Friday, May 28th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


Quarter 4 report cards are available via Parent Portal. Have a great holiday weekend!


Thursday, May 27th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


Tollgate Community,


We just sent you an important email. As you have seen from the Superintendent's communication, APS will have 3 options for enrollment at the start of the 2021-22 school year. Families have until June 4th to select the best learning model for your family. Please follow the instructions we just shared with you via email. If you have any questions, please call the front office at (303) 696-0944.


Thank you!


Email:


Dear Tollgate Families,


We hope you are all doing well and continuing to stay safe. As we begin our planning for next year, we need your help. You should have received a communication from the Aurora Public Schools last Friday, May 21st with schooling options for your student next year.


We have 3 options available for your children. Please take some time to talk with your student to make the best learning model choice for your student.


Aurora Public Schools Video Explaining the 3 Options


As you have seen from the Superintendent's communication, APS will have 3 options for enrollment at the start of the 2021-22 school year. The options available are:


1. Full return to in-person learning Monday-Friday. We suggest this as the strongest instructional model for Tollgate, but understand that other options may be necessary for some families.


2. Full transition to an Online program supported by the District for the duration of the 2021-22 school year APS Online Program Application (you will have to fill out application if interested)


3. Flex option that allows students to learn from home, for at most, the 1st semester of next year. By choosing the flex option your student will be taught by Tollgate staff remotely. There will be components of synchronous (live, online) and asynchronous (independent work) components to the Flex option. Students will not participate in synchronous specials. Families can switch out of the flex option after quarter 1, and all families must return to in-person learning or choose to be fully remote at the end of quarter 2.


We need that selection done by June 4th. If we do not hear from you by June 4th, we will assume your child will be returning to full in-person and will schedule accordingly.



If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to the main office at (303)-696-0944


Sincerely,


Joseph Longbottom

Principal

djlongbottom@aurorak12.org


Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


Congratulations on reaching the end of this school year!! This was quite possibly the most challenging year in education, yet our students, staff and community have demonstrated perseverance by taking on adversity with courage and determination. I have never been more proud of an organization or community in my professional career. Our CREW philosophy has guided us through this year and shown that there is nothing we cannot accomplish together.


This summer I encourage you to start getting back to normal life as a family. Take in the wondrous beauty of Colorado. Set up a nightly reading routine. Learning opportunities present themselves at every corner and our students are hungry to learn.


Later this week, we will be sending out a survey mentioned by Supt. Munn last week. We are eager to learn how your child will attend school in the Fall: fully in-person, fully remote or utilizing the first semester flex option. There is no replacement for an in-person learning experience. Our staff has worked exceptionally hard to make in-person learning safe and joyful for students at Tollgate. We hope to see as many students in-person as possible in the Fall.


On behalf of the Tollgate Crew, thank you for your partnership this year. As a community, we feel closer than we ever have because we took on enormous and unprecedented challenges together. Thank you for trusting in us. It has been an honor to serve the Tollgate community. See you in the Fall!



Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. Our last day of school is quickly approaching. Monday, May 24th will be the last day for all students ending at 11:15. Students should leave their chromebooks and other technology devices at school on their last day, or drop them off during our device pickup on Monday, May 24th from 12:30-2:00. Our crews are excited to celebrate our students’ amazing accomplishments from this year over the next week.


We have exciting news to announce. Tollgate has hired a new assistant principal, Alison Ostrom. Alison is an experienced assistant principal coming from Lyn Knoll. She impressed our hiring committee with her deep knowledge of supporting students, including academic and social emotional needs. She has experience as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, reading interventionist, stem teacher, and administrator. She is currently pursuing her Educational Doctorate focusing on implementing the Neurosequential Model in schools. We just emailed you a letter of introduction from Alison. We look forward to welcoming her into the Tollgate Crew for the upcoming school year.


Let’s make our last full week of school a great one for our Tollgate students, staff and parents!


Letter:


We have exciting news to announce! Tollgate has hired a new assistant principal, Alison Ostrom. Alison is an experienced assistant principal coming from Lyn Knoll. She impressed our hiring committee with her deep knowledge of supporting students, including academic and social emotional needs. She has experience as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, reading interventionist, stem teacher, and administrator. She is currently pursuing her Educational Doctorate focusing on implementing the Neurosequential Model in schools. Please see her letter of introduction below and welcome Alison as the newest member of the Tollgate CREW!


