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Thorp FAQ’s 2013

At the beginning of the year I tend to hear some common questions from parents. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions as well as new information about our educational initiatives at Thorp:


Mr. Toledo is it true that Thorp students now have a Spanish class?

Yes. This year students in grades 6 to 8 will have conversational Spanish with Mr. Alvarez and Mr. Robles as one of their enrichment classes. All students receive P.E., Art, Computer, Health, Library and Music at Thorp. We believe that by providing various learning opportunities we better fulfill our mission in creating well rounded learners.

Mr. Toledo, when will the renovated library be open to students?

First, I want to thank all of the parents, PTA and Friends of Thorp who contributed to our library media center renovation. Friends of Thorp raised $10,000 for our library furniture; PTA has donated countless hours of support moving furniture and shelving books; and Mrs. Ruszel is working non-stop getting us ready for our Grand Opening by the end of September.


Why does Mr. Toledo not allow parents in the auditorium after dropping off their children at the school?


At Thorp we love involved parents, but our priority is to ensure that our school is a safe learning environment for all students. To that end, we ask that parents drop off their children in the auditorium every day between 7:30 a.m. and 7:40 a.m.  The students are picked up by their teachers at 7:45 a.m. This protocol ensures that all students are in a safe environment and ready to learn.  Parents, if you wish to help us with our morning procedures, please speak to Tammy Woods (our PTA President) or come to the main office and ask for a volunteer packet.


Mr. Toledo, why did you ban peanut butter?


As a parent who packs his child’s lunch everyday – I know how convenient a PB&J sandwich is. However at Thorp we have a number of students with life-threatening nut allergies.  In certain situations, all it takes is slight contact with surfaces that have been exposed to nuts for a severe allergic reactions to occur. Moreover, many students and parents might not even be aware of a latent allergic condition. Therefore, O.A. Thorp Scholastic Academy has become a peanut free school to ensure a healthy environment for all students. PTA will be providing more information regarding Nut allergies as well as convenient alternatives to replace peanut butter in student lunches during our Open House.


Why was my child moved from the “Gifted” Homeroom?


Unlike in the past, student performance is now reviewed annually to determine the most appropriate setting to meet your child’s academic learning needs. For some students, their academic performance may be very high in one subject, but not in another. Our goal at Thorp is to maximize the rigor and challenge for all students in all subjects. With this end in mind, student placement is based not only on test scores but also on teacher evaluations and  student performance. This means that some children may be in the Gifted or Accelerated programs for some subjects but not for others. At Thorp we recognize that every child is gifted in many ways; allowing for fluid groupings will allow more students to participate in our more rigorous academic programs.  Needless to say, all of  our teachers have received training in instructing and differentiating lessons for all students. If you have further questions please feel free to call or email me.


How does my child get into the Comprehensive Gifted Program?


Unlike at regional gifted centers, at Thorp students do not have to “test in” to attend. Instead the opportunity for placement in the gifted program is based on a number of factors measured at the end of kindergarten. Examples of these factors include, but are not limited to student effort, cumulative grades, standardized test scores, etc. As our test scores, and acceptance rates at selective enrollment high school will attest; our program is very successful at challenging the gifted learner and ensuring their success. If you have further questions please feel free to call or email me.


Why are we not allowed to walk through  the teachers’ parking lot?


Thorp School is always seeking to ensure that all of our students are safe. If parents and students try to enter the school through the teachers’ parking lot, then a safety risk might arise because teachers both drive in and out of this parking lot. Please make sure that you walk with your children down Warwick or Grace streets to enter Thorp School.


Where can I park to drop off my child and walk them into the building?


Parking is available on Meade and Grace streets as well as on surrounding side streets if you would like to escort your child to the school doors.


How do I pay for school lunch?


A standard lunch costs $2.45 per student and the reduced rate is $.40 per student. Parents, as a service to you we are offering on-line payment processing for required student fees, lunch and graduation fees. Please click to access the Illinois E-Pay Site. Student balances (both positive and negative) will carry over from year to year.


My child is new to Thorp, how can I find other parents who can help me learn the ropes?


Parents love networking with other parents at Thorp School. Two great resources available for parents are the Thorp Parent Teacher Association (PTA)  at and the Friends of Thorp at We highly encourage you to join these dedicated organizations.


Why do Mr. Toledo and the teachers at Thorp ask me to make an appointment in order to speak with them?


Parents, I am normally outside in the east playlot right after dismissal.  I normally speak to parents for at least 15 to 20 minutes each day. I also have parent Q&A sessions after each PTA meeting. However, if you need to speak with me at length scheduling an appointment is best. Parents are encouraged to make an appointment to talk with either the principal or teachers because we care about providing individualized and authentic support for your child. Regarding teachers, they are teaching class during the school day. For them to take class time to have an in-depth conversation regarding your child’s status or progress takes academic learning time away from your child. For these reasons, we ask that you make an appointment in advance to talk with either the school administration or teaching staff.


Mr. Toledo, why don’t we have a playground yet?


Please know that I believe that children need space and time to learn as well as play. Because of your support Friends of Thorp has raised over $50,000 for a new playground and we are currently seeking the support of both CPS as well as our community in making the playground dream a reality. We hope to have more information to you soon, but in the meantime visit our Campus Park Plan .

If you have more questions please email me:


This Post Has 9 Comments
  1. Hello Mr. Toledo,
    Currently, when you click the Cafeteria Menu, an error message appears. Since many parents rely on it, will it be fixed soon and will it be more accurate than last year? Please let me know, when you get a chance.

    Thank you,

    Mary Nespoux
    Jake’s Mom

  2. Dear Mr. Toledo,

    Thanks so much for incorporating Spanish into the middle school day. We’re thrilled.

    Sharon Schmidt

  3. When will Thorp offer the Ventra bus card for those students in need of taking public transporation this year?


  4. Mr. Toledo,
    Why doesn’t Thorp have uniforms??
    Has it ever been considered for our school and how is the decision decided upon??

    1. Thorp wear is always available and encouraged. Please visit the Thorp PTA site for more information; however, we do not require uniforms.

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