I am considering Skinner west for my daughter for next year (Fall 2014) After having a trip for the school's open house, I was very impressed by students teachers and the program itself.
It is hard to gauge a school from reading reviews. Test scores also do not paint a complete picture of the culture and the organization. There is no doubt about the greatness of Skinner West - and that's because the children who come here are exceptional to begin with. If you are considering Skinner. Consider doing two things (1) Calling the office and if you actually talk to a person instead of a full voicemail (2) Emailing the principal - Gauge your decision on the quickness of their response. This is reflective of their attitude towards the children, the parents and the staff. If you are pleased with the urgency that you are treated or are happy on how you were received, by all means come to this school. A whole team of parents gets the website, newletters and social media going. If not for these hard working, concerned parents - communication is very poor in this school. It is an amazing community who is eager to learn and grow but there's something wanting in its direction and leadership.
that child that copies and past his or her homework or whatever, is going to suffer when it's time to take the state's standerlized test. it's all boils down in the end when it's time for placement in a good high school.
Yes, it may be true that most uppergrade students at Skinner do not use the best language, but even though we don't we still don't use that language in front of little kids (the eighth graders don't at least.) Skinner either way is still one of the best elementary schools in state, our school has amazing teachers, i have understood soooo many things having to do with school, that i do believe that would not have understood if i went to any other school. The staff members love these children, we can all joke around and have fun while learning, same with the teachers. The work can be challenging, but the teachers are there for us kids, they stay after school, at the latest 8:00 at night, grading papers, trying to figure out what they could do to make the school better, and coming up with new lesson plans for the next day. We work a level above the actual grade level, and that helps with trying to get into highschools, you already know more than some other kids applying to the same highschools do. I personally have loved this school since i first became a Skinner Superstarstar, in kindergarten. - An eigth grade graduate (CLASS OF 2013!!!)
After reading some of the reviews, I had to post mine. I'm not saying its a bad school but its not perfect. It has smart kids and regular kids just like every school does. I happen to know someone that their child is actually attending the 5th grade and copies and pastes his homework from wikipedia and other websites in the internet. I'm surprised teachers being so great don't notice. They also allow children to be placed in advance classes all because the parent or parents requested it for appearances and who suffers? The child does. There is bullying in this school, if the staff choose to ignore it, that's a different story.... Maybe its distinctive from other public schools, because its located in a good neighborhood, as I recall it used to be near the projects of chicago...
Skinner is a very diverse school, full of very intelligent students. We are a bully free school, and our school is a very positive environment.
Skinner is a great school, and it would be a great place to start your child in. You always feel at home, and there isn't any bullying here. You learn so much, not just in class, but also from all the people you meet. Skinner is a greatly diverse school, and everyone is so nice. All the upper grade students learn Spanish, and usually go to high school, taking Honors level Spanish classes. Teachers prepare you well for the life ahead of you after you leave Skinner. Going to Skinner is a great school!
I learn to think out of the box while having fun at Skinner. Other than the traditional core classes, I also take advanced Spanish language classes and have been accepted into Spanish 2 with honors for high school next year. All of my teachers have done a phenomenal job preparing me for high school and I am very thankful that I have the opportunity to go to school here.
I go to Skinner West now, and I am graduating into one of the best high schools in the State, as are many of my friends and classmates. Skinner has prepared me for the high school experience and curriculum, with it's challenging subjects. I really enjoy Skinner, and I no longer dread going to school in the morning. Every day I am excited about what we are going to do today, whether it be in the science lab or a history project. I think that everybody who says bad things about Skinner has never truly experienced the greatness of it. Skinner is the best school ever! :)
Skinner is an excellent school. I am a current eighth-grader here at Skinner (class of 2012!!) and if you're considering Skinner, then absolutely go for it! The teachers are nice (except one, who is VERY rude, and her pupils often complain about her meanness), and it's very diverse here. The workload in the upper grade system prepares you for higher-levels of learning (high-school, college, etc...), which is a great benefit. Over all, despite a few cons (that mean teacher I mentioned!) Skinner West is definitely a great way to go if you want to further your child's education.
