The Toll Gator Gazette

October/November 2022

Mrs. Kristi Motsch, Principal

Mrs.Erika Lomonico, Asst. Principal

Mrs. Ebony Woodard, Asst, Principal

Mr. Darren Drake, Counselor

Mrs. Tassie Hall, Secretary

Mrs. Jaclyn Davis, Office Assistant

12183 Toll Gate Road

Pickerington, Ohio 43147


Letter From The Principal

Did you know that our school has a building Leadership Team? This team is comprised of grade level teachers, academic coach and intervention staff. Our task is to implement a school improvement plan based on available school data. We meet monthly to track updates & prepare professional development opportunities for our staff. Our goal is to provide all students with excellent and sound instruction so that each student benefits from their educational experience with us. Additionally, all K-4 students were assessed in reading and math using iReady.

iReady is an adaptive program that is standards based. Student lessons are based on their mastery of individual standards. The complexity of the lessons self adjust based on how students progress through the lessons. Teachers monitor both time on task & accuracy as students progress through their lessons. This particular program is to be used by students without assistance, since progress is based on a child's amount of time spent on lessons & successful completion of lessons. Students will take an iReady diagnostic assessment in January & May to see how close they are to achieving their goals. Students will be progress monitored in between these 2 benchmarks. Teachers will be monitoring student progress and providing intervention/enrichment opportunities.

All parents will be notified if your child is "on track" in reading. A Reading Improvement Monitoring Plan (RIMP) will be developed for any student determined "not on track" in reading. This plan will be monitored regularly & updated by your child's teacher. Please feel free to contact me with any further questions.

Educationally yours,

Kristi Motsch, Principal

Toll Gate Elementary

--Growing Leaders--

Leader In Me

TGE is proud to be a Leader in Me school. Students learn and grow through the 7 effective habits identified by Stephen Covey as promoting student success. Talk with your child about which habits they see as strengths in themselves.

The 7 Habits

· Be Proactive

· Begin with the end in mind

· Put first things first

· Think Win Win

· Seek First to Understand and then to be Understood

· Synergize

· Sharpen the Saw

· All Habits allow students to Find Their Voice

Our journey began 8 years ago when our staff began training and preparing to become a Leader in Me School. Through book studies, formal training, and school site visits, we learned more about the powerful impact of students recognizing their strengths as leaders. I can truly say that over the last 8 years, students are more involved in their learning by goal setting, data tracking, and identifying their strengths. We received Lighthouse Status in 2017, making us an exemplar Leader in Me School. We have made family engagement a priority. Look for our monthly “homework assignments” on the 7 habits to complete as a family. All students who complete these will be entered into a drawing for a special prize. We look forward to continuing this educational journey with your family.

Toll Gate Elementary Important Dates to Remember

Oct. 5 - Virtual Day, NO IN PERSON CLASSES, Professional Development Day

Oct. 4 – Evening Parent/Teacher Conferences

Oct. 11 – NO SCHOOL for Kindergarten only – Parent Teacher Conferences

Oct. 10 – NO SCHOOL Parent/Teacher Conferences

Oct. 3 – PTSO – Fall Fundraiser

Oct.13 - Evening Parent Teacher Conferences

Oct. 18-19 Ohio State Test for 3rd Grade

Oct. 24 - NO SCHOOL Professional Development Day

Oct. 25 - Virtual Day - Professional Development Day

Oct. 30 - Trunk or Treat 2:00 - 3:00PM

Nov. 10 - Picture retakes

Nov. 8 - NO SCHOOL Virtual Learning Day

Nov. 23-25th NO SCHOOL Thanksgiving Holiday Break

Dec. 21-Jan 4 – NO SCHOOL Holiday Break

Jan. 5 – Classes resume


Office Hours 8:00am- 4:30pm

Student Hours- 9:15am- 4:05pm

Teacher Hours – 8:15am – 4:15pm

Kndg AM – 9:15am- 12:15pm

Kndg PM – 1:00PM – 4:05PM


Petermann Transportation is our district bus transportation company. If you have any concerns or questions, please call the telephone number below.

Office: (614) 837-8525

Fax: (614) 837-9485


Please join our e-mail communication system. This system gives our schools an easy and efficient way of sending newsletters, as well as communicating other important information to anyone who wishes to receive it. Parents benefit by having timely access to important information regarding their child’s school, including news events, reminders, closings and other updates. Go to to reach the district website. Scroll down to “join our mailing list” to sign up. We will not share your e-mail address . This is strictly used for communication purposes between the school district and our subscribers.

