Skinner Service Learning: Mount St. Vincent Giving Tree

The Neighborhood Center’s Teen Ambassador group has worked for two weeks to set up a Giving Tree for the abused and neglected students at Mount Saint Vincent Home ( just a few blocks from our school.

The Giving Tree – located in the main office at Skinner –
has one ornament per Mount Vincent child identifying needs and wants for gifts. We are asking members of the Skinner community to donate a personalized gift for children in need of a joyful holiday. Please stop by the office to look over the ornaments and see what you can do to help these children.

All gifts must be returned with the ornament to the main office no later than Wednesday December 14th 2011. Please take an ornament ONLY if you are able to donate a gift. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Heather Maloney at or at 720-424-1450. Please forward this information to anyone you think may be interested in participating.

On behalf of Mount Saint Vincent Home and the Teen Ambassadors of Skinner Middle School, THANK YOU!

Thankful for Skinner’s Excellent Program

DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg and several members of his staff visited Skinner last week to chat with students about their experiences at Skinner. Representing all three grades – 6th, 7th and 8th – these kids made it clear they are thankful for Skinner’s excellent academic program:

Academic Classes

I like that Skinner identified me quickly as being advanced and I was put in 7th grade honors math.
-Hannah Murrell, 6th grader

I like Honors Math and I’m really looking forward to Geometry next year.
-Dominique Maes, 7th grader

Student-led Conferences

I really like how conferences are student-led. They make me more responsible about my learning and I’m a lot more confident in myself and my plan at Skinner.
-Xiasia Song, 6th grader

I like the student-led conferences because they make me feel like a grown-up.
-Elijah Perez, 8th grader

Learning Families

I like the learning families because we’re reading a book together and we’re also trying to get plastic bags banned. Learning family really helps me prepare for my day.
-Ellen Spetnagle, 8th grader

College Planning

I’m in College 4 Y.O.U. (Neighborhood Center program) and it’s really helping me think about my future.
-Ramiro Godina Rodriguez, 8th grader

The only gripe? This came from 7th grader Cierra Montoya: “I’d like more healthy lunches and more veggies.” Hard to argue with that!

Wow, Skinner students are focused on achievement and their future…and Superintendent Boasberg walked away impressed with Skinner scholars! What’s not to love about Skinner? We’re all grateful on this Thanksgiving 2011 that Skinner is the excellent middle school choice for Northwest Denver.

Skinner Fall Festival was fun for all

For all of you who attended Skinner’s 2nd annual Fall Festival and Community Day, thank you for coming out. Despite the wet, cold weather, we had a great turnout.

The PTA’s goal for the Fall Festival was provide an opportunity to come together as a Skinner Community. Many of our current families participated in organizing and assisting with the many different booths. Participants enjoyed the Chili and Salsa contests, holding and viewing reptiles, making crafts, to bobbing for apples. Fun was enjoyed by all, especially at the pie throwing booth!

The 6th and 7th grade music students made their debut, performing four songs on guitar. We look forward to their future performances with the band and orchestra instruments.

Throughout the day parents and children had the opportunity to interact with current and future Skinner families. We look forward to having the 4th and 5th grade students and parents we met tour and shadow during the upcoming weeks.

Local non-profits, local businesses, our Skinner Neighborhood Center, Skinner Families, students and staff all made the day a success. We look forward to growing this event started by our PTA in the years to come.

Skinner CSAP Scores Soar!

The Skinner CSAP scores are in – and student scores soared this year! Northwest Neighborhood Middle Schools is so proud of the students, teachers and staff who are transforming this school into an academically rich environment for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in our neighborhood.

Allow us to share the great news:

Skinner made double-digit gains in median growth percentile for reading and math!

  • 14% increase in reading
  • 12% increase in writing
  • 7th grade median growth percentile for math was 66%, a 26% increase from 2010
  • 6th, 7th, and 8th grade median growth percentile for reading beat the District 8th grade median growth percentile for reading was 73%
  • 6th grade median growth percentile for writing beat the district

Skinner made double-digit gains for overall proficiency change from 2009-2011

  • 6th grade overall proficiency increased 19%
  • 6th grade increased reading proficiency by 14%
  • 6th grade increased writing proficiency by 26%
  • 6th grade increased math proficiency by 16%
  • 7th grade increased math proficiency by 13%

Other impressive results include:

  • 8th grade Science met the middle school proficiency growth target
  • Students in Special Education increased reading proficiency for the second year in a row
  • English Language Learners, including students who are exited from the program, increased reading proficiency for the fourth year in a row

The hard work and commitment of students and staff alike is paying off, and Skinner is becoming that “go-to school” we’ve always wanted in our neighborhood – it has arts, sports, enrichment and now more rigorous academics.

