The Latest News

At Smethport Area School District, we appreciate our involved parents and community members. We also enjoy broadcasting our latest news and information on our News page to help you stay informed. Bookmark this page for public announcements, school activity updates, and student achievements. We’ll also offer helpful resources and information here, so check back often.

Notice of Positive COVID-19 Tests - October 15, 2021

Smethport Area School District (SASD) has been notified that two students at Smethport Elementary School and two students at Smethport Junior-Senior High School have been determined to be positive for COVID-19 per the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).

Any student identified as a close contact in need of following DOH procedures due to close contact to a positive case will be notified and return to school after following procedures outlined in our current SASD health and safety plan.

Please read our letter of notice for October 15, 2021, below for further details and information.

Notice of Positive COVID-19 Test - October 13, 2021

Smethport Area School District (SASD) has been notified that one student at Smethport Junior-Senior High School has been determined to be positive for COVID-19 per the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).

Any student identified as a close contact in need of following DOH procedures due to close contact to a positive case will be notified and return to school after following procedures outlined in our current SASD health and safety plan.

Please read our letter of notice for October 13, 2021, below for further details and information.

Notice of Positive COVID-19 Test - October 12, 2021

Smethport Area School District (SASD) has been notified that one student at Smethport Junior-Senior High School has been determined to be positive for COVID-19 per the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).

Any student identified as a close contact in need of following DOH procedures due to close contact to a positive case will be notified and return to school after following procedures outlined in our current SASD health and safety plan.

Please read our letter of notice for October 12, 2021, below for further details and information.

Notice of Positive COVID-19 Tests - October 11, 2021

Smethport Area School District (SASD) has been notified that one student and one staff member at Smethport Elementary school and one staff member at Smethport Junior-Senior High School have been determined to be positive for COVID-19, per the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).  We will notify any student identified as a close contact in need of following DOH procedures due to close contact to a positive case. For more information, please see our October 11, 2021, COVID-19 Update.

COVID-19 Updates From Our Superintendent of Schools

As cases of COVID-19 have increased in our region and in our local school community over the past couple of weeks, we will continue to provide weekly updates with regards to our current case rates and mitigation. We appreciate your help keeping children who are not feeling well at home. For more information, please read our October 8, 2021, COVID-19 update.

Notice of Positive COVID-19 Test - October 8, 2021

Smethport Area School District (SASD) has been notified that one student at Smethport Elementary School has been determined to be positive for COVID-19 per the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).

Any student identified as a close contact in need of following DOH procedures due to close contact to a positive case will be notified and return to school after following procedures outlined in our current SASD health and safety plan.

Please read our letter of notice for October 8, 2021, below for further details and information.

Notice of Positive COVID-19 Tests - October 7, 2021

Smethport Area School District (SASD) has been notified that three students at Smethport Elementary School and two students at Smethport Junior-Senior High School have been determined to be positive for COVID-19 per the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).

Any student identified as a close contact in need of following DOH procedures due to close contact to a positive case will be notified and return to school after following procedures outlined in our current SASD health and safety plan.

Please read our letter of notice for October 7, 2021, below for further details and information.

PDE FAQ's On Facial Covering Order

As of August 31, 2021, all of Pennsylvania was ordered to wear face coverings in school settings. For more information, please read our PDE FAQ's on the facial covering order in its entirety. 

Superintendent Benson Letter - September 3, 2021

On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) issued an order mandating the use of masks/facial coverings for students and staff in all K–12 public and private schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This statewide order will take effect Tuesday, September 7 and will require students, teachers, staff, and visitors to wear masks when inside school facilities. For more information, please read Superintendent Benson's letter in its entirety.

Mask/Face Covering Request for Accommodation

The Smethport Area School District has adopted a Health and Safety Plan for the 2021–2022 academic year which may require individuals, including students in school, to wear face coverings in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. In addition, effective February 1, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services issued an order requiring that all individuals wear face masks over their nose and mouth when traveling on public transportation, including school transportation, in the United States of America. On August 30, 2021, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health issued an "Order of the Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Directing Face Coverings in School Entities," which requires every teacher, child/student, staff, or visitor working, attending, or visiting a school entity to wear a face covering indoors, regardless of vaccination status (the Pa Order").

For more information about exemption from wearing a face covering, please review this information.

Important Mask Information From the Superintendent

September 1, 2021

Dear Parents, Guardians, Caregivers, and Students, 

On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) issued an order mandating the use of masks/facial coverings for all students and staff in all K–12 public and private schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This statewide order will take effect Tuesday, September 7, and will require students, teachers, staff, and visitors to wear masks when inside school facilities.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, government entities have issued changing guidelines and mandates which have been a major source of frustration for many of us. Despite assurances throughout the summer that school districts in Pennsylvania would be able to exert local control this school year in regards to health and safety plans, yesterday's announcement from Harrisburg has again changed the rules for us at the local school district level. As a public school in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we are required to follow this order from DOH.

