PTS News

Portage Township Schools | An Indiana "B" School District!

October 30, 2020

Hello, Portage Township Schools families, and Happy Halloween Eve! We hope you and your family have a fun and safe Halloween tomorrow evening. This edition of PTS News features some safety tips to follow if you are participating in a Trick or Treating event. Remember to mask up and practice social distancing as you and your children enjoy a fun and safe evening.


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We hope our students and families have a fun Halloween Night! Below are tips from the CDC that will allow you to stay safe if you choose to Trick-or-Treat this weekend.
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The PTS District COVID-19 Dashboard has been updated on our website at under COVID-19 Information. The intention of this dashboard is to keep our PTS community informed for all positive cases of COVID-19 in our schools since the return to in-person learning on October 20. Communications with our school communities will be archived on the dashboard website as well. Click on the link below to view our dashboard and related communications with families.


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Families can now view your child's bus route in real time using Versatrans MyStop. Download the yellow Versatrans MyStop app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and log in with the same username and password as you use for Versatrans E-Link. Once your child's bus driver begins their route, you will be able to view the location of your child's bus in real time.

Click here to download MyStop from the Apple App Store.

Click here to download MyStop from Google Play.


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All virtual learners have the opportunity to pick up a week of breakfasts and lunches every Wednesday at no cost. Meals must be pre-ordered through this link:

Families must pick up meals at their child's school at the following times:

Aylesworth Elementary, Door B, 9:30-10:00

Crisman Elementary School, Door E, 9:30-10:00

Central Elementary, Orange Cone, 9:15-9:45

Fegely Middle School, Door F, 8:30-9:00

Jones Elementary School, Door A, 9:30-10:00

Kyle Elementary, Door A, 9:30-10:00

Myers Elementary, Cafeteria Door, 9:30-10:00

Paul Saylor Elementary, Door H, 9:30-10:00

South Haven Elementary, Door A, 9:30-10:00

Portage High School, Door Q, 8:30-9:00

Willowcreek Elementary, Door M, 8:30-9:00


October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which is an opportune time to review digital citizenship as a family. The flyer below from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency provides tips for keeping yourself, your family, and everyone's identities safe while using social media sites online. Remember to do your part and #BeCyberSmart.
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SENIORS: Join Portage High School and Purdue University Northwest for their Virtual Financial Aid presentation on Wednesday, November 4 at 5:30 p.m.! Families are also welcome to join to learn more about your financial aid options for college and filling out the FAFSA. See the flyer below for more details.
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McCulloch qualifies for weekend's State XC meet

Good luck to Portage High School senior Morgan McCulloch at this weekend's State Cross Country Meet! Morgan left Friday morning with a police escort from the Portage Police Department. This is Morgan's second trip to the state meet as an individual. We are so proud of you, Morgan!
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Myers students enjoy P.E. outside

Mrs. Cantrell's kindergarten class at Myers Elementary took advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday! They had a great time playing outside during their P.E. class.
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Hollowell received NFL Way to Play Award

Portage High School’s very own varsity wide receiver, Mey-Sin Hollowell, was selected by the National Football League to be the recipient of the NFL Way to Play award. In addition to the award, Hollowell received a special distinction from the NFL and a segment on the NFL Network while Portage High School will receive a $1,500 equipment grant through USA Football.

“I was really surprised and at a loss for words when I heard I was the recipient. Regardless of this fact, I try my best to stay humble even though it is all really big to me,” said Hollowell.

Based on a weekly vote by a handful of NFL representatives, such as Troy Vincent and Roman Oben, the NFL Way to Play award was created to promote proper playing technique. Hollowell was picked by the NFL based on a block he delivered on Jakar Gordon’s 80-yard touchdown run against Valparaiso on October 9.

While the NFL Way to Play award is a major accomplishment for Hollowell, he admits there has been a special motivation behind his success. Hollow said after the passing of his sister, Cher-Lin Hollowell, he struggled to find the motivation to play his last season of high school football.

“With all things considered, I think my greatest accomplishment this season was my ability to play through everything I've gone through,” said Hollowell. “Since the passing of my little sister, I honestly just wanted to drop out. I wasn't motivated to do anything, but I knew I had to keep pushing and at least aim to make it to play college ball for her.”

Without the presence of his sister to cheer him on at his games, Hollowell has found a way to keep her presence with him.

“For one, I chose the number 11 for my jersey again this year because it was always a number me and my little Cher-Lin shared. Whenever we got the chance, we always picked that number,” said Hollowell. “Additionally, as a pre-game ritual I wear a chain with my sister's ashes. I make sure I give it a kiss, listen to music we used to listen to, and lastly I pray and ask for her to help me with whatever challenges come my way on the field.”

