News

Our students are making headlines, and we want to share all the great news with you. We will keep this page updated with important announcements, news stories, and student shout outs. Please check in often and help us celebrate our students’ many achievements.

SASD Meal Delivery Adjustments for the Easter Holiday

Due to the Easter holiday weekend, the SASD will not be delivering meals on Friday, April 10, 2020, or Monday, April 13, 2020. The last day for delivery this week will be Wednesday, April 8 and delivery will resume next week on Wednesday, April 15. On April 8, we will provide meals for three days. Here is a reminder about our regular MWF schedule, times, and delivery sites.

  • Smethport High School Gym Circle: 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
  • Hilltop Fire Department in Cyclone: 9:00 to 9:55 a.m.
  • Hamlin Twp. Fire Department in Hazel Hurst: 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
  • The Grace Chapel Fellowship Church in Farmers Valley: 9:00 to 9:55 a.m.
  • Norwich Fire Department in Crosby: 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Additional Resources from McKean County Department of Human Services

On April 2, 2020, the McKean County Department of Human Services announced that the state Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services launched a warmline available 24/7 to support individuals who may be experiencing anxiety or other difficult emotions. The toll-free number is (1-855) 284-2494. There is also a county crisis hotline, which you can call at either (1-800) 459-6568 or (814) 362-4623.

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization Helping Children Cope with Emergencies have excellent tips/advice for families to follow. The advice outlined therein reflects good practices which should be done before, during, and after crises: consistent schedules/routines for bedtime and meals and for activities like school and exercise/reading/playing a game and for social contact through phone, tablets, and computers. You can find the information on the links below.

Xfinity WiFi Hotspot Access Opens Nationwide in Response to Coronavirus

Xfinity WiFi hotspots in out-of-home locations will be available for free to anyone who needs them, including non-Xfinity internet customers, to keep our communities connected with their friends and family.

What hotspots are included?

Xfinity WiFi hotspots located both indoors and outdoors in places like shopping districts, parks, businesses, and train stations will be open. Hotspots located in customers’ homes are not opened to the public.

Customers and non-customers can find the exact hotspot locations on the Xfinity Find a Hotspot page. Xfinity internet customers can also locate them through the Xfinity WiFi Hotspots app. Please read the full Xfinity article for more information.

SASD Announces Phase III of Continuing Education Plan

On April 1, 2020, the SASD launched phase III of our continuing education plan. Teachers, educational professionals, and education support professionals returned to active work status today to begin this process.

Please take the time to read each of the following documents provided by SASD educational leaders. Each letter contains information pertaining to the SASD, Elementary School, Jr./Sr. High School and Special Education Department. From now until June 5, 2020, we will be providing educational activities for our students. CTC students should review the post, “CTC Releases Continuing Education Information for Students” listed on our district News page. Challenging times call for an extraordinary effort and extraordinary response, and we hope that all of our educators, students and families participate in an extraordinary way!

Governor Wolf Extends School Closure Indefinitely

Governor Wolf announced March 30, 2020, that PA schools will be closed until further notice. The SASD will continue with our Plan for Continuing Education for Smethport students. Phase III of our Educational Plan is set to begin Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Our teachers and staff members will be working mostly from home to provide communication and educational activities for our students. Elementary students will be focusing on review and enrichment activities in ELA and math. The Jr./Sr. High School will be focusing on review and enrichment activities and providing planned instruction in math, ELA, science, and social studies as well as some review and enrichment in elective areas. We will release details regarding Phase III of our plan this week. The SASD will be providing educational activities for all of our students and in all of our programs. We plan to continue educational activities for our students as best we can, for as long as we can, and for as many students as we can throughout the pandemic situation. Under Phase III of our plan, the school year will end on June 5, 2020, for our students.

Communication Information Update

SASD will be keeping offices open during the pandemic situation. Secretaries and administrators are working a combination of “in the office” and “at home” work. All of our employees are working according to social distancing guidelines and/or in isolation. If you need to contact someone at the school, please feel free to use the following information. These communication lines are monitored frequently and someone will return your call or respond to your e-mail as soon as possible. Our website will continue to be our primary source for general information. Please check smethportschools.com frequently.

SASD Communications

In general, all “official” communication for families and the community will be released from the Superintendent’s Office and posted on our websites. Please check the websites frequently and read down through the lists of topics. On some days, there will be multiple posts regarding different topics. Please read carefully and check frequently. Information changes rapidly. Thank you for your understanding.