Join us in being the change – now (and August 2012, August 2013 and beyond) is the time to send your kids to Skinner Middle School.

Skinner Scholars Give Back to the Community

School’s out for summer! But Skinner Cares Day was a big hit with students and the community alike in May before the year ended.

Students planned community service projects all year long in their “learning families,” the small groups that meet several times a week to provide academic and social support for Skinner Scholars.
Projects were as diverse as the students themselves – stocking and preparing boxes at Bievenidos Food Bank on W. 32nd Ave to pitching in to clean up Confluence Park along the Platte River. One group hosted an ice cream party to raise $131.93 to support the Max Fund, a no-kill shelter for abandoned pets.
“We created a big check and presented it to Chelsea, who almost cried with joy because the money would buy 17 bags of dog and cat food and some toys,” explained one student. “We were invited back to come volunteer and we are so excited to come back and help!”
Building community through public service is a key component of Skinner’s vision. Many students made commitments to continue their community volunteering beyond this one day, showing that Skinner Scholars are on their way to becoming tomorrow’s leaders.

Girls Soccer Team Scores Big Wins

The Skinner Scorpions Girls’ Soccer Team concluded an unprecedented, amazing season last Thursday in their quarterfinal matchup against Hill Middle School. With their Top 8 finish in DPS, the girls built upon the recognition they developed all season long for Skinner athletics with pride and sportsmanship.

The girls’ season began in late March with one major question being asked by Coach Smith, “How will we fill the gaps left by a strong group of 8th grade leaders from last year?” A mixture of unified 7th and 8th grade girls became the answer over the course of the season as they demonstrated dedication to their development and maintained fun as their priority. By working hard in the classroom and on the soccer field every week, the girls ensured their eligibility and encouraged one another to improve both academic and athletic skills.

The final game of the #3 Scorpions’ regular season provided the highlight of the year as they faced their rival, the #2 Lake Knights. The Scorpions entered the match determined to bring home a victory since the last time they had beaten Lake could not be remembered after many years of defeat (for both the Boys’ and Girls’ teams). Down 0-1 at halftime, the girls made up their minds that they would not be denied. With teamwork, heart, and intensity, the Scorpions fought back to score 2 amazing goals in the 2nd half and to finish the season with the 2-1 rivalry win and the #2 ranking in their conference.

With the Top 4 teams in each conference of 7 advancing to the postseason, the Scorpions clinched their spot in the playoffs for the second year in a row with their 4-3-1 record and their #2 conference ranking. Qualifying for the playoffs continues to transition from unfamiliar territory to an expectation for the Skinner Athletics Program due to the development achieved over the past 2 years.

For the 1st Round of the playoffs, the Scorpions were matched up against the favored Grant Ranch Grizzlies. As the underdog, the Skinner girls entered the match with the aim of advancing to the quarterfinals, a feat which had not been accomplished by any Skinner girls’ soccer team in the documented past. The game proved to be a thriller as a multitude of fans attended the match in the form of Skinner staff, students and parents. Looking like a completely different team than they were on the first day of practice a month earlier, the Scorpions carried an unexpected 2-1 lead into halftime after putting forth their best performance of the season in the first half. Capitalizing on a penalty kick early in the second half, the Skinner girls took a 3-1 lead and began to taste the feeling of playoff victory. However, the Grant Ranch Grizzlies fought hard with 2 late goals to tie the match with less than seven minutes remaining. Rather than panicking, the underdog Scorpions regained their intensity and momentum with 2 stunning goals to retake the lead and to win the game 5-3 as the crowd and their vuvuzela horns went “bananas.”

