Toll Gate Times

January, 2021

Ms. Kristi Motsch, Principal

12183 Toll Gate Rd.

Pickerington, Oh 43110

TGE-Growing Leaders

Phone: 614-834-6300

Letter From the Principal

January 2021

Traditionally the New Year is a time to reflect on past practices and to look forward to new challenges. Last year was one of the most challenging years most of us have ever experienced in our lifetime. It has definitely provided all of us time to reflect and prioritize on what is important. As educators, we continue to make your child’s learning a priority, but we also acknowledge that their social-emotional learning is equally important.

We understand that this time continues to be a huge roller coaster ride for our students and our families and we remain committed to working together to help make each child’s educational journey as meaningful as possible. We appreciate your support as we try to navigate these difficult times and understand how to adapt our teaching to this new normal.

This year our building is focusing on the following goals: giving effective feedback during lessons that helps lead to increased student understanding, intentionally planning higher-level questions that require students to think critically as they are learning new material, and to provide success criteria so that students are aware of the requirements to master the material. We also continue our Leader In Me efforts by supporting students in using the 7 habits to manage their daily lives.

Although we cannot predict what the remainder of the school year will look like, please know that as a staff we continue to commit to these goals and welcome your feedback as a partner in your child’s educational journey.

Most Sincerely,

Kristi Motsch and the Toll Gate Elementary Staff

TGE Upcoming Events

Jan. 4 NO SCHOOL - Teacher Record Day

Jan. 5 Return to School - Welcome Back!

Jan. 18 NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King Day

Jan. 20 NO SCHOOL - Innovation Day (Prof. Dev.)

School Fees

School Fees were due November 20. If you have not already paid your fees they may be paid at the school office, district office, or online at Infinite Campus parent portal. In the school office, we can accept checks payable to PLSD or the exact cash amount. You may also pay at the district office 90 East Street by credit card. School fees are for consumable items.

Fees for 2020-21


GRADE 1 $17.00

GRADE 2 $17.50

GRADE 3 $22.00

GRADE 4 $23.50


This past month students joined our local firefighters in collecting toys for TOYS FOR KIDS. In February we will be collecting items for our local pantry. Look for more information to come home soon.


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The following New Year's tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

•1. Prevent violence by setting good examples

Demonstrate and teach displays of affection, attention, approval, and how to say ‘I’m sorry’ and how to ask for, give and accept forgiveness. All of these promote love, good will, and self-esteem and reduce likelihood of violence, aggression, and negative, destructive words and behaviors. Set limits for your children by letting them know what’s expected, and notice when they meet your expectations. Celebrate their successes with them. Try to avoid hitting, slapping or spanking. Your children may copy you and think that it is OK to hit other people.

•2. Make sure immunizations are up to date

Review your child's immunization record with your pediatrician. Make sure your child is current on recommended immunizations. Pickerington Local School District follows the immunization requirements that are from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). To see the requirements and other information regarding immunizations, visit the following websites:

•3. Provide your child with a tobacco-free environment

Second-hand tobacco smoke increases ear infections, chest infections and even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. If you smoke, consider quitting. Remember, your child loves you and will copy you – if you smoke, your children may grow up to be smokers too. Make your home and car smoke-free zones. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the 2006 Report from the Surgeon General stated that almost 60 percent of children ages 3 to 11 years are exposed to secondhand smoke. These children are at an increased risk for the conditions mentioned above as well as asthma, decreased lung growth and childhood cancers. For more information about secondhand smoke and links to stop smoking programs, please visit:

•4. Read to your child every day

Start by the age of 6 months. Reading to children shows them the importance of communication and motivates them to become readers. It also provides a context to discuss issues and learn what is on your child's mind. For elementary age children, it is a great opportunity to spend quality time with your child and have a chance to catch up with what happened during the school day.

•5. Practice "safety on wheels"

Make sure everyone in the car is buckled up for every ride, with children in the back seat in age- appropriate child safety seats. All bikers, skaters and skateboarders should wear helmets and other appropriate sports gear. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a great guide that explains the requirements for child safety seats including car seats and booster seats. Please visit the following website for the guide:

•6. Do a "childproofing" survey of your home

A child's-eye view home survey should systematically go from room to room, removing all the "booby traps" that await the curious toddler or preschooler. Think of poisons, small objects, sharp edges, knives and firearms, and places to fall. For older children especially, keeping beer and alcoholic beverages in a locked cabinet should be part of a “childproofing” plan.

