Titan Weekly

September 12, 2021

Hello Titan Families -

Last week was a difficult one for our Toll community. As we continue to mourn the loss of Mr. Tashjian please know that mental health counselors and resources for coping with grief are always available for students, staff and families. We have included a resource for families in this week's Counseling Corner. Never hesitate to reach out to a member of our student support team both in the counseling and administrative offices.

Our sports season officially kicks off with boys basketball and girls soccer tryouts this week. See info and details below.

And Toll's PTA Membership drive is on. Students brought home membership envelopes last week. Families can also join online via our website at www.gusd.net/toll. Look for the PTA button on the right hand side and the flyer below for info.

Toll PTA is looking for a Reflections Art Contest Chair to join our board. If you are passionate and a strong supporter of the arts in public schools, this is the position for you! Please reach out to us for more info at: tolltitanpta@gmail.com and/or click on this link for more info: https://capta.org/programs-events/reflections/

We ask that all families monitor themselves for symptoms of infectious illness, such as flu or COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms should stay home and seek proper testing and care. Please review the GUSD Family Guide below which you can also find on our website - www.gusd.net/toll.

It's still a great day to to be a Titan. We are so glad you are here!

Ms. De Ladurantey



What's in this edition of the Titan Weekly?

  1. Sports Tryouts
  2. Club Rush Flyer
  3. Counselors' Corner
  4. Toll ASB News
  5. Join PTA!
  6. Info from Nutrition Services
  7. COVID Testing at Toll
  8. GUSD details on contact tracing, Independent Study and a Family Guide for all COVID info and safety guidelines
  9. Important documents - Toll Bell Schedule and Family Handbook

Boys Basketball & Girls' Soccer Tryouts are this week!

All students trying out should bring their own water bottle. We have multiple water bottle fillers on campus to refill throughout the day.

Boys Basketball

Boys basketball tryouts are this Monday, September 13 from 2:30pm to 3:30pm in the gym. Masks are required. Players can wear Toll PE clothes and bring any other gear with them to school.

Girls Soccer

Girls soccer tryouts are on Thursday, September 16, Friday, September 17 at 3:30 p.m. and Monday September 20 at 2:30 p.m. Players can wear Toll PE clothes and should bring their gear with them to school and can change in the locker room after school. Masks are optional but highly encouraged.

Teams will be posted next week. Note that all team players and parents must attend a mandatory Zoom meeting with Mr. Der Megerdichian prior to the start of practices to review safety protocols.

Counselors' Corner

Resources on Coping with Grief

Our hearts are broken. This is a hard conversation to have, but we feel it is extremely important for us to be honest and open with our Toll family following the tragic news of the loss of our beloved colleague and friend, Mr. Ishac Tashjian, this week.

As Ms. De Ladurantey shared, “Mr. Tashjian was a beloved teacher at Toll for over two decades. He was devoted to his students, his family and our Toll community. Unfortunately, Mr. Tashjian was not able to return to the classroom to start the school year doing what he loved to do, teach. He was a quiet and strong presence in the classroom and leaves a legacy of students who are better people because he was their teacher.

While your student may not be directly impacted by this sad news (because perhaps they never had Mr. Tashjian as a teacher), in this section we want to take a moment to share some important tips about helping adolescents deal with grief because we all know as humans we are bound to experience it in one way or another in our lifetimes. In the words of Dr. Alan Wolfelt: “Any child that is old enough to love is old enough to mourn.” Overlooking this emotion in adolescents renders children particularly vulnerable to feeling alone and helpless as they grieve.

Conventional wisdom says that the best thing you can do is to “companion them” meaning just be there with them. You know them best and probably do most (if not all) these things already, but here they are as a reminder for children of any age:

  • Acknowledge their presence, their importance, their opinions, thoughts, and feelings.

  • Be patient and open-minded. Allow them to grieve in their own way.

  • Be available – Sit with the your child, listen to them, and answer their questions.

  • Let them know that a range of different emotions is normal.

  • Validate their feelings and do not minimize them.

And last but not least, check in with other adults involved in their life – teachers and coaches, and particularly us, your child’s counselors. We are always here to help.

Laura Castagnari (students with last names A-K) lcastagnari@gusd.net

Mahtab Haghpanah (students with last names L-Z) mhaghpanah@gusd.net

More News from our Counseling Office

Attention ACE Award Recipients

Congratulations & don't forget to join the virtual ACE Award Ceremony scheduled for Monday, 9/13 @ 3:30. This ceremony is held to celebrate those of you who received a GPA of 3.5 to 4.0 in the Spring semester of 7th grade. The zoom link was shared with you and your parents in an email.

All 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will have the opportunity to earn an ACE award next semester by earning a term GPA of 3.5 to 4.0 so keep working hard and getting those wonderful grades.

Counselors’ Visits

Counselors will be visiting 7th grade classes this week. We enjoyed our time with the 6th graders and look forward to seeing our 8th graders the week of Sep. 20th.

Did you know the Toll Counselors have an Instagram? You will find helpful tips, resources, and Toll updates to make sure you have a successful school year. Follow us @tollcounselors.

Toll ASB News

There is going to be a Club Rush meeting on Tuesday, September 14 at lunch in Room 1308. This meeting is for club leaders and students who want to start clubs. The flyer is below. If your Titan wants to start a club encourage them to attend this meeting!

On Thursday, September 16, ASB students running for President and Vice President for 8th and 7th grades will announce their candidacies in Tollywood at lunch. Elections and speeches will be held on Friday, September 24.

And, a reminder that every Friday is Toll Gear / Green & Gold Spirit Dress. First period teachers keep track of all who participate for the chance to earn prizes.
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Toll PTA would like to invite you to our first association meeting of the year on Thursday, September 23 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. We would love to get to know you. Stay tuned for further details. In the meantime, please check with your student for the flyer and envelope that were sent out Monday during their 1st period (homeroom) with details on how to join our parent group. Flyer is also attached. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions at: TollTitanPTA@gmail.com

A note from GUSD Nutrition Services

Frequently Asked Questions about Meal Service

Check out this FAQ doc for information on ncome surveys, what is free and what is not, meal account balances, and more.


Our “menu subject to change” disclaimer has always been on our menus. Unfortunately, we’ve had to make more menu substitutions than normal for many reasons this year. Factors like the ones listed below have all impacted our ability to forecast our meal counts.

  • Free meals for ALL kids

  • New students - we are getting to know what they like/dislike

  • Menu mix - which entree is more/less popular

  • Schedules - minimum days, banking days, back to school

  • COVID closures

  • Labor shortage

  • Unprecedented vendor shortages/supply chain disruptions - letter from our vendor.

Please bear with us as we try to get a better grip on our meal participation.

COVID Testing at Toll

Every weekday from 7:30-11am and 12-4:30pm Toll hosts a COVID testing site right at the corner of Concord and Glenwood Road in front of our Malt Shop. If you would like your child to be tested weekly while at school, please complete this form.

Students whose parents opt-in for this weekly testing will be assigned a day and can be tested before school and during lunch.

GUSD News and COVID Testing Clinics

Please click these links for District updates and our independent study option:

COVID testing clinics will also be held at every school site daily from 7:30am to 12pm and 1pm to 4:30pm. Toll's testing spot is located off Concord and Glenwood Road in front of our Malt Shop.

Important Toll Documents

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Eleanor J. Toll Middle School

It's a great day to be a Titan!

We are so glad you're here.