Your weekly bulletin from the team at Hannah G. Solomon Elementary School, the pride of Peterson Park! 

Solomon Principal Newsletter: October 21, 2016
Dear Parents and Community Members--
Not to get political, but like many of you, this year's election campaign has worried me as both a parent and an educator. Expectations for how we expect our children and students to interact with adults and their peers are clearly not being modeled when we turn on something like a presidential debate. I think that is why we as educators take our responsibility to explicitly teach social and emotional skills so seriously. The five "SEL" (social and emotional learning) competencies are a research-based framework for teaching self-management, self-awareness, responsible decision-making, relationship skills, and social awareness. At Solomon, that translates to the 4 "Cougar Core" characteristics that we directly teach and model for all PK to 8th grade students--cooperation, responsibility, empathy, and respect. If you have a favorite book or resource that demonstrates these characteristics, share it with your child's homeroom teacher. We are expanding our libraries to make them more diverse and representative of our student population, as well as relevant to the core skills that we teach every day!
Visual Art with Go Get Your Smock
Thanks to our Walk, Jog, Roll-a-thon success from last spring, we at Solomon will be able to provide visual arts enrichment to all students for 10 weeks during our 2nd Quarter. We are pleased to bring Go Get Your Smock to Solomon, starting Monday, November 7, and continuing through Tuesday, January 31.

Grades receiving visual art instruction on Mondays: K, 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 7th
Grades receiving visual art instruction on Tuesdays: PK, 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 8th 

Genius is messy, so make sure that you don't wear your finest clothes on art day. Thank you for all of your efforts to keep visual arts enrichment at Solomon, and a big thank you to our PTO for coordinating the effort. This is only one of the several arts enrichment activities that we are bringing to students this year, so be on the lookout for more news about dance and drama ahead.
I hope that all Kindergarten parents will be able to join me for coffee in our library on Thursday, October 27, at 8am. Babysitting for Solomon students will be provided. This is an informal opportunity for me to speak about our programs at Solomon and answer any questions that you might have. It is also a great opportunity to socialize with other parents. I look forward to seeing you there!
Red Ribbon Spirit Week next week!
Red Ribbon Week (October 23-27) is a national campaign to promote drug and alcohol awareness, and at Solomon, we celebrate Red Ribbon Week as one of our two spirit weeks during the school year. Each day we engage in a different school-wide activity, and we would love 100% participation each day. Ms. Ptak and Ms. Reis coordinate this effort each year, and we want to thank them and our entire staff for promoting healthy choices and our "Cougar Core" characteristics.  
Congratulations to Ms. Chan for her efforts in bringing the Chinese Residence-in-Artist program to Solomon this fall, courtesy of the Confucius Institute. Through this grant, a Chinese artist will spend 10 instructional hours with our students, starting the first week of November with traditional Chinese paper cutting in the 1st and 2nd grades and Chinese painting in the 4th through 7th grades. 
  Halloween Procedures: October 31
  • Nut-free candy can be brought to school for trick-or-treat purposes. Students will exchange candy, healthier snacks alternatives, or trinkets (pencils, etc.) during a classroom trick-or-treat. Teachers will seal the bags after distribution so that students do not eat treats during the school day. This ensures that parents have discretion over what their child eats. There will not be any in-school consumption of treats. 

  • Student parades through the hallway are scheduled. The AM PK group will parade at 10:30, and the PM PK thru Grade 2 group will parade at 1:45pm. Parents are welcome to watch the parade(s). 

  • All costumes must be school-appropriate, which includes no masks, toy weapons, and fake blood. Costumes should be worn to school or easy enough to put on/take off where it does not require adult assistance.

  • Be on the lookout for communications from your child's homeroom teacher. Some classrooms may be hosting a party, and teachers will let you know in advance whether parents can participate in these parties. 
Congratulations to our 8th grade girls that were recognized for their efforts at the Young Women's Writing Contest at Resurrection High School on October 20. Jenny H., Selena K., and Maggie P. showed off their narrative writing skills. 
Parent Volunteer Opportunities
Please print out this form, complete, and return back to the main office. We are looking for all sorts of different ways that parents can contribute to the Solomon experience. 

We are also looking for parent volunteers able to assist with two new after-school clubs: a musical performance ensemble, led by Ms. Stirling, and an inter-mural sports program for students in grades 5-8. If you are interested, please fill out the survey below or contact me or Ms. Stirling directly. 

From Ms. Reis: Please bring in travel-sized toiletries for our veterans that are hospitalized. Donations can be dropped off in the boxes located right outside the main office. Also, as a reminder, we will be hosting our annual Veterans' Remembrance Day Ceremony at Solomon on Wednesday, November 16. We welcome all veterans and their families at Solomon that morning.
Before and After-School Programming
Fabiana Glazer from GoldMind Arts (from the mural last year!) will be doing a Halloween art workshop creating projects to bring home.  This will run on October 25 and 26 from 4:00 - 5:00, $10 per day per child. See the flier for more information. 

Registration for other before and after-school programming is available through our partner at Chicago Enrichment Programs. You can go to their website to get more information and sign up for programming. 
Parent Teacher Organization News
A couple of highlights to share about upcoming PTO events:
  • The holidays are right around the corner. Be on the lookout for information about our annual Holiday Fair on December 6 and 7.

  • Our first Soiree planning meeting will take place during the first week of November, day and time TBD. If you are interested in participating on this planning committee for the event of the year, please contact the committee chair, Yvonne Lemperis, at

  • The date of our next restaurant giveback at Candlelite Chicago (7452 N. Western) has been changed to November 20.  We hope to see you there!

  • Car decals are in! They will be distributed shortly. 

  • Our next meeting is November 16 at 9:15am in our school library.

  • Be sure to LIKE the Solomon School PTO on Facebook to get current information and reminders.

Pennies Fundraiser
We are starting a new pennies fundraiser this year for new, environmentally-friendly drinking fountains at Solomon this year. Ask your child--they know the drinking fountains to avoid! By replacing the drinking fountains in the east and west wings of the school, students will travel less to get their water and fill up their water bottles with ease.

We will be collecting pennies and loose change in the main office all year so that we can purchase these drinking fountains, with a goal of having them installed by the end of the year. When you are in the main office, be sure to drop in a penny (or 2!) for good luck and fresh water. 
Don't miss these upcoming events!
October 31-November 3: Vision and Hearing Screenings at Solomon

November 3: End of the 1st Quarter

November 4: No School--School Improvement Day

November 9: Parent Teacher Conferences (No School)

November 11: No School--Veterans' Day

 Looking for more dates? For your reference, a paper copy of the school calendar (October 2016 Community Calendar) will continued to be shared as well. Even better, check our community calendar on our website (, which is updated in real time! 
Celebrations from this week...
Are we in Peterson Park or in the Little House on the Prairie? Ms. Jones and the students in 3rd grade were making butter this week as part of an experiment. 
Questions or concerns? Please feel free to reach me at any time--email me at or call me at (773) 534-5226 (school) or (773) 805-0844 (cell).

If you know of someone who hasn't received this email but would like to be on the distribution list, fill out this form.

Enjoy your weekend,

Chris Gamble
Hannah G. Solomon Elementary School
Hannah G. Solomon Elementary | (773) 534-5226 |
6206 N. Hamlin Avenue
Chicago, IL 60659