Smethport Elementary School Releases Enrichment and Review Activities

SASD Elementary School students can access educational enrichment and review activities by accessing these documents. The elementary school faculty and administration provided this listing of activities and resources. All grade levels are represented. Additional educational activities for music and specialized instructional supports are provided as well. We invite you to please check it out!

Smethport Area School District Continuing Education Plan

The SASD is planning to continue education for Smethport students. Our learning plan will happen in three phases. In phase I, many teachers sent initial work home and students picked up materials, chromebooks, textbooks, and other items to stay sharp and keep education moving forward. If parents/guardians and students are looking for additional information and educational activities, our website features many pages with links to sites that parents/guardians and students can use to engage. These sites are SASD approved and can readily be used. In general, these sites may lead you to other resources and these resources should be safe and engaging for everyone to use. 

To access resources, visit the Parent Web Resources link in the Parents Quick Links and the Student Web Resources link in the Students Quick Links at the top of our webpage. We are advising our parents and guardians to read our post “Caution Regarding Online Education Sites” as there may be some people trying to take advantage of the situation with scams or charges for education sites.

Phase II will feature some more specific recommendations from our principals and teachers regarding activities that students should work on and complete to stay sharp and to take care of themselves. These activities will be more specific to grade level and subject level, and our teachers will focus on activities that will enhance and enrich learning for when students return to SASD. We are planning to release phase II information on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

If the closure is extended, we will move into phase III. In phase III, we will likely send out even more specific grade-level and subject-level information with specific assignments or providing opportunities for online instructional environments. We understand that everyone may not have the technology capabilities to engage in phase III. We will plan provisions for those students with materials and packets and develop a workable system to the best of our abilities.

We are still awaiting the educational information release from the PA department of education. The federal department of education has issued some guidance this past weekend on moving forward with education. As we work on our educational plans, we are trying to balance all of the guidance and requirements with the basic need to educate the majority of our students to the best of our ability and during an uncertain future. We appreciate your patience during this crisis. There is hope that we can return to school this year and that education for our students can resume as normal. Please continue to make the SASD your choice for education!

Caution Regarding Online Education Sites

The Smethport Area School District (SASD) advises all parents and guardians to exercise caution if you are exploring and purchasing education online for your son or daughter. Please see our web post regarding our SASD educational plan. There are many legitimate sites out there that provide quality educational activities, but there may also be some sites that were just created or scam sites designed to snag your information and your money. We do not have official confirmation on any of these sites operating on the internet but often in times like these, there are people who try to take advantage of the situation. In general, the SASD will only accept course work for credit from a school authorized as an accredited public school, private school, or Pennsylvania state approved provider. We hope that you continue with SASD for all of your educational needs. In general, utilize sites that we endorse and the activities that we provide. If you select your own sites, check them out carefully before you provide personal information or pay with a credit card. If you need help or advice, please contact us and we will help you out. We will do the best we can to keep education moving forward for your child. Hopefully, we are back in school soon!

Concerns Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

There has been growing concern over the last several weeks regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). Since we are most concerned with the health and well-being of our students, families, and community, SASD wanted to share some information regarding this global health concern.

  • There have only been a small number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States.
  • SASD is closely monitoring the situation and we receive daily updates from the PA Dept. of Health and the National Center for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Families should be aware of preventative measures and follow them closely (see enclosed information).
  • Students who do not feel well should stay home and be fever free for at least 24 hours prior to returning to school.
  • Washing your hands, covering your mouth when you sneeze/cough, and avoiding those who are sick are key preventative measures.
  • Please advise our school nurses if your child or another family member has been diagnosed with coronavirus or any other communicable disease like influenza.

Working together and being informed of these simple procedures will assist greatly in reducing the chance for coronavirus and other communicable diseases. Our custodial staff works to provide a clean environment for our students and control the spread of communicable diseases. Please be sure to review the information located at these websites:

Art Show and STEM Showcase

We will be hosting an elementary art show and incorporating a STEM showcase at the beginning of April. Please plan to attend so that our students can show off their many talents. We will send more information home later.

PSSA Testing

PSSA’s are right around the corner! In grades three through six, the ELA PSSA will be on April 21 through April 23. The math PSSA for the same grade levels will be on April 28 through April 29. In grade four, we will have a science section on April 30 through May 1.