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

Solomon Principal Newsletter: February 10, 2017
Dear Parents and Community Members,

This week, you may have seen the news that the district has implemented a spending freeze on every school's budget. Specifically, the district has targeted roughly half of the total non-personnel funds available. For Solomon, the total is $43,000, which represents 1% of our original budget. Nearly all of our budget by itself goes towards personnel, so this loss will be felt when it comes to all of the other areas we need to make our school the Pride of Peterson Park: technology, curricular resources, professional development, and office purchases, among other things.  

One of the things that makes us unique is our ability to provide big-school opportunities in a small-school environment, from extracurricular arts club and sports teams to arts enrichment embedded in the daily curriculum. Programs like Go Get Your Smock and Dancing with Class are nearly 100% funded through grants and donations. Events like the Soiree (see below) are vital in allowing us to provide our students with a wide variety of programming that meets their academic and social-emotional needs. I hope to see many of you at the Soiree on February 24 to help raise funds to support our school in this time of need, as well as come together to celebrate what makes us Solomon!
Soiree and PTO Updates
 


Here is the latest Solomon Soiree news to share, as well as a few PTO updates: 
  • Today we are only 2 weeks out from the Soiree, our annual fundraiser for the parents, teachers, and Solomon community members. Tickets are going fast! Completed ticket forms can be returned to the main office.

  • This week, students learned about fun raffles and auction items, such as a party for 10 at Bitspace in Lincoln Square, private lessons at Music House in Rogers Park, and an American Girl Doll! Next week I will start sharing the teacher and principal experiences. Don't miss out on the fun!

  • In terms of donations, we would love to use the Soiree as a way to highlight and promote your business to our school community. Consider donating services from your business to our raffle. Other things you can donate to our raffle for the event: sports memorabilia, tickets to an event, a gift certificate to a restaurant that you love, etc.

  • Please reach out to our committee at solomonsoiree@gmail.com with any questions or requests for more information.
  • Our annual shoe drive will continue through March 1. Please bring your gently worn, used, or new shoes to the drop box outside of the main office. Proceeds will be going towards the purchase of two new drinking fountains for the school, the first of which has been installed outside of the main office. Come fill up your water bottle in these new, environmentally-friendly fountains!

  • Our next PTO meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 15, at 9:15am in our school lunchroom. 

News and Updates
  • The Spring After-School Sports registration packet went home with all 5th-8th graders this past week. Registration materials, which can also be found here, must be turned into the main office no later than March 10. Sports that will be offered include Girls Soccer and Boys Track. A timeline for games and meets is provided in the packet. Since there is a requirement for a minimum number of participants to field a team, we would love everyone who is interested to sign up so that we can field multiple teams. If you are interested in coaching for Boys Track or Girls Soccer, please apply here

  • Applications for the Seal of Biliteracy Award for elementary school students were sent home with selected 5th and 8th graders last week. To be eligible for the award, students must submit their applications by Thursday, February 16. For more information on the program, click here. It really is a testament to the diversity of skills that our students possess, so I welcome all those invited to apply for this prestigious award!

  • Ms. Liu is seeking volunteers for our school's History Fair on March 23. If you are available during the morning to serve as a judge of student projects, please let Ms. Liu know at daliu@cps.edu. I'll be there to judge--it is one of my favorite events of the year, talking to students about history research. Winners from this fair advance move onto the regional fair later in the spring.

  • The National Immigrant Justice Center will be hosting a workshop, "Know Your Rights", at the Albany Park Library (3401 W. Foster Ave.) on February 23 at 6pm. Click here for more information.

  • Students and staff will be taking the annual My Voice My School 5 Essentials survey, administered by the University of Chicago. The survey opened on Jan. 31, 2017, and the window will close on March 24, 2017. Students in grades 6-8 will complete the survey in the coming weeks. For more information about the survey, visit here.
The Trials of Alice in Wonderland
Our 20 or so actors in grades 3-8 are excited to put on their 2016-2017 production, The Trials of Alice in Wonderland. More details to follow on how to purchase tickets, but save the date for their performance on Saturday, March 4, at 3pm in our gymnasium. We hope to see you there!
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.
Don't miss these upcoming events!
February 14: LSC Meeting, 5:30 in our library

February 20: Presidents' Day--no school for students or staff

February 24: Solomon Soiree

March 4: The Trials of Alice in Wonderland performance
 Looking for more dates? For your reference, a paper copy of the school calendar (February 2017 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! 
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