My son was accepted in the classical program. I took him out of his current school after receiving the ridiculous 24 hour notice that he was accepted and school had already started. We made the move and regretted it. Before school every morning, most of the kids congregate in the lunchroom. There is limited supervision, and it is very chaotic. His regular school day was fine, but his teacher was not very responsive to returning emails and made a point in the first class room meeting with parents to state she would not return emails with anything more than one sentence and not to expect a long winded reply from her. I went to the first PTO meeting, and found that the PTO group really didn’t want your opinion, they are perfectly happy with how things are handled already, such a waste of time. After school had finished, my son was signed up for the Chicago Park District program. There were a few times when he decided not to go and no one was the wiser. One two occasions I was told no one knew where my son was only to find he had either gone outside already or was walking the school investigating on his own. I felt the number of students was too overwhelming for the amount of supervisors at any given time. In my opinion, Skinner West is not worth all the hype.
Skinner West is a school that cultivates academic excellence, strong character and well-rounded students; it's reputation is well-deserved. My daughter has been a student in the magnet/neighborhood program for two years and she truly feels like a Skinner Superstar who is thriving academically, socially and emotionally. Principal Clark and the teachers are excellent, and hold the same high expectstions of all students across the classical and magnet programs.
My son goes to this school and is in second grade with Ms Katie Schwartz. He is very happy with her teaching and I see a lot of progress, she is a very good teacher. He also a good experience with Mr Merlin during his kindergarten.
My daughter got into the gifted program this upcoming fall (2015-16 school year). We have heard and read mostly good things about the school and was impressed at the open house, although they spent too much time letting the children perform and not enough time for the tour and questions from parents. I sent several emails to one administrator their to set up a meeting and answer my questions regarding enrollment - never got a response for 3 weeks. I sent an email to her teacher and didn't get a response for 2 days. So I called the school and told the lady in the office that we were dropping off the registration packet today and could she check with my daughter's teacher to see if she had 2-5 minutes to meet my daughter (my daughter is very excited to see her new school and meet her new teacher). Well, I was told that she couldn't meet her today because she has a teacher's meeting after school. Maybe I'm overacting but I thought she could meet with her for 2 minutes. I am very objective and perhaps things will improve but for now I'm rating the school 3 stars. I will write another review in the future.
We have been very happy with our experience at Skinner West Elementary School. Our daughter is in the classical program there. Before attending Skinner West she was bored and had started to dislike school. This has completely changed since attending Skinner West. She absolutely loves school! While we have a bit of a commute to school, it is well worth the drive. In my opinion, I believe that Skinner West has two main factors working for it: First, I am very impressed with the teachers. They appropriately challenge students and work with students to develop studying skills that are necessary to achieve success academically. Second, the students in her class are all high achievers. Finally, it is 'Cool' to be good at school. These two factors synergistically work together to create a culture that promotes intellectual growth and a health amount of academic competition. Another benefit of Skinner West is the after school star program. They organize a myriad of activities after school while still providing quiet study hall time so that students will finish HW before heading home. Over all - at least for our family - Skinner West is a complete gem!
We like Skinner, but my daughter's second grade classroom (neighborhood) now has 37 (yes, that's right, 37) students! Kudos to Ms. Katie Schwartz for her ability to keep her students focused and challenged, all the while maintaining order and calm.
I am in the eighth grade of this school, and I have to say that our social studies teacher, Ms. Mellos, is really good. She gets every student's respect easily and their attention easily. I really admire her teaching. Another teacher, Mr. Batchelor, is very boring. I always end up staring at the clock in his algebra class. Algebra is such a fascinating subject, but he makes it boring. He needs to have a louder voice and be more interactive with his students. Although he is a new teacher at Skinner, I believe that he can still improve.
I attend this school, and I am very content except for one factor. My science teacher, Ms. Montenegro, is very lax and careless when it comes to teaching. She is very ignorant and seems like she does not have enough knowledge to teach. When she is being observed by Ms . Clark or Ms. Robinson, she puts on a fake act. She prepares power-points and require us to do experiments. She acts extra cheery and like she is a true scientist. When we leave, she asks each table to leave quietly. On a normal day, she simply screams "GET OUT!" I believe her teaching style and behavior should be changed immediately. On the other hand. my social studies teacher, Mr. Fitz, is exceptional. He is patient, open minded, and has lots of knowledge to share. I learn a lot from each of his lectures.
Skinner West school is definitely a good school when your young. I loved it when I was younger but as I got older I started to quickly decrease on my love for this school. Some things are not like they use to be, and many of my classmates are not they use to be. You see now a lot of people are sad or depressed or just not as positive. I would kindly as I can say that maybe before you look into they school maybe some further investigation into the students and how everything is. It's a great school when your young, but as you abate through life the quality and the feel of the school may not be like it use too.