Dear Tollgate Community,


I am thrilled to be joining the Tollgate Crew next school year! I come from a family of educators and I began my teaching career in my home state of Maryland. I started working in Aurora Public Schools 6 years ago when I moved to Colorado. I have taught in the classroom, as a reading interventionist and STEM teacher, and as a teaching partner. Most recently, I was an elementary assistant principal at another APS school in the Northwest community.


I earned my B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland, an M.Ed in Education Policy with a focus in Diversity and Equity Issues from the University of Illinois, and an Ed.S in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Northern Colorado. I am currently pursuing my Ed.D where I am researching educational leaders’ use of the Neurosequential Model in their schools. My passion is creating an equitable and responsive education system that supports the academic and social-emotional needs and growth of all students.


My husband is also an APS educator, and we love to make the most of our time off together by enjoying time in the mountains with our dog, Daisy. I enjoy camping, running, hiking, skiing, and anything else that allows me to soak up the beautiful Colorado sunshine. I look forward to meeting students, staff, and families and to serving the Tollgate community!


Sincerely,


Alison Ostrom

Monday, May 3rd, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. It’s one of my favorite weeks of the year because this week is Teacher & Nurse Appreciation Week!! Words cannot express what our teachers and nurses have meant for our community this year. This year, they persevered through exceptional circumstances and put the needs of students ahead of their own. Please join me in appreciating our teachers, nurses and all staff at Tollgate. I know they would love to hear from you if you have time to send an email or a note of appreciation.


Lastly, APS has created a summer school opportunity for interested parents. We just emailed you a letter with important information. There is limited space. If you are interested in having your child attend summer school, please call the school and share your child’s name and grade-level.


Thank you and have a great week!


Email:


May 3, 2021


Dear families,


This past year has required us to teach and learn in a whole new way. While we have definitely learned new skills in using technology, we have had less time in person with teachers and peers. We are inviting you to join in an exciting opportunity to extend learning over the summer and prepare for success next school year.


From June 8th through July 8th, your child is invited to attend summer school for 3 ½ hours each day, Monday through Thursday. Specific school hours will be determined soon, along with transportation details for students who qualify for bussing. Students will get strong support in literacy and math, and they will also get a preview of what they will be learning at the next grade level. Additionally, students will have time to interact with their peers while they also receive support for social emotional learning.


Spaces are limited, so please reach out to the front office by 3:00 on Thursday, May 6th to let us know if you are interested in this learning opportunity for your child.


Sincerely,


Joseph Longbottom

Principal

Tollgate Elementary School

Of Expeditionary Learning

Thursday, April 29th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. Last week, we hosted our Spring Title I parent crew. The purpose of this meeting was to collect stakeholder input on how we use Title I dollars to best support our students and community. We know that not all parents were able to attend due to busy schedules, but we want to make sure all parents have an opportunity to share their input. We have sent you an email that includes a link to watch the video and a link to a google form to offer your input. The video is available in English and Spanish. Thank you for your input so that we can continue to focus on family partnership at Tollgate.


There will be no supply distribution this Friday. All students should have the materials they need for the remainder of this year.


Like many of you, I watched the results of the Chauvin trial last week. I am hopeful that the guilty verdict brings a sense of justice to the family of George Floyd and our country as a whole, while mindful that it does not bring back the life of George Floyd nor the lives of countless other people of color who have fallen to senseless acts of racism and violence.


As your family processes the outcome of this trial, even with a guilty verdict, we understand that your children may be managing complex emotions. If your child needs additional support, do not hesitate to contact your child's teacher or school administration so that we can connect your child with the available resources at Tollgate. Your child's physical and emotional safety is a priority for our school and community. As a school, we are committed to a whole child approach where students not only learn to be strong readers and mathematicians, but also strong community members who display empathy and care. We believe this holistic approach to education will support a brighter future for our community and world. This is an integral part of our vision of who we are at Tollgate. This is why we always say, we are crew.


