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School-based Covid Testing Consent Form for Minors


If your child has been deemed a “close contact” for a COVID-19 exposure at school, they may still attend school if asymptomatic, wear a mask, and do testing as per the district’s test-to-stay program. To help children/parents with access to rapid testing, the district participates in the State’s free testing program which allows for students to be rapid tested at the school at no charge. In order for a child to be tested, a parent or guardian MUST complete the on-line consent form.  No student will be tested without the consent of a parent/guardian. The consent form can be found at https://testcenter.concentricbyginkgo.com/minor-consent  The access code for a HS aged student is PAHSCONSENT; the ES code is PAESCONSENT


This COVID-19 testing program also provides the opportunity to participate in weekly pooled testing if desired.


Dec 3, 2021

Test-to-Stay Program


Over the past year and a half, the number of students and staff placed in quarantine has been tremendous.  Both parties have been forced to participate in remote learning while enduring the quarantine period even though they remained healthy. While a valiant attempt by everyone to maintain education during challenging times, the school district recognizes remote learning is not in anyone’s best interests.

Recent statements from CDC indicate “Test-to-Stay” strategies, when combined with regular mitigation measures, as a promising practice for minimizing the disruption of quarantine on students, families, and schools while maintaining a safe and healthy learning environment. Based on the CDC statements, the PA DOH has issued preliminary guidance for school leaders who wish to adopt test-to-stay in their schools.

Beginning Monday, December 6, 2021, The Portage Area School District will implement a Test-to-Stay (TTS) program. Individuals deemed close contacts of an exposure to the virus can continue in-person learning so long as they wear a face covering in schools, remain asymptomatic, and serially test negative for COVID-19 during what would be the quarantine time.

After being deemed a close contact, individuals who wish to avoid quarantine and remain with in-person learning must:

  • Remain asymptomatic;
  • Wear a face covering while in school buildings;
  • Be tested for the virus within 2-4 days of the exposure;
  • Be re-tested for the virus within 5-7 days of the exposure. (test 1 and 2 cannot be administered on consecutive days) 

The following test results will be considered eligible to fulfill the testing requirements of the TTS program:

  • Rapid antigen tests administered on-site through the district’s testing program. Parents/guardians of students and individual staff members who choose to enroll in the TTS program and be tested in-school must actively consent to testing conducted for the program.
  • Rapid antigen tests administered through a health care provider
  • As per CDC and PA DOH, at-home tests are not eligible for meeting testing requirements for participation in the district’s TTS program

If an individual test positive or becomes symptomatic at any point during the TTS program, they should immediately isolate.  Symptomatic individuals will no longer be eligible to participate in TTS and must quarantine as per CDC recommended protocols.

The TTS program is only intended for school-based exposures. Individuals who were exposed to COVID-19 in non-school settings (e.g., household exposure) are not eligible for TTS under any circumstances and should continue to follow the latest quarantine protocol.

TTS may not be an appropriate strategy for all individuals. Parents/guardians and individual staff members may elect to NOT participate in TTS, and instead follow the normal CDC recommended protocol for exposure.

Please note that the TTS program guidelines are subject to change, or be rescinded, as additional data become available. The school district will follow guidance as provided by CDC and/or PA DOH.

Eric Zelanko, Superintendent

Portage Area School District

84 Mountain Ave.

Portage, PA 15946

(814) 736-9636 ext 1560



Updated PASD Health and Safety Plan  2021-2022 School Year

Click HERE to read the updated plan. (approved 28 July 2021) 

PA Latest Updates on COVID-19

Isolation and Quarantine Periods *Updated 12-30-2021

Graduation Requirements
Students graduating in 2023 and beyond have the following five options to meet the statewide graduation requirement.  Options 1 and 2 are the Keystone Pathways (Keystone Proficiency and Keystone Composite).  Option 3 is the Alternate Assessment Pathways.  Option 4 is the Evidence Based Pathway.  Finally, Option 5 is the CTE Pathway.  Explanations of each pathway can be found on the graphic.

