simultaneous teaching, preparing their classrooms, etc for the hybrid and remote learning formats the following week.
Wednesdays During Hybrid
Wednesdays will be adjusted schedules where students have 180 minutes synchronous instruction in the AM and 180 minutes asynchronous in the afternoon. Teachers will provide further details around your student's schedule.
Please read the attached document for information and updates related to student transportation.
Skinner North Community Newsletter – February
FEBRUARY 5, 2021
Greetings Skinner North Families
Welcome to February! I am very excited to celebrate Black History Month with you. Since 1976, each U.S. president has designated February as Black History Month and endorses a specific theme. This year’s theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” which explores the African diaspora, and the spread of Black families across the United States. While I am grateful for this special time that is set aside to honor the contributions of African-Americans, it is something I feel should be recognized and celebrated throughout the year. With us being five days into the month, I challenge each Skinner North family to set aside time each day to explore the African diaspora and the history of black families across our country. The experience is breathtaking and one that I continue to learn.
Here are a few resources to support these efforts:
Here on Scott Street (well, virtually) 4th-8th Literacy and Social Studies team collaborated to create a series of events for Black History month with buddy classrooms. Each Wednesday during this month, time is set aside to explore a range of activities from read alouds, videos, trivia, poetry, and a culminating event featuring our 7th and 8th graders sharing their personal anti-racist calendars (created as a final project connected to their reading of Stamped). Take some time to ask your children about what’s happening with their buddy classrooms.
Our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) theme during the month of February is Using Your Voice. Providing opportunities for students to use their voice makes room for great instruction and growth. Teachers will be focusing on this topic in their classrooms. As a school, we take pride in acknowledging and recognizing the contributions of all.
Below are book recommendations from our school counselor, Ms. Jacobson, connected to the theme: K-2: Say Something by Peter Reynolds; 3-5: Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan; and 6-8 The Poet by Elizabeth Acevedo.
Have a great one.
SKINNER NORTH QUESTION CORNER
Skinner North Question Corner. We will select and answer questions each month. We encourage you to submit your questions. We want to create a space where everyone feels comfortable asking questions.
Note: When you submit a question, you agree to have your question published and sent to the newsletter listserv (names will not be included). We will try to respond to all questions submitted, but some may not be answered/published. If you have an immediate concern or question, please always feel free to email.
Please submit your questions at https://goo.gl/forms/yc3mMfMpT6HDjOUi1.
Question: Will remote learning Wednesdays be held through the end of the school year?
Answer: Remote learning Wednesdays are a part of the hybrid model and will be in place for the remainder of the school year.
School Reopening: Please stay tuned for updates from the district with regards to the reopening of schools. In most cases, that may be the first source of information. As a school, we will provide you with information as it is received. For more information about our specific school expectations, please see the attachment.
Important After School Program Announcement: Please remember that our VIRTUAL after school programs will begin this coming week (Week of Feb. 8th!) Please check your email for club confirmations. At this point all clubs are full, but there will be more options during Q4. Also, please make sure your child checks their CPS email and accepts the invitation to their club google classroom. This is how they will gain access to the meet each week.
Digital Yearbook Picture Day: In order to promote the highest level of inclusion in this years’ yearbook, on Wednesday, March 3rd our school will be taking Google Meet class photos for the 2020-2021 Skinner North Yearbook. Please make sure your child is present on that day. Classroom teachers will provide the exact time for the class picture. Be sure to look your best and dress in appropriate clothing for the yearbook photo.
Family Income Information Form (FIIF): While we have passed the window for FIIF forms, we are still accepting them. Please assist us in reaching 100% of forms being completed and returned to the school. This form plays a major part in calculating our school funding. All it takes is completing the household information (you do not have to list your income). Forms can be dropped off at school, mailed, or sent electronically to our clerk, Gloria at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please take a moment to fill out the form, which is attached.