Title I Spring Meeting Recording Passcode: 4GJ2eV+M


Title I meeting Recording Spanish


Title I Evaluation Survey



Thank you and have a great week!

Monday, April 19th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. Tomorrow, April 20th, I will be hosting our Spring Title I meeting virtually from 8:00-8:45 a.m. The purpose of this meeting is to collect stakeholder input on how we use Title I dollars to best support our students and community. This meeting will be recorded for those who are unable to attend at that time. Please see the email that we just sent to you so that you can access the link to attend the meeting. Spanish translation is available. Following the meeting, we will share a link for those who were unable to attend.


In important staffing news, Tollgate will be hiring a new Assistant Principal for the 2021-22 school year. Becky Bicha has been a leader in our community for the past four years. Her leadership and commitment to the Tollgate community will be deeply missed. We are interested in having a parent representative as a part of our hiring committee. If you are interested in this role, please send an email to my assistant, Laura Borja. Her contact information is listed in the email that we just sent you.


Please remember there is no school on Monday, April 26th due to our alignment with the district calendar. Hopefully, you and your family can enjoy a sunny three-day weekend.


Thank you and have a great week!


Email:


Tuesday, April 20th, Tollgate Principal, Joseph Longbottom will be hosting our Spring Title I meeting virtually from 8:00-8:45 a.m. The purpose of this meeting is to collect stakeholder input on how we use Title I dollars to best support our students and community. Please use one of the following link: https://zoom.us/j/98729096568


This meeting will be recorded and shared following the meeting for those who are unable to attend at that time.


If you are interested in serving as a parent representative for the Tollgate Assistant Principal hiring committee, please send an email to Laura Borja by the end of the day, Tuesday, April 20th. Laura’s email address is lbborja@aurorak12.org. We value our parent input in recruiting and hiring an important instructional leader for the Tollgate community.


Thank you and have a great week!

Monday, April 12th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. This morning, as a school, we practiced our red lockdown and secure perimeter drills. These safety protocols are designed to keep students and staff safe from a potential threat inside or outside of the building. Students and staff safely practiced the drill while maintaining social distancing. Safety is a top priority for Tollgate and practicing our safety protocols at least one time annually is a part of our process to ensure we keep our Tollgate crew safe.


Next Tuesday, April 20th, I will be hosting our Spring Title I meeting virtually from 8:00-8:45 a.m. The purpose of this meeting is to collect stakeholder input on how we use Title I dollars to best support our students and community. This meeting will be recorded for those who are unable to attend at that time. Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 20th, from 8:00-8:45 so that we can hear your voice.


Thank you and have a great week!

Thursday, April 8th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. We hope that you enjoyed the three-day weekend and the beautiful weather we are experiencing this Spring. We only have seven more weeks until the last day of school on Monday, May 24th. We are committed to using every last minute for strong instruction that positively impacts our students. Thank you for your continued commitment around attendance every day. Research demonstrates the vital role that attendance plays in student growth.


Tuesday, April 20th, I will be hosting our Spring Title I meeting virtually from 8:00-8:45 a.m. The purpose of this meeting is to collect stakeholder input on how we use Title I dollars to best support our students and community. This meeting will be recorded for those who are unable to attend at that time. Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 20th, from 8:00-8:45 so that we can hear your voice.


Lastly, we continue to have free covid testing available through the district. More people than ever are becoming vaccinated which is a great sign that we are getting closer to normal. As a school, we will continue to prioritize health and safety. This means we will continue to follow all covid protocols with fidelity, including but not limited to, wearing masks at least through the end of the year.


We have also sent you an important email with information about upcoming state testing.


Thank you and have a great week!

Monday, March 29th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. As a Tollgate crew, we are deeply saddened by the recent shootings that took place in Atlanta and Boulder. These tragedies take place far too often in our country. We are outraged that these type of events have become a norm for our students. If your child is having trouble processing these recent tragedies, we have mental health staff and resources available to offer support. Do not hesitate to reach out.

One thing is certain, community and crew is at the heart of who we are at Tollgate. We are committed to a transformational educational experience for students that helps them to see the value of community, diversity and service. We stand strong with our Asian Communities and the city of Boulder. Superintendent Munn recently shared resources that can guide you in a conversation with your child. Again, please do not hesitate to reach out if you need support.

