The weekly newsletter from the team at Hannah G. Solomon Elementary School, the pride of Peterson Park! 
Solomon Principal Newsletter: September 7, 2018
Dear Parents and Community, 

I hope everyone's first week went well. In our household, our son is off to a new school this year, and that brings about new schedules, which brings about new bedtimes, etc. It was an exhausting and exciting week for many of you as well!

In many of our classrooms, students and teachers developed agreements this week. Rather than "rules", agreements are part of our restorative practices work where we (staff and students) declare what it is we each need to feel valued and be in a place to have a successful year. It helps us frame what our positive school environment looks and feels like, and it gives students a voice in shaping that environment.

Many dates for school-wide events have been added to our Solomon Community Calendar, which you can access at I want to also draw your attention to the Principal Coffee series, which will be hosted for all interested families six times over the year. Parents of any grade level are welcome to attend. For our series this year, there are a few changes. First, we will meet at 9:15 in our library or student lunchroom. Translation will be available, and younger siblings are welcome. Also, in terms of content, we will focus on specific programs or initiatives that we are working on school-wide. Specifically, we will dig deeper into our social-emotional learning and school culture initiatives. For our first one on October 19, we will look at the "what" and the "why" to our Second Step program that is implemented in grades Pre-K through 8. Other coffees will focus on Calm Classroom, Advisory, our new Student Voice Committee, Restorative Practices, and Check In Check Out, among others. The dates for all of our coffees are October 19, November 30, January 25, February 22, March 29, and May 10. We welcome all families to attend any (and all!) coffees. And, of course, I will provide the coffee!
Attention 8th grade parents!
Welcome Back! It’s Almost High School Application Time!
It’s the start of a brand new school year and a whole world of exciting new experiences are just around the corner. For our eighth grade families, this is especially true as you begin the last year of elementary school and start preparing for high school! 
From October 1 to December 14, 2018, you will have the opportunity to apply to the high school programs that best meet your needs, using our online application platform at GoCPS. The application period begins in less than a month, so now is the time to start getting ready to make these important decisions.
Visit today to learn about the high school application process!
Activating Your Account
In order to apply using GoCPS, you will need to activate your account, and you can complete this important step any time before the application period begins. Activating your account will allow you to:
·       Create a username and password
·       Create a primary parent/guardian profile
·       Create profiles for each applicant 
·       Link student data records for current CPS students to the profile
·       View the programs to which students are eligible to apply
·       Verify that student records are accurate
·       “Favorite” top programs you are considering for applications in October
To begin the account activation process, click below.
Activation Codes
*For CPS students, an Activation Code is required only for students applying to ninth grade.*
In order to activate your account, you will need to use the Activation Code from the letter sent home with your student at the end of the last school year. If you have misplaced or did not receive this code, please contact your child’s school counselor to obtain your child’s code. Alternatively, you can call the Office of Access and Enrollment (OAE) at 773-553-2060 from a telephone number on your student’s CPS student information file. The OAE call center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Activation Codes will also be distributed to students again shortly after the beginning of school in September 2018. 
Application Advice
No matter who is activating the account, be sure to enter the name and address of the parent/guardian with whom the student resides. This address will be used when determining tiers and proximity boundaries, as well as attendance and overlay boundaries.
Web Browsers
GoCPS is optimized for view on Chrome, Safari and Firefox 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.

News and Updates
  • After-school sports applications traveled home with students this week. Students in grades 5-8 can sign up for Boys/Girls Volleyball, Boys Soccer, or Co-Ed Cross Country. New this year, in addition to our coaches from Hollywood Park, two of our own staff will serve as coaches as well--Mrs. Tamborino will coach the Girls Volleyball teams and Mr. Salazar will coach for Cross-Country. As a reminder, we need a certain number of registrants to sign up in order to be able to participate, so make sure you return these completed forms to the main office no later than September 20. Questions about CPS sports this year? Reach out to our Athletic Director, Mr. Martin, at 773-534-5226.

  • iCook registration is open for the fall session, with Monday September 10 as the first date. See here for more about this after-school program and information on how to register. New to Solomon this year, Young Rembrandts, a visual arts after school program, is coming on Tuesdays after school, starting September 18. Click here for registration information. We are also working with Fonseca Martial Arts to come back to Solomon again this year, though our start date has not yet been confirmed. Stay tuned!

  • Many thanks to families that have started to return completed forms to the main office. One particularly important form to return is the FIIF. The Family Income Information Form must be returned regardless of participation.  If you do not want to apply please return the form with the following: your student's name , a SIGNATURE at the bottom of the page (part 6), date, and "N/A" anywhere on the form. Completion of this form helps to determine school funding, so your assistance is truly appreciated!.

  • Bussing has not been...perfect quite yet, and we know that the bus companies are still working on some issues regarding timeliness. We have reinforced with our vendors that we expect them to proactively call all families when there is an unexpected delay, and we will continue to work as a main office to get communication to families in a timely fashion. Thank you for your patience. If you have particular questions or concerns about a particular bus, I invite you to reach out to CPS Transportation office at 773-553-2860.

  • We love our volunteers at Solomon, and we know how you help make the magic happen. Due to changes in CPS policy, all volunteers, new and experienced, must complete a volunteer application prior to the start of the school year. Parents must complete the CPS form for serving as chaperones and all other volunteer opportunities. If you have already completed one in the past, you will not need to do so again. If you have any questions, please contact our main office (773-534-5226) or email Mr. Gamble at

  • 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!

J at School Before and After School Care
J at School, our before and after school provider (7-9am, 4-6pm daily), is now 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.

New this year: We are welcoming a new site direction, Jamesa McGee (or as she prefers with the kiddos, Ms. Mimi). She is excited to get to know our students and meet our parents at some of the upcoming community events.

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.)
Parent Teacher Organization Updates
Many, many thanks to our PTO team for organizing the ice cream giveaway as a part of our back-to-school picnic on Thursday. We had about 150 students bring their school supplies to class early and enjoy some ice cream while doing it!

Our meeting schedule for the year is:

Daytime Meetings @ 9:15 in Student Lunchroom (121)
September 12
November 7
December 12
January 9
March 13
April 3
June 12

Evening Meetings @ 6:00 in Library (109)
October 10
February 13
May 8

We welcome all parents and interested community members to join us at the meetings.
Attendance Corner
In the Attendance Corner, we will share weekly tips for good attendance, research for the importance of good attendance practices, and our progress towards our goal of 96%

Please read the attached document showing why establishing good attendance practices in our youngest students is so important for future achievement.
If your child is absent, as a reminder we ask for a note from the parents stating why the child was absent. Attached here is a copy of the absence excuse form in English and Spanish. Thank you for your support!
Don't miss these upcoming events!
September 11: LSC meeting, 5:30pm (library)

September 12: PTO meeting, 9:15 (student lunchroom)

September 25: Curriculum Night, 6-7:30pm
 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