From the Desk of the Librarian, Ms. Syed:
Bookish Student Pictures: Have a favorite book you can't stop raving about? I'd love to hear about it, and I'm sure your classmates would too! We're dedicating the bulletin board outside of the library to it, so please upload a picture of you holding your favorite book to the folder linked below. Be sure that the book cover is facing forward so we can see the title. *Please make sure you're signed into your CPS Gmail account when you upload the picture or else you won't have access.*
Overdue Books: When you return to school, please bring with you any overdue library books. If you plan to continue learning from home this quarter, please make time to drop the books off during the week. If you're unsure what titles you still have, if any, please email me at email@example.com and I will be happy to assist you. Thank you!
From the Diversity Committee:
Black Excellence' Virtual Series: In honor of Black History Month, our Skinner North students will have opportunities to engage in virtual activities that celebrate Black Excellence. Here are a few resources (for students and grownups, alike) for this week...
Nia Dennis, UCLA Gymnast:
Bisa Butler, Portrait Quilt Artist:
Amanda Gorman, Youth Poet Laureate:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ055ilIiN4 ("The Hill We Climb" Poetry Reading)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plU-QpcEswo (Gorman's Ted Ed Student Talk)
Thurs, 2/17 @ 3:30pm Diversity Committee Meeting (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom Meeting ID.)
Volunteering – Are you interested in volunteering at the school, being a guest speaker or chaperoning field trips? If so, please make sure your volunteer status is up to date. All volunteer candidates must complete a volunteer application through the Chicago Public Schools CiviCore database. Please visit: cpsvolunteers.org for more information.
Required Health and Medical Forms - Please remember to complete required medical forms for your student. (Forms are available here.)
· Physical - Required for Kindergarten and 6th grade
· Vision - Required for Kindergarten
· Dental - Required for Kindergarten, 2nd and 6th grades
· Immunizations (See page 4 of this document for further details)
Attendance Excusal Protocols - Remember attendance is taken daily for students during remote learning. To learn more, review our attendance section in our school handbook. Please note: to excuse an absence a call to the school (773-534-8500) or a signed excusal note that is mailed/faxed to the school is allowable. (We cannot accept electronic signatures.) The excuse must be one that is allowable per CPS and ISBE (see handbook for details).
Office Hours - The school is open daily from 8:30-3:30. Please feel free to call. Mr. Santillan, our techco, is available to troubleshoot tech issues during the day.
Dates to Remember:
· Parent SEED: Wednesday, February 10th at 7 pm
· President’s Day (No School): Monday, February 15th
· LSC Meeting: Wednesday, February 17th at 8 am
· Diversity Committee Meeting: Wednesday, February 17th at 3:30pm
· FoSN Meeting: Wednesday, February 24th at 6 pm
· 8th Grade graduation pictures – Tuesday, March 16th
2020- 2021 CPS CALENDAR
View the 2020-2021 CPS school year calendar using the following link: https://www.cps.edu/globalassets/cps-pages/calendar/sy2020-2021-academic-calendar-english.pdf
2020- 2021 LSC & FOSN MEETING SCHEDULE
Below is a list of all upcoming LSC and FoSN meetings for 2020-2021. You can find more information and minutes/agendas from past LSC meetings on our website (http://www.skinnernorth.org/local-school-council-lsc.html) as well.
2020-2021 Local School Council Meetings
2020-2021 Friends of Skinner North Meetings
LSC Committee Dates:
Meeting # 1: Thursday, July 2, 2019 – Organizational Meeting @ 8:00AM
Meeting # 2: Wednesday, August 19 @ 8:00AM
Meeting # 3: Wednesday, September 16, 2020- 5:00PM
Meeting # 4: Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 6:300PM
Meeting # 5: Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 8:00AM
Meeting # 6: Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 5:00PM
Meeting #7: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 6:30PM
Meeting # 8: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 8:00AM
Meeting # 9: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 – 6:30PM
Meeting # 10: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 6:30PM
Meeting # 11: Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 8:00AM
Meeting # 12: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 – 6:30PM
July 21, 2020 – 6PM
August 20, 2020 – 6PM
September 23, 2020 – 6PM
October 21, 2020 - 6PM
November 19, 2020 - 6PM
December 15, 2020 - Election Meeting @ 6PM
January 20, 2021 – 6PM
February 24, 2021 – 6PM
March 24, 2021 – 6PM
April 15, 2021 – 6PM
May 18, 2021 – 6PM
Election Meeting/Vote on 2021-22 Budget
June 10, 2020 – 6PM
Local School Council (LSC): Ishmael El-Amin, Chair at email@example.com
The LSC works on issues regarding Community Engagement, Budget, CIWP, and Principal Selection/Retention – information is located at http://www.skinnernorth.org/local-school-council-lsc.html.
