Dear Solomon Family--

Good evening, everyone. As was discussed yesterday, CEO Martinez made reference to principals being able to assess the ability of their schools to provide support for students on Friday.

In assessing our current staffing levels, we do not have the ability to safely offer any meaningful programming tomorrow. Please understand that each school has unique circumstances and resources, and that this situation is evolving daily. As a result, there will be no remote or in-person instruction at Solomon on Friday, January 7.

In trying to prepare for a time where we may be able to safely provide in-person or asynchronous learning opportunities, I am sharing this survey for parents to complete by 9am tomorrow morning. These responses will help me to gauge the needs of our community and allow me to craft a plan based on that. If there is sufficient interest and we are able to provide some in-person opportunity, I will follow up with next steps.

Because circumstances and guidance are changing frequently, I am anticipating sending out an email to families daily, before 4pm, to inform you on what you can expect for the following day. Due to factors beyond my control, what you can expect may change from day to day, and I pledge to communicate with you as accurately and quickly as I can.

As far as assistance with child care tomorrow, the district has shared the following resources:

  • The Safe Haven Sites listed here are available for childcare. Sites will be open from 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Registration is available on site, and a parent or guardian must be present with the child at the time of registration. 
  • Chicago Park District field houses will be open during normal operating hours. These facilities will be available to CPS students ages six and older. All Chicago Park District programs will take place as scheduled. For more information on park locations and hours of operation, visit
  • Chicago Public Library locations are open during normal hours (children must be accompanied by an adult and can’t be left at the library unattended). CPL has grab-and-go kits with activities for children to do in the library or to take home.
  • Community Based Organizations throughout the city are offering daytime programs for students. A list of programs can be found here. This list will be updated as new programs are identified. For more information about programs and how to register, please reach out to the contact - or visit the website - listed.

Additionally, take-home breakfast and lunch will be available between 9am-12pm for any community member under the age of 18 who is in need of a meal. Please come to door #6 if you are interested.

In closing, I respect everyone's perspective on this, acknowledging the disagreements that exist. I know that there are families and students really struggling with schools closed, worried about COVID, wanting to support our teachers, or just tired of the uncertainty. I know this because I'm feeling each of these things as a CPS parent and school leader at various times every day this week. We are going to persevere through this, and your survey responses will help us figure out some next steps.

In partnership,

Chris Gamble
Hannah G. Solomon Elementary School