The safety of students and staff is our top priority. I want to assure you that we review and practice our safety protocols on a consistent basis. Please make sure that you check-in at the front office each time you visit Tollgate.

Additionally, this Friday we are planning a distribution dropoff day for all remote learners in grade-levels K-3. Stay tuned for an automated message this week that will outline the timeframe to pick up critical supplies for your child.

Finally, thank you for following our arrival and dismissal procedures. One important reminder is that all car riders should be picked up using the loop at the front of the school. Please do not try to pick up your child, using the bus loop. Dismissal has finished each day by 3:00 so we are confident that we can get you and your child on your way quickly and safely using our current procedures.

Thank you for standing strong as a Tollgate Crew. We appreciate you.


Have a wonderful week!

Monday, March 22nd, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. We hope that you had a safe and rejuvenating Spring Break. We are so excited to welcome back students tomorrow as we begin quarter four. During quarter four, we are focusing on accelerating student learning to prepare students for the next grade level. We appreciate your partnership in assuring that students attend school daily. As the district announced before break, we will continue to support in-person students Monday through Thursday and all students will attend school asynchronously on Fridays. This is a critical component of making sure students make adequate progress.


The safety of our students, staff and community remains our highest priority heading into quarter four. You can support by following all of our covid protocols. If at all possible, please send students to school with two masks and a water bottle. Make sure that you complete a health screening each morning and do not send students to school who are experiencing any symptoms. We ask that you arrange plans to pick up your child within one hour if they begin to experience any symptoms at school.


Remember that arrival begins at 7:30 am and until 7:45 am. Students have an assigned entrance based upon their grade-level. They will immediately enter the building and head to their classrooms for breakfast while wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Our classified staff will be outside beginning at 7:30 to supervise students and support with arrival. All students arriving after 7:45 am will enter the building through the front entrance.


Dismissal begins at 2:45 pm. We are proud of our safe and efficient procedures, however, safety requires precision and patience. Please be patient as you arrive to pick up your child. We will work diligently to get you safely on your way. Please remember that no parents are allowed onto the blacktop. We will radio to your child’s classroom teacher so that they can send your child to you.


We look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow. We appreciate your support in assuring we have a safe and joyful week of learning together.


Have a wonderful week!


Wednesday, March 10th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. This is our final week before Spring Break which means it is time for conferences. Teachers have been reaching out to schedule virtual conferences on Wednesday, March 10th from 3:00-7:00 p.m. or Thursday, March 11th from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Due to conferences, there will be no in-person learning tomorrow, Thursday, March 11th. All students will have asynchronous work to complete remotely on Thursday followed by no school on Friday, March 12th due to a teacher report card work day.


Last Friday was the final day for families to request a change to in-person learning. This week, we will be ironing out details to welcome more in-person learners following Spring Break. Teachers will be reaching out with any changes in schedules or links. We will return to school on Tuesday, March 23rd following Spring Break to begin our quarter four push to the end of the year. It was at this time last year that school was first halted by the pandemic and pushed into a remote setting. We have grown so much over the past year, as students, teachers, principals, parents, and most importantly, as a community. We appreciate you and look forward to finishing this year strong as a Tollgate crew.


Have a wonderful week!


Friday, March 5th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


Today is the last day to request that your child transition from remote to in-person learning. We have a safe and rigorous in-person learning environment. For kinder and first grade families, if your child remains remote, it is likely that their schedule will shift and they may see more than one teacher throughout the day allowing them to be more seen and heard. Please call the front office today if you would like to request a change to in-person learning following Spring Break.


Thank you.


Monday, March 1st, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. We have two more weeks until Spring Break. Please remember that the last opportunity to request your child switch from remote to in-person learning is Friday, March 5th. This transition will be effective immediately following Spring Break for the remainder of the school year. Please reach out to the front office to request this change.


Conferences are quickly approaching which serve as a great opportunity for parents, teachers and students to formally connect to discuss your child’s progress. Teachers are reaching out to schedule conferences for Wednesday, March 10th from 3:00-7:00 p.m. or Thursday, March 11th from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. We hope the opportunity for day or night conferences will be supportive for you and your family. Due to conferences, there will be no in-person learning on Thursday, March 11th. All students will have asynchronous work to complete remotely.