Friends of Skinner North (FoSN): Contact Adriane Schwager (President) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FoSN focuses on community building, social events and fundraisers. For information on the committees, please visit http://www.fosn.net/committees
Get connected with FoSN, our Parent Organization. FoSN communicates via website, newsletter and Facebook. To sign up for newsletters email email@example.com.
Diversity Committee: Contact Co-Chairs Danit Schleman & Smita Garg at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Diversity Committee contributes to a vibrant school community that centers the growth, success, and well-being of our students. We support programming that creates a more inclusive environment for our students, families, and staff. We model curiosity and dialogue about our intersectional identities and the diverse communities in which we live. We are committed to anti-racist learning and action to address the long-standing racial inequities in our education system.
Bus, Attendance, Volunteering or Ventra Cards: Mahjabeen Syed (email@example.com)
Enrollment, Student Fees or Library Fines: Gloria Morales (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Parent Portal: Ramiro Santillan (email@example.com)
Medical Compliance: Courtney Blissitt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sports or After School All Stars - Jon Popowich (email@example.com)
Attached is the January Skinner North community newsletter.
Please take a moment to review the information. One thing in particular listed is a virtual town hall meeting around our school reopening plan. Thanks so much for your patience as we work to prepare what our reopening will look like. Two meetings are scheduled for next Thursday, January 21st at 6 and 7:30 pm.
Also take a moment to check out the Diversity Discussion from our Diversity Committee, as well as, other school-related topics (picture day and library books).
Greetings Skinner North Family
While we were not able to see you "up and down" the hallways on Wednesday during report card pick-up, it was great to hear that conferences went well. We appreciate you taking the time to attend virtually. Hard copies of report cards were sent from the District office. You should expect those in the coming days, if you have not already received them.
This week will be a short one for our students. School is only in session on Monday and Tuesday, as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday Wednesday, November 25th - Friday, November 27th. Please have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving break.
During this week, we will be celebrating the following November Spirit Days:
Monday, November 23rd - Turkey Trot - We encourage students to put on their gym shoes and go for a walk/run during lunch/recess with a parent or parent permission. Make It A Family Event!
Tuesday, November 24th - Be Thankful and Stop, Drop, and Draw - Students are asked to create and/or wear a headpiece (hat, headband, etc.,) that represents being thankful to them. Time will be taken during the day to bring this activity to life.
Please take a moment to check out all of the important updates below: (1) Baby Magnuson Has Arrived!; (2) FIIF Forms; (3) Virtual Spelling Bee Is Here!; (4) Diversity Committee News.
Have a great one.
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Baby Magnuson Has Arrived!: Kyle and Katie are excited to introduce Abigail "Abbie" Mae Magnuson. She was born November 18, 2020 at 4:28 pm, weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces. Everyone is doing well.
In an effort to make sure that Katie gets rest and focuses on her family, please reach to the following staff members below for assistance:
Mr. Kimbrough - General (any)
Ms. Morales - Attendance
Ms. Jacobson - Social Emotional Learning
Ms. Ritchey - Diverse Learner questions or concerns
Mr. Popowich - After school programming and sports
Mr. Santillan - Technology related questions
Office Contacts - http://www.skinnernorth.org/office-contact-information.html
Teacher Contacts - http://www.skinnernorth.org/teacher-contacts.html
Family Income Information Form (FIIF): Please assist us in reaching 100% of forms being completed and returned to the school. Currently, we are at 33% and would love to have all families included in our count. This form plays a major part in calculating our school funding. All it takes is completing the household information (you do not have to list your income). The deadline for this has been extended to December 18th. Forms can be dropped off at school, mailed, or sent electronically to our clerk, Gloria at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please take a moment to fill out the form, which is attached.
