Dear Solomon Family--

Good morning everyone, I'm looking forward to getting back to using this space to highlighting the academic and social-emotional accomplishments and achievements of our students and staff, but this week I want to focus on providing everyone with some answers to the questions that you may have regarding COVID at Solomon, remote learning, and more. Please read this newsletter in its entirety.

I will also use my upcoming Solomon Coffee with the Principal to update our community on what we are doing to keep our students and staff safe. You can join me at 9:30 on Thursday, January 21, virtually (meet.google.com/dgt-cyig-iry).

That said, there is one achievement that I need to highlight: Congratulations to our Alexia P. for winning first prize in the Veterans for Foreign Wars' district-level Patriot's Pen essay writing competition. With this, Alexia will compete state-wide in Springfield later this winter. Way to go, Alexia!

In partnership,

Chris Gamble
Principal
Hannah G. Solomon Elementary School
Vaccinations
Currently 116 of our 305 students in grades K through 8 (ages 5 and up) are fully vaccinated, which is 38% of our eligible student population.

Fully vaccinated means that at least 2 weeks have passed since the final shot in the vaccination series (2nd shot of Pfizer or Moderna, 1st and only shot of Johnson & Johnson).

In case a child is considered a close contact or an entire classroom is flipped to remote, a fully vaccinated student is able to continue reporting for in-person learning, assuming that they are asymptomatic, without any disruption. Additionally, any student that has a documented (cps.edu/covidresults) positive COVID case in the past 90 days will not have to quarantine either.

Families cannot upload vaccination cards to Aspen themselves. A copy of the card has to be brought to Solomon's main office. It can be dropped off during business hours (9am-4pm). If that is difficult, a copy can be emailed to the main office at ajtamborino@cps.edu and crgamble@cps.edu.

Please do not wait to turn in your child's vaccination card. It takes a day for our nurse to receive and review the information on the card, and then enter the card into Aspen. Additionally, our nurse is not at Solomon daily at this time. If we don't have it by the time your child's flip to remote email is sent, we will not be able to process it in time for your child to return to school the next day. Please plan ahead.

For community resources on student vaccinations, please click here. We will be hosting a second vaccination event at Solomon on January 31, and you can find more information and sign up for the event here.
Testing
COVID testing happens at Solomon each week, usually Wednesdays between 1:00-3:30pm. It is a PCR test, and we get results back anywhere from 36 to 72 hours later via text and/or email.

For your child to be tested, we need to get your permission. You can give us your permission to test your child by completing the information at this link.

On our last testing date on January 12, 62 students were eligible to be tested, and all of those who were in attendance that day were tested.

Positive tests that come about through the district testing are automatically reported to the district contact tracers. If you have a positive test (rapid, PCR, etc.) that you obtained on your own, you must report that positive result to cps.edu/covidresults as soon as you can so that the contact tracing process can begin.
Quarantine and Remote Learning
A partially or fully unvaccinated student can be considered a close contact in a positive COVID test situation in a few ways:

  • They are in the homeroom with the student or staff member that tested positive. This means that they spend a significant amount of their day in the same room as that student or staff member, including being unmasked while eating breakfast or lunch.

  • In departmentalized classes (grades 5-8) or Essentials classes (Physical Education, Library, Music), where the student is only with that staff member or student from a different homeroom for a shorter period of time, we are identifying individuals that are less than 3 feet away from each other for more than 15 minutes cumulative as close contacts. The same is true for clinicians that pull students out for support or go into the homeroom to provide supports.

Partially/fully unvaccinated students that are close contacts, as well as students that have reported positive COVID test results to cps.edu/covidresults, are the only students eligible to receive remote learning and receive credit for attending school, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

Homeroom teachers have 24 hours (weekends excluded) to put together a schedule for remote learning, and then communicate that schedule to impacted students, once we have been notified.

