The Toll Gate Tidings Tana

December 20, 2015 Edition

Important Dates to Note


12/21 - "Faculty Meeting" at Diamond's

12/22 - Wear your Ugly Festive Holiday Sweater spirit day (Staff Spirit Day only)

12/23 - Holiday Sing-a-long

12/23 - Pajamas Day

12/23 - Early Dismissal


1/6-7 - CAP program for 2nd and 4th grade students

1/7 - PTO meeting - 2nd & 3rd grade updates

1/11 - K-5 Grade Level Meetings

1/12 - 4th grade 'Stroke School'

1/13 - Faculty Council

1/14 - Winter Birthday Celebrations

1/18- Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday - No School

1/20- Spirit Day - "Gator Day"

1/20 - Faculty Meeting

1/22 - 3P to Washington Crossing Nature Center

1/25 - 3O'S to Washington Crossing Nature Center

1/26 - Dr. Smith's monthly visit

1/26 - Additional 90-minute meeting

1/29 - End of 2nd marking period

1/29 - Gator Gathering - K & 3rd grade hosts

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Annual Holiday Sing-along!

We will have our annual sing-along this Wednesday, December 23rd. It would be great if HR buddies could meet up and sit together - so if you could work out getting the students into one room and then be called down, that would be great. Please report to the gym when the older grade level of the buddy classes is called.

8:35 - 8:45am HR

8:45 - 9:15am 1st

9:17 - 9:47am 2nd

9:49 - 10:19am 3rd (K, 1st and 5th gr snack/recess)

10:21 - 10:51am 4th (2nd, 3rd & 4th gr snack/recess)

10:53 - 11:23am 5th

11:25 - 11:55pm 6th

11:57 - 12:07pm Return to HR/Meet up with Buddy Class/Call to Gym

12:10-12:40pm Assembly

12:40-12:45pm Return to HR to pack up

12:45pm Dismissal

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Holiday Videos

Just a friendly reminder...videos should not be shown unless there is a strong curricular tie. Thanks!
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From the Spirit Committee!

Get ready to deck the halls and jingle all the way! You may have heard that the Spirit Committee is sponsoring an Ugly Festive Sweater Day on Wednesday, 12/22/15. Just wear your silliest, most festive sweater and prepare for holiday cheer.

’Tis the season of giving, and this month we’ve chosen to collect for "Save the Children". They work in the U.S. and around the world, saving lives and creating a brighter future for kids in need. By chipping in at least $5 and wearing your fun sweater, we can help the world's children to survive and thrive. Together, we can help "Save the Children" provide life-saving, life-nurturing programs to children all over the world, including right here in the United States.

Follow This Link to visit our team web page and join in our efforts to support "Save the Children" Federation, Inc. If the link doesn't work, copy and paste this one into your browser:


Your Spirit Committee

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Tech Bytes by Vikki - #3

Have you ever wondered how to easily find images on the Internet that have a transparent background so that you don't see a white box on a color background when making slideshow presentations?

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Just a reminder...

Please remember to get to your assigned duty, or to pick up students from lunch/recess on time. Other staff members are affected when people are tardy. Let's all please work together to help each other out! Thank you!
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New ESSA Law

Dear Colleagues,

As I’m sure you know, last week President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law, replacing theNo Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Like many people, you are probably wondering what this means for education in New Jersey and, in particular, your school districts. I want to take this opportunity to assure you that in the short-term, the ESSAwill have little to no impact on what you are doing at the district level. New Jersey's waiver under NCLB continues through the current school year.

The ESSA supports our shared commitment to high academic standards and annual testing, but the new law gives states more autonomy in establishing standards and administering assessments. New Jersey has had high-quality standards and statewide assessments for decades, and we don’t expect any substantial changes in those areas.

We are also pleased that the ESSA allows for a state-led approach in addressing struggling schools that was not possible under NCLB. This is an area where we would expect to see the greatest change, although it will be for future years and not immediate. No Child Left Behind had prescriptive sanctions of what could occur if a school didn’t meet annual yearly progress targets in student growth, but now New Jersey will have more flexibility under the ESSA in the way that the state identifies and improves the schools that need additional supports. Accountability for improvement in Priority and Focus schools will remain a priority, and these schools will continue to receive field-based assistance from the Department.

The Department is reviewing the law and our existing accountability structure to determine how we can use the flexibility in the new federal measures, and we will be sharing additional information with you in the coming months. We look forward to working with your districts under the new guidelines to continue advancing New Jersey’s education system.


David C. Hespe

Commissioner of Education

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Rider Graduate Classes

The School of Education at Rider University is launching a new graduate level literacy concentration beginning in the spring 2016 semester. These blended courses (primarily online with several synchronous meeting dates) are designed for:

• Educators with 30 graduate credits in Education interested in pursuing the NJ Reading Specialist endorsement* and/or additional literacy courses to support professional interests

• Educators pursuing the Rider University Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership with a Literacy Concentration/NJ Reading Specialist endorsement

We have two courses launching in January – LITR 502: Curriculum, Instruction and Supervision in Literacy and LITR 504 Diagnosis and Correction of Literacy Abilities and Challenges and look forward to welcoming new colleagues into these courses and the concentration. The concentration is designed to prepare K-12 educators to become literacy leaders in the classroom, the school, the district and the field of literacy education.

Please see the attached flyer for information about the courses and the full concentration. I can be reached at or 609-895-5646. I appreciate you sharing this information with any colleagues who may be interested. They can reach out to me directly for information.


Heather Casey, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Literacy Education

Department of Teacher Education

Rider University

Site Director – National Writing Project@Rider

Graduate Level Literacy Concentration Program Coordinator Rider University

Click here for the attachment:

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Work-Life Balance

Very interesting perspective on a problem we all face...

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Tweet of the Week

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Have a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!

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