Have a great week, Tollgate community. We Are CREW!


Monday, February 22nd, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. Believe it or not, we are only three weeks away from Spring Break. Please remember that the last opportunity to request your child switch from remote to in-person learning is Friday, March 5th. This transition will be effective immediately following Spring Break for the remainder of the school year. Please reach out to the front office to request this change.


Conferences are quickly approaching which serve as a great opportunity for parents, teachers and students to formally connect to discuss your child’s progress. Teachers will be reaching out to schedule conferences for Wednesday, March 10th from 3:00-7:00 p.m. or Thursday, March 11th from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. We hope the opportunity for day or night conferences will be supportive for you and your family. Due to conferences, there will be no in-person learning on Thursday, March 11th. All students will have asynchronous work to complete remotely.


Last, but not least, thank you to all families who are strictly following our safety protocols during arrival and dismissal. Dismissal has been wrapping up by 3:00 and we are proud of this efficient process. Please be sure to stay in your car and wait for your child. We have staff ready to walkie your child’s teacher so that we can get your child quickly, and most importantly, safely to you. Let’s have a great week!


Thanks, Tollgate Crew!


Monday, February 15th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. Tomorrow we will welcome back both of our Cohort A and B students together for in-person learning. We are excited for the opportunity to have so many of our students attending school in-person more frequently. We are also excited to continue to provide our remote students with a rigorous and engaging experience online.


Tomorrow will feel much like a new beginning for our in-person students as they need to familiarize themselves with new routines, as well as get to know classmates from the opposite cohort. In order for our teachers to build predictable and safe routines for our in-person students, this will require more asynchronous work than usual for our remote students over the next week. We ask for your grace and patience as teachers manage this transition.


A few of our students will experience a change in their classroom teacher out of a necessity with covid protocols. This communication has already taken place if this affects your child. If your child has a new teacher, they may speak to you about how some things are different with their new teacher and crew. We are aligned in our approach as a school, yet each teacher is unique. All teachers are committed to building strong relationships with new students and any transition requires students time to adjust and become comfortable in their new environment. Thank you for supporting your child with this transition by talking to them about the opportunities that come with getting to know a new teacher and new classmates.


The safety of our students, staff and community is a priority during this transition. You can support by following all of our covid protocols. If at all possible, please send students to school with two masks and a water bottle. Make sure that you complete a health screening each morning and do not send students to school who are experiencing any symptoms. We ask that you arrange plans to pick up your child within one hour if they begin to experience any symptoms at school.


Remember that arrival begins at 7:30 am and until 7:45 am. Students have an assigned entrance based upon their grade-level. They will immediately enter the building and head to their classrooms for breakfast while wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Our classified staff will be outside beginning at 7:30 to supervise students and support with arrival. All students arriving after 7:45 am will enter the building through the front entrance.


Dismissal begins at 2:45 pm. We are proud of our safe and efficient procedures, however, this process will take more time with twice as many students. Please be patient as you arrive to pick up your child. We will work diligently to get you safely on your way. Please remember that no parents are allowed onto the blacktop. We will radio to your child’s classroom teacher so that they can send your child to you.


We look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow. We appreciate your support in assuring we have a safe and joyful week of learning together.


Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. Yesterday the district announced that we will be transitioning to in-person learning for all K-5 students Monday through Thursday every week beginning Tuesday, February 16th. Students will continue to have the option to learn remotely and all students will learn asynchronously on Fridays. Students who wish to transition from remote learning to in-person learning can do so following Spring Break. If you wish to make that transition, you must inform the front office by Friday, March 5th.


Safety is a top priority as we welcome more in-person students. We have strong protocols in place to keep students safe during in-person learning. Teachers will be focusing on supporting students to adjust to new routines next week as this is a new experience for all students similar to the beginning of a new school year. For our remote learning families, we ask for your grace during the next week as teachers will need to focus on helping in-person students adjust to new routines. We will continue to remain committed to strong remote learning support and we will continue to rely upon your partnership holding students accountable for attending school each day, including asynchronous learning on Fridays.