I have been at Skinner for 11 years. From preschool, all the way up to 8th grade. During my years at Skinner, I have met the best and smartest students and teachers. Skinner is VERY diverse school, and we learn at grade level ahead. Learning a year above grade level give us advantage (especially when applying for high schools) over other elementary schools.
Skinner is a great school although there is a lot of bullying and negativity throughout the span of children. Overall this school is amazing with many great teachers! I've been here since Pre-Kindergarten and I've loved it
Skinner West is a premiere school. I am glad that my parents put me in a school that bettered my chances into getting to a prestigious high-school and college. I have attended Skinner for 10 years and i have enjoyed my experience here. i especially love the principal, Ms. Clark. i can attest to the fact that she is loving and care. i strongly believe that she knows almost every student on a personal level. If you ever see Ms. Clark you will realize how treat of a principal she is. The teachers here have over prepared us in our efforts into getting into selective enrollment high-schools. I am glad I have attended Skinner,.
Skinner West is a diverse school, and offers a challenging program for all students. Students learn at an accelerated rate, and a year above their grade level. I have been at the school for eight years now, and am graduating this year. Throughout the eight years that I have been here, I have been challenged, helped, and exceed at my curriculum. It is the best elementary school the city has to offer.
This school provides a great educational opportunity for kids to learn above their grade level. The people who talk about the eighth grade of 2012(yes i am one of them)are clearly talking about another school because i can clearly say that just about non of those things are true about the class of 2012. The school and classes have improved completely and i am prod to be apart of this school.
Skinner is a wonderful school, with teachers that help the students whenever they are in need. The student's are eager to succeed and the teachers are eager to help them succeed. Absolutely one of the better schools in Chicago. The principal, Mrs. Clark, is the most caring and involved principal that I have ever seen. All the teachers, students, and other staff are amazing.
Skinner is a very good school i am graduating from Skinner this year and i am very pleased with the curriculum . The principal there is the nicest women i have ever met she always puts the kids first and always listens to our problems . The upper grade program is suprib it is very diverse and i when i have a child i will defiantly send them here . The teachers here are a different story some are nice while some are mean and love to down grade the student .
I was a student at Skinner West Classical. Class of 2012 to be exact. I have been at Skinner since the 2nd grade. I have graduated with honors at pretty much every class and currently attending Walter Payton College Prep. When i was in the upper grades I learned allot more than my friends from other schools and finished with an algebra credit. Although in certain grades you might not have as strong as teacher as you hoped for but overall you will learn that your child is doing just fine. As for children hanging around school after hours some certain classes might seem to be a little bad but that's because our principle has discussed that after 3:15 that they are no longer associated with Skinner West and their actions are completely on them unless they are inside the building. Children from previous years might have been bad but Skinner has changed over the years and the only classes that Skinner has that might be considered bad would be the classes with the most amount of new students. Also i would like to point out that there is no bullying at Skinner we actually have an anti-bullying program and there hasn't been any fights since '08.
As student of 11 years at Both Skinner 'sPreschool Program and as well an Student Skinner West Classical School. Skinner to me has been on the West Side Chicago , since forever. Skinner West Classical continues to prove over the years Skinner Students are most likely to go into an prominent High school after 8 grade graduation. Like myself i am attending to Whitney Young Magnet High School an Blue Ribbon School. Skinner West is the most diverse school i have ever seen. From personally experience of course as being an Student in the 8th grade. Skinner's academics are off the charts , proving that Skinner West has the most top students in the City of Chicago. This is school is one of the best of best school on Chicago's near West Side. The students of this school are all future prominent leaders of the world and are to lead to a promising future.
Skinner school is a very nice school. Skinner has a very good environment for students to be in. Students at Skinner have fun and learn something new everyday. The teachers are very organized and always have a lesson planned. This school is bully free and students are treated with respect.
I came to Skinner West in 7th grade and I love it here. Skinner has helped me grow both academically and as a person. I have learned many things that will help me in my high school experience and throughout my life. I tried out for the academic centers at Whitney young in 6th grade at my old school and did not make it. After having Skinner prepare me, I tried out for a selective enrollment high school and was accepted into Walter Payton College Prep. This school has a very challenging curriculum and really does prepare you for your high school experiences. The teachers help you with whatever you need no matter what it pertains to. They invest much of their time in their students and help them to succeed. I will not forget the experiences I had at Skinner.