We will not require students to wear masks while outdoors, while engaged in high-intensity aerobic activities (such as active participation in physical education class, sports practice), or when engaged in an activity that they cannot perform while wearing a mask (such as eating, drinking, or playing an instrument.)

New rules this year allow close contacts of a positive case of COVID-19 to stay in school granted that students are properly masked. When masks are worn properly, only symptomatic students, or students who test positive for COVID-19, will be excluded from school based on Department of Health guidelines. Students can do their part by wearing their masks properly in school and maintaining proper social distancing in the cafeteria or any time masks are not being worn. Keeping our students in school is critical for their academic success. Contact tracing disrupted the education of many Smethport Area School District students last year. Entire elementary classrooms were forced to learn online due to contact tracing. Mask-wearing will limit these incidences.

We will provide our school community with notice of any confirmed positive cases amount our students and staff. We will post these notices on our website. We have had zero confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 since the start of the 2021–2022 school year in the Smethport Area School District among students and staff members.

Thank you for your time,

Brice N. Benson
Superintendent

Chromebook Insurance Pay

We have a new option available for Chromebook insurance payments. Please see the attached flyers to learn more about this new payment option.

Chromebook Insurance Pay

Message from Our Superintendent

August 1, 2021

Dear Parents, Guardians, Caregivers, and Students,

We are excited to welcome each student on Wednesday, August 25 for the first day of the 2021–22 school year! We all hope for a needed return to “normal school” that puts much of the disruption of the past number of months behind us. Updated Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance for schools emphasizes the importance of in-person learning. Federal and state guidelines are clear that in-person instruction must proceed for the best learning outcomes for our children.

As part of our continual emphasis on a return to normal operations as permitted by state and federal governing authorities, we will limit full-time virtual options for our students to our third-party providers (Edmentum’s EdOptions Academy and Warren County Cyber). Please contact your child’s building principal if you are once again electing a cyber option. SASD teachers will only “livestream” direct instruction in specific cases of a PA Department of Health-mandated quarantine. The academic results from the past school year throughout our state indicate that students overwhelmingly perform best when attending school in person.

Please take a few minutes and review the SASD Health and Safety Plan. A few important changes are noted for this school year. Contact tracing for close contacts of a positive case of COVID-19 remains for unvaccinated students and staff. We require masks on school transportation until the federal mask mandate regarding all public transportation is lifted. Masks/facial coverings are optional for students and staff while in school. We may need to adjust our routines/procedures throughout the school year to meet ever-changing health and safety guidance from the state of Pennsylvania.

Smethport Area School District will emphasize academic excellence coupled with providing a diverse curriculum that will best prepare our students to enter a competitive college and career environment. We will continue to support the social and emotional needs of our students and staff. The dedicated work of our SASD faculty and staff, coupled with the excellent support of our parents and community, has led to much progress despite the challenging circumstances of the past 16 months.

We are excited to once again host Back to School Night on the evening of Monday, August 23. Please mark your calendars.

Enjoy the remaining days of summer! We wish everyone the best as we begin another school year.

Go Hubs!

Brice N. Benson
Superintendent

Grades Six to Twelve Return to In-Person Learning: May 26, 2021

Students in grades six through twelve will return to school tomorrow, Wednesday, May 26, 2021, and return to in-person learning. All contact tracing from the high school cases has been completed. Case counts will reset to zero (0) at the high school. Case counts are also at zero (0) at the elementary school. Please do not report to school if you have been contact traced and quarantined. Please do not report to school if you are ill and have symptoms of COVID-19. Please call the school nurses and inform them if anyone in your household has COVID-19.

May School Board Meetings Scheduled

The SASD board of directors’ regularly scheduled May work session meeting will be on Monday, May 3, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. On Monday, May 10, 2021, the board will hold a voting meeting for general purposes at 7:30 p.m. Board member attendance will be regular "in meeting" attendance with some members participating via distance conferencing technology. Both meetings will be in the elementary school LGI room. The meetings will be open to public attendance and comment with appropriate controls on the number of attendees present in the room and as per social distancing and face covering requirements. 

We request that members of the public who plan to attend the meetings notify the district by calling the SASD administrative office at (814) 887-5543 or via email. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.

Mental Health Research

Kutztown University is conducting research for The Center for Rural Pennsylvania regarding Mental Health Services in Rural PA. We invite parents to help with the research by completing a survey. Participation is voluntary and more information is available in this attached letter and listed on this information sheet. Thank you for your consideration

Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program

The opportunity scholarship tax credit program is available to Smethport students for the 2021–2022 school year. Based on achievement results from the state testing programs, Smethport Jr./Sr. High School students qualify for a program to assist them in attending another participating public or non-public school in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To learn more, please review the opportunity scholarship tax credit program letter from the administration as well as review the overview of the program flyer.