The weekly newsletter from the team at Hannah G. Solomon Elementary School, the pride of Peterson Park and 2017 National Blue Ribbon School award winner!
Solomon Principal Newsletter: October 5, 2018
Dear Parents and Community, 

We are having our annual Parent and Community Social at Alarmist Brewery on Thursday, October 11, from 6:30-9:30pm. Some food will be provided, and $1 from each pint comes back to our PTO. I'll be there, and I'm looking forward to community with friends new and old that night.
News and Updates

  • As the trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke nears completion, we will take every appropriate precaution to ensure the safety of our entire school community. Your child’s safety is our top priority and the city has a multi-agency interdisciplinary plan in place to ensure that Chicagoans can express themselves peacefully about the verdict. We have also been working with the Office of Safety and Security to review our school’s safety plans should we need to utilize them. We also expect that students will want to discuss the issues connected to the trial. We value student voice and believe that it is important for students to have opportunities to share their perspectives and engage in meaningful inquiry with their peers. Our educators hold a special position in the classroom and will create a safe space for students to consider, analyze, and discuss the trial. They will ensure that sensitive issues and different points of view are handled with a high level of professionalism and thoughtfulness to support students through the discussion.

  • Box Top winners for September: Rooms 101, 104, 106, 107, 110, 115, 117, 122. Winners get an out-of-uniform pass for Tuesday, October 9. Bring in those Box Tops each month, and if your class brings in 75 as a group, the whole class can be out of uniform!

  • Linked here is a letter regarding student fees for the 2018-2019 school year. Student fees are $75, with a discount of an additional $50 for remaining siblings (so, $125 for 2 students, $175 for 3 students, etc.)

  • Congratulations to Rooms 102 (2nd) and 105 (Kindergarten)--100% of FIIF forms have been returned in these homerooms. Thanks for doing your part to support our school! These forms help to determine state funding for Solomon, so every form counts. Please turn in those FIIF and health forms to the main office as soon as possible! You can find more information about health requirements here, as well as links to the health exam, vision, and dental forms.

  • Congratulations to Ms. Chan, who is receiving a grant from the Confucius Institute for the 2018-2019 Chinese Artists in Residence Program. For this, we will be receiving an artist for 10 hours during this school year to collaborate with our Chinese World Language teacher(s) and students.

  • More congratulations, this time to Ms. Reis. For Room 107's participation in International Peace Day last week, her class was gifted a copy of Peace Breathing: Lessons on Achieving Peace in Everyday Life by the Chicago Build the Peace Committee.

  • Interested in performing with Ms. Stirling and the Solomonshire Players this year? This group, who were featured on CBS2 for their performance at Daley Plaza and recorded their first album last year, practices twice a week (T/Th, 8:00am). The application form, linked here, is due on Friday, October 12.

  • Good luck to our Girls Volleyball players who have their first game on Saturday. An updated parent letter with game times and locations is linked here. Go Cougars! Also, sign up for the winter sports of basketball (grades 5-8, boys and girls) and cheer (grades 5-8, coed) has started. Students that sign up on the forms across from Room 120 will get an application packet to turn into the main office prior to Thursday, November 2.

  • Congratulations to Room 119 (5th grade) for having the highest attendance in the school for September (98.3%). They are the KEEPERS OF THE COUGAR for this month! Also, way to go rooms 107, 114, 110, and 120 for being at or above 98% for the month. 96% is our goal for the year, and these rooms are off to a great start. Being in school everyday is linked to student achievement, so thank you for all you do to get our students here every day!

  • In grades 3-8 and interested in learning more about this year's after-school drama program? Return this interest slip to the main office!

  • As a reminder, if you wish to volunteer at Solomon this year, which includes chaperoning field trips, participating in class events during the school day, or serving as a room parent, you will need to complete a volunteer application before you can do so. Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Ms. Sandlass, in the main office with any concerns.

  • Speaking of volunteering, we need 4-6 adults daily from 8:45-9:05 to assist with parking and street assistance at morning drop-off. If you are able to volunteer for this task, please click here. Once we have enough sign-ups, we will have a short morning meeting (date TBD) to talk through the plans and responsibilities. Thanks for your help!
Parent Teacher Organization Updates
Sign-up forms for 2018-2019 Solomon PTO membership are available here. When you sign up this year ($15), you get a Solomon National Blue Ribbon School car magnet!

