PTS News

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

February 28, 2020

Welcome to the end of another great week at Portage Township Schools!

This week is not just any week; it's National Public Schools Week! Portage Township Schools is more than a school district. We are every student, every employee, every family, and every community organization that walks through the doors of our 11 schools. This week, and every single day, we are #PortageProud and #PublicSchoolProud!


Join us for our Social Media 101 Family Information Night! Come learn about the latest social media apps and what we can all do to keep our children safe online. District officials and local law enforcement officers will be in attendance to answer your questions.

Register online at

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Fegely will have Cheer Team Packets for next year, ready for pick up in the Main Office on Friday, February 28th. Anyone interested, who will be a 7th or 8th grader during the 2020-2021 school year should pick up a packet, complete the required information, and return that packet to the main office by May 6, 2020.

If you DO NOT have a current physical on file, you will need that done. Camp will be held on Wednesday, May 20th, Thursday, May 21st and Friday, May 22nd at 3:30p.m. with Tryouts on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Coach D at


Join the She Can Tech group at the Portage Boys and Girls Club for their Robot Arm Workshop! This is open to girls in grades 6-9 and will take place March 10-12. See the flyer below for more information.
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Porter County is hosting an essay contest, and our 4th grade students are invited to participate!

The essay must answer the question “How does your county provide cybersecurity?” One student will win $100 and read their essay at an upcoming Association of Indiana Counties Northwest District Meeting. Click on the flyer below for more information, including how to enter and who to contact for more information regarding cybersecurity in Porter County. The deadline to submit has been extended to March 6. See the flyer below for more information.

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The community is invited to join our staff at our Weight Watchers at Work program! The group meets every Tuesday with weigh-ins beginning at 3:30 p.m. and meetings beginning at 4:00 p.m. Contact Mrs. Lenora Ramian at if you have any questions or would like to sign up.
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The Mobile Market is back at Portage High School on Thursday, March 12! Everyone is invited to take home a selection of food; all you need is proof of Indiana residency and bags or boxes to carry your goods. The Market will begin at 4 p.m. at Door A of PHS and is first come, first served. See you there!

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The Portage Township YMCA is offering a new after school program from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. that includes free meals and activities for students in grades kindergarten through 12! Dinner will be served from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with a snack served from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Contact the YMCA at 762-9622 with any questions.

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Weather preparedness as a safety measure

This is the second article in a series featuring ways that Portage Township Schools keeps our students and staff safe. There are multiple aspects to a robust school safety plan, and each component plays a unique and important role in the overall security of our buildings.

Making the decision to call a 2-hour delay, school closing, early dismissal, or late dismissal is not one that is taken lightly, but it is always done in the best interest of our students. Altering or canceling the school day is ultimately about keeping our students and staff safe.

Adverse weather conditions include snow, freezing rain and ice, frigid temperatures and wind chill, severe thunderstorms, and tornados. Some of these offer a degree of accuracy that allow us to inform families of changes to the school day well in advance. Meteorologists can predict frigid temperatures and wind chill with a good amount of certainty. However, snowfall totals, the likelihood of ice, and tornados are more difficult to forecast. While meteorologists can determine if conditions are favorable for these to take place, they often cannot give a definitive answer on how much snow will fall, how much ice will accumulate, or when or if a tornado will form. This means we are often left to make last-minute calls on altering or canceling a school day.

When we face the possibility of adverse weather, a team of individuals both within and outside of Portage Township Schools collaborate to determine if we must call a 2-hour delay, school closure, early dismissal, or late dismissal. The process of making a weather-related decision depends on the following three factors:

  • Monitoring changing conditions and forecasts: School officials will monitor weather conditions from multiple reliable sources to determine if further action needs to be taken.
  • Assessing road and temperature conditions: Our officials coordinate with the Portage Street Department, Porter County Roads Department, the PTS Director of Buildings & Grounds, and the PTS Director of Transportation to determine the ability of our students to arrive safely at school. Our Buildings & Grounds staff will often work during the pre-dawn hours and throughout the day to clear our parking lots and sidewalks of snow, and they will provide updates on snowfall totals, their ability to keep the lots and sidewalks clear, and visibility conditions. If visibility is good, the roads are clear, and wind chill temperatures are no longer dangerous by 6:00 a.m., school will remain in session.
  • Collaboration with Porter County school corporations: Many of our students utilize services provided by SELF and the Porter County Career Center; therefore, we must ensure that travel is safe throughout the entire county. Portage Township Schools officials stay in communication with the other seven school districts in the county to determine the ability of our students and families to safely travel to these locations.

