This is Principal Longbottom with your Monday weekly update. Today was an exciting day. We welcomed back our first group of kindergarten students for Kindergarten Academy. Give a shout out to our kindergarten teachers for preparing their classrooms, practicing safety protocols, and sharing this joyful experience with students. Please remember that our remote kindergarten learners will experience more asynchronous learning than usual over the next week while we build in-person safety routines through Kindergarten Academy.
This Wednesday, we will be reaching out with important information regarding our schoolwide hybrid learning launch on Monday October 12th. In Wednesday’s communication, you will receive confirmation of your child’s cohort (A, B or fully remote), as well as your child’s teacher’s name. We did our best to maintain your child’s current teacher, however this was not possible in many cases due to the amount of students we need to support in-person and remotely. Please make sure that you check your messages on Wednesday so that you can begin planning for our transition to hybrid learning on October 12.
Have a great week, Tollgate crew and community!
This is Principal Longbottom with your Monday weekly update. Please remember that tomorrow, Tuesday September 22nd, is the last day to change your mind about whether your student will attend school in-person or remote during quarter 2. Designations for your student were sent to each family last week by email along with a description of the safety precautions we will be taking for in-person learning. Please contact the front office by 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday if you would like to make any changes.
This evening, I will be hosting a community town hall meeting from 5:00-5:30 over zoom. The purpose of this meeting is to address important questions you may have so you can make the best decision for your child to attend in-person or remote learning during quarter 2. You will receive an email with information on how to attend. Spanish translation will be available.
As we continue to adapt to this new environment of learning, we appreciate your partnership. We are crew.
Thank you and have a great week!
Friday, Sept. 18,2020
Remember Friday is an asynchronous work day for students. Students must complete assignments online for attendance and keeping pace with their class.
Thursday,Sept. 17, 2020
We intentionally sent only one email to families yesterday designating whether your student will be attending in-person learning on A weeks, B weeks, or fully remote. If you have more than one child in APS, we made sure that your entire family is attending school during the same weeks.
Thank you and have a great day!
Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020
This is Principal Longbottom. APS announced yesterday that we will be transitioning to hybrid learning beginning on October 12th. We just sent a very important message to your email that designates whether your student will be attending in-person learning on A weeks, B weeks, or fully remote. Please check your email for more detailed information.
We know this is an important decision for your family. In order to support our community, I will be hosting a town hall meeting over Zoom on Monday, September 21st from 5:00-5:30 p.m. I will do my best to answer your questions during this meeting so that you can make the most informed decision for your family.
Thank you. Have a great evening!
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020
Hello Tollgate families,
This is Principal Longbottom with an important update. Our front office is making home phone calls to remind families to fill-out the Free & Reduced Lunch applications. Free & Reduced applications may not seem important with students not coming to school, however these applications are vital for school funding. We know that the number of Tollgate families who qualify is well over 75%, yet our current applications only show 61%. If we do not reach the 75% threshold by the end of September, we will lose out on hundreds of thousands of dollars of Title I funding. If you have not filled out a Free & Reduced Lunch application, please call the front office so that we can assist you. We will be reaching out to families over the phone for the next two weeks. We appreciate your help reaching this important goal.
Monday, Sept. 8, 2020
Dear Tollgate Community,
As we prepare for a possible return of students in October, we need to know your current thinking. We are hoping to bring half of our students back to the building for a week at a time in an A/B group. For example, if your child is in the A group, s/he would attend Monday-Thursday and then learn on the computer Friday and the following week.
Safety precautions will be in place for students returning in person:
Masks will be required for both students and staff throughout the day unless students are eating or during designated mask breaks.
Social Distancing of 6 feet will be maintained.
Breakfast and lunch will take place in the classroom.
Students will have recess outside, weather permitting.
Students will remain in their group of 9-12 students all day, limiting contact between groups.
Frequent hand washing breaks will take place throughout the day.
You have options as a parent. Please respond by September 8 to the attached survey to indicate your preference through December.
Remain remote through December with no in-person schooling
Return in an A/B model. Every effort will be made to keep families together in the same group.
Please keep in mind that depending on your response, there is a chance your child’s teacher may change for the 2nd quarter.
We Are Crew!
Tuesday, Sept.8, 2020
Hello, Tollgate Families,
If you have not filled out the Q2 survey for in-person or remote learning please do so today. Access the survey in your email or call the front desk.
Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020
Hello Tollgate Families,
This is Principal Longbottom with two very important updates. First, please check your email and respond to a survey that provides important information that we need to prepare for Quarter 2. If you did not receive the email, please contact the front office so that we can get this information to you.
