Notice Regarding Return to School
As the beginning of the academic year approaches, the Portage Area School District wishes to address the challenges associated with returning to in-person instruction for our District staff, students, and parents. The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is extremely contagious and continues to remain a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact and has had severe consequences for those that are especially vulnerable, such as senior citizens and individuals with underlying medical conditions. As a result, federal, state, and local governments and federal and state health agencies have made numerous recommendations over the past months to fight the spread of infection, including increased handwashing and social distancing measures to limit contact with others.
The District has put in place preventative measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Governor Wolf’s Executive Orders, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and other agencies, as more fully outlined in the District’s Health and Safety Plan, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to allow students and parents to feel comfortable about returning to in-person instruction within the school setting. Even with preventative measures in place, there are inherent risks as the risk of infection for COVID-19 exists and is difficult to control.
We need families, parents and students to understand the contagious nature of COVID-19 and the risk of infection and injury associated with use of District transportation, in person instruction, and participation in District programs and activities. We cannot guarantee that you or your children will not become infected with COVID-19 as a result of the aggressive nature in which this virus may spread. Families, parents and students must understand the potential for infection, injury, or even death as a result of COVID-19 that exists when using District transportation or participating in District instructional programs and activities. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any place where people are present.
We understand your concerns, and the School District has taken enhanced health and safety measures to create the safest environment feasibly possible during this pandemic. We require that all students and their families follow all posted instructions as provided by the School District’s Health and Safety Plan for the health and well-being of all.
Parents that are uncomfortable with in person instruction should contact the building principal to discuss available options for the academic year, such as remote learning model.
Let’s keep each other healthy and safe. -z-
Eric Zelanko, Superintendent
Portage Area School District
Letter to Parents/Guardians
*NEW: Parent Press Release
Version 5 Information
Health and Safety Plan v5.0
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated School Calendar
Click here to submit your questions about the reopening of schools.