We will always notify our families of changes to the school day. Our SchoolMessenger mass notification system will send a call and email to all families and staff. To ensure you are receiving these communications, make sure your phone number and preferred email address are up-to-date with your child's school. (Contact your child's school to update this information, if needed.) We will also post any changes to the school day to the district's Facebook page, Twitter page, website, and Emergency Closing Center website.

For more information on our plans for weather-related emergencies, click here to visit our Emergency Weather Page on our website.


Crisman students take virtual field trip to outer space

Our second grade students at Crisman Elementary are working on creating Solar System Artworks. In order to better understand of the planets and how they look, they took a trip into space to look at the solar system using virtual reality goggles! This is STEAM learning in action!
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Fegely students learn about and spread kindness

Our Fegely Middle School students are using the knowledge they gained from a recent social emotional learning activity to spread kindness around the school!

Students recently completed an activity in which students ripped apart a piece of paper every time they said something mean, then tried to tape it back together with kind comments. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t make the paper look as good as it did before. The students learned how much damage mean comments can do, so they decided to spread kindness around the school! They wrote kind notes and Post-Its and put them on lockers across the school. Another class wrote kind words on balloons and delivered them to staff members. We’re so proud of our students for realizing the importance and power of kindness!

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Central students practice estimating and measuring

Our second grade students at Central Elementary did a great job learning about making estimates! They estimated how far away their classroom is from the office, then took measurements to see how close their guesses were to the right answer. Great job!
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PHS students take Soldiers Oath of Enlistment with the Army

This week, eight of our Portage High School students took the Oath of Enlistment, administered by Army Colonel and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan from the International Space Station. This historic event was the first time the Oath of Enlistment was administered via live stream from the International Space Station.

Congratulations to the following students for taking their Oath of Enlistment:

Thomas Blackwell

David Claudio

Mark Colby

Brian Daniels

Chris Ford

Chase Loubriel

Juan Torres

Josh Williams

We are #PortageProud of these young men for enlisting to serve our country in the U.S. Army!

Click on the video below to watch our students take their Oath of Enlistment!

Army Oath of Enlistment at PHS

Fegely students learn the hidden meanings in allusions

Our eighth grade students at Fegely Middle School recently completed a fun activity about allusions! Allusions are a literary device in which an author makes a reference to something without explicitly stating it. The students received cards with allusions and worked together to categorize them. They learned that authors often create layers of meaning in their allusions.
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Verduzco receives Leadership & Scholarship Award

Congratulations to Portage High School senior and basketball player Miguel Verduzco on receiving the 2020 Leadership & Scholarship Award at the Calumet Region Sportsmanship Dinner! Miguel is the first PHS student to receive this prestigious award. Great job, Miguel, on setting a great example both on and off the basketball court!
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South Haven student showcases STEAM work

Check out this beautiful butterfly creation from our third grade South Haven Elementary student, Damani! She worked with the Fun Flakes in their Innovative Learning Lab to engineer her design. This is STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) learning in action!
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Aylesworth students highlight growth on NWEA assessment

It takes more than luck to show growth on the NWEA test, and our students at Aylesworth Elementary are celebrating with a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Each gold coin on their NWEA bulletin board represents a student in the school who showed growth on the recent NWEA test, and it looks like their pot is overflowing! Great job, Aylesworth students!
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Student begins work through vocational program

Congratulations to our PHS student, Jesus, on becoming the first student placed into a job through our Applied Skills Vocational Program! Jesus is learning important workplace skills that will serve him well into his future.

Thank you to the Portage Township YMCA for supporting our program and our students.

Great job, Jesus!

