Hello Tollgate Families,
This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly Monday update. Last week, I had the opportunity to join many parents during our Fall Title I Parent Crew. During this time, we were able to discuss a compact that would ensure high expectations and results for our Tollgate students. A compact is an agreement between the school and parents that outlines responsibilities for both the school and parents that will ultimately benefit our students. It was wonderful to have stakeholder input from our parents. I have included a copy of the compact in an email that was just sent to you. A few key highlights include:
Both parents and the school commit to believing in all students’ ability to learn and grow
The school commits to working collaboratively with the students and their families to develop/maintain positive behaviors and social-emotional skills for every child.
Parents commit to providing a safe and quiet place for my child to study and encouraging my child to participate in remote and asynchronous learning activities.
We are crew which means we can do more together than we could ever do on our own. Together, we can support our students to shape their own future based upon a strong foundation of academic and social-emotional skills that prepare them to do better work and be better people than we ever thought possible.
Please reach out if you have any questions about our Tollgate compact and we look forward to you joining us at an upcoming parent crew.
Have a great week!
Friday, November. 6,2020
Hello Tollgate Families,
This is Principal Longbottom with an important message. Earlier this week, you received a message from the district regarding some concerning websites that some students may be accessing. We deeply care about our community at Tollgate and therefore want to follow up and encourage you to have a conversation with your child about internet safety. Having a conversation with your child about how they use the internet can have a significant impact on them using this vast tool in a productive manner. We have also emailed instructions for how you can check your child’s internet browsing history. In our new remote setting, more students have access to the internet than ever before and they are naturally curious. We feel that proactive conversations can help prepare students to make healthy choices when using the internet.
Thank you for the overwhelming turnout during conferences over the past two days. Teachers have shared their appreciation for the time to connect and partner for the benefit of your child’s academic achievement.
Have a great weekend.
This is a message from Principal Longbottom to Tollgate families of Mrs. Bacheldor’s K/1 classroom. Last night, you received communication regarding an exposure that occurred last week. If you have not checked your email, please do so. We are temporarily engaging in remote learning to ensure the safety of all students and staff. I want to make sure that everyone is on the same page for when students will return for in-person learning.
Cohort B students will begin in-person learning on Monday, November 16th.
Cohort A students will begin in-person learning on Monday, November 30th.
All learning will take place remotely until we reach the dates mentioned before.
Thank you and have a great evening.
Monday, November. 2,2020
Hello Tollgate Families,
This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly Monday update. Student-led conferences are occurring this Thursday & Friday. This means that there will be no in-person learning on Thursday, November 5th or Friday, November 6th. If you have not already scheduled your conference, please reach out to your child’s teacher.
During conferences, teachers will share your child’s report card and discuss their progress. Teachers have been focusing on prioritized standards, or what researchers have determined is most important for their grade-level due to interrupted learning caused by Covid-19. Teachers have used these priority standards to assign an overall reading, math and writing grade. Overall grades will represent a smaller sample size of work this year, however we believe going deeper into instruction on what is most important will accelerate your child’s learning. In addition to overall grades, you will have an opportunity to talk about your child’s work habits, another crucial area for student success. During this portion of the conference, students will be in charge of sharing a star (or celebration) and a step (something to work on) with regards to their work habits. Teachers and parents will be invited into the conversation in order to identify strategies that will support your child to become even more successful in remote learning. Parent-student-teacher partnership is critical for your child’s success this year. We look forward to the opportunity of deepening our partnerships during conferences later this week.
Lastly, I would like to ask for your continued support in maintaining our chromebook devices. Tollgate and APS have made a significant financial commitment to ensure all students have access to a chromebook. Unfortunately, Tollgate has experienced many damaged devices. We have provided some Chromebook Care Tips in an email that will help these devices to perform at their optimum level. Have a great week and we look forward to seeing you virtually this Thursday & Friday for student-led conferences.
Chromebook Care Tips
Students are responsible for caring for their school issued Chromebook. If your device is broken or not working please call or visit us at Tollgate and we will help. Tollgate Chromebooks should not be taken to an outside repair service.