The current quarantine period for positive COVID tests and close contacts is 10 days, based on district policy. If that changes, I will let our community know as soon as possible.
Solomon COVID Status
There is a community letter that schools are asked to send out when we have a positive case. I will continue to use our newsletter to update the community, and starting this week I will provide more specific information that I hope you will find useful:
Current Homerooms Flipped to Remote and Return Dates
Room 108AM (Coppa, Pre-Kindergarten), Return Date 1/25/22
Room 110 (Gleeson, 3rd Grade), Return Date 1/18/22
Room 117 (Howsam, 3rd-5th Grade Diverse Learner Cluster), Return Date 1/18/22
Room 120 (Liu, 7th Grade), Return Date 1/24/22
Room 122 (Perta, 6th-8th Grade Diverse Learner Cluster), Return Date 1/18/22

Additionally, positive COVID tests have led to targeted quarantines in the following rooms:

Room 104 (Gulino, Kindergarten-2nd Grade Diverse Learner Cluster)
Room 105 (McReynolds, Kindergarten)
Room 106AM (Richard, Pre-Kindergarten Diverse Learner Cluster)
Room 112 (Kobus, 5th Grade)
Room 114 (Bagga, 6th Grade)
Room 119 (Zachar, 5th Grade)

As of this morning, we currently have 8 students quarantined due to positive tests and 4 staff members.

All close contacts have been contacted by Principal Gamble via email. Fully vaccinated and students with documented positive COVID tests in the past 90 days report for in-person learning).

Other Protocols
If your child is displaying any COVID symptoms or not feeling well, please do not send them to school!

If your child is displaying any of these symptoms and does not come to school, they will need to have a negative COVID test or an alternative medical diagnosis from a doctor prior to returning to in-person learning.

Before coming to school each day, please self-administer these questions and follow the directions based on your responses.

If you are planning on traveling outside of Illinois, please review this district travel guidance for families, which may impact your return to in-person learning (unless you are vaccinated).

If your child is going to be absent, we ask that you call the main office (773-534-5226, option 2). Phone calls are helping us follow up with families about the return to in-person learning protocol. An email is not considered a valid submission and will not be accepted to excuse an absence. When leaving a phone message for our main office on your child's absence, please include the following:

  1. Student first and last name
  2. The date of your child's absence
  3. If not a full day absence, the length of time for the absence
  4. The reason for the absence
  5. Your full name (you must be listed as a parent or legal guardian in the student's records)
  6. Your contact number

Solomon Calendar
We have developed a year-long Solomon calendar (here) for community events, including open houses, school tours, coffees with the principal, LSC meetings, and more. This list will continue to be updated. You can always see these events on the community calendar at our school website, solomon.cps.edu.

January 21; 8th Grade Graduation Picture Day

January 21: Solomon Principal Coffee (9:30, virtual: meet.google.com/dgt-cyig-iry)

January 22: Solomon School Tour, 9:30 (lobby)

January 27: End of 2nd Quarter

January 28: No school for students (School Improvement Day)

February 4: 2nd Quarter Report Cards go home via kidmail
Community Corner
Chicago Public Schools is looking for volunteers with backgrounds in STEM to help judge our Chicago Public Schools Regional STEM Exhibitions which will be virtual this year. Judging will take place over a two week period, Friday, 2/4/2022 - Friday, 2/18/2021. Here is the link to the Google Form to register to be a judge. 

Free homework help is back at the Albany Park Chicago Public Library Branch (3401 W. Foster) every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 3-6pm.

Registration is now open for the Chicago Industrial Arts and Design Center's Winter term, which begins January 3. Our Youth classes are FREE for CPS 6th-12th graders and designed to support career pathways in STEM, Trades and Art/Design fields. See the attached flyer or visit https://www.ciadc.org/youth-classes-grades-6-12 for more information.
In case you missed it...
Congratulations to Alexia P. for winning first prize in the Patriot's Pen district level competition, and good luck in the statewide competition! Many thanks to our own Mrs. Reis for preparing all of our 8th graders for this opportunity.
To have your email address added to this distribution list, please complete this form.

Newsletters are also available via our website, solomon.cps.edu. Newsletters are sent out weekly, with the exception of holiday and summer breaks.

Questions or concerns? Contact the main office at (773) 534-5226 or email Principal Gamble at crgamble@cps.edu.