Upon arriving at the Quarterfinals against the #1 ranked, undefeated Hill Middle School, the Hill coach summarized the Scorpions’ season accomplishments best by saying, “Congratulations! I was surprised to see that you guys beat Grant Ranch in the 1st round. I never knew Skinner was good at sports. I’ve never seen Skinner this deep into the playoffs.” As the Hill coach and many others recognized over the course of the season, the 2011 Skinner Girls’ Soccer Team truly made a name for themselves and for Skinner as they earned their spot in the Top 8 and were given the chance to play on the North High School turf field in the quarterfinals! After holding a 1-0 lead for nearly twenty minutes in the first half, the Skinner girls ultimately lost to a much more experienced Hill squad. After the game, the Hill coach and team members paid the Skinner girls the most important compliment they could receive by stating, “You girls were the most fun team we have played all season! Thanks for your sportsmanship!”

The 2011 Skinner Girls’ Soccer team will truly be a group to remember! They set the tone for future Skinner athletes to follow in their footsteps of leadership and character! While Coach Smith will dearly miss the amazing group of 8th grade captains and leaders from this year, he looks forward to the continued growth of his developing soccer program at Skinner Middle School. He will continue coaching both the Boys’ squad next fall and the Girls’ squad next spring in his 3rd season with each team.

Coach Smith shared with his girls at the end of the season, “Girls, I’ve been playing soccer for 20 years now, and I’ve never had more fun than I did with you this season! You made a name for yourselves and for Skinner Soccer, and I couldn’t be more proud of you! Go Scorpions!”

Great Season for Skinner Basketball Team

Fourteen girls played on the Skinner 6th grade girls basketball team this year. The team had two solid wins against Bruce Randolph Middle School and a win against Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy.

All the girls had great attitudes in practice, and about learning the fundamentals of the game and improving their skills. Jonelle Cordova and Maria Perez-Alcon were standout players in many games.
Emphasizing sportsmanship over winning, coach Jessica Goebel worked on the development of this young team. Girls from the 7th & 8th grade girls team – especially Maddi De Young and Analece Apodaca – served as assistant coaches, coming to several practices and games to lead drills, provide individual coaching and demonstrate leadership for the younger girls.

Skinner Featured in the Denver Post

Skinner Middle School was featured in the Denver Post front page story on May 11, 2001. Parents: Enough multiple choice at neighborhood schools

Skinner Baseball Team Enters the Playoffs

The Skinner boys baseball team finished the regular season well above .500, with a 4-3 record. After a rough start the boys overcame numerous obstacles to come back and win. Two of the three games lost were by only one run, showing that this team had serious heart this year!

Pitchers Christian Robles and Alejandro Granados were team leaders for the rest of the Skinner athletes who were new to the baseball program.

The boys will play their first playoff game against Martin Luther King Middle School on May 9 at 3:45 p.m. at the Skinner field on the corner of W. 41st and Irving. If you have some time on Monday afternoon, come cheer on the team!

Friday Enrichment Opportunities

Fall 2011

Winter 2010

After School Activities

Offered by the Neighborhood Center for Skinner Middle School

Activity Description
Pre-Collegiate Program This program is designed to prepare students for college beyond high school. As a leadership program, the students will visit all colleges in the Denver-metro area to explore the various careers by participating in monthly College Visitation Academy’s. The students meet every Friday for 1.5 hours to “fine tune” their study and academic skills, careers, and prepare for their upcoming College Visitations.
Creative Cooking – Cultures Around the World
Computers Students learn the “ins and outs” of computer technology and learn how to repair mild to moderate computer problems. Students will refurbish their own donated computer. This is a “Learn and Earn” and Publisher) program so–upon completion of the program the students can take their computer home with them.
Kickball A sports program designed to teach students about following rules and being a team player. Students will compete with other peer DPS middle schools and learn valuable skills (e.g., good sportsmanship, and working to complete a defined goal with other team members.)
Cinema – Film Making A program that teaches students the fine art of film. Learning to write a script, acting, pre-production, post-production, editing, and directing. Students will make a film and showcase it throughout the year.
B.U.G. – Tutoring B.U.G. (Bringing Up Grades) offers students an opportunity to sharpen their academic skills with qualified instructors in a learning-friendly environment. Students work on their homework, participate in math games, or formalize their writing skills by contributing to a monthly NC@S publication.
Student Council Learn how to put your ideas into motion. Students can use their voice to help their peers, school, and community be better. Students will provide leadership and guidance for those that may need it most.
R.A.P. – Tutoring R.A.P. (Read, Achieve, Perform) are specialized tutoring sessions that focus on the literacy and math components of education. Taught by Skinner day faculty, the participating students will benefit from small classes and an interactive curriculum.
Scorpion Splash A recreational program that allows students to swim in a controlled environment. With a lifeguard on duty at all times, everyone will be safe and have a great time in this program.
DPS Success This tutoring class focuses on aligning Skinner homework assignments with student learning. Communications between Skinner faculty and parent is an essential and key component of this program.
Teen Tycoons Learn how to “bring home the bacon.” Students will use critical thinking skills to explore potential money making opportunities to develop new business ideas. Creative problem-solving will be a major focus as students develop their own event concession stand and develop other sales products.
Flow Zone – Keyboards and Percussion Instruction Introduces students to the various elements of a story, including character, and where music and narrative can come together. Members of the infamous Flobots help students learn to fuse keyboard and percussion (drum) instruction with elements of storytelling.

