Welcome New Skinner 6th Grade Class of 2025! Click for important dates!

Dear Parents/Guardians and Incoming 6th Grade Students/Estimados padres / tutores y estudiantes ingresando al 6to grado:

We would like to personally welcome our incoming 6th grade students and their parents/guardians to Skinner Middle School. The Skinner staff is thrilled that you have selected our school to begin the important life passage of middle school.

We have several events coming up for our new 6th Grade Class of 2025. The next event is Wednesday, April 25.

Please click and read the 6th grade Welcome letter 4-21 which includes all of the upcoming dates. Please mark your calendar with these important dates. Information has also been mailed to your home address.

We look forward to meeting you and welcoming your family to the Skinner family!

Sincerely,

 

Michelle Koyama                             Grant Varveris

Executive Principal                          Principal

 


Estimados padres / tutores y estudiantes ingresando al 6to grado:

Me gustaría dar la bienvenida personalmente a nuestros estudiantes ingresando al 6to grado  y a sus padres / tutores a la Escuela Secuecundaria Skinner. El personal de Skinner está encantado de que haya seleccionado nuestra escuela para comenzar el importante ciclo de vida de la escuela secundaria.

Tenemos varios eventos para nuestra nueva clase de 6to grado de 2025. El primer evento es el jueves 19 de abril.

Haga clic y lea 6th grade Welcome Letter SPANISH que incluye todas las próximas fechas. Por favor marque su calendario con estas fechas importantes. Esta carta también se enviará por correo a su domicilio.

Esperamos una transición sin contratiempos a la Escuela Secundaria Skinner para todos los estudiantes ingresando al 6to grado.  Gracias por apoyar el éxito de la escuela secundaria de su hijo.

Atentamente,

Michelle Koyama               Grant Varveris

Directora                              Director

Skinner Scientists at State Science Fair!

Four of our amazing Skinner scientists competing on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at the 63rd Colorado Science and Engineering Fair at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Pictured below are Veronica Wolf, Preston Schmidt, Sophie Scholl and Juno Gregg. This is the third year in a row that Skinner scientists have sent projects to the State Science Fair!

Estimadas familias de la Escuela Secundaria Skinner/Dear Skinner Middle School Families:

April 2, 2018

Dear Skinner Middle School Families,

Our principal, Michelle Koyama, has announced that at the end of the school year, she will transition out of the Skinner Middle School principal role into the role of executive principal of the Skinner and Lake Middle School partnership. Michelle has been a valuable part of the Skinner family for 10 years, and she will now be able to impact more students and families in Denver’s northwest neighborhoods. We thank Ms. Koyama for her valuable contributions, dedication and successful leadership at Skinner Middle School.

We are excited to announce that Principal Grant Varveris will be the new principal of Skinner Middle School starting at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. He will work closely with Ms. Koyama to carry on the Skinner community values and instructional leadership model.

Mr. Varveris comes to Skinner with 20 years of experience working as a principal, assistant principal and teacher. For the last seven years, he has been a school leader within Denver Public Schools. He is currently the principal of University Park Elementary School and has served in this role for the last three years. Prior to that, Mr. Varveris worked as assistant principal at both William (Bill) Roberts K-8 School and Oakland Elementary School.

Before coming to Denver, Mr. Varveris lived in Illinois where he taught students in grades three through eight before ascending to the role of assistant principal at Eberhart Elementary School in Chicago. In these roles, Mr. Varveris helped communities, schools and students achieve maximum success by focusing both on overall school culture and rigorous personalized instruction. Principal Varveris will use this experience to support the current and future work of the Skinner Middle School community.

Mr. Varveris will be attending several events at Skinner in the next upcoming months. Please know that while he is excited to be a part of the Skinner family, he also must make sure and fulfill his current role at University Park. Please feel free to connect with Mr. Varveris at Grant_Varveris@dpsk12.org.

Thank you for your continued support of Skinner Middle School. We are committed to ensuring Principal Varveris and Skinner have the support, resources and tools to help all students and educators succeed. Please join me in welcoming this talented new leader to the Skinner family.