No food or drinks should be near Chromebooks
Chromebooks should not be exposed to extreme temperatures
When transporting your Chromebook, make sure it is closed and you are using two hands. Never hold your Chromebook by the screen.
Do not leave your Chromebook on the floor.
Store your Chromebook and charger in a safe place when you are done. Not on the floor, near pets, or near water.
Do not place anything between the screen and keyboard.
Do not place anything on top of your Chromebook.
Carefully insert and remove chargers from both the Chromebook and the outlet. Do not pull the charger cord.
Chromebooks must remain free of stickers and labels.
All Tollgate Chromebooks come with an APS Asset tag on the bottom. Please do not remove or tamper with the tag.
Do not use commercial cleaners on the device. You may use a soft dry cloth to clean it.
Try to ensure your student does not have too many windows or tabs open. Too many tabs or windows will slow down and freeze your device.
Hello Tollgate Families,
This is Principal Longbottom with an important update. Student Led Conferences will take place next week on Thursday from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. All learning will be asynchronous on Thursday and Friday, November 5th & 6th in order to prioritize time for connections with teachers and parents. This will mean that there will be no in-person learning on Thursday, November 5th. Your child’s teacher will be reaching out to schedule conferences very soon. All conferences will take place virtually. Conferences will be a great opportunity to deepen our school parent partnership. Teachers are looking forward to connecting with you next week.
Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, October. 27,2020
Hello Tollgate Families,
This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. We hope that you had a safe and warm weekend. We are up and running with remote learning following Monday’s snow day. Thank you again for your patience and grace as we transition back to remote learning. Your child’s teacher should communicate any changes to your schedule or links to access classes.
Due to yesterday’s snow day, the Fall Title I parent crew is rescheduled for next Monday, November 2nd from 8:00-9:00 a.m. Please check your email or our Facebook page for more detailed information on how to join us. We hope to see you there.
Lastly, please mark your calendars for this Friday, Oct. 30th from 8am-12pm. It is important that families with students in grades K-4 plan to come pick up the materials during our material distribution as they are essential to the learning that is going on in the classroom. 5th graders do not have materials to pick up as they will be completing class assignments digitally. You will not need to leave your car. Please drive up and be ready to share your student’s grade level. We will bring the materials to you. If for some reason you are unable to make it during the distribution time, please reach out to our office so we can set up an alternative time for you to come. Thank you for partnering with us.
Have a great week!
Hello Tollgate Families,
This is Principal Longbottom with an important update. Last night, the APS Board of Education announced that we will be returning to remote learning beginning on Monday, October 26th, with exceptions for specialized populations. This is the same model that we used during Q1. Included in “specialized populations” are our kindergarten students, as well as select newcomers and students with Individualized Education Plans. Kindergarten students will continue with A/B weeks. Cohort A students will be learning in-person next week, Monday through Thursday. All other students who are participating in in-person learning will be contacted by their teachers in order to arrange and confirm transportation. Please check your email for district communication yesterday that gives additional details.
We ask for your grace and flexibility as we transition back to remote learning. Monday, your child will experience more asynchronous learning than usual in order to provide teachers a bit more time to make and communicate important adjustments. You can expect communication from your child’s classroom teacher on Monday explaining any changes to schedules and/or links.
Student engagement in a remote setting is critical for student success and growth. We ask for your continued partnership in ensuring your child logs into classes on time and actively engages with their teacher and crew throughout the day, including asynchronous learning activities on Fridays. We are emphasizing the importance of small groups to accelerate your child’s learning and make up for unfinished learning that was experienced due to the Covid pandemic. You can support your child with a safe and quiet learning environment and a structured schedule so that they are attending all small group opportunities, in addition to whole class activities.
On Monday, we will provide more information about our next round of supply distribution. In addition, please join me for the Title I Fall Parent Crew from 8:00-9:00 a.m. We know that transitions can provide additional stress for your child and family. We continue to have social-emotional supports available at Tollgate. Please reach out to your child’s teacher, or call the front office, if you need additional support. Thank you for walking alongside us during this unique moment in history. We remain committed to find a way to ensure your child receives a rigorous and joyful learning experience.
Thank you for being a part of our CREW!