With the difficulties he faced this year, Hollowell still remains optimistic.

“To be honest, sometimes it's really hard to stay motivated, but I just have to keep pushing,” said Hollowell. “This will always be one thing I'll have to do in life since the outcomes aren't always what I expect. Regardless, I’ll always be motivated by all my friends and family back home in Arizona and my little sister.”

After his football season ends, Hollowell plans to join the track team in hopes of earning a scholarship.

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Myers students create cards for U.S. soldiers

This week, our 5th grade students at Myers Elementary learned about gratitude and the importance of expressing gratitude to others. At the conclusion of the lesson, students made cards to send to soldiers stationed overseas. Great job spreading kindness!
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PTS honors 2020 retirees

The Portage Township School Board of Trustees and PTS Superintendent Dr. Alaniz recognized our 2020 retirees and thanked them for their years of service. Thank you for the impact you have made at our schools and for supporting our students!

Linda Rodenbarger, Saylor Elementary Teacher

Paula Weise, Portage High School Art Teacher

Felicia Demass, Jones Elementary Teacher

Carrie Sanidas, Willowcreek Middle School Science Teacher

Sandy Povlinski, Crisman Elementary Teacher

Bridget Nadolski, Myers Elementary Art Teacher

Lenora Ramian, Fegely Middle School Science Teacher

Dan Merrill, Willowcreek Middle School Health Teacher

Birthel Messinger, Transportation Colleague

Marian Bytnar, Kyle Elementary School Instructional Assistant

MaryAnn Balding, Food Service Colleague

Lynn Clapp, Saylor Elementary School Teacher

Susan Jeffrey, Willowcreek Middle School Special Education Teacher

Regina Hammond, Transportation Colleague

Myers students have strong start to quarter 2

Mrs. Prokop's first grade students at Myers Elementary have had a strong start to quarter 2! They had a great first day of school learning about firefighters, studying words with final blends, and comparing a short story "Government and Laws" to the rules they follow in their classroom.
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PHS HOSA students recognized for philanthropic work

Our Portage High School/Porter County Career Center HOSA students enrolled in Mrs. Wilson's Health Occupations vocational class are being recognized by their Indiana HOSA chapter for their generous donation to Beacon Children's Hospital!

Last school year, the students hosted the Prom Fashion and Expo Show as a service project for the class. The students raised $3,700 for the pediatric cancer patients at Beacon Children's Hospital. The money will be used to create family and patient care baskets.

Great job to our HOSA students on hosting a fun event for our community and raising money for an important cause!

PTS honors Stronger Together initiative

The Portage Township School Board of Trustees and PTS Superintendent Dr. Alaniz recognized our community organizations that provided support and assistance throughout the pandemic. These organizations provided access to food and virtual learning assistance, and we are thankful for their efforts in supporting our students and families.

Mayor Sue Lynch, City of Portage

Trustee Brendan Clancy, Portage Township

Shannon Burhans, Portage Township YMCA

Portage Boys & Girls Club

South Haven Boys & Girls Club

Ma’s Lil Champs Learning Academy

Portage Child Care Center

Fegely 8th grade teams welcome back students

Our staff at Fegely Middle School was excited to welcome back their in-person learners last week! Their eighth grade teachers created these awesome bulletin boards to greet the students when they returned.
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PHS students receive Career Center honors

Congratulations to PHS students Simone Hooper and Christopher Moreno on being selected as the Porter County Career Center's Outstanding Students for quarter 1! They have been working hard and succeeding in their vocational classes. Simone is a student in the marketing class, and Christopher is a student in the video production and media studies class. Great job, Simone and Christopher!
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Custodial staff working hard to support healthy schools

Shout out to our spectacular custodial staff! They have been hard at work keeping our schools clean and making sure they are ready for students each day. Thank you for all you are doing to support the health and safety of our students and colleagues!

Jones kindergarten students celebrate 50's day

Our cool kindergarten students at Jones Elementary School celebrated the 50th day of school with a 50's-themed celebration! They dressed up in clothes that were popular in the 1950's, made a craft together, and learned how to hula-hoop. Nifty!

South Haven Elementary hosts Virtual Halloween Parade

Out virtual learners at South Haven Elementary School celebrated Halloween with a virtual parade! We loved seeing all of their cool and creative costumes.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs stop by Aylesworth Elementary

Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs took over at Aylesworth Elementary today and wished everyone a Happy Halloween!
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Winnie the Pooh and friends stop by Kyle Elementary

Winnie the Pooh and his friends came all the way from the Hundred Acre Wood to visit our kindergarten students at Kyle Elementary School for Halloween!
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PHS staff celebrates Halloween

Our staff at Portage High School had a great time with Halloween today. Check out these creative costumes!