Sincerely,

Nicole T. Veltzé

Assistant Superintendent, Division of Secondary Education

Denver Public Schools


2 de abril de 2018

Estimadas familias de la Escuela Secundaria Skinner:

Nuestra directora, Michelle Koyama, ha anunciado que, cuando finalice el año escolar, abandonará su puesto de directora en la Escuela Secundaria Skinner para asumir su nuevo puesto de directora ejecutiva de la alianza entre la Escuela Secundaria Skinner y Lake. Michelle ha sido parte valiosa de la familia de Skinner durante 10 años y, a partir de ahora, podrá tener un mayor impacto en más estudiantes y familias de los vecindarios del noroeste de Denver. Agradecemos a la Srta. Koyama por sus valiosas contribuciones, dedicación y exitoso liderazgo en la Escuela Secundaria Skinner.

Nos complace anunciar que el director Grant Varveris será el próximo director de la Escuela Secundaria Skinner a partir del inicio del año escolar 2018-19. Trabajará estrechamente con la Srta. Koyama a fin de continuar con los valores y el modelo de liderazgo en la instrucción de la comunidad de Skinner.

El Sr. Varveris se incorpora a Skinner con una experiencia de 20 años como director, subdirector y maestro. Durante los últimos siete años, ha ejercido como líder escolar en las Escuelas Públicas de Denver. En la actualidad, es el director de la Escuela Primaria University Park, papel que ha desempeñado durante los últimos tres años. Antes, el Sr. Varveris trabajó como subdirector en la Escuela de ECE a 8.º grado William (Bill) Roberts y en la Escuela Primaria Oakland.

Antes de su llegada a Denver, el Sr. Varveris vivió en Illinois, donde enseñó a estudiantes de tercer a octavo grado hasta ejercer el papel de subdirector en la Escuela Primaria Eberhart en Chicago. En el desempeño de estas funciones, el Sr. Varveris ayudó a las comunidades, escuelas y estudiantes para que alcanzaran el éxito, al centrarse tanto en la cultura escolar general como en una instrucción exigente y personalizada. El director Varveris empleará esta experiencia para apoyar el trabajo presente y futuro de la comunidad de la Escuela Secundaria Skinner.

El Sr. Varveris asistirá a varios eventos en Skinner en los próximos meses. Tengan en cuenta que, a pesar de su entusiasmo por formar parte de la familia de Skinner, debe asegurarse de cumplir con sus funciones actuales en University Park. No duden en comunicarse con el Sr. Varveris por correo electrónico en Grant_Varveris@dpsk12.org.

Gracias por su apoyo continuo a la Escuela Secundaria Skinner. Nos comprometemos a garantizar que el director Varveris y Skinner cuenten con el apoyo, los recursos y las herramientas necesarias para que todos los estudiantes y maestros alcancen el éxito. Démosle la bienvenida a este talentoso nuevo líder escolar a la familia de Skinner.

Atentamente,

Nicole T. Veltzé

Superintendente asistente, División de Educación Secundaria y Preparatoria

Escuelas Públicas de Denver

Letter from Principal Koyama re: School Safety/Por favor lea esta importante carta sobre seguridad escolar

Please read this important letter regarding school safety: Skinner – Threat Letter to Families – 03-23-18 – ENGLISH

Por favor lea esta importante carta sobre seguridad escolar: Threat Letter to Families – Espanol

 

Message to Skinner Families re: School Safety 3/22/18 10:30 pm

Skinner Families,
The Denver Police Department and the Department of Safety and Security for the Denver Public Schools investigated the threat to the school posted on social media.
There is no threat to Skinner. To help students, staff, and families feel safe tomorrow, we will have a uniformed presence on campus tomorrow.
Thank you to all the families who reached out to us about the concern.
~Michelle Koyama

Skinner Scientists on 9News!

Skinner Scientists in the news! Did you catch Lia Dino, Juno Gregg and Sophie Scholl with Steve Spangler on 9News at 4 pm on Monday, March 19? Thank you Steve and 9News for shining a light on these Skinner scientists’ amazing science fair projects!

Click here to view the 9News segment!

 

9News

More details on the Skinner Middle School students’ Science Fair projects:

Lia Dino
Grade level:  7
School:  Skinner Middle School
Name of the Project: The Effect of Specifications of PET Bottles on the Solar Dissenfection of Water
Lia investigated how different disposable water bottles allow for the transfer of U.V. light to kill pathogens in drinking water supplies.
Brief Description of the Project:
Globally, more than 3.4 million people die from water-related diseases every year, for the experiment I chose to investigate a solution. That solution is solar water dissenfection. In addition to finding the solution, I chose to study how the different shapes, opacities, pigmentation, and thickness of four different bottles affect the dissenfection of the water in them.  I used two types of water, a purified lab water with E.Coli K-12 in it, and a local lake water.  I used natural light photons to disinfect bacteria in the water. I then collected samples and transferred the bacteria on to Petri dishes and completed a cell count. Overall, I found out that solar water dissenfection is an efficient way to decrease the number of bacteria in the water. The best bottle to use to disinfect is a clear, thin bottle.