The first parent and community social of the year has been set up for October 11, 6:30-9:30, at Alarmist Brewery (4055 W. Peterson). Not only is it a fun way to connect with parents and friends alike--$1 from each pint will be donated to the Solomon PTO!

Remember, please LIKE Solomon School PTO on Facebook.
J at School Before and After School Care
J at School, our before and after school provider (7-9am, 4-6pm daily), is open for registration. J at School provides parents with crucial before and after school care options for when the work day extends past the school day. More than just safe supervision, J at School creates a warm, caring, inspirational and FUN environment. Stop by and say hi to our Site Coordinator, Ms. Jamesa (Ms. MeMe) McGee.

Please click here to register for J at School programming. Applications for fee reductions are available. Please reach out to J at School for more information.

Students in the before and after school programs (including iCook and Young Rembrandts) are dropped-off and picked-up at Door #6 (NW corner of school, on Avers St.)
Attention 8th grade parents!
NEW! We will use this space to share high school open house information for our local schools:
  • Lincoln Park High School: here and here (October 21 and November 28)
  • High School Fair for Solomon and other Network 1 Schools: October 25 at Ebinger Elementary

2019-20 GoCPS Applications are Now Available!
Don’t Rush. Take Your Time.
You have been preparing for this date for a long time and we know many of you are anxious to get started, but the most important tip we can give you right now is to breathe, relax and take your time.
Whether you apply on October 1st or December 14th, you have the same chances of receiving an offer to a program of your choice. It is a common misconception that applying early gives families an advantage in selection when, in fact, it does not. The selection process that generates offers for all applicants is run after the application process ends, so it is important that you take your time and use the full application window to plan and make good application decisions.
Activate Your Account

In order to apply online, you’ll need to activate your account. The process is quick and simple; just follow the link below and we’ll show you how.

High School Application Basics

As a reminder, you can select and rank up to 20 Choice Programs and, if you are eligible, up to 6 Selective Enrollment Programs. You can receive a maximum of one single best offer from each category of school to which you apply, and you always have a guaranteed seat in the general education program of your neighborhood school whether you apply or not. Please be sure to rank your programs in your true order of preference; rank the program you want to attend most as your first choice, the program you want to attend next as your second choice, and so on. This is the order in which you will be considered for a seat.

Non-CPS Students Applying to Ninth Grade
All students applying to ninth grade for schools/programs with academic criteria must be administered the NWEA MAP by the Chicago Public Schools. This is the standardized test used by CPS to determine students’ eligibility to apply for these schools. If your child plans to apply to ninth grade for schools/programs with academic criteria, and you registered your child to take the NWEA MAP in September, you will be receiving an Activation Code via U.S. mail, if you have not already received it. You will use this Activation Code to create your online application account at GoCPS. Your child's NWEA MAP scores will be uploaded to your GoCPS account within two weeks of your child's NWEA MAP test date.
If your child is applying to ninth grade for schools/programs with academic criteria  and you did not register for the September sessions of the NWEA MAP, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or for information about the January 2019 NWEA MAP. Please note that you will need to submit a paper application before the December 14th application deadline. For more information, please visit the NWEA MAP page on GoCPS.

Open Houses

Be sure to visit the high schools in which you are interested by attending an open house. Check out the Dates and Events calendar at GoCPS to view these events by date, or search by school or zip code.
Web Browsers

GoCPS is optimized for view on Chrome and Safari web browsers. We recommend using one of these to access the site.

Need Help?

If you have any questions about the activation process, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email

In case you missed it...
Congratulations to our September Solomon Shining Stars! These students were recognized by their homeroom teachers for their excellence in showing the traits of PETER the Cougar: perseverance, teamwork, and respect. Way to go!
A big thank you to our Peterson Park Improvement Association for organizing the mayoral candidate forum at Solomon on October 3. Candidates Troy LaRaviere and Paul Vallas spoke to our community about their vision for our great city!
Don't miss these upcoming events!
October 8: No School--Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day

October 9: LSC Meeting, 5:30 (library)

October 10: PTO Meeting, 6:00 (library)
 Looking for more dates? For your reference, a paper copy of the school calendar will continued to be shared as well. Even better, check our community calendar on our website (, which is updated in real time! 
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).

Didn't receive this as an email? Email to have name added to distribution list. The newsletter is always available on our website,

Enjoy your weekend,

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

2017 Exemplary High Performing National Blue Ribbon School