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

Solomon Principal Newsletter: January 20, 2017
Dear Parents and Community Members,

We are going to be expanding our communication and school-wide awareness about student attendance at Solomon. Our school-wide goal for the year is 96%, a number that we have not reached at Solomon in many years. There is an increasing amount of research that links high school and even college achievement to something as basic as student attendance in elementary school, particularly the primary (PK to 2) grades. I'll use the space and other communications to share resources, alert families about attendance procedures, and generate awareness and excitement in our students to be at school every day. 

Throwing out my first virtual high-five, I want to congratulate our 5th graders in Ms. Zachar's class (room 119) for having a 99.63% attendance rate in November--only 1.5 missed days of school for the whole class all month! Room 119 was also the December winners at 98.47% (6.5 days missed all month). Great job, 5th graders. Our incentives for best and most improved attendance start in February, and I think that our winners will like being the "guardians of the Cougar"!

Please see these attached documents for tips on staying the course in these difficult winter months, when we are challenged by both illness and weather. 

Winter Weather Resources (English)


News and Updates
  • Please welcome our new student teachers that will teaching our students this spring. Ms. Rachel Flink is working with Ms. Shayne in Kindergarten, and Ms. Brianna Nixon is working with Ms. Luciano in 4th grade. We are excited to have you on the team!

  • Great news to share about our arts program at Solomon. Ms. Stirling works diligently to secure many types of grants, including symphony tickets for our student. Last month, Ms. Stirling was able to reel in the big fish, and we are ecstatic to announce that she was able to secure the Creative School Grant for a third consecutive year, to the tune of $10,000. This money will go towards our dance program with our external partners at Dancing with Class. This money, along with additional support from our PTO, translates to between 8 and 14 weeks of dance instruction for all Solomon students. Between dance, visual arts, and our music program, we are showing how a small neighborhood school can provide programming that meets all of our students' needs and interests. Way to go, Ms. Stirling!

  • Speaking of Ms. Stirling, as part of additional grant funding, be on the lookout for an exciting announcement from her next week regarding before-school enrichment programming!

  • Good luck to our 5th/6th grade Boys Basketball team in their game against Jamieson tomorrow at 2:15pm. All games are at Mather HS, and there is plenty of space for spectators. Go Cougars!

  • From the teachers in our Special Education Cluster Program, Ms. Howsam, Ms. Sak, and Ms. Gulino-Bobel: The Special Olympics team needs your help to raise money for the new Solomon gear to represent our school at the events in May. We will be hosting several fundraiser between now and then to raise these funds. For our first one, bring $1 to your homeroom teacher before January 27 so that your child can wear your pajamas or sweat clothes (out-of-uniform) on January 27th. Thank you for supporting our Special Olympics team, and keep an eye out for more fun opportunities. 

  • It was great to see over 30 girls attend the first informational meeting about Girls on the Run (grades 3-5) and Heart and Sole (grades 6-8). Coaches Kaplan and Tamborino met with the students to review the necessary registration information and provide practice and race updates. Email Coach Kaplan at jamielkaplan@gmail.com or contact the school at 773-534-5226 if you have any registration questions. In addition to our two coaches, Ms. Richard, our PK teacher in room 106, will be working with the team as well. For more information about Girls on the Run, visit here.

  • Registration is now open for the Edgebrook-Sauganash Athletic Association 2017 T-Ball, Baseball, and Softball leagues that play here in our community. More information can be found on their website, as well as this informational flier.
Scheduling Reminders
  • 2nd grade parents: We have our next principal coffee for you scheduled for this coming Thursday, January 26, at 8am. I look forward to a productive discussion about your questions and the different ways we support our 2nd graders at Solomon

  • We have our next prospective parent tour scheduled for Thursday, January 26, at 9:30am. If you have friends or neighbors that are interested in touring the school, please share the information!
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Parent Teacher Organization News
A couple of highlights to share about upcoming PTO events:
  • Today we are 6 weeks out from our Solomon Soiree on February 24 at 6pm. It is a fun evening out for Solomon parents and community members, where we enjoy each other's company and raise money for Solomon. Last year's Soiree raised over $10,000, which we were able to use to purchase Chromebook computers for student use. This year, our priority is our arts enrichment programming, including our visual arts and dance programs. I look forward to celebrating Solomon with you!

  • Our next meeting is February 15 at 9:15 in our school lunchroom.

  • Did you know that we were able to get a check for $366 as a result of 6 months of Box Tops collected at Solomon? Did you know that homerooms that turn in 75 Box Tops in one month get an out-of-uniform pass? Thank you, PTO, for your help with administering this program for us!

  • Be sure to LIKE the Solomon School PTO on Facebook to get current information and reminders.
Candy Grams for Valentine's Day
Each year Ms. Chazdon organizes our Candy Grams for Valentine's Day, where students (and families) can send each other little tokens of their appreciation. I've attached the order form in case you would like to order, and students have received copies of the order form as well. All funds raised from this event supplement our general internal account school funds, which pay for positive behavior and honor roll incentives, as well as supplementing the cost of field trips when needed. 
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!
Don't miss these upcoming events!
February 2: Last Day of the 2nd Quarter/1st Semester

February 3: Furlough Day--no school for students or staff

February 20: Presidents' Day--no school for students or staff
 Looking for more dates? For your reference, a paper copy of the school calendar (January 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! 
What you may have missed this week...
Congrats to our 7th and 8th graders who presented at the regional science fair today! Recognized today were Brian N. (Excellent), and Mubin C., Roman S., Se Yun J., and Selena K. (Honorable Mention).
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