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Fegely students play Kindness Scrabble

The students in Mrs. Wilson’s class at Fegely Middle School have been learning about kindness! In this activity, the students received Scrabble tiles and worked in groups to create as many kind words as they could. Mrs. Wilson then challenged the students to pick two words to use this week and complete two acts of kindness. This activity will help students be mindful of their words and learn how great it feels to be kind to others. Great job!
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Myers students use VR goggles to study Dr. King and the Edmund Pettus bridge

Mrs. Porter’s second grade class at Myers Elementary used virtual reality to learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.! Their ITS, Ms. Florence, led them on the virtual journey of Dr. King’s 54 mile, 5 day march from Salem to Montgomery, Alabama. Marchers were met with opposition at the Edmund Pettus bridge, so students then used materials of their own choosing to design bridges. It was a great STEM activity that incorporated engineering skills with history!
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Dr. Bewick visits Saylor Elementary

Mrs. Campbell’s fourth grade class at Saylor Elementary welcomed some special visitors to their class last week! Local dentist, Dr. Bewick, and his dental assistant, Ann, visited the class to talk about the importance of good dental health. This visitor is very special to Mrs. Campbell because he is her father! He visits her class each year to share his knowledge of dentistry. Thank you to Dr. Bewick and Ann for visiting our students!
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South Haven students learn about farming and planting

The Porter County Soil and Water Conservation spoke with our second grade students at South Haven Elementary about farming and planting! The students were able to plant seeds in a miniature terrarium and conducted an experiment. The students were very excited to receive soybean crayons, pencils, and barn-shaped erasers from their visitors. Thank you to Porter County Soil & Water Conservation District for sharing your knowledge with our students!
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Kyle students earn CiCi's Pizza lunch and limo ride

A group of Kyle Elementary students recently earned a limo ride to CiCi’s Pizza for lunch! These students were the top sellers at their school for the Portage Township Education Foundation Fundraiser. Thank you to these students for supporting our education foundation, who provides our staff with grants to fund innovative projects in our schools!
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Willowcreek students learn how to ski and snowboard

A group of 23 of our Willowcreek Middle School students traveled to Swiss Valley Ski & Snowboard Area in Jones, MI earlier this month! While there, our students learned how to ski or snowboard. Kids had a great day learning a new sport, being outdoors, and spending time with friends or making new ones. What a fun trip!
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Aylesworth students manufacture towers

Our Aylesworth Elementary students in Ms. Gasaway's class recently engineered towers! They were given the same items and amounts of each and challenged to create the tallest tower. This activity required some planning, so they brainstormed ways to make their ideas work before implementing a plan. They were also asked to make observations along the way to better their structures. Upon completion, they reflected on their creations and were given a second chance to modify their designs. They did a great job modifying their structures and creating amazing towers!
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Willowcreek Team E advances to State

Willowcreek Porta-Botz Robotic Team ‘E’ consisting of Olivia Nemecek, Hayden Oroz, and Alyssa Taing received the Excellence Award at the Nativity of Our Savior VEX Competition earlier this month! They will advance to the VEX State Competition at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on March 7. Congratulations!
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Fegely sixth grade classroom wins the "Gold Broom Award"

Our Fegely Middle School custodial supervisors, Ms. Olin and Mr. Gordon, are rewarding students who help take care of their school! They give the coveted Clean Broom Award to classrooms in which the students pick up after themselves and keep their space clean. This month, the sixth grade Read to Succeed class earned the award! They said they are responsible for their own messes, and they encourage everyone can help keep the school a clean and healthy place to learn! Great job!
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Fegely comes together to support fellow student

When one of our students found out he would need surgery followed by a recovery period, the students and staff at Fegely Middle School made sure he knew he had their support and good thoughts!

Last week, the students and staff wore red to school in a show of support, and they sent him these photos so he would remember all of the people who would be thinking of him. What a wonderful and kind gesture! This is what it means to be part of the #FegelyFamily!

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Anyone with a child who will be five years or older by August 1 should attend Kindergarten Roundup on March 11! There are two conveniently scheduled sessions to choose from: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. or 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Kindergarten Registration is now open! Visit out website at and click on the Kindergarten Round-Up link for instructions on how to complete your registration and documents to bring to Round-Up Day.

See the flyer below for more information.

Questions? Email us at

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