You can also sign up for text alert so you can be informed of any school delays or closings. To do this you also go to district website to join the text alert.


Please go to our handbook for addition information regarding our policy. In an effort not to interfere with instructional time, and to accommodate medical concerns, we announce your child’s name on the day of their birthday.


Safety drills will be conducted periodically throughout the year. Fire drills, tornado drills, lock-down, active shooter and medical drills will be practiced during the school year. Each classroom is provided with a crisis management plan. These plans are reviewed with staff and with substitute teachers.


Pickerington Local School District has taken a proactive approach to assure that students are able to learn in a safe, friendly environment by offering them an their parents the availability of the Safe School Help Line. The Safe School Help Line allows students/parents to anonymously report wrong doing and have this information reported to school officials. The toll free number assigned to our school district is 1-800-418-6423, ext 359. When you dial this number, you will be instructed as to how to leave your information. We hope that any information, which could negatively impact our school, will be reported, so that the staff can respond in an appropriate manner to keep our school safe for all students.

Custody Counts

To serve the requirements of child custody order, a parent should present an official order to be placed on record for the guidance, attendance and administrative offices. Ohio Revised Code 3313.673 states custodial parent of the child shall notify the school of those custodial arrangements. Our primary concern is knowing who is the legal custodial, residential parent. Schools are obligated to follow court documentation regarding the rights of a non-custodial parent.


Periodically throughout the year, parents request information regarding their child for doctors, psychologists and other professionals. Please note the following guidelines, when requesting information from teachers, counselors and administrators.

*All request for teacher /counselors to complete behavior ratings,

narratives, etc. must be handled through our school counselor, Darren Drake.

*A written release must accompany the request. Included must be student name, parent signature, phone number, date and the name and address of

the physician/agency. This release should be returned to Darren Drake.

* The counselor will mail the completed forms directly to the doctor, etc.

* Allow at least two weeks from the time the counselor receives the form(s) to the date the physician/agency needs the material. Identify, specifically, which teachers are to complete the forms (core academics/special areas such as physical education, art etc.) If you have any questions please call Darren Drake at (614)836-6300.


The emphasis at Toll Gate Elementary is on safety and learning. Each staff member works toward providing the safest and best educational environment for your child. Good discipline promotes an appropriate learning environment. We ask that each parent support this expectation of student behavior by encouraging their child to follow school expectations. A list of expectations is printed in the student handbook ( please review these with your child). Your support will help promote the educational process.


Please call the school if your child is absent. State Law requires a daily check of students who are absent. A 24-hour answering machine is available to receive absence and unexcused or tardy calls. Please use this machine for all calls after 4:15 pm and before 8:15 am. the number is (614) 834-6301. Please make yourself familiar with district policy regarding attendance and excused and unexcused absences. We ask that you schedule appointments on days your child is not in school; however, if you must pick them up during school hours, you may sign them out in the vestibule.


While we all know that consistency is important in a child's life, it may become necessary to change their dismissal plans. If you must change the way your child is to be dismissed, we ask that you follow these procedures.

1) Send a note (IN ADVANCE) to your child's teacher. They will inform the office.

2)Please allow enough time for your child to come to the office. You can sign them out in the vestibule. Students will be called from class to meet you there.

3) We ask that you do not call the office after 2:30pm. with alternate plans for your child. This causes interruptions to the classroom instruction and with over 800 students and 5 different grade level schedules, it takes an inordinate amount of time out of the school day. We thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Counselor's Corner

October Testing Schedule





3rd Grade Gifted Testing

Day 1


3rd Grade Gifted Testing

Day 2


3rd Grade Gifted Testing

Day 3


2nd Grade Gifted Testing

Test Taken in 1 day


3rd Grade ELA - Ohio State Test

Part 1


3rd Grade ELA - Ohio State Test

Part 2

Help Wanted: Community Career Exploration (CCE)

Hello Toll Gate Elementary Families,

We need a couple of parents that are willing to give a 15 minute career talk to our students. If interested, please contact Mr. Drake either by Phone: (614)834-6315 (direct line - can leave a detailed message) or by email

Dad’s Basketball Coming Soon

Dad’s basketball is resuming soon. If interested, contact Mr. Drake and he will give you the details.

Phone: (614)834-6315 (direct line - can leave a detailed message)



Each week the H.O.P.E. Packs Program offers a weekend bag of food for children who meet one of the following requirements: a) if your child has received a H.O.P.E. Pack in the past, (b) has been eligible for free or reduced lunch, or (c) your household income is low.

The food is intended to be kid-friendly, easy to prepare, and supply supplemental food over the weekend. The bags are not to be opened until your child gets home.