I have been a student at Skinner since the first grade. My experience with the school has been mostly positive, but I do recognize that there are some flaws. The teachers are very passionate and understanding. In the classroom, you can see that they try to bring out our inner leaders. Sometimes, there are problems with teachers and students. With the excelerated curriculum and the constant reminder to "think outside the box", there are sometimes arguments and misunderstandings, but we always work through them. In all, the school is not perfect, but it is working toward being close to it. I am very proud to call myself a Skinner Superstar.
Skinner School is a great school to send your children to. Students learn at fast paces, keeping ahead of other schools in the city, even surpassing us parents some times! Still, there is a huge workload that leads to heavy caffeine intake in middle school, but it rewards the students with amazingly diverse and strong options of schools to choose from. The school also offers a new but good math program that can put kids in advanced placement high schools.
Skinner is one of the best public schools in the city, the state-wide scores reflect this. The students here are smart as a whip and the teachers constantly challenge these kids daily. There's good reason Doctors, Lawyers & people from all walks of life scramble to try and get their child(ren) into Skinner. A top-notch curriculum and a dedicated Principal in Ms. Clarke powers Skinner into A+ status. I'm convinced that one of the core dynamics in making a good public school is the parental involvement. The parents at Skinner demand excellence and the staff delivers. From the Sciences to Drama, Geography, Advanced Matematics, Social Studies, Technology, Music, Art and so much more, this school is making it happen. There's only a handful of public elementary schools in Chicago on par with Skinner, only a few! Lastly, Skinner has the luxury of being a gateway school to Whitney Young, which resides mere steps away from Skinner, 1/2 block to be exact. I was overjoyed when my daughter was chosen to attend Skinner and I look forward to her attending Whitney Young High School, another excellent public school within the city. --Jeremy Williams, Parent.
My child has been attending the neighborhood program at Skinner for a couple months. Here are the pros & cons that are obvious so far: Pros: Intense & excellent academic education if you get the right teacher (I think most are), beautiful facility Cons: Disorganized (e.g. pick-up & drop off is a mass of people), not diverse in upper grades as reported, neighborhood program admits siblings of the students in the classical program (staff & parents aren't forthright about this so obviously politics are in involved), the office staff are not helpful & often don't even acknowledge your presence in the office, so far the children are not learning a second language like they were supposed, the only scheduled recess is before school starts so, depending on the teacher, the kids will often go days without any physical activity, the classical kids usually get double the library, gym, music, etc. classes, & there is one teachers aid that bullies, yells at & treats the children disrespectfully. I see how Skinner West gets such great tests scores but a great academic education seems to be what matter to the school and not much else. Sadly the character of the children is irrelevant there.
As a parent of one child in the neighborhood and one in the classsical I am Utterly amazed at how ignorant this comment has been. Neighborhood parents LESS involved??? Please informe yourself before you talk, dear parent!!! We are involved in a lot of fundraisers, last of which paid for technology. Stop in any of the neighborhood classes and you will see parents volunteering to help children or the teachers. We love our schol and we are very proud of it! We do the same for the classsical students. Actually a lot of the funds collected by the neighborhood organization, Friends of Skinner West go towards funding gaps in the classical program. Kids are truly delightful, smart as whips and funny and carring. But kids will be kids no matter what school they go to and this is the way we want them to be: KIDS! Teachers are just as great. I am just sad to see the divide between the neighborhood and the classical parents...as one could have perceived it from the previous comment.
I'm not really understanding what all these people are talking about that the kids bad behavior and all this stuff. I just barely graduated out of there from the 2009-2010 year and I really don't think that its that big of a deal, especially not when you put it in comparasin with the neighborhood schools. Just saying.
One should not judge a book by its cover. The Skinner kids are not the only children that make use of Skinner Park after school. There are other children that live in the neighborhood that use this park without adult supervision. Second point, one would be amazed at what their "little well behaved angels" would say and or do when their parents aren't around. Especially when they are all going throug puberty.
