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Mr. Toledo’s Welcome Back Letter 2017-18

Welcome to the 2017-18 School Year!

Dear students and parents),

Welcome to O.A. Thorp Scholastic Academy for the 2017-18 school year.  We are so excited to start the year and we cannot wait to see you on the first day of school Tuesday, September 5th.

It has been a fun summer for the Toledo family. We were able to visit New York City last month. While we were there we visited Central Park, we rode the Staten Island Ferry, and we visited Times Square. New York City is full of exciting places and people and while riding the subway we were able to see many of them. Mrs. Arredondo, Dr. Chambers, your teachers and myself are all looking forward to hearing about the great things you have done this summer. (We hope you come to school with some great stories,)

This year is going to be very special at O.A Thorp. We will be celebrating the 100th year anniversary of our building. We have many activities planned – and Thor P. Featherbottom will have a very busy year! I’ll let you know more about what we will be doing when you get back to school.

The way we teach at Thorp has changed quite a bit in the last 100 years. If you could see the classrooms back then you would see desks that were bolted to the floor in neat rows. In the Thorp Academy of 1918 teachers would often ask each student to come up with the right answer on their own, and that answer was normally related to a fact you were expected to memorize. Today, teaching and learning at Thorp are very different. Your teacher may ask you to work together with a team of students using the 5C’s to solve a problem. Memorization is not that important when you have Google – so instead of just knowing facts, we are going to help you think and problem solve. Learning has changed because what is required of us in today’s world has changed. As we prepare our students for the next 100 years we are going to focus on giving you interesting and challenging problems that mix all of the subjects you learn at school. For example, your teacher might tell you that we have a problem with wasted food in the lunchroom. You may be expected to use your math skills to determine the percentage of food that is wasted. Or maybe you’ll use what you learned in Science to figure out ways to compost the wasted food and nourish our gardens without attracting rodents or other pests. As a final project, you may be asked to share your solution with the Thorp neighborhood so that our neighbors can use the lessons we learned in their own gardens. This approach to education is called Problem Based Learning (PBL), and you are going to see it in many of your classes in the next few years.

You can help us get started by thinking and sharing challenging problems that affect you as a student at Thorp Academy in Chicago, IL.  What are some interesting problems that you see in your life, your school, your neighborhood, or our city? Do you think that a school filled with really smart teachers and students can help solve those problems? Let me know. I would really appreciate it if you are able to sit with an adult in your family and fill out this Problem Based Learning Form where you can give your teachers and me ideas about problems that you would like to solve. (Mom and dad you may want to do some research before you tackle the form. Here are some good resources: Ideasmore ideaseven more ,ideas on formulating a good problem.) I am so excited to see what great problems you come up with. I’ll be sharing these with your teachers when they get back to school in a couple of weeks. They will use some of your problems to design important lessons throughout the year.

School starts on Tuesday, September 5th at 7:30 AM. If you are new to Thorp (and you’re in grades 1-7) we will have a special section for you at the front of our auditorium. If you are a kindergartner (l am amazed by your reading skills!) mom and/or dad can bring you to our Kindergarten Orientation on August 28th at 12:00 P.M. You will get to meet your teacher and drop off supplies. On the first day of school, kindergartners, we want you to arrive at 8:30 A.M. after all the big kids have gone up to their classrooms.

Finally, I hope you have been able to read some great books over the summer. If you haven’t yet, there’s still time. Here are the Toledo family recommendations for the last few weeks before school starts: Mrs. Toledo recommends The Day the Crayons Quit for students who love to color in grades K-2.  Gabriel read The Old Man and the Sea (appropriate for Grades 6-8).  My daughter Monica recommends one of the books she read in 5th grade: No Talking. My recommendation this year is The Adventure of Hugo Cabret (5th to 8th grade). It’s a great book if you like mysteries and love movies.  This year our dog Lucy’s recommendation has to do with eclipses. Check out the following website and get ready for the eclipse on August 21st!   Lucy just barked out: “Remember to get your pets ready – they might be a little scared when the sun goes dark!” (At least that’s what I think she said. She may also just need to go chase some squirrels.)

I hope you’re getting excited about school starting – I can’t wait!

Your homeroom was shared in an email I sent out to your parents. If they have not signed up for our emails they can do so by clicking here.

Have a wonderful rest of the summer,

Efren Toledo – Your Principal

Important Links

Thorp After-Care Sign-up
Thorp School Supply List
Thorp Student/Parent Handbook
The Thorp Curriculum Overview
Dates and Events (Please print out)
All Busing Forms
Parent Portal Grade Book
Required Health Forms
Monthly lunch Menus

This year our Open House will be on the following dates: Sept. 27 Grades: K-4; Sept. 28 Grades: 5-8 from 6:00-7:00PM. Our Kindergarten Orientation, as mentioned, will occur on August 28th at noon. Kindergarten parents, please bring your child along with their school supplies.

Here are some other events that are happening soon:
Fundraiser: Dine Out at BEEFBELLY or BRGRBELLY Thursday, August 24
5:00 – 9:00 PM
4800 N Central Avenue

This dine-out fundraiser is at BEEFBELLY (includes Molly and Myles) AND BRGRBELLY. It includes dine-in, carry out, and delivery. 20% of all proceeds benefit OA Thorp Scholastic Academy. Click here for details!

New Family Meet and Greet at BEEFBELLY
Thursday, August 24
5:30-7:30 PM
4800 N Central Avenue

Come meet some new Thorp friends and parents at our informal gathering at BEEFBELLY to welcome new families and say hi to returning ones. Kids are welcome! Don’t forget this is part of our dine-in fundraiser!

Welcome Back Treats with Friends of Thorp and PTA
Tuesday, September 5
7:30 am – 9:00 am

Near the main entrance of school
Grab a doughnut and cup of java (donated by Perkolator) after you drop the kids off for the first day!

New Family and Old Friends Playdate and Playground Clean-up

Saturday, September 9
9:30 am -11:30 am

Join other Thorp families both new and old for a playdate on the playground and also help us to clean-up and beautify the area. Bring drinks and something to share whether it’s food or a toy. All are welcome!

Fall Fest
Saturday, October 14
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Get into the fall spirit and help us raise funds for our school by attending our annual Fall Fest, including a pumpkin silent auction, walk-a-thon and trick-or-trunk. If you are interested in helping hand out/donate candy during the Trick-or-Trunk or know a local business who might like to participate, please email us.

Other Upcoming Events:
5K’s (Girls on the Run+ Thorp Families)


Here’s a handy list of people to contact when you have a question:
School Phone: 773.534.3640
Principal – Mr. Toledo: edtoledo@cps.edu
Assistant Principal – Mrs. Arredondo: marredondo@cps.edu
Assistant Principal – Dr. Chambers: echambers@cps.edu
Attendance Notes: slmurrell@cps.edu
Busing Information: Transportation Dept. Phone: (773) 553-2860
After-school Thorp Care: mesanabria@cps.edu
Enrollment Questions: ddean@cps.edu
Medical Questions: gmcannella@cps.edu
Special Education / Diverse Learners: mlporwancher@cps.edu
8th Grade Graduation / HS Enrollment: laleibovich@cps.edu
Student Online Program Access: kamontemayor@cps.edu
Web Access / E-Pay Issues: mesanabria@cps.edu
Teacher Classrooms and Email List
Friends of Thorp Facebook Page
Thorp PTA
Thorp Loves Theatre

Have a wonderful school year – and see you soon.