Fall Fun at Skinner – October 19th







Do you know what happened about this time three years ago?  The first ever Fall Festival at Skinner Middle School!

If you’ve attended this festival in past years, you’ll agree that this is a great event!

  • Good food – including a salsa and a chili contest
  • Fun games and activities for all ages – maybe even a chance to throw a pie at your favorite teacher!
  • Supervised swimming in the Skinner pool
  • Silent auction with lots of great finds
  • Best of all – a chance to get to know some of the great kids and families of Skinner and some of your Northwest Denver neighbors

4th Annual Skinner Fall Festival

Saturday, October 19th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Skinner Middle School, 3435 W. 40th Avenue

Admission is free – all proceeds from food and other sales will benefit Skinner student athletics and activities.

For more information about the festival and the chili/salsa contests, please contact Rebecca Caldwell at rebecca_caldwell@dpsk12.org or 720-424-1495

Attention 8th Grade Families

Join us for a North High School Informational Night this Thursday 9/19. Hear from current students, teachers and Principal Veltzé about North’s rigorous academic offerings and programs. Ask questions and get answers about North High School.

When: September 19th 7-9 pm

Where: The “Hearthstone Common House” 4700 W. 37th Ave.

Dessert, Coffee, and Hot Cocoa will be served.

6th Graders Off to a Great Start

Almost all of the 200 incoming Skinner 6th graders attended 6th Grade Academy, which ran from 8:00 a.m. until noon every day last week.

Students spent time doing teambuilding exercises to help them get to know each other and their teachers; took practice tests; received their agendas and learned how to use them; learned their way around their new school and perhaps most importantly, received their locker assignments and learned how to operate the combination locks.

Even though it signaled the end of summer, students were wild about 6th Grade Academy. Owen Buffington agreed, “It was fun because I got to see my friends from my old school but I also made new friends and learned where my locker was.”

Ms. Goebel, 6th grade Language Arts teacher explained, “We love 6th Grade Academy because it really eases the transition to middle school and gets our students started on the right foot.”

“The week really gave my son a chance to get comfortable with the school and meet his homeroom teacher and start the year off feeling ready about a new start.”  reported Lisa Fentress parent, 6th grade student

Students, parents and teachers agree: Skinner’s 6th grade is off to a great start!

Skinner Girl’s Softball Team Travels to New York

A Trip of a Lifetime!


It sounded too good to be true: a free trip to New York to represent the Colorado Rockies in a softball tournament? Sure enough, after weeks of planning and practice,12 Skinner scholars (and three lucky coaches) traveled to the Big Apple for five days to participate in the Jr. RBI Classic, an event organized and sponsored by Major League Baseball.


Our Scorpions faced off with teams from Detroit, Harlem, and Pennsylvania. The girls’ improved skills were on display as they struck out batters, stole bases, fielded grounders, whacked the ball into the outfield, and even caught a runner in a pickle!


When they weren’t competing, the girls attended a host of events related to MLB’s All-Star Week. The team viewed landmarks like Times Square and the Empire State Building while riding into Manhattan to attend All-Star Fanfest, a convention of interactive exhibits celebrating the sport of baseball. Later, the girls watched George Lopez, Kevin James, and Mike Piazza face off against legendary pitcher Jennie Finch in a celebrity softball game at Citi Field.


The tournament also included an academic component — all players submitted an essay describing how they have used Jackie Robinson’s core values to overcome an obstacle in their lives. The winner of the “Breaking Barriers” essay contest was Skinner’s own Amelia Gardner, a rising 7th grader. Her prize? She was invited onto the field during the Home Run Derby to chase down balls that fell short of the fence! The rest of the team watched from the stands, cheering on the Rockies’ Michael Cuddyer.


Our little down time was spent at “home base,” St. John’s University, where the girls enjoyed loading up on ice cream in the dining hall, running through sprinklers to stay cool, catching fireflies at dusk, and relaxing in their dorm rooms.