Advance Child Tax Credit

Low-income families still have time to sign up for advance child tax credit payments

It's not too late for low-income families to sign up for advance child tax credit payments.

The IRS urges anyone who normally isn't required to file a tax return to explore the tools available on IRS.gov. The Eligibility Assistant can help determine eligibility for the advance child tax credit. The Non-filer Sign-up tool can help people file a simplified tax return to sign up for these payments. Some non-filers may also be eligible for the $1,400 per person Economic Impact Payments and the recovery rebate credit. People can get these benefits, even if they don't work, have no income or don’t have a permanent address.

For these families, each advance CTC payment is up to $300 per month for each qualifying child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child ages 6 through 17.

Payments are generally issued on the 15th of each month through December 2021.

Here are more details and information about how to get the payments:

• The IRS sends advance child tax credit payments to eligible families who filed a 2019 or 2020 income tax return. This includes people who successfully use the Non-filer Sign-up tool for advance CTC, available only on IRS.gov. People can access the Non-filer Sign-up tool or the step-by-step guide for using it on IRS.gov.

• Aside from filing a simplified return from the Non-filer Sign-up tool, families don't have to do anything else if they are eligible to receive monthly payments.

• The Non-filer Sign-up tool is available until October 15, 2021. Using the tool by 11:59 p.m. ET on any month’s deadline will apply to the next month’s payment.
• Families who receive their first monthly payment in any month after July will still receive their total advance payment for the year. This means that the total payment will be spread over fewer months, rather than six months, making each monthly payment larger.
• The IRS encourages people to request payments by direct deposit, which is faster and more secure than other payment methods. People who don't have a bank account should visit the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation website for details on opening an account online. They can also use the FDIC's BankFind tool to locate an FDIC-insured bank.

• Finally, BankOnAmerican Bankers AssociationIndependent Community Bankers of America and National Credit Union Administration have lists of banks and credit unions that can open an account online. Veterans can see the Veterans Benefits Banking Program for financial services at participating banks.

Share this tip on social media -- #IRSTaxTip: Low-income families still have time to sign up for advance child tax credit payments https://go.usa.gov/xFzab



Upcoming Events


**Please see the team schedule page under athletics.  The schedules for  athletic events are subject to change. 

* For the second Youtube account link, go to the Teams schedules under the Athletics page.

2020-2021 P-EBT CARDS 

If you have received and activated your P-EBT card for the 2020-21 school year (last school year), please contact Mrs. George at: mageorge@mustangmail.org or X1311 Thank you!



School Dentals Exams by our school dentist Dr. Nicole Oravec will be held for those with written consent from parent(s) or guardian(s) on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022.  Those students whose parents have consented to the school dental and are in Entry level (Kdg) 3rd and 7th, will be asked to come down to the nurse's office during this day.  
Dr. Oravec will start in the HS at or about 0800 and upon completion go to the elementary school. Please mark your calendar.  
School Physical Exams by our school physician, Dr. Mark Ratchford will be held for those students with written consent for parent (s) or guardian (s) on Friday, March 18, 2022.  Those students whose parents have consented to the school physician and are in entry level (kdg) 6th, and 11th grade, will be asked to come down to the nurse's office during this day.
Dr. Ratchford will start in the HS around 8:00 a.m. and then will he go the elementary building.  Please mark your calendar.

Emergency Broadband Benefit

The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is a temporary subsidy program from the Federal Government designed to help low-income households connect to the Internet and stay connected during the COVID-19 crisis. Qualified households can receive a temporary monthly credit of up to $50/month (up to $75/month for customers in Tribal lands) toward their Internet service and leased Internet equipment until the program's funding runs out.


Link: https://www.xfinity.com/learn/internet-service/ebb


Internet Essentials


Low-cost, high-speed Internet access for qualified households.


Link: https://apply.internetessentials.com/


Click Below to sign up for the Weekly Update from the Superintendent. 

Homelessness Program

homelessness pdf
sign up

For more information please contact: 

Melissa Gerber

Preschool Program Manager

The Learning Lamp

814-262-0732 ext.289