Hello Tollgate Families,
This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly Monday update. We just wrapped up with our first successful week of hybrid instruction for our Cohort A students. Tomorrow, we will welcome our Cohort B learners. Please remember that Cohort A and remote only students will experience more asynchronous learning than usual over the next week while we teach new routines for our in-person learners.
Next Monday, October 26th, I will be hosting our Fall Title I Parent Crew from 8:00-9:00 a.m. During this meeting, we will discuss what it means to be a Title I school and develop a compact for how we can best partner in your child’s education. Please see the flyer that was emailed to you on Friday or on our Facebook page for more detailed information. We hope to see you Monday morning!
Have a wonderful week!
Hello Tollgate Families,
This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly Monday update. Happy first day of in-person learning for our cohort A students. I am so proud of our staff, students and community for their dedication in preparing for our launch today. Like the launch of any major initiative, there is so much to be proud of and a few things to adjust in order to become more effective and efficient. Arrival was very smooth today and all parents did a great job of following traffic expectations to keep everyone safe. Thank you! Here are a few reminders so that we can get better each day:
Please remember that you must wear a mask when on Tollgate property. This includes all adults and children even if they do not attend Tollgate.
Please remember that ONLY Tollgate and district staff are permitted beyond the front office area this year. This means that parents cannot walk down to their child’s classroom. This is a strict expectation from the district to protect the health and safety of students, staff and community members.
Please do your best to be ontime during arrival. Remember that teachers will be outside to supervise all students from 7:30-7:45. Any student who arrives after 7:45 will need to line up outside the front of the building six-feet back from the person directly in front of them. Our classified staff will walk each child one-by-one to their classroom. This takes time, but is essential to ensure student and staff safety. The most efficient way is to arrive before 7:45 so that your child can enter the building with their classmates.
Thank you for doing your part to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and keep all staff, students and Tollgate community members safe. We are so proud of our collective effort today and look forward to improving bit by bit each day.
Have a great week!
Monday, Oct. 5,2020
This is Principal Longbottom with your Monday weekly update. Believe it or not, we are wrapping up quarter one of instruction this week. This Friday, October 9th, there will be no asynchronous learning for students due to a report card work day. Teachers will discuss your child’s progress and report card at conferences during the first week of November. We understand that this is a critical year in your child’s education due to the impact of Covid-19. We have strategically aligned instruction to prioritized standards, which represent the most important knowledge and skills your child needs based upon their grade level. You will learn more about your child’s progress during conferences in November.
If you did not have a chance to stop by Tollgate on Friday for supply distribution, please contact the front office to schedule a time when you can come by the school to pick up these essential supplies for your child.
Please remember attendance is critical for your child’s success. Next week we will transition to hybrid learning welcoming our Cohort A students on week one and Cohort B students on week two. Remote students will continue to access learning each day online. Please make sure that your child logs on to complete asynchronous learning on Fridays. We have seen a drastic drop in attendance each Friday. This is an important day of learning and we need your support to ensure students are logging on and completing work. While there is not class this Friday due to our report card work day, we appreciate your support in the future.
Thank you for your continued partnership with your child’s education. At Tollgate, Crew is a core value. This means that we all work together to support one another. We succeed as a crew, we fail as a crew, we overcome challenges as a crew. Everyone in our community is a part of our crew. We appreciate you.
Have a great week!
Hello Tollgate Families,
We are excited to welcome our cohort A in-person learners on Monday, October 12th as we officially make the transition to the hybrid model. As a reminder, Cohort A will attend school in-person on week one (October 12th-16th) and Cohort B will attend school in-person on week two (October 20th-23rd). Our remote only students will continue to learn online every day including Fridays. All students will participate in asynchronous learning on Fridays. Please note there is no school for all students on Monday, October 19th due to teacher professional learning
Your child’s teacher will be (write teachers name here)
Your child/family is (write “in Cohort A”, “in Cohort B” or “fully remote” here)
During the launch of hybrid learning, we are going to take it slow to build routines and relationships. Relationships and routines are critical for your child’s physical, social and emotional safety. This will mean that remote students will experience more asynchronous work than usual over the next two weeks. Remote students will continue to have check-ins with their teachers and will have work to complete each day. Over the next two weeks, teachers will be communicating important logistics regarding schedules and links. Please remember that teachers will be managing a large transition as we begin hybrid learning on October 12th, therefore they will not be able to respond as quickly to questions. If you have questions, you can reach out to the front office as well and we will do our best to support you.