I agree 100% with the reviewer who wrote about how the children behave after school. - they behave in a jerky manner which gives a negative impression of Skinner school. I do not have children who attend but my participate in the after school program at the neighborhood park district.
Take a walk over to this school at the end of the day and take a seat on the bench or just hang out at the park nearby. You will see the way these kids really act. The amount of foul language and inappropriate behavior is so prevalent it's embarrassing. The majority is from the middle to upper grades but the younger children see this and get ideas that this is acceptable. You would never know you were in one of the better neighborhoods in Chicago.
Our child is in the neighborhood component of Skinner. It is wonderful. The teacher is teaching kids to different levels so each child gets the academic focus they need. You should be prepared for a strong focus on academics. Our child has homework every night and is reading and doing math above grade level. Moreover, a number of the neighborhood parents have started a fundraising effort which is already raising money for the school. We have another child who will be starting at Skinner this fall. It's a great school.
The classical program at Skinner is, in a word, phenomenal. Our child's classes have been running two years ahead of the standard curriculum (a pace the kids have set). And the kids are delightful: A kindergardener once told me the difference between herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores -- before making dinosaur chewing noises! The kids are very polite and clearly comfortable to be who they are. If your kid is hyper intelligent, I can think of no better place. We looked at other schools: all were either weak academically (privates, ex-UCLS), expensive and stressful (UCLS), or far (other classical schools). Many students are kids of academics since UIC is a few blocks away. That school-focused culture carries over into the school. (We joke that Skinner aims higher by preparing kids for graduate school.) The only concern: if you are considering the neighborhood school (in the same building), realize that CPS wavers on supporting it, and most of those parents are far less involved.
Skinner is a great public school. All of my children have been blessed to have tested into the school's classical program. The principal is excellent! Her focus is always for the benefit of her students. She always makes her decisions based on what is best for the student. Sometimes this may not set well with the parents or teachers; it doesn t matter her alliance is with the child and she will do all she can to make sure a child is receiving all that he or she needs to excel. The teachers are wonderful and try hard to engage the students despite class sizes. They also have a great social worker. There are many private schools students that do not perform as well as Skinner SuperStars. I think the school's greatness is a reflection of its leadership!
I am very happy that my kid can get textbooks 4 months after the beginning of the school year because we still have 5 months to use them. I am also happy that my kid can get CPS bus service after we called Skinner only 3 weeks from the first day of the school year. The principle is really helpful and you can get answers from her directly because the staffs in offices are always too busy to care about you. And yes, you can find what's going on a few years ago in skinner. Is it wonderful if you just join Skinner? As of what's happening today? You will know if you are still there. The best thing I love is the homework. I refresh every corner of my memory to make sure I can teach my kid. I feel full of elementary knowledge now. Yeh!
this horrible school is full of bullies througth all the grades!! my kids is not going to go there evr again!! many people are scared to say this but it is very true..some kids just exclude the others alot and say mean things
The new facility is great; however, that does not make up for the lack of communication between the administration and the staff. There is a wonderful tool called the internet, but they seem to forget that they have a functioning website. As for the education, the focus on learning is excellent. This is the first year that they have offered a neighborhood kindergarten program and in which my daughter is enrolled. The teacher is great at pushing those who are ahead while addressing the needs of those that still need a little more help. I am very happy with Skinner.
I am parent of a 2nd grader at Skinner. SKinner School is an outstanding school with excellent administration, staff and of course, superb teachers. Classical school (which means admission through testing). Skinner is every bit the quality environment that a parent would find in a private school.
We have just encountered how the focus at Skinner seems to be only about the test scores and not about the community of children and families as well. We understood that the work would be plentiful and challenging, but the administration was completely dismissive and in the end, entirely unresponsive to our concerns about our child's teacher and every day information necessary to navigate at Skinner. All focus has been on sowing off the new facility, warning about the amount of homework, and in this teacher's case, actively working to implement archaic systems of 'crowd control'. We removed our child from the school and have yet to hear from the principle on the matter a week later. Advanced school does not mean advanced educators, as we've discovered the hard way. They are lucky to have such great kids and families and should step up.