The trip was an experience of a lifetime. Our players can’t wait to reunite for the regular softball season in the fall; expect them to have a little extra swagger on the field.

Jessica Frahm (6th Grade Language Arts Teacher and Skinner Girl’s Softball Coach)



Skinner’s New Garden: A Place to Learn and Grow

Scorpion Botanic Garden – Help is needed!

Skinner’s Special Education class and teacher have launched a very exciting project and we need the community’s help!

The garden is intended to be a place to learn and grow for Skinner’s  Multi-Intensive special education class.  Specifically the garden will teach  math, science and life skills in a practical and fun way.

The students and their teacher, Ms. Jamie Kitchen, have already put in a lot of effort to make this happen. The DPS Facility Management Office has approved the site at the school and the DPS Sustainability Office, which oversees all gardens at DPS schools, is helping to guide this effort.  They have been a big help to Ms. Kitchen and the students in figuring out what to plant, garden design, etc.

On Monday, May 13, all Skinner students were able to enjoy a free dress day (out of dress code) with a minimum $1 donation to the garden.  Skinner’s 6th grade honors science class is also helping the special ed class with this project. Other groups have also helped including the Grands, the grandparent and community elder group who do volunteer activities at the school and Ms. Kitchen has already signed parents up to help with the watering during the summer when school will be closed. As you can see, while this is specifically for the special education class, the entire Skinner family is supporting this project.

Skinner’s corporate partner, Zachry Engineering (www.zhi.com), has made a generous donation of the funds necessary to build a fence around the garden.  Additionally, Taming Nature Garden Center (38th & Clay) and Home Depot (Wadsworth & 52nd) have donated supplies.

Two weeks ago, the class walked up and down a few of the bustling streets of the Highlands neighborhood asking neighbors and local businesses if they would help fund our garden and received almost $200 in cash donations to purchase supplies. “We also passed out flyers and talked to people about our garden plans. It was a great afternoon to practice our communication skills and get people interested in what Skinner is doing,” said Ms. Kitchen

If you are interested in donating to this amazing project, please see below for the items we still need. Any help is appreciated and gently used items are welcomed.

The primary need is for funding to complete the garden. We need approximately $300 more for the garden, as well as the items listed below.  Please contact Ms. Kitchen at Jamie_kitchen@dpsk12.org or 720-424-1513 to donate.  Please also see the class blog at http://scorpionbotanicgarden.wordpress.com/ for updates and more photos.

DONATIONS NEEDED (New or gently used items are great!):

Cash donations of any amount ($300 total needed)

Soil (100 40lb bags)

Cinder Blocks (224)

Garden Trowels (15)

Large Shovels

Gardening Gloves (20 pairs)

Hand Held Weeding Forks (10)

Large Watering Cans (5)

Garden Hose (1)

Garden Hose Reel (1)

Nozzle/Wands for Hose (1)

Bricks or Composite Boards for Lining Planting Areas

Garden Signs

Ground Stakes to Label Plants (30)

Picnic Tables/Benches/Items for Sitting Areas

Skinner Arts Night

This Wednesday, May 15th, and Thursday, May 16th, at 6:30, Skinner Middle School presents its end of the year Arts Night.  The Drama club will perform William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a comical play that will make you smile and laugh the whole night. The Music Program will have a Band performance on Wednesday and an Orchestra performance on Thursday.

Megan Gilman and Annabel Allen were pleased with the enthusiasm in drama and had over 30 students participate this spring.  “Because Drama has grown so much this year we were able to double cast” said Ms Gilman.  Both casts are amazing and won ribbons and praise at last month’s DPS Shakespeare Festival. Come see a truly great performance and celebrate our NW Denver budding middle school actors.

Additionally, the Skinner Band and Orchestra will have respective performances immediately following the play.  Over 90 students participated this year in Skinner’s music program with the Arts Night as the culmination of all of their hard work.

Please come and enjoy the Skinner Middle School Arts Night.