Virtual Spelling Bee is Here! (Testing Window December 1st - 18th):
This year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has developed an online testing platform that will allow Skinner North to host a school spelling bee program.
In place of our traditional spelling bee program, we will hold one level of competition through online spelling and vocabulary tests. The first step to spelling bee participation is for you to register for the Scripps National Spelling Bee's online testing platform by visiting https://online-test.spellingbee.com.
I encourage you to watch this video tutorial that will walk you through the registration process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htXzjpnMijc
Once you have registered, I will be able to assign the test to your child starting on December 1st through December 18th. Students can use any device with a web browser, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. The school champion will be determined after the test taking window closes.
Our school champion will then move on to represent Skinner North in the Chicago Public Schools regional spelling bee program, which also may include online tests in lieu of in-person spelling bee events.
The first step to spelling bee participation is to register at:online-test.spellingbee.com.
Please register at your earliest convenience as I will begin assigning tests to students on 12/1. If you have already registered in the online testing platform for another child, you can log in to your account and add an additional child to that same parent account. There is no need to register a different email address for each child in your household.
Please reach out to me if you have any questions about our school spelling bee program. I look forward to having your child compete to represent our school! Also, the study lists are attached to this message.
M. Elaine Cox
6th Grade Literacy-Social Studies-Writing Teacher
From the Diversity Committee:
We soon will begin discussion groups on the podcast, "Nice White Parents." We would love for this to be an opportunity to create some connections among caregivers and staff while opening up an important thread of discussion. Please fill in this 1-minute survey to tell us your interest and availability. We are excited to hear from you!
Background on the Podcast (from The NY Times Discussion Guide):
"The podcast “Nice White Parents” largely focuses on the story of one Brooklyn middle school that opened in 1968 — and how white parents have influenced the trajectory of this school over and over, even when their children didn’t attend it. But the issues the podcast raises via this one case study make it a meaningful opportunity to explore the complicated realities of race, privilege and power across all American schools."
Good evening! Please see attached for our upcoming LSC Meeting Agenda. The virtual meeting is on Thursday (11/19) at 8AM. Login information is included on the agenda. Below is a reminder from the district regarding LSC elections.
Have a wonderful day,
Election Reminders - It’s time to vote in Local School Council Elections! Elementary School LSC Elections are this Wednesday, November 18 and High School LSC Elections are this Thursday, November 19.
You have an opportunity to vote for candidates running for the following LSC positions: six parent representatives, two community representatives, two teacher representatives, one non-teacher staff representative and one student representative (high schools only). Elected representatives serve two-year terms (one year for student representatives), influencing our school policy and academic direction.
All parents, legal guardians or temporary custodians of CPS students are eligible to vote in the LSC election at that student’s respective
school. Community members who are 17 years or older and reside in a CPS school’s attendance area or voting district may also vote in that school’s election. If you are unsure which LSC Elections you are eligible to participate in, use the CPS School Locator to find your CPS Local School Council Voting Districts.
Due to COVID-19, parents and guardians can choose between either voting in-person at their respective schools, submitting their ballots by mail, or dropping off their mail-in ballots. For in-person voting, the district is implementing stringent health and safety measures, including social distancing, face covering requirements, and completing a health screener and temperature check prior to entering school buildings. The district will also offer curbside voting for individuals with disabilities.
Community members will still be required to vote in person because the district does not have access to information for every prospective community voter living within a school’s boundary in order to provide a mail-in ballot. For key information for each voting constituency please refer to the press release published on October 21, 2020.
In-Person Election Times and Dates:
If you have additional questions about who is running at your school or how to vote in LSC Elections, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please also encourage other parents and community members to vote.
CPS Office of Local School Council Relations
We are so thankful for our school community. During this past year, we saw a school strike and remote learning, but as a collective unit we pulled through. More recently, we have been hit with harsh realities of how this country has continuously ignored racial injustices that require us to reflect and truly examine ourselves as an institution aimed at developing minds and creating active and constructive participants in our society. This is work we are committed to and seek to always partner with our families on.