Second, we have another supply distribution opportunity scheduled for tomorrow. This pick up will be for all 1st grade and 4th grade families to pick up their student math workbooks. In addition, anyone that was unable to make the pick up last Friday has another opportunity to swing by and pick them up.
The pickup times will be from 10:30-2:30, for your convenience, we have scheduled the pick-up to include the times that the lunches are being given out. If you come between the times of 10:45-11:30, you are able to also pick up your bagged lunches at the same time.
We look forward to seeing our 1st and 4th grade families, as well as any families that have yet to pick up their supplies.
Monday, Aug. 31, 2020
Hello Tollgate Families,
This is Principal Longbottom. Thank you for everyone who made it to our supply distribution this past Friday. Please remember that these supplies are essential to your child’s participation in school. If you have not had a chance to pick-up your child’s school supplies, please call the school to arrange a time to pick-up your supplies in the front office.
This year, we are committed to addressing your child’s unfinished learning from the Spring with rigorous and engaging remote instruction. We know how important this year is to your child’s development. Attendance is critical to our success. We are currently hovering just above eighty percent attendance over the first couple of weeks. We need to get closer to one hundred percent. Every child needs to be in attendance if we are going to reach our crew goals. Please check your email for a copy of our attendance policy and let us know if there are ways we can help your child attend every day from 7:45 to 2:45.
We will not allow technology to be a barrier to your child’s success. Aurora Public Schools has partnered with Comcast to support families in need of internet access. Low-income families can sign up for 60 days of FREE Comcast Internet Essentials service. After the 60 days, qualified households will pay $9.95 per month. Even if you have an outstanding balance with Comcast, you may still be eligible, if you apply before December 31. Contact Comcast for more information.
You can also access the internet through Comcast public hotspots for free.
In addition, families on a limited income can save money with Lifeline services from CenturyLink. This government assistance program can help you save on your monthly local phone service or qualifying internet service. Lifeline provides a discount of $9.25 on monthly service for qualified subscribers.
To learn more about these services, please visit aurorak12.org/back2school and click on the Internet Access tab or call the school office. We look forward to seeing you online this week.
We Are Crew!
Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020
A friendly reminder that we are distributing FREE classroom supplies tomorrow. 8-10 for last names A-M. 10-12 for last names N-Z. Please see details in your email. These are essential supplies for your child’s classroom so we hope to see everyone tomorrow!
Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020
Hello Tollgate Families,
This is Principal Longbottom. This Friday, we have prepared an event to distribute important classroom supplies for your child. These supplies are free for families and are essential for their academic participation. Supplies are organized by grade-level. Please follow the protocol below in order to gather your supplies.
Please arrive at Tollgate between the designated time frames 8:00-10:00 for families with the last names beginning with letters A-M and 12:00-2:00 for families with the last name beginning with the letters N-Z.
To help the process go quickly and efficiently, we will be having 2 lines going at the same time. Supplies for Kindergarten, K/1, and 1st graders will be distributed by way of the car loop in the main parking lot. Supplies for 2nd-5th graders will be distributed by way of the bus loop in the side parking lot. You do not need to go through both lines unless you have children in multiple grade levels.
Please remain in your car and keep your car in the line. Staff members will come to your car to gather your child’s name and grade. Once you have your supplies, please stay in the car lines as they will help everyone move through quickly.
If you are not coming by car, please go to the central table in each line to tell the staff your child’s name and grade level. Please remember to follow the safety protocols by wearing your mask and keeping 6 feet away from others at all times.
If you have any questions for us regarding your child or Tollgate, please pull in and park in one of the parking places so that you do not block the flow of traffic. Then you can proceed into the building and meet with the office staff. If you are doing this, please remember to wear your mask.
We hope that you are able to make it this Friday. If you are unable to, please contact your child’s classroom teacher or the front office and we will make arrangements for you to gather these important supplies at another time.
See you Friday!
Monday, Aug. 24, 2020
Hello Tollgate Families,
This is Principal Longbottom. Four weeks ago, the Board of Education made the decision for all schools to launch the year with remote learning. In the short window of time between then and now, the Tollgate staff has hustled to transform our educational practices to the digital forum in order to best serve our community. The transition has been challenging and stressful, yet the staff has remained determined to overcome all obstacles because we know how important it is to make sure our students are not left with unfinished learning. We are grateful for your partnership over the past couple of weeks to ensure all students have access to a chromebook and internet access in order to learn alongside their Tollgate crew. If you still need internet access or a chromebook, please contact your child’s classroom teacher or the front office. There are also a variety of resources available on the district’s website at remotelearning.aurorak12.org .
As we head into the first full week of instruction, we hope that students start falling into the groove of remote learning. One critical component to discuss at home is your child’s office space. A private, quiet space to work will help students focus during their day of school. Take a look at the picture below shared by a parent.