We love this school. My son has been there since KDG. It is pretty challenging for him. We are quite happy about all the progress he has made every school year.
My son has been at Skinner since Kindergarten. He's now entering 5th grade. I'm a huge fan of the teachers, who maximize their resources. I have always felt each teacher worked to get to know my child's strengths and weaknesses and helped him achieve his potential.
I love skinner, I think that they should reconize their advanced students, and have work for them that is up to their standards, I have considered removing my child for this reason, but I am still waiting for the challenge patiently because I have heard so many great things about Skinner
As a parent of a child entering the 4th grade this year and whose been at Skinner since Kindergarten, I am well aware of how chaotic it can sometimes get with those children afterschool. However, the school is excellent and if you put into perspective what those kids are doing academically, there really should not be any wonder why they need to let lose as much energy as they do. What we need to realize is that these kids are above average and need a lot of parental invovlement, especially the younger ones. It's not up to the teachers to make sure things like homework is completed and turned in. Remember they have classes of 30 and it is an impossible task for them to pacify every student and their parents. We need to take more responsibility for our child's behavior. Compare Skinner to your neighborhood school!
This school is not a 10. The children fight and do not listen to authority. It's not an atmosphere for learning. The teachers are wonderful & trying, but overall it's not an environment condusive to learning.
I agree with the other parent's comment about the lack of communication with parents. They may give the children the papers, but the papers don't make it home. There is a website, it should be updated to keep the parents up-to-date. We may not have time to attend all the meetings. I also had my child in the afterschool program last year, and it was crazy. I understand the location has now moved and hope that it has been improved since my son was there. In regards to the teachers and their style of teaching, I am 100% happy with what they are doing. My son just transferred in last year and already I can see the big difference. The fact that it is selective enrollment has also added much value to his vocabulary and habits. I love his overall experience wouldn't change back.
I'm currently a seventh grade student at Skinner. It is extremely challenging for the upper graders. There's a large consistent amount of homework weeky, but they do teach you what is need to be taught. Though one of the main reasons I chose to attend Skinner is that Skinner has a great relationship and connection with the selective enrollment high schools, such as Whitney M. Young HS. Chances are, if you attend Skinner and do well, you're probably going to go to one of the best high schools in chicago. GO Skinner Superstars! [im one of them]!
My son attends the Tuition Based Preschool Program and this is our first year at Skinner. We have heard so many good things about the school and I can honestly say that this first year experience has been great. My son is three and he has learned many new things that a regular kindergarten child may not know. He is completing this school year knowing upper and lower case letters. He knows the sounds to all the letters of the alphabet. He knows all his shapes and colors. He can cut with scissors correctly. He can hold an intellectual conversation with you. The staff did an outstanding job with the class.
My son is in Kindergarten and I feel he has done well, however, I am not that impressed with the teacher or the school. The teacher does not communicate well and does not seem that interested in parental concerns. Communication overall with the school is lacking. Phone calls and e-mails never returned or acknowledged. The after school program is an absolute zoo! There were many times when I arrived to pick up my son that the kids were completely unsupervised. My son has done well in school but I feel he would do just as well at our community school. I have to wonder if the kids do well at Skinner because of the teachers or is it because of they have a selective enrollment.
My son has been a student at Skinner since 1rst grade and will be in 4th grade this upcoming year. As a teacher myself for 12 years with CPS, it can be difficult to find a great school. I have been overjoyed with the quality of the work and with the nurturing atmosphere at Skinner. This is a great school and I intend to send all four of my children to this great institution.
My Preschooler is currently enrolled and is doing well in a terrific well rounded atomosphere. The teachers are quite caring and continue to nuture as well as teach which is encouraging for a Parent.
This is an accelerated program where children work one grade level ahead. I'll tell you that they get there through homework! Challenging but excellent teachers.
I love Skinner School. My son has received an education on par with private schools with excelled academia. The teacher's are very objective and parent support/participation unparrelled to what is found in other public community schools. Skinner, Bravo and keep up the good work.
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