Your weekly bulletin from the team at Hannah G. Solomon Elementary School, the pride of Peterson Park! 

Solomon Principal Newsletter: December 23, 2016
Dear Parents and Community Members,

In this season of giving, I am so appreciative of all the efforts that our parents, staff, and community make to provide a high-quality education for all of our children. I wish everyone a wonderful winter break. See below for some ideas on engaging your children during the break, using some local resources. Winter break starts at dismissal on Friday, and we return to class on Monday, January 9, 2017, at 9am. The main office will be closed for the entire break. If you have any needs or concerns, please be sure to reach out to me at crgamble@cps.edu. I will be taking some time off during the break to be with family, so the response time may be a little longer than usual. Thanks for your understanding!
Winter Basketball Update
Starting January 9, 2017:

Mondays, 4-5:30pm (gym): basketball for grades 5-8 (including the Boys 5th/6th grade basketball team), led by Coach MacDonald from Hollywood Park, no fees, sign up on the first day of practice

Wednesdays, 4-5:30pm (gym): basketball for grades 1-4, led by Coach MacDonald from Hollywood Park, $7 fee, sign up and pay fee on the first day of practice

Fridays, 4-5:30pm (gym): basketball practice for Boys 5th/6th grade basketball team

Saturdays (tentatively): basketball games for Boys 5th/6th grade basketball team at Mather HS, final schedule pending

Parent packet for the Boys 5th/6th grade basketball team went home in backpacks on December 22 with more information.

Solomon's school-wide attendance as of December 1 was 95.66%. Be on the lookout in the new year for some incentives and additional communication to help us reach our year-end goal of 96%. 

A belated thank you to our friends at Bernie's Book Bank, who delivered the first of two yearly installments of books for students to read and exchange with each other. Every student in grades PK through 6 received at least 7 books from the not-for-profit company that partners with Chicago Public Schools. Happy reading!

Girls on the Run Update
We are excited to announce that, based on the interest survey done this fall, we will be able to field both a 3rd-5th grade and a 6th-8th grade girls team starting in March. So you can plan accordingly, the plan is for the 3rd-5th girls team to practice on Mondays and Wednesdays after school, with the 6th-8th girls practicing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Coach Kaplan will reaching out to those families that submitted interest forms, and more information will be shared when we return from break. 
Fonseca Martial Arts Winter Sign-Up
Parents can now sign up their students in grades K-6 for the winter term morning martial arts classes with Fonseca Martial Arts. Classes start on January 10 and continue through April 6. Please register by January 6, 2017, at their website.
Winter Break Learning Opportunities

Two weeks away is a great time to play, connect with family and friends, visit some of the great places in our city, and enjoy different learning experiences. Below are are some resources to help families design some of their own experiences. 

Chicago City of Learning

Want to keep those young minds active and engaged? Here are some activities for a variety of interests:

  • Young Authors Playlist- poetry, scriptwriting, blogging, and more!
  • Coding & Games- Angry Birds, Minecraft, Star Wars coding, and more!
  • Designing & Making- logo design, T-shirt design, fashion mood board, and more!
  • Media- podcast production, music track making, video editing, and more!

To get started, visit here.

Online Reading Comprehension Program: http://readtheory.org/

Mix It Up! Chicago Public Library Winter Learning Challenge

The Chicago Public Library is challenging kids to mix it up this winter break by exploring the world of chemistry!  From December 19th to January 9th, kids can be a chemist by cooking with an adult, making their own bubble solution, or trying one of many experiments!

To complete the challenge, kids are to:

  • Read (books, magazines or websites) for 20 minutes a day for at least 5 days.
  • Discover and create by doing at least one of the suggested activities and writing about it.

For more information plus a list of activities, check out Mix It Up! Kids Winter Learning Challenge.

Did you know that the Chicago Public Libraries in our neighborhood (Northtown at 6435 N. California is our closest one) offer after-school homework help for students? Find out more here!

Parent Teacher Organization News
A couple of highlights to share about upcoming PTO events:
  • Save the date for our parents' night out, the Solomon Soiree, on Friday, February 24, 2017. Look for invitations to come out in early January with more details! 

  • Our next meeting is an evening meeting on January 18, starting at 6pm in our library. There will be plenty of Soiree updates and upcoming 2nd semester events to share. 

  • Be sure to LIKE the Solomon School PTO on Facebook to get current information and reminders.
Chicago Enrichment Programs
Registration for before and after-school programming is available through our partner at Chicago Enrichment Programs. You can go to their website to get more information and sign up for programming. CEP is looking to add more enrichment programming in January, so keep an eye out in the newsletter and their website for updates!
CPS Budget Update
Recently, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 2822, which provides $215 million to Chicago in FY 2017. This action jeopardizes the funding of Chicago Public Schools, including Solomon Elementary, moving forward. Please see this letter from the district on how you can respond. 

Don't miss these upcoming events!
December 23: Last day of school before Winter Break; Student Council Dance 1-3:30pm

January 9, 2017: Return from Winter Break

January 10: Local School Council meeting, 5:30pm
 Looking for more dates? For your reference, a paper copy of the school calendar (December 2016 Community Calendar) will continued to be shared as well. Even better, check our community calendar on our website (www.solomon.cps.edu), which is updated in real time! 
Celebrations from this week!
Kindergarten and 8th grade reading buddies meet weekly, and this week they were able to share some winter treats with one another. Seeing the response by each of them to their partner's performance at the winter concert, they are all becoming fast friends.
Interested in volunteering at Solomon? Please print out and complete our Solomon Volunteer Interest Survey, and then submit to the main office. We are constantly reaching out to parents for assistance on projects both big and small, and our volunteer list lets us know who is interested in helping out in different ways. Thanks--we love our volunteers!

The district has started a program to share information to volunteers across CPS, including a way to gain digital badges for participating in volunteer activities and a chance to win prizes. I'll link to that information below:
Questions or concerns? Please feel free to reach me at any time--email me at crgamble@cps.edu or call me at (773) 534-5226 (school) or (773) 805-0844 (cell).

If you know of someone who hasn't received this email but would like to be on the distribution list, fill out this form.

Enjoy your weekend,

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