Sophie Scholl
Grade level:  8
School:  Skinner Middle School
Name of the Project: The Oleophilic Ability of Botanicals in Cleaning Oil from Water
Sophie investigated how natural plant materials could be used to mitigate environmental contamination from oil.
Brief Description of the Project:
This study investigated the oleophlic ability of botanicals with a goal of finding a natural alternative to cleaning oil spills from bodies of water.  Foliage from these plants were put in a bowl with 2000 grams of water and 200 grams of oil for an hour, then removed.  The post and pre weights of the plant were taken to determine the amount of oil absorbed by the botanical.  Through data collection, it was found that Jerusalem Sage is the most effective in cleaning oil spills.

Juno Gregg
Grade level:  8
School:  Skinner Middle School
Juno investigated how salinity of water affects the ability of sunlight to travel through it with connections to ecology etc.
Brief Description of the Project: 
This study investigated how increased amounts of salt in fresh water affected the translucent quality of the water. A test apparatus was built and increased amounts of salt were added to distilled water. A 1000 lumen flashlight was shone down into the water and reflected through a mirror. A photographic light receptor took the readings of light reflected in foot-candles. The findings show that when salt is salt is added, the amount of foot-candles decreases. This project could be applied to modern society by finding salinity, therefore finding what animals could live in a localized area. Also different contents could be used as the independent variable to test water quality.

Student Walk Out #ENOUGH

Skinner Middle School had a silent march thru the neighborhood today, March 14 in support of gun control legislation and the Enough: National School Walkout​. The event was conceived by Eighth-graders Ada Youngstrom, Lillian Lemme, and Rachel Zizmor, and planned by students with assistance from the entire staff, school admin and Denver Police District 1​. DPD Commander Paul Pazen along with many DPD officers were present at the march keeping our students safe. Thank you Denver Police District #1.

The students marched from the school to 38th Ave, up to Lowell, back down to Irving. A DPD motorcade closed the street to keep students safe. 17 students held signs on 38th Ave. It was incredibly powerful and moving and Skinner was honored to support the students in their silent protest.

Click here for 3/13 Chalkbeat.org article on our amazing student organizers.

Fracking Seminar at Skinner

Each year, Skinner’s science students conduct a research project and Socratic Seminar on a particular topic. The topic covered this year was Fracking – Pros and Cons. Students did intense research on the subject and determined their position on fracking. The unit culminated this year with a 6th grade assembly on fracking with four special guests panelists. Thank you to our guests for participating.

The students who presented demonstrated a high level of intellectual discourse and we learned a tremendous amount from our guest panel experts as well.

In an amazing coincidence, one of the panel members, Mr. Haley, shared that his grandmother attended Skinner as a girl in the 1920s, not long after our school opened our doors!

Congratulations to our scholars and to our 6th grade science team!

Skinner Scholars: Farhiya Aden, Tate Dewhurst and Aiden Guzdar

Kaila Hood, Congressional Aide from Congresswoman DeGette’s office

Dan Haley, President and CEO of Colorado Oil & Gas Association

Catherine Blair, Senior Advisor, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Dr. Aubrey Hillman, Assistant Professor Environmental Science School of Geosciences at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Skinner Yearbook Orders Due April 11!

Skinner Yearbook – if students and families would like to order a yearbook with customized pages, you need to place the order by 4/11/18. See below for info!

Skinner Cares Day – Please Review

Skinner Community – TODAY, March 1, is Spring Skinner Cares Day!

Below is some of the messaging students receive today. Please read and discuss this incredible day with your student tonight. Please also open and review the specific grade-level presentations linked below and discuss the specific activities with your student.

“Today we’re going to spend the day taking a break from academics and focusing on getting to know one another on a deeper level. We’re going to participate in activities focused on strengthening our bonds through developing deeper respect and appreciation for one another.

Discussions will focus on bullying, race, orientation and privilege. These are all matters that can divide us. We know that there’s a far better chance of success when people work together than when they are divided. Our goal is build greater unity in our school community. The stronger our community, the more successful each of us will be as individuals because a strong community builds up and supports its members. It’s easier to be successful when we are built up and supported.

