Dear Solomon Family--

First, I want to thank parents and guardians that joined us this week for Parent Teacher Conferences. As of Friday afternoon, we had 287 of our 306 K-8 families join us for conferences (94%); this is a slight decrease from previous years, yet given the challenges we face right now, I think that is an impressive feat. Thank you for choosing to partner with us.

This is the final newsletter before our Thanksgiving holiday, which means no school for students and staff on Wednesday, November 25, through Friday, November 27. Classes will resume on Monday, November 30, and the next newsletter will be sent on December 7. For those who celebrate, I wish you a peaceful and relaxing holiday, surrounded by some but certainly not all of the people you love.

In a bit of meta-news, after an unforced error of mine this past week, I have reconstructed the email distribution list for our newsletter. For most of you, it will not mean any changes. For others, I am using emails that were available in Aspen. If you would prefer another email added to the distribution list, please use this form to let me know.

In partnership,

Chris Gamble
Principal
Hannah G. Solomon Elementary School
Applications for 2021-2022 School Year
December 11 is the deadline for submitting applications on Go CPS, including our 8th graders applying for high school, Pre-Kindergarten students that live outside of our attendance boundaries and want to attend Solomon for Kindergarten, and any other non-Solomon students that live outside the attendance boundary and want to come to Solomon in grades K-8 in the 2021-2022 school year.

If you currently have a child at Solomon, live outside the attendance boundary, and you are looking to bring another child to Solomon next year, be sure to apply with "sibling preference" so we can prioritize your application. For more information on the sibling process, click here.

If you are enrolled in our Pre-K program and do not live in our attendance boundaries, then admission to Solomon for kindergarten is not guaranteed. You will need to complete the Go CPS application.

Families already enrolled at Solomon in grades K-7 do not need to submit another application to return--this is only for students that will be new to Solomon in the fall of 2021.

Families of 8th graders in our special education cluster program will need to complete a Go CPS application for their high school application, but families of Pre-K students in our cluster program will not need to do that for their kindergarten placement. If you are in the cluster program and have a question about the application and placement processes, please reach out to our case manager, Mrs. Chazdon (slchazdon@cps.edu), with any questions.

If you have any questions or need support with the process, please contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, or email gocps@cps.edu.

Last, I'm sharing a brief article from the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ's Natalie Y. Moore on "What I Learned About Choosing the Best Kindergarten for my Daughter" (11/19/2020). As a parent myself that has navigated Go CPS for both the elementary and high school application process for my two children, determining the right fit, whatever that looks like to you and your family, is so important. I wish that we could open our doors right now and show you why we are one of the best neighborhood schools in Chicago. In the meantime, though, please feel free to reach out to me (crgamble@cps.edu) or our school counselor, Mrs. Mullholland (pamulholland@cps.edu) with any admissions-related questions.
News and Notes
  • Make a student's day! In the past few weeks, there was a yellow remote airplane stuck in a tree outside of Door #3 on Hamlin. Our custodian's ladder wasn't long enough to reach it, and we tried different ways to retrieve it with no luck. Then, last weekend with the big winds, it must have come down. The child who lost his remote airplane is sad, and you can make them smile! If you or your child(ren) have seen it, please call the main office to help us coordinate the exchange :)

  • The current plan for students returning to Solomon, based on the district's announcement this past week, is:

Pre-K and students in our Pre-K through 8th grade diverse learner cluster program: January 11, 2021

Remaining students in grades K-8: February 1, 2021.

  • A big thank you to our Local School Council election coordinator, Mrs. Wiviott, and our neighborhood election judge, Alex, for a smooth election process on Wednesday. With mail-in ballots that have been postmarked by 11/18, we will tabulate the votes on December 1 and share the results on our website.

  • With the new LSC term starting in January 2021, I want to acknowledge and thank two members of our LSC that have served us well the past few terms and are stepping down. Our former chair, Mr. Johnson, and our current chair, Ms. Ball, have been tremendous resources and thought partners for me in my work, as well as advocates for our school and students within our meetings and in the larger community. I will miss them and their leadership in this work dearly.
Friends of Solomon School PTO Updates
  • Black Friday is coming! Online shopping through Amazon's charitable giving site Amazon Smile gets you what you need, while Amazon gives back to our school. Make sure you log in to smile.amazon.com and choose Friends of Solomon School Parent Teacher Organization as your designated charity and watch the donations add up!

  • Please remember to "Like" Friends of Solomon School PTO on Facebook!
Technology Assistance
We have staff available from 9:00-4:00 daily to assist you with any technology needs that you have. Please reach us at 773-534-5226 for assistance, or stop by Door #1 if you require in-person help.

Need more information on technology and CPS accounts? Click here for a link to district resources. You can also reach out to the district's Parent Tech Help Line at 773-417-1060 for technical assistance.

Need more information on the Chicago Connected program and access to free internet? Click here for a link to more information.

The district is hosting live webinars for parents accessing the Google Suite (Classroom, Meets, etc.). For information on upcoming webinars, click here.

Click here for the district "Frequently Asked Questions" document that address some common questions about the Google Suite and technology assistance.
Solomon Calendar
The most up-to-date place where you can find important events at Solomon is our school website's homepage, solomon.cps.edu. Logins for each of the virtual meetings can be found in that same calendar. Additionally, please be mindful of the following upcoming events:

November 25-27: Thanksgiving Holiday (no school for students)

November 30: Classes resume
Community Corner
This resource was shared with me from Cristina, one of our 1st grade parents, from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA) and Urban Education Institute (UEI) Parent and Caregiver Series: Supporting Parents and Caregivers in Managing the New Normal:
 
 
  • We invite you to join us for the last sessions in the series How Parents Support Social and Emotional Learning at Home on Tuesday, November 24, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. | RSVP  

  • Program Description: Social and emotional learning in the home means that you can use moments that happen organically to grow your child’s SEL skills while managing your own. Join us for this interactive presentation led by the Together for Students Chicago Initiative, including our partners at Thrive Chicago with CPS Competency Based Education, and Communities in Schools Chicago, to learn about strategies for intentional SEL application at home. The session will also cover what advocating for SEL at your child’s school looks like, and how modeling best practices can lead to an improved quality of life for your children and family."

Student meals are available from the district on a grab-and-go basis. While Solomon is not a distribution site, neighboring schools Sauganash Elementary (6040 N. Kilpatrick) and Peterson Elementary (5510 N. Christiana) are both open daily between 8:00-1:00. For more information on the CPS Grab-and-Go Meal Sites, click here.

CPS's Parent University is going to be offering free, virtual ESL classes this winter and spring. For more information, click for more information in English and Spanish.
Solomon Spirit Wear
I am excited to announce that we have a new partner for Solomon spirit wear this year, SquadLocker. Great new gear--t-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants, shorts, polos, face masks...you name it. Peter the Cougar never looked so good. And, you can order at any time, and it will be delivered to your door. This replaces the once-a-year order that our staff and volunteers had previously organized in the building.

Click here to see what is available now, and be the first on your block to represent Solomon in our new gear!
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.