As a school, we have been working on creating consistency for students despite the ever changing modes of learning, however this is not always possible during times of transition. There are a few roster adjustments that must be made in order to support the amount of in-person and remote students. Your child’s teacher will reach out to you this week if this affects your child.


Our arrival and dismissal procedures will remain the same during this transition. Please remember that students can be dropped off from 7:30-7:45. Each child has a designated entrance based upon their grade-level. Dismissal begins at 2:45. We have an efficient process in place, but expect dismissal to take more time with twice as many students.


Thank you for your continued resilience and partnership as we confront the challenges of this year. We are excited to welcome more students into the building. Like any challenge we face, we do so as a community, as a crew.


We appreciate you. We are crew!


Monday, February 1st, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly Monday update. We are looking forward to welcoming back our Cohort A students for in-person learning tomorrow, as well as our fully remote and Cohort B students online. Please remember that staff supervision for arrival begins at 7:30 a.m. It is important that you do not drop off students before 7:30 so that they are properly supervised before school. During inclement weather, when it is 20 degrees or below, we will bring students straight into their classrooms using their assigned grade-level entrances. We ask that all students and parents continue to wear masks and maintain six feet of distance between each other.


If you have not yet completed our Tollgate Parent Survey, please do so this week using the link that was emailed to you. We want to hear the voices of our parents and community members to ensure that all families feel a sense of belonging and partnership, regardless of their background, culture, ethnicity or values. We will be raffling away a gift certificate for a family from each grade-level who responds. You have until the end of this week to fill out the survey, one per family.


Last but not least, technology is a key component to ensuring all students have access to learning during the Covid pandemic. We have assigned chromebooks to each family. We have received several damaged devices over the winter break. We are doing our best to fix the devices, but we need your help. Please make sure that you have a home routine for keeping your child’s chromebooks safe and charged. We understand that mistakes happen, however continued damage may result in families needing to contribute to the replacement of the device. We appreciate your support maintaining our technology so that students can have access to daily learning.


Have a great week, Tollgate community. We Are CREW!


Monday, January 25th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly update. As I mentioned last week, we as a school want to prioritize listening, in particular to the voices of our parents and community members to ensure that all families feel a sense of belonging and partnership, regardless of their background, culture, ethnicity or values. We sent a survey to your family by email last week. Please take a moment to provide your feedback so that the Tollgate Governing Board can analyze your feedback to inform our future decisions. We will be raffling away a gift certificate for a family from each grade-level who responds.


This Friday, January 29th, we are holding our January supply distribution. This month our pick-up times will be from 11:30-2:45. This month we will not be able to hand out supplies during the lunch pick up time but the pick-up time is right at the end of lunch, and then will continue through the afternoon. If your child is learning “in-person”, please check in with his or her teacher to see if the supplies are just being sent home. However, if your child is learning remotely, please make every effort to swing by and get the supplies. Finally, if you or a family member are unable to come during this time, please contact the main office and arrange an alternate time. We can bring the supplies out to you. Thanks so much! We hope to see you Friday!!


Next Monday, February 1st, there will be no school for students so that teachers can focus on professional development. Cohort A students will resume in-person learning on Tuesday, February 2nd. We look forward to welcoming our Cohort B students for in-person learning this week. Thank you for following all of the safety procedures that have been put in place to ensure in-person learning is safe for all students and staff and thank you for the continued engagement of all of our remote students.


Let’s have a great week, Tollgate Crew!


Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


Please use the following survey link to provide your feedback to the Tollgate Governing Board to help inform our future decisions. The survey is available in English and Spanish.


We know that the 2020-21 school year has been challenging and we appreciate your partnership and perseverance every step of the way. We have all been forced to adapt to unique circumstances brought upon by a world pandemic, racial inequities and a nation on brink. As a school, we want to prioritize listening, in particular to the voices of our parents and community members to ensure that all families feel a sense of belonging and partnership, regardless of their background, culture, ethnicity or values. Additionally, we have innovated as a school to address the unique barriers of this year and we want to know what adjustments have made the most difference for you and your family to inform future years. We just sent a survey to your family by email. Please take a moment to provide your feedback so that the Tollgate Governing Board can analyze your feedback to inform our future decisions. In this survey, we ask you to identify your demographic. The purpose for this is so that we can disaggregate the data in order to learn about any gaps we may be unintentionally causing that prevents all families from feeling a sense of belonging or partnership. Please check your email and complete this survey by the end of this week.