The student leadership class has put a lot of work into creating activities that they hope will be meaningful to you. They have had some brave conversations, particularly around race. They want to challenge you to be brave in your class discussions today. It takes a lot of bravery to engage in the conversation in a respectful and meaningful way. Many of you do that regularly. We hope all of you will challenge yourselves to do that today.

Some of the activities are very serious and so need to be taken seriously. Some of the activities will be fun but within that fun also contain a serious message. You’re going to get the opportunity to participate in a Hip Hop concert and do a little work with a Hip Hop Duo that are amazing. Some of you, through choir, have already worked with them.

We won’t be staying in our room all day as we will be moving through a variety of activities but we do need to stay together as a group. The purpose of all of these activities is to strengthen our bonds and our understanding and respect for one another even though we might be vastly different. School safety has been in the national spotlight since the Florida tragedy a couple of weeks ago. Everyone has the right to feel safe at school. We believe that the stronger our community and the more we work to make sure that everyone has a place and feels comfortable in our community, the safer we will be.”

8th Grade Presentation

7th Grade Presentation

6th Grade Presentation

Thank you for taking some time to debrief with your students!

Why do our students “Love Their School”?

February has been designated by CSC and PTO as “Love Your School” month. From strong academics to the wealth of extra-curricular programming, we truly have something special here in Northwest Denver!
 
Please take a look at this video for how you can help support us maintaining what we have for our children for years to come! https://vimeo.com/247848519/92a75d62bf

Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. Please click here to make an online donation today. Cash and checks gratefully accepted in the main office. Thank you again families for helping make Skinner the neighborhood school we all love.


“Something I love about Skinner is Skinner Cares Day that we have. I love it because everyone bonds with each other. We also get to relate to other people and show compassion for what others have been through.”
Destinee McLeain- 8th Grade

“I love that there are so many things to do. There is a club for every interest and talent. We have special days like celebrations, spirit week, and holiday events. I also love the people, there are people here who care about you. That is what I love about Skinner”
Jade DeCamillis – 8th Grade

“I love Skinner because of the opportunities that it gives. I also love all the teachers and staff, and how they always say good morning or good afternoon with a smile. I love that they prepare you to go to high school so once you get there you are ready to go!”
Cierra Cabazos – 8th Grade

“I love Skinner because whenever I am having a hard time with my work, I am able to go to office hours so that I can get help on my work, catch up and get good grades”
Avery Campo – 7th Grade

RJ’s drawing of his favorite teachers speaks for itself
RJ Irizarry, Jr. – 7th Grade

 


“I love Skinner because they work very hard to help students feel safe and they have the best staff. Skinner is a safe environment where you can report anything that is bothering you or your friends. I love Skinner so much! It’s a great school!”
Alexa Madrid – 7th Grade

“I love my school because all the kids are nice, all the teachers are nice, and because I love working and learning!”
Roman Ramirez – 7th Grade

“I love Skinner because they have so much creativity with the core classes. Also I feel like I am learning everyday because the teachers are always challenging me in many ways. Also it feels like they are making me ready for high school which feels good.”

– Aaron Rodriguez, Grade 8


“I love Skinner because all the kids are very sweet and everyone cares about each other. My favorite thing about this school is wood shop. Mr. Duran is an amazing teacher and I just love the things we do. I look forward to having wood shop next year.”
Anna Garcia – 7th Grade


“I love Skinner because of all the friends and teachers I have.  They all are very amazing.  Another great thing about Skinner is the sports and the new people I can meet!”

– Isaiah Padilla, Grade 7


“I love Skinner because the teachers push me to do my best.  At Skinner, they let you be your individual self.  I also love Skinner because it is a peaceful school and every time I walk into the building, I feel safe.  I also feel like I can talk to anyone.”

– Zion Robinson Grade 7


“I love the diversity at Skinner.  It’s cool to learn about other cultures and know people who know things about different kinds of cultures.  I also love the music program.  It’s always fun playing pieces of music you might know!”

– Lucia Reyland-Slawson Grade 8


 “I love Skinner because the community helped me realize that being myself is a great thing. They help kids here express themselves and handle things very professionally. I also love Skinner because people are friendly and the staff makes sure everyone is having a good time. Plus, Skinner has lots of fun after school programs that are always open to the kids. Skinner is amazing!”
                                                                                                                           – Arianna Montoya, Grade 7
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