At the beginning of this year, we made a significant investment purchasing classroom supplies for all students at Tollgate. We need your help in supporting your child to bring important supplies to and from school each day.
Your child should bring the following supplies to school in their backpack.
Chromebooks (fully charged)
Jacket or Coat
Individual water bottles (communal water fountains will be turned off)
Individual learning binders (if applicable)
Students will not be sharing supplies in the classroom in order to follow our health & safety guidelines.
Thank you for your support in building this routine for your child.
School begins at 7:45 each morning. You are welcome to drop off your child beginning at 7:30 for in-person learning. Please note that supervision is not available before 7:30 so please do not drop off your child before this time.
The map below shows the drop off area for your child. Your child’s teacher will come out at 7:30 and wait until 7:45 before heading into the classroom. Any student that arrives after 7:45 will need to come through the front office to check-in before heading to their classroom.
Please ensure that you have completed a health check of your child as was communicated by the district before you head to school.
Students will need to wear masks and remain six-feet apart from one another when on school grounds.
Please drop students off in the front parking loop (as seen in the arrival map below) and allow them to walk to their designated cone area independently.
We ask that all adults and children wear a mask whenever on school property, including arrival and dismissal.
School ends at 2:45 each afternoon. Please note that supervision ends at 3:00 so please be ontime to pick up your child.
The map below shows the pick up area for your child. Your child’s teacher will walk your child outside at 2:45 and wait until all students have been picked up. You must check-in with your child’s teacher before taking your child home. Your child will be excited to see you after their first day of school and they may want to run up to you. Please do not leave with your child until you have made visual contact with their teacher. Safety is a priority at Tollgate.
Breakfast & Lunch
Breakfast & lunch will be available to all students.
Students are welcome to bring their own lunches or eat what is provided by our cafeteria.
Students will eat lunch in their classrooms.
Students will have 40 minutes of Outdoor Explore (recess) each day.
Students can remove their masks when outside, but must maintain six feet of distance between themselves and others.
Health & Safety
As we prepare to welcome students back to in-person learning, we ask for your partnership in carefully reviewing and following all the health guidelines outlined below. We all need to do our part and work together to keep ourselves and our community safe.
In accordance with the statewide mask mandate, your student will be required to wear a mask or face covering throughout the day. This includes wearing a mask or face covering while on the school bus and in the classroom. Please practice mask wearing with your children regularly, so that they are prepared to wear them when returning to school. If students have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask properly or are unable to wear a mask due to their disability, please work with school staff on an accommodation. Please send students with more than one mask if possible.
In addition to the mask requirement, all families must complete a health assessment for each student who is attending in-person learning every day before school. Do not send your student to school if any of the following are found during your student’s daily self-assessment.
If the student’s temperature is 100.0°F or higher, do not send the student to school.
Shortness of breath
Muscle or body aches
Loss of taste or smell
Nausea or vomiting
Nasal congestion if any of the above symptoms are included
If your student has any of the above symptoms, do not send them to school and contact your medical care provider for further advice. In addition, please notify school staff that you are keeping your child home and let school staff know about your child’s symptoms.
During the school day, students will be required to wash their hands frequently. Please practice proper hand washing at home by encouraging your children to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. In addition, we will have hand sanitizer regularly available for students.
We will also be practicing social distancing between individuals as much as possible. Please remind your children not to touch or hug other students, teachers or school staff while at school. Instead, please show them how to give a thumbs up or a friendly wave.
Lastly, school staff will be checking for symptoms regularly. If your student has COVID-19 symptoms, you will be contacted and asked to pick up your student from school immediately. In addition, if exposure within a cohort of school is identified, you will be contacted and asked to pick up your student from school immediately. Please ensure that you have plans in place for you or a designated guardian to quickly pick up your student during the school day.
Thank you in advance for following these outlined procedures to ensure a safe and joyful learning experience for your child. We look forward to seeing you in person in a couple of weeks.
Principal, Tollgate Elementary School of Expeditionary Learning
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.