We appreciate your partnership and support.


We are Crew,


Joseph Longbottom,

Principal


Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


It is so wonderful to welcome back our cohort A students for in-person learning today. We have sent you an email with important reminders about our process to keep all students safe and engage in meaningful learning within the hybrid structure. For in-person learning, it is critical that you do not drop off students before 7:30 a.m. due to our supervision schedule so that we can safely manage student arrival. Please check your email for other important details.


Friday, January 15th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


We are excited to welcome our cohort A in-person learners on Tuesday, January 19th as we officially make the transition to the hybrid model. As a reminder, Cohort A will attend school in-person on week one (January 19th-22nd) and Cohort B will attend school in-person on week two (January 25th-29th). 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, January 18th or Friday, January 29th due to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr day and teacher professional learning


During the transition to hybrid learning following winter break, 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. Over the next week, teachers will be communicating important logistics regarding schedules and links if they have not already. Please remember that teachers will be managing a large transition as we begin hybrid learning on January 19th, 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.


Supplies:

  • 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

    • Extra masks

    • 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.


Arrival Procedures

  • 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.


Dismissal Procedures

  • 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.


Outdoor Explore

  • 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.

  • Check temperature

If the student’s temperature is 100.0°F or higher, do not send the student to school.

  • Symptom check

    • Cough

    • Sore throat

    • Shortness of breath

    • Chills

    • Fatigue

    • Muscle or body aches

    • Headache

    • Loss of taste or smell

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Diarrhea

    • 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.


Sincerely,


Joseph Longbottom

Principal, Tollgate Elementary School of Expeditionary Learning


Monday, January 11th, 2021

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly Monday update. Happy new year! We hope that you had a safe and restful break. We are so excited to welcome back students virtually this week. Next week beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 19th, we will implement our hybrid model of instruction. You should have received information from the district over break. Students in cohort A will be learning in-person during the week of Jan. 19th-22nd. Students in cohort B will be learning in-person during the week of January 25th-January 28th. All other students will join class virtually. On Fridays, students will learn asynchronously.


Both teachers and administration will follow up with more information this week to provide any necessary updates as we prepare for this transition.


Welcome back! We look forward to connecting as a crew this week!


Friday, December 18th, 2020

Happy Holidays Tollgate Families,


We wish you the best over holiday break and look forward to fresh beginnings in the new year. Report cards are available using the Infinite Campus parent portal. We look forward to welcoming back students on Tuesday, January 12th, 2021. Please take care and stay safe.


Happy holidays and happy new year.

Monday, December 14th, 2020

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly Monday update. This is our last week of instruction before winter break. There will be no school for students starting on Friday, December 18th. Students will return to school on Tuesday, January 12th. The Board of Education has yet to determine whether instruction will be in-person, hybrid or remote in quarter 3. We anticipate that all students will be learning remotely for at least the first week of school following break. More information will be coming from the Board of Education over break. As a school we have been keeping track of your preference as a family (cohort A, B for in-person learning or fully remote). As we prepare for January, please let the office know if you want to change your preference. You can call the front office this week and make any changes so that we are prepared for any decision made by the district. Please know that we have very limited flexibility in changing your child’s cohort, but we can easily make adjustments for your preference regarding remote or in-person learning.


As you prepare for holiday break, I would like to share our staff’s gratitude for the amazing display of perseverance our students and families have demonstrated throughout 2020. We are thankful to serve such a caring community and look forward to continuing to serve you in 2021.


Have a great week!


Monday, December 7th, 2020

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly Monday update. We are back into the remote learning groove following Thanksgiving break and we are only two weeks away from Winter break beginning on December 18th. Teachers will be finalizing report cards at the end of the next two weeks. Please remember 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.


Stay safe and stay engaged. Have a great evening.