•7. Monitor your children's media

Monitor what your children see and hear on television, in movies, and in music. Talk with your children about "content." Screen out sexually exploitative Web sites, music and video. Be informed of what your children see or hear when visiting friends. If you feel that a movie or TV program is inappropriate, redirect them to more suitable programming. Also, monitor the amount of time your child spends watching TV. Recent studies have found that frequent TV watching especially in younger children can later relate to attention problems, being overweight, lower reading skills and aggressive behavior. The computer Internet is another media outlet that is very popular with children especially the teenagers. It seems that almost daily there are news stories about sexual predators either meeting or trying to meet with kids they have met on the Internet. Be sure to take the time to explain to your children how to use the Internet safely and not to share personal information over the net. Please visit the following websites for more

•8. Help Kids Understand Tobacco, Alcohol, and the Media

Help your teenager understand the difference between the misleading messages in advertising and the truth about the dangers of using alcohol and tobacco products. Talk about ads with your child. Help your child understand the real messages being conveyed. Help direct your child toward TV shows and movies that do not glamorize the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. For more information

•9. Pay attention to nutrition

Nutrition makes a big difference in how kids grow, develop and learn. Good nutrition is a matter of balance. Provide foods from several food groups at each meal. Emphasize foods that are less processed, such as whole grain breads and cereals and fresh fruits and vegetables. Review your child's diet with your pediatrician for suggestions. Childhood obesity is on the rise. Children who are overweight tend to become adults who are overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers just to name a few. For more information about childhood obesity, visit the following website:

•10. Be involved in your child's school and your child's education

Visit your child's school, and find out how parents can help. Whether you become active in the parent- teacher organization or volunteer in the school, parent involvement matters. Your child will notice how important education is to you.

•11. Make your children feel loved and important

Recognize every effort and increment of ‘progress’ or ‘improvement’ they make; don’t compare siblings; understand your child’s behaviors and emotions; recognize ‘hidden agendas’ like acting up, may be a cry for attention and help; not doing homework may be a sign of distraction or learning problems. Keep expectations for changes and goals realistic and use ‘baby steps.' Celebrate their individuality and tell them what makes them special. Assure them that they are loved and safe. For additional information about praising and encouraging your child to do their best, visit the following website:

New Calamity Day Procedure Announced

**** The following is for informational purposes only and is NOT a closure or delay announcement. ****

November 30

Hello PLSD families,

Information on Calamity Days has been updated to the Calamity Day webpage. Calamity Days are not school closure days as they have been in the past. Calamity Days have been converted to virtual learning days. You will note that students are still required to attend school virtually from home on Calamity Days.

All students need to log in for attendance through Infinite Campus on the Calamity Day. Note that Infinite Campus may be slightly delayed for a student who would be “in person” on the Calamity Day. Students will be able obtain assignments via SeeSaw in grades K-4 and Google Classroom in grades 5-12 starting at 10:00 AM. Specifics about the assignments, due dates and logistics will be sent out by the buildings and classroom teachers.

Virtual work will be issued for students who were scheduled to attend in-person (Cohort A if we were out on a Tuesday); Cohort B students should already have direction on what work needs completed on the already planned-for virtual day.

Please contact your building principal or classroom teachers for further guidance or clarification.


Sabrina Woodruff,
Chief Academic Officer


Occasionally, Pickerington Local School District (PLSD) may determine it is appropriate and prudent to close or delay the start times of schools based on inclement weather. These decisions are made for the safety of our students. We understand that these decisions have a big effect on families as they plan their day, and now is an excellent time to establish your family emergency plan for such potential closings.


When school is delayed district wide due to inclement weather, students will report to school two hours later. Our junior high schools and high schools will follow shortened periods. The elementary and middle schools will run a normal schedule from the time of arrival.

Where Does the District Announce Closings and Delays?

Phone and email alerts: Pickerington Schools will announce emergency closing and delay information through pre-recorded telephone calls to current parents/guardians telephone numbers on file with the district. The district also sends email messages about any delays or closures via this notification system. It is important to keep student contact information current by logging into the Infinite Campus Parent Portal and updating your contact information.

District website and social media

Information about school closures or delays will be posted on the home page of the district’s website, on our Facebook page, and on Twitter.

Television and Radio Stations

Pickerington Schools shares any school delay or closure information with local television and radio stations.

Each local television station offers a school closing/delays text message program that sends closure/delay information directly to your phone.

Channel 4

Channel 6

Channel 10


During the course of the school year, it may become necessary to send the children home due to an emergency. Weather, electrical outage, or other types of emergencies as determined by emergency personnel could cause an emergency dismissal. These emergency situations could occur suddenly leaving no time for parent notification other than radio announcement. In order to help our staff prepare for any such emergency, please complete the Calamity Form included in your back to school folder. Please list on the form the instructions your child is to follow when leaving school and returning home. For example:

Do they know how to enter your home?

Do they go to the neighbors?

Who do they call when they arrive?

Do they have a list of phone numbers?

Do they ride another bus with a friend?

As a reminder, our phone system does not operate during electrical outages and waiting at school to be picked up is not an option if we are told to evacuate by emergency personnel. Please take time to consider your emergency plan and help us keep your child safe.

Weekly Sign up for Meals on Virtual Days

As of November 1st, the Food Service Department has changed the signup deadline for cohort and virtual food bags. The deadline is now every Monday at 10 am. If you would like to receive breakfast and lunch for the days your student is virtual, please click on the correct link below to sign up. Remember that this is free for ALL students, but you need to do this every week.

Virtual Learning Academy link -

Cohort A link

Cohort B link

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Birthday Book Club


Birthday Book Club Members

The following students have helped our library grow by purchasing a book from our Birthday Book Club Collection. Thank you for supporting our school library.

Evelyn W. , Vivian Z., Gwenyth J., Eli H., Kirany K., Kaeden F., Jadon B., Gavin M., Kenzie E., Kynleigh R., Harper J., Nolan M.