  • Wednesday May 15 at 6:30
    A Midsummer Nights Dream, Immediately following – Band Performance
  • Thursday, May 16 at 6:30
    A Midsummer Nights Dream, Immediately following – Orchestra Performance

To order a DVD or request the online video from the night, please make an online request (by May 24) and consider a donation to the drama program

IMPORTANT DATES: the Skinner Talent Show (May 2) & the Mile High Run (May 4)

SKINNER’S GOT TALENT – Thursday, May 2 6pm

Please join us for the Skinner Talent Show, this Thursday evening at 6pm in the Skinner auditorium.  Several students have auditioned and 15 will be performing.  The talent ranges from acting/skits to acoustic guitar performances and dancing. Come and support our talented and brave performers.  Skinner Middle School is proud to present the lineup:

•  Jazmine Eaton —- Self-Composed Song

•  Ivy Medina —- Singing

•  Savannah Roche —- Piano and Singing

•  Kimberly Aguilera and Jules Martinez —- Singing

•  Daniel Martinez —- Singing

• Cheyanne Burton —- Singing

• Sabrina Rodriguez and Kyanna Burrell – Dancing

• Destiny and Alyssa Laws —- Singing

•  Janae Cashman —- Singing

•  Ayleen Lepe —- Singing

•  Yukiko Vega and Elicia Hernandez —- Singing

•  Maya Stone —- Guitar and Singing

•  Rose Solis —- Singing

•  Adia Bousman —- Singing

•  Demetrius Sabell, Maximus Sabell, and Ozborn   Schneider —- Acting/Skits

Admission to the Skinner Talent Show is a donation of one non-perishable food item.


MILE HIGH RUN – Saturday, May 4 beginning at 8:30 am

The Mile High 5 Race at Sloan’s Lake is a community RUN to support NW Denver schools.  Please come support Skinner by running, walking or watching.

Three different runs (or walks) are scheduled:  A 5000 ft “Fun Run” will begin at 8:30 a.m., a 5K run will begin at 9:00 a.m. and a 5 Mile Race will start at 9:15.

Please sign up (it’s not too late) or come and cheer Skinner students, teachers and families!

To register: http://milehigh5race.eventbrite.com



Ribbons, Accolades and Fun: Skinner Takes Center Stage at the Shakespeare Festival

Last Friday more than 30 Skinner 6th, 7th and 8th graders performed scenes from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the annual DPS Shakespeare Festival. From the first scene until the last, judges were quite impressed with the polished actors.

“You all had a great spirit – Shakespeare would be proud,” said one of the judges.

The festival was a well-organized event and the students represented Skinner incredibly well, winning 18 ribbons for 14 scenes.

“They definitely had a strong presence and I thought the two drama teachers did an fantastic job,” said Julia Bozik mother of a 6th grade performer.

Catch the upcoming performances of this wonderful and funny play A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Skinner’s Arts Night on May 15th and 16th at 6:00 p.m.

6th Grader wins National Poetry Contest

Congratulations to Elyse Hatch-Rivera!  Her poem “Vanish” was chosen as one of the top ten poems of the 2012 Creative Communications’ Fall Poetry Contest.

Ms. Frahm, our 6th grade Language Arts teacher, submitted over 40 6th grade poems to Creative Communications and of those, 28 were selected and published.  Considering that this was a national contest with over 10,000 entries, we are proud not only of Elyse for receiving this honor but also proud of all of the Skinner poets selected.

Elyse said her poem was inspired after class discussions dealing with minority rights.  She credits her teachers Ms. Frahm and Ms. Hale with their support and inspiration.

When asked, Elyse had this to say about poetry, “Poetry is a way for me to express myself.  What I can’t capture in words I can capture on a piece of paper”.

Check out Elyse’s poem below:


She says, she’s fine,
She says, she’s happy,

All I see

is a broken soul wandering away
down an endless crossroad

She says, she’s confident,
She says, she’s happy,

All I see

is a girl slowly slipping away
from her own world

She says, she’s content,
She says, she’s happy,

All I see

is a fragile dandelion blown

All I see now is a stem
left behind.

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