Monday, November 30th, 2020

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly Monday update. We hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving break with your family. We are excited to re-engage with remote learning over the next three weeks before Winter break. We hope to finish this year strong with excellent attendance that ultimately results in rigorous and joyful learning experiences for students. We encourage you to have a conversation with your child about how they can finish strong over the next three weeks. Showing up on time ready to learn is an attainable goal that will help students to succeed.


Please note that this coming Friday, we will have another round of essential supply distribution. Stay tuned for more information coming this week. Additionally, students will be taking their diagnostic assessments over the next couple of weeks. We ask that you do not help your child with this assessment. We need accurate and reliable information to inform future instruction.


Thank you for your continued partnership. We look forward to seeing you online this week!



Friday, November 20th, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving break Tollgate families!

As a reminder, there will be no school or asynchronous work from Monday, November 23rd through Friday, November 27th. Meal services will still be available during regularly scheduled times throughout the week. We hope that you find time to rest and rejuvenate over the break. As we reflect about the importance of gratitude, we are incredibly grateful for the compassion, patience and partnership that parents and guardians have exhibited throughout this year. Please stay safe and have a lovely break. We look forward to seeing everyone remotely on Monday, November 30th.


Monday, November 16th, 2020

Hello Tollgate Families,


This is Principal Longbottom with your weekly Monday update. This week marks the final week of instruction before Thanksgiving break. As a reminder, there will be no school or asynchronous work next week from Monday, November 23rd through Friday, November 27th. Meal services will still be available during regularly scheduled times throughout the week. We understand that the holidays are a time of celebration and they can always be times of high stress for families. If you know of a family in need of support, please contact our front office and ask to speak with our family liaison, Nayelhi. Whether it is supporting a Thanksgiving meal or connecting you with local resources, we are here to help.


All students will be taking important interim assessments this week. These assessments provide valuable information to teachers about how students are performing with respect to prioritized standards. As a staff, we analyze this data to inform small group instruction. We are asking for your support as we prepare for these assessments.

  • First, please let your child know that this assessment will be challenging, but to give it their best. It is okay if they do not know every answer.

  • Second, we ask that you do not help your child with this assessment. We need accurate and reliable information to inform future instruction.


We appreciate your support with helping us to effectively administer interim assessments in a remote environment. Please remember that we have school all week, including asynchronous work on Friday.


Please stay safe and take care!


Monday, November 9th, 2020


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 6th, 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.


Wednesday, November 4th, 2020


Hello,


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 2nd, 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.


Friday, October 30th, 2020


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 27th, 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!


Friday, October 23rd, 2020


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!


Monday, October 19th, 2020


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!


Monday, October 12th, 2020


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, October 5th, 2020


HelloTollgate Families,


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!


Wednesday, September 30th, 2020


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.


Supplies:

  • 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

    • Extra masks

    • 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.


Arrival Procedures

  • 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.


Dismissal Procedures

  • 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.

Outdoor Explore

  • 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.

  • Check temperature

If the student’s temperature is 100.0°F or higher, do not send the student to school.

  • Symptom check

    • Cough

    • Sore throat

    • Shortness of breath

    • Chills

    • Fatigue

    • Muscle or body aches

    • Headache

    • Loss of taste or smell

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Diarrhea

    • 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.


Sincerely,


Joseph Longbottom

Principal, Tollgate Elementary School of Expeditionary Learning



Monday, September 29th, 2020


Tollgate Families,


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!


Monday, September 21st, 2020


Tollgate Families,


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, September 18th, 2020

Tollgate Families,

Remember Friday is an asynchronous work day for students. Students must complete assignments online for attendance and keeping pace with their class.

Thank you!

Thursday, September 17th, 2020


Tollgate Families,


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, September 16th, 2020


Tollgate Families,


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, September 15th, 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.


Thank you!


Monday, September 8th, 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, September 8th, 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.

Thank you!


Thursday, September 3rd, 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, August 31st, 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, August 27th, 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, August 26th, 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, August 24th, 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, August 20th, 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, August 19th, 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, August 18th, 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.

Parent Partnership

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.

School Supplies

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, August 17th, 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, August 14th, 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, August 13th, 2020

Tollgate Families,

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.

Calendar

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.

Meal Distribution

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.

We are crew!