New and Noteworthy

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 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 this web 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!

CTC Releases Continuing Education Information for Students

We will offer Seneca Highlands CTC students enrichment activities and planned instruction aligned with their program of study. CTC teachers will communicate with students through student CTC Gmail accounts. The primary contact for each student will be his/her teacher. Teacher contacts will begin today, April 1, 2020. Students should check their CTC Gmail accounts daily for information. Mr. Young will be the contact for technical issues and should be contacted if a student does not hear from his/her teacher. You can contact Mr. Young by email or by phone at the school phone message: (814) 642-2573 ext. 2, please leave a message.

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.

Continuing Education During School Closure

Dear Parents, Guardians, Caregivers, and Students,

Smethport Junior-Senior High School has developed a continuity of instruction plan that will carry us through until the end of Governor Wolf's school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning the week of April 6, continuing education will begin. Your child's teacher will be in touch by the end of this week (Google classroom, email, phone call, etc.) Please see the continuing education letter to read the entire message from Principal Benson.

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 frequently.

Smethport Junior and Senior High School Releases Enrichment and Review Activities

SASD junior and senior high school students can now access educational enrichment and review activities. 

The junior and senior high school faculty and administration provided a listing of activities and resources, which represents all subject areas. We also provided additional information regarding the availability of internet hotspots, and other high school programming and resources. 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:

2020 Master and Grasshopper Art Show at Mansfield University

Smethport High School students proudly holding up their artwork at the art showSmethport Area Junior–Senior High has been chosen as exhibitors in the 2020 Master and Grasshopper Art Show at Mansfield University. The Master and Grasshopper show is an exhibition of aspiring high school artists alongside the artwork of their teachers. Artwork by Ms. Liz Dippold and her students, Torie Field and Griffin Hess, will be on display in the Loomis Gallery from March 16 to April 9, 2020.

What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?

A group of students from the Smethport Area School District competed in the 4th annual manufacturing contest. The group of students worked with the Allegheny Bradford Corporation (ABC) to study, interview, and film for a two-minute video that captures “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” The students film won the outstanding career pathway award.

Group of students pose together with their award and two adults
2020 Annual Engineering Day
Click here to view more photos of the 2020 Engineering Day.

Students from Mr. Locke's technology education courses visited Kinzua Bridge State Park to participate in the annual engineering day event. Students had the opportunity to take part in an engineering challenge and learn about different engineering disciplines. Students also had the chance to meet and greet with current engineers in a question and answer period. Students were exposed to a variety of engineering disciplines ranging from Mechanical/Civil Engineering to Chemical/Biomedical Engineering. It was a wonderful experience!

2020 PMEA Region 2 Chorus Festival

Congratulations to Parker Jack on representing Smethport at the recent PMEA Region 2 Chorus Festival at Corry High School. Through the audition process, he placed fifth, missing the state qualification by one. He will act as an alternate for the all-state festival. Congratulations, Parker!

Parker Jack at the chorus festival
CTC Student of the Week

Congratulations to Jaden Causer for being selected as student of week at the CTC. We are very proud of you and all of your hard work!

Jaden Causer
DECA State Competition

Congratulations to our Smethport DECA state qualifiers that traveled to Hershey, PA last week to compete against 2,357 high school students in 61 business events. Each student took a written test in his/her event and performed in two role-play scenarios in front of a judge. The PA State Ranking is a follows:

  • Parker Jack in Business Services Marketing – 19th
  • Kassidy DiDomizio – Principles of Business Administration and Management – 17th
  • Jordan Pavlock – Quick Service Restaurant Management – 10th
  • Anna Holohan – Marketing Communications – 5th
  • Anna Holohan is also a Role Play Medal winner!
DECA state qualifiers pose together in front of a DECA signAnna Holohan poses for the camera as she wears her medal