To sign up for this free program, contact Mr. Drake, School Counselor at Toll Gate Elementary School. He can be reached either by phone: (614)834-6315 (direct number) or by e-mail:

This program is not the PLSD Food Service program. This is a supplemental food program offered by Violet Baptist Church.

PEF Charity Auction

Get your tickets now for this year’s fun-filled Pickerington Education Foundation Charity Auction! The event includes dinner, drinks, entertainment, silent & live auctions, and a Reverse Raffle. It will take place on Saturday, November 5 from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., at the Wigwam Event Center, 10190 Blacklick-Eastern Rd. NW, Pickerington, OH 43147. The event is a truly enjoyable and fun way to support our schools!

Tickets are $60 per person and are on sale now on the Pickerington Education Foundation webpage.

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITY FOR FUN AND PRIZES: You may opt to purchase a Reverse Raffle Ticket for an additional $50. Got a lucky number? Pick it for a chance to win! Using the 'seat finder' application, pick a number between A1 through A300 for your Reverse Raffle Entry number.

Dinner will be catered by Berwick Manor.

The silent auction includes upscale baskets and themed, decorated trees.

Proceeds from this event provide grants to Pickerington teachers and buildings for a variety of classroom projects. PEF awards over $20,000 each year that goes directly back to support our schools. Founded in 2004, PEF is a permanent public charity as a fund within the Fairfield County Foundation. As a public charity, all contributions to the Foundation will receive the maximum tax deduction allowed by law.

We hope to see you at the PEF Charity Auction!

November 8th Bond Issue

If passed, what will the Nov. 8 bond issue cost residents?

Pickerington Schools estimates that passage of the Nov. 8 levy will not increase tax rates (measured in mills) for our residents. The county auditor has estimated that the $89.930 million bond issue will require 2.80 mills for debt payments. But, because property valuations are forecasted to increase by an average of 24% for 2022, and due to the structure of the proposed new debt, district leaders forecast that the county auditor will actually be able to decrease the total tax rate needed to pay district debt service by ½ of a mill.

The tax rate collected by the district to pay debt payments has decreased as outstanding debt has been retired, refunded for better interest rates, and as district valuation has increased. Visit under the “What Will It Cost?” section to read more on how the tax rate has changed since 2015, and the forecasted tax rate for the 2022 tax year (which will first be paid in 2023).

Notice of Language Assistance Plan

In English:

Pickerington Schools will take reasonable steps to ensure that persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) have meaningful access and an equal opportunity to participate in all services, activities, and programs available throughout the district. It is the policy of PLSD to ensure meaningful communication with LEP students and families and to communicate information related to the education of all students. All services needed to comply with this policy will be provided for students and their families in need of such assistance free of charge. For assistance, please call 614-833-2110.

(In Nepali)

भाषा सहायतासम्बन्धी सूचना:

Pickerington Schools ले सीमित अङ्ग्रेजी प्रवीणता (LEP) भएका व्यक्तिहरूसँग डिस्ट्रिक्टभर उपलब्ध सबै सेवा, क्रियाकलाप र कार्यक्रमहरूमा अर्थपूर्ण पहुँच र सहभागी हुन पाउने समान अवसर छ भनी सुनिश्चित गर्नका लागि उचित कदमहरू चाल्ने छ। LEP भएका विद्यार्थी र परिवारहरूसँग अर्थपूर्ण सञ्चार सुनिश्चित गर्ने र सबै विद्यार्थीहरूको शिक्षासँग सम्बन्धित जानकारी सञ्चार गर्ने PLSD को नीति हो। यो नीतिको अनुपालन गर्न आवश्यक पर्ने सबै सेवाहरू यस प्रकारको सहायता आवश्यक भएका विद्यार्थी र उहाँहरूका परिवारहरूलाई निःशुल्क रूपमा उपलब्ध गराइने छ। सहायताको लागि, कृपया 614-833-2110 मा कल गर्नुहोस्

En Español:

Las escuelas de Pickerington tomarán medidas razonables para garantizar que las personas con dominio limitado del inglés (LEP) tengan un acceso fácil y la misma oportunidad de participar en todos los servicios, actividades y programas disponibles en todo el distrito. La política de PLSD es asegurar una comunicación significativa con los estudiantes LEP, sus familias y comunicar información relacionada con la educación de todos los estudiantes. Todos los servicios necesarios para cumplir con esta política se proporcionarán a los estudiantes y sus familias que necesiten dicha asistencia de forma gratuita. Para obtener ayuda, llame al 614-833-2110.