To see how we are addressing issues of race and equity, please visit http://www.skinnernorth.org/diversity-equity-and-inclusion.html. At this site, you can also access our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan, view our past work in this area, review school data and areas of growth as well as learn more about SEED.
In order to best support students in talking about issues of race, we need to first be self reflective on our own perceptions. Based on this, the Skinner North Diversity Committee is starting a new series to support our families in conversations about racial equity. Once a month we will share an activity, prompt, or resources you can use to engage in discussions around racial equity. The goal of this effort is to build a more inclusive culture at Skinner North. Recognizing that everyone is starting from a different place in their understanding and journey toward racial equity, resources provided will include an array of topics. This is just one other way we can show #whatisyourimpact.
Diversity Discussions: Our Impact at HomeSelf-reflection on your own perceptions of race
Before starting a conversation with your children, take the time to reflect on the following questions. If you have a co-parent, it is useful to discuss these topics together:
Good afternoon! I hope everyone is doing well and managing through the current stressors of life from elections to Covid restrictions to remote learning. It is definitely not easy right now, so we hope you can have a long and restful weekend. Please read below for a few updates.
Have a good weekend,
Katie & Derrick
Family Income Information Form (FIIF) Action Requested - We need your help. We currently have only 28% of these forms handed in. Please complete this form and return to the school by Nov. 18 (updated date). You do not have to list your income, but the form helps inform school funding. You need to include the student name, your signature and date. Submit by sending electronically to Gloria, our clerk, email@example.com, drop off at the school, or mail to the school.
Parent-Teacher Conferences - Teachers have sent our sign ups for conferences which will occur on Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 11AM-6PM. Please reach out directly to your student's homeroom teacher if you have not received information about sign ups.
LSC Elections - In person elections for LSC are Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 7AM-7PM. Parents and staff should also receive mail in ballots. These need to be postmarked by the 18th to count. Mail in ballots are in place of in person voting this year. Please read the following FAQ for more information:
https://www.cps.edu/globalassets/cps-pages/about/local-school-councils-lscs/lsc-elections/faqs-2020-lsc-election.pdf. We will keep you updated if we hear of any other changes. Visit our election website at http://www.skinnernorth.org/lsc-elections-2020.html. We also had a few candidates withdraw from the race. You can review this on the site under the list of candidates.
*Please note if you did not receive a mailed ballot: curbside voting is available (more details are in the FAQ document listed above).
We encourage parents and staff to vote by mail whenever possible, and if you must vote in-person, to abide by the health protocols we’ve put in place, including social distancing, face-covering requirements, a health screener to be completed prior to arriving at any and all schools/sites visited, and a temperature check upon entering school buildings. To be considered valid, the health screener must be completed no earlier than 6am on the date of the proposed entry.
All general COVID-19 pandemic safety guidance applies to in-person voting:
Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt - Thank you to everyone who shared your photos from our Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt. It was wonderful to see and we loved hearing the conversations students had with one another around their neighborhoods during our buddy classroom day. Our unique experiences bring so much to our community. Sharing about ourselves and actively listening to others allows us to learn and grow and have empathy for others.
We had 58 people submit a form and this neighborhoods shared included: Albany Park, Brighton Park, Bronzeville, Bucktown, Cabrini Green, Edgewater, Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Hyde Park, Lakeview, Lakeview East, Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, Little Italy, Logan Square, Mayfair, Near North, North Center, Norwood Park, Oakland, Old Town, Ranch Triangle, River North, Rogers Park, Sauganash, South Loop, Uptown, Roscoe Village, West Loop, West Ridge, and Wicker Park. See some of the pictures shared at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/eQXAoR7jJuTtWCyX6.
Students who submitted a form were entered into a raffle. The raffle includes a #wealllive here shirt and an item from the Skinner North Superstore. Our raffle prize winners are: Obree and Rahul. (Winners will receive an email about getting their prizes.)
From the Desk of