Fall 2010 – For Youth
Offered by the Neighborhood Center for Skinner Middle School

Activity Description
ART / Sculpting Students are taught the basics of art including making art from trash and making sculptures.  Students will use a variety of skills and learn new ones in this fun art class.
College 4 Y.O.U. This program is designed to prepare students for college.  As a leadership program, the students will
Pre-Collegiate Program visit colleges in the Denver-metro area to explore the various careers by participating in monthlySaturday Academies.  The students meet every Friday for an hour and a half to work on study andacademic skills, careers, and prepare for their upcoming Saturday Academy.
Cooking (Beginning) Students will learn how to prepare meals, read, and understand recipes, understand kitchen safety and clean up.  Students learn how to cook nutritional dishes, bake, and set a proper table.
Dell TechKnow Students learn the ins and outs of computer technology and learn how to repair mild to moderatecomputer problems.  Students will refurbish their own donated computer.  This is a “Learn and Earn” program so upon completion of the program the students can take their computer home with them.
Dodgeball A sports program designed to teach students about following rules and being part of a team.Students will compete with other DPS peer middle schools and learn skills such as good sportsmanship, and working to complete a goal with others.
Drill Team / Step A Step / Dance program that will teach students how to follow a routine, being part of a team and then display their skills for  school-wide and community performances.
Drop In Recreational program designed to allow students to bond w/peer students & participate in fun activities.
Film Making A program that teaches students the art of film.  Learning to write a script, acting, pre-production, post-production, and directing.  Students will make a film and showcase it throught the year.
Homework Help This program offers students the opportunity to receive assistance with their homework.
B.U.G. (Tutoring) This program is offered Monday through Thursday in an attempt to meet Skinner students academic needs with their class assignments.  Bringing Up Grades (B.U.G.)  is the motto of this class.
Intramural Sports Athletic program teaching teamwork, competition skills, and good sportsmanship.
Student Council Designed to allow the Skinner students a voice in Skinner student decisions and how to effectivelyuse that voice to effect positive change within Skinner on behalf of their peers.
Supplemental Services A tutorial program designed to help at-risk students with their homework and in academic areas where they may be having difficulty.  Designed to increase motivation and self-esteem.
Swimming A recreational program that allows students to swim in a controlled environment.  With a lifeguard on  duty everyone is safe and will has a good time in this program.
Tennis (In collaboration withNet Results) An academic program that teaches the fundamentals of tennis, scoring, teamwork, and match play including doubles and competition with other peer DPS middle schools.

For Adults

ABE (Adult Basic Education) Remedial education for adult students who are below literacy levels and have been termed as functional illiterates.  This program helps them become functional in today’s world as contributing members of society.
Beginning English Adult learners at this stage have just begun to read, write, and speak English
Beginning Computers Adult learners will learn basic computer skills in Microsoft Word Excel, and PowerPoint
Conversational English Adult learners will start at a beginning level to read, write, and speak English they will practice conversing in a setting with other students and a teacher.
Family Cooking A program designed for families to learn about nutrition and have a fun cooking experience together.


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