By purchasing an inexpensive cardboard trifold, this family was able to create a private office that helps their child to be independent during remote learning. I encourage you to have conversations as a family about how to create the best space for learning within your home.
We are finalizing plans to distribute classroom supplies to families later this week. We understand the economic strain brought upon by Covid-19 and we want to support our families with key classroom supplies that will support remote learning. This Friday, August 28th, we will be distributing classroom supplies from the hours of 8:00-10:00 for families with the last name beginning with the letters A-M, and 12:00-2:00 for families with a last name beginning with the letters N-Z . Stay tuned for more details later this week. You will need to know your child’s grade-level so that we can get you the appropriate supplies.
We look forward to seeing you online this week!
Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020
Hello Tollgate Families,
This is Principal Longbottom. We are so proud of our teachers, staff, students and community for persevering through the first two days of school. We have seen so much improvement over the first two days. It is exciting to see strong attendance and students improving with their digital tools. Please remember to email teachers if you have any questions. They will not be able to address questions while they are teaching their crew.
Tomorrow is our first asynchronous Friday. Teachers have communicated work for students to complete tomorrow. Students will need to logon and complete their work for attendance and keeping up with their crew. Thank you for your support with helping students develop these new academic habits.
We look forward to seeing you next week!
Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020
Hello Tollgate Families,
This is Principal Longbottom. Take a deep breath. We made it through day one. We experienced a lot of successes with great attendance, as well as several challenges, mostly around technology support. Heading into day 2 tomorrow, we have allocated additional technology support to help address issues you may experience. Teachers will be reaching out to you in order to share the email address of the Educational Assistant that is assigned to their grade-level. If you are experiencing technology issues, you will email the assigned Educational Assistant directly and provide your phone number. Our Educational Assistants will call you as soon as they are able in order to help support you over the phone. A lot of the challenges are simple fixes. Some issues they will need to forward to the district help desk. If you need side-by-side assistance, our Educational Assistants will be available all day Friday, from 8-3, to support families. You can call the school front office or stop by the building. They will help you to overcome the technology challenges you are facing.
Using Google Meets for synchronous instruction is a new tool for teachers and students. You can help support by practicing mute and unmute with your child and finding a quiet place for your child to work during the day. Please do not use the chat feature if you have questions for teachers. Instead, please send an email and they will get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank you again for making our first day a success with remote education. We look forward to getting better and better each day.
Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020
Hello Tollgate families,
This is Principal Longbottom. Tomorrow is the first day of school, one of my favorite days of the year. Sure, it will feel different in a remote setting, but we are just as excited to welcome back our students. They are the spirit of Tollgate and we have dearly missed them.
We are anticipating that the start of the school year will not be as smooth as it usually is in a traditional setting. We are bound to encounter technical difficulties, but I assure we have a dedicated team that will work through these issues to support you and your family. I am so proud of the Tollgate teachers and staff. Over the last three weeks, they have shown such persistence and dedication getting ready to teach in a way that they never have before. Teachers spent their summers asking questions and learning new digital tools. Students first has been a mantra for many years and no year has it been more important than this one. While I expect challenges in the launch of the school year, I am extremely confident in this staff, this community, and these students to get the job done. Together we will figure this out. That is what crew is all about.
Connection & Access
The first few weeks will be all about connection and access. The district has provided remote learning resources for families available at remotelearning.aurorak12.org. Our para educators and educational assistants are working closely with teachers to provide parent and student support as well.
School will be both synchronous and asynchronous. This means we are asking students to logon at specific times in order to have direct instruction from teachers. This puts teachers back in the center of your child’s education. In addition, students will be asked to complete work asynchronously. Fridays will be asynchronous every week. Teachers will communicate work to be completed on these days.
We need your partnership at the beginning of the year by reinforcing strong student habits for attending synchronous class meetings and completing asynchronous work. Through strong partnership to begin the year, we believe that our students can develop healthy habits that allow them to be leaders of their own learning.
We are dedicated to supporting students and families during this challenging time. We understand the school supplies are expensive and we want to do our part to help contribute during an unprecedented year where so many families are affected by COVID-19. As a school, we are purchasing school supplies to support strong teaching and learning in a remote environment. We are in the process of organizing a distribution date for the last week of August. Please stay tuned for more information on how you will be able to collect important school supplies for your child in the coming weeks.
We look forward to seeing you tomorrow at 7:45 a.m. for our first day tomorrow. Please remember that tomorrow is a half day of school concluding at 11:15. Our Tollgate staff is looking forward to seeing your smiling faces on screen. Have a great evening and see you in the morning!
Monday, Aug. 17, 2020
Hello Tollgate families,
This is Principal Longbottom. We are excited to get started this week. School kicks off this Wednesday at 7:45 a.m. with our first crew of the year. You should expect a call from your child’s teacher over the next couple of days to make sure you are prepared for the first day of school. During this phone call, teachers will make sure:
You know your child’s Google ID & Password for logging into their Google classroom
You have checked out a chromebook. One chromebook for every Tollgate student in your household.
Teachers will walk you through logging onto Google classroom and highlighting the link you will need to sign on Wednesday morning
Teachers will schedule a 30 minute listening conference over the first four weeks of school to get to know your family better.
During the first day of school, teachers will go more in depth about what a daily schedule will look like for your child. You are welcome to join your child on this day. I will continue to support you with weekly communication using our phone messenger system, as well as updates on our Tollgate Facebook page.
For our families with children that receive special education services, we wanted to take a minute to let you know that you should expect a call from your child’s case manager over the next couple of days as well to discuss service minutes for your child’s IEP. Because of the health and safety restrictions established by Tri-County Health, all IEP service minutes may need to be adjusted to reflect the minutes your child needs to make progress towards their goals in a remote, hybrid or in-person model of instruction. Again, these minutes will reflect the total number of minutes needed to make progress towards the IEP goals, which is different than the number of minutes that are included in a full academic day of traditional schools. In addition, the services will look different to better fit the parameters of the cohort model. Expect a phone call in the next few days from your child's provider to discuss more specific details. As always thank you for your support. We appreciate you and look forward to serving you this year!
Friday, Aug. 14, 2020
Good afternoon Tollgate families.
This is Principal Longbottom with a message for our families with children that receive special education services. We wanted to take a minute to let you know that in the next couple of days, you should expect a phone call from your child’s case manager to discuss the service minutes for your child’s IEP. Because of the health and safety restrictions established by Tri-County Health, all IEP service minutes may need to be adjusted to reflect the minutes your child needs to (make progress towards their goals in a remote, hybrid or in-person model of instruction. Again, these minutes will reflect the total number of minutes needed to make progress towards the IEP goals, which is different than the number of minutes that are included in a full academic day of traditional schools. In addition, the services will look different to better fit the parameters of the cohort model. Expect a phone call in the next few days from your child's provider to discuss more specific details. As always thank you for your support. We appreciate you and look forward to serving you this year!
Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020
This is Principal Longbottom. We are excited to get ready to welcome back our students next week. If you have not yet stopped by our back-to-school events this week, our last one occurs tomorrow from 3:00-4:00 tomorrow. This is an opportunity to scan your chromebook from last year, check-out a new one and learn the name of your child’s teacher.
After implementing remote learning access this spring, we will be shifting to provide more rigorous, engaging and standards-based learning for students this fall. Students will take part in live classes from home. This means students will sign on and learn in real-time from teachers through video on their laptops (synchronously).
In addition to live learning, students will also be asked to watch lessons and complete assignments as they learn on their own time (asynchronously). Both of these remote learning modes (synchronous and asynchronous) will be used and teachers will be regularly checking in to support students.
On Mondays through Thursdays, students will be learning synchronously and asynchronously. On Fridays, students will mostly be learning independently on their own (asynchronously) to provide teachers and school staff with additional time for training, data analysis and planning.
School begins next Wednesday, August 19th. The first day of school is a half day of instruction. It will provide an opportunity for students and families to get to know teachers and learn about what routines will look like in a remote environment. School will begin each day with crew at 7:45 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m. We are excited to have teachers back at the center of education. We will need your support helping students to learn daily routines of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.
Please remember Tollgate uses a slightly different calendar than APS. Check our website or reach out to the front office for an up-to-date calendar.
As we start the new school year, it is critical for all Tollgate families to complete a free and reduced lunch application. This supports critical funding for Tollgate, not just the meal program. During remote learning, families will be able to pick up meals at Tollgate, or any of the 47 districtwide drive-through grab-and-go school locations. There will be a pickup time from 10:45-11:30 a.m. Nutrition Services staff members will ask for student names, grades and dates of birth at pickup locations. If you have children who attend multiple schools, you will only need to drive to one location to pick up meals. Free breakfast and lunch will be provided to students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. All others will be charged $4.75 for grab-and-go meals. Grab-and-go suppers (super snacks) will be free for anyone age 18 and younger.
I will follow up with additional information next week about getting connected with teachers and our first week back together. We know this is a challenging time. I want to assure you that we as a Tollgate staff are dedicated to your child’s success. I am so proud of how our teachers and staff are preparing for a safe, rigorous and joyful year of learning. Together, we will do more than we ever thought possible. We appreciate you choosing Tollgate to be a part of your life’s journey.