PTS News

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

November 1, 2019

Welcome to the end of a short school week! We hope you all had a great Fall Break last weekend and that you could spend some extra time with your family and friends.


Make sure to mark your calendars for the important dates listed below. There are a few calendar items for the month of November that include an E-Learning Day, Late Start Wednesday, and a few days off of school. You will also see that we have a lot to celebrate this week, so don't miss out on all of the great news things happening in our schools!

UPCOMING DATES

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PHS THESPIANS PRESENT: "CHECK, PLEASE!"

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CURRICULAR FEE INVOICES ARE IN THE MAIL!

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Invoices for the 2019-2020 Curricular Fees have been mailed home to all PTS families of students in grades K-8. Families of high school students will receive their invoices soon.


There are four convenient ways for families to pay their child's fees:

Click here to access eFunds and make a payment online.

Call your child's school or the PTS Administration Building to make a payment over the phone.

Visit your child's school or the PTS Administration Building to make a payment in person.

Mail your payment to your child's school.


Important notes:

Those paying by check should make them our to Portage Township Schools or PTS.

If you have been approved for textbook assistance, the funds have not yet been applied to your account.


Questions? Contact the PTS Administration Building at (219)762-6511.

FEGELY MIDDLE SCHOOL TO HOST McTEACHERS NIGHT

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DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP: How to set Social Media boundaries

Many people have an account on at least one social media site, and children and teenagers are often no exception to this. We know that monitoring your child's social media use is a vital to their safety and emotional well-being, but knowing which apps are out there and setting guidelines for your child can be overwhelming.



Common Sense Media is an organization that offers a wealth of information to families and educators regarding good digital citizenship, the practice of being an upstanding citizen in a digital world. There are three excellent articles on their website that help families set boundaries and guidelines for children of all ages on social media apps.



Social Media Rules for Elementary-Aged Students

While elementary-aged children may not be using the more popular social media sites, they are engaging in digital worlds such as Club Penguin or Poptropica. In this article, Common Sense Media talks about digital worlds and how you can set up guidelines for your child that will set the stage for responsible social media use later in life. Some of the highlights from the article include the following tips:


  • Keep your child's device or computer in a central location in your household, and monitor your child while they are using it.
  • Set up an account with your child and know their username and password. Encourage your child to keep their unique password private.
  • Make sure you research the app and have a discussion with your child about being kind to other and what to do if they see something inappropriate.
  • Set time limits for social media/digital world use.



Social Media Rules for Middle School-Aged Students

Approximately age 13 is when many middle school students progress from using digital worlds to wanting to have an account on a social networking site, such as Facebook or Twitter. This article from Common Sense Media helps parents set guidelines for managing an account on a social networking site. Before your child sets up an account, follow these tip for setting boundaries for your child:


  • Follow the terms of use for the social media site, including adhering to their rules for age. Most social media networks require that users be at least 13 years old.
  • Help your child with their privacy settings so you know who can see your child's content. This is a good opportunity to talk about the importance of maintaining their privacy on social media sites.
  • Remind your child to think before they post. Social media sites offer a degree of anonymity that can provide users with some bravado in their posts. If they wouldn't say the post to someone's face, they should not be posting it to social media. Certain comments made on social media can even have ramifications at school.



Social Media Rules for High School-Aged Students

Social media use is prevalent among high school students. Most families hope that, by this age, their children have good citizenship habits and can be safe and productive while online. There are still some good practices families can follow to help encourage responsible social media use. This article from Common Sense Media encourages families to take the following steps to further enhance your child's social media experience:


  • Talk to your child about their online reputation. Anything they post can potentially be seen by anyone and shared across multiple platforms. Be honest, but kind, on social media, just as you would be in real life.
  • Remind your child to check their privacy settings and avoid posting their location. Social media sites do this to help people connect, but it's a bad idea for teenagers to advertise the places they frequent and when they are there.
  • Help your child set time limits. Hours can easily fly by when using social media, which could have a negative impact on your child's commitments.



Do you or your family need additional help? Reach out to us at ptscommunications@portage.k12.in.us if you have questions regarding social media apps and how to set boundaries for your child.

HAPPY 7TH BIRTHDAY, ISAIAH!

Portage Township Schools would like to wish a happy 7th birthday to our Compassionate K9, Isaiah! Stationed at Portage High School, Isaiah serves as a comfort dog to students and staff who are in need of some extra compassion. The students love seeing him every day, and he enjoys receiving some extra belly rubs during passing periods.


Happy Birthday, Isaiah, and thank you for all you do!

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GOOD NEWS AT PORTAGE

Marching Band makes State and Bands of America appearances

The Pride of Portage Marching Band was busy last weekend with two competitions and performances! Their Saturday began with the Bands of America competition, where they performed at Lucas Oil Stadium. The second performance of the day was at the State meet, where rain forced the band inside to perform their music. Great job to our talented Marching Band students!
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Girls Cross Country qualifies for State

Congratulations to the Portage High School girls cross country team making it to State! Their fourth-place finish at the New Prairie Semi-State meet qualified them for this weekend's meet in Terra Haute. Wish them luck!
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Elwood has strong performance at XC Semi-State

Congratulation to PHS senior and boys cross country runner Tommy Elwood on his recent trip to Semi-State! He had a strong performance and has made us #PortageProud during his cross country career at PHS. Great job, Tommy!


Photo courtesy of Portage.Life

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MCJROTC brings back awards from Michigan City Drill Meet

Congratulations to Portage High School's MCJROTC on their outstanding performance at last weekend's Michgan City Drill Meet! The team placed first in Armed and Unarmed Exhibition and First Cadet, second in Inspection, and third in Armed and Unarmed Platoon. They also placed in the very competitive and difficult Knock Out competition. Great job to our cadets!

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Portage Robotics hosts Girl (Em)Powered Summit

The Portage High School robotics team hosted a panel of 15 successful and diverse career women at Portage High School! These women shared their expertise and experience with 42 energetic young ladies from grades 4 through 12.


The day began with formal introductions from the panel participants and a keynote address from PTS Superintendent, Dr. Alaniz. The students then viewed a video of the recent all-female spacewalk.


These introductory activities were followed by speed networking, career sharing, and activity stations with the panel participants. After lunch, the members of the She Can TEch women's STEM group moderated a heartfelt discussion and Q&A session with the panel members. Their stories empowered and inspired the young ladies in attendance.


The event was co-hosted by Portage Robotics, the Porta-Botz! and She Can Tech, and made possible by a contingent generous student and parent volunteers. The Summit experience was the only one of its kind for Northwest Indiana. It is the mission of Portage Robotics to engage the community at multiple levels, actively promote STEM, and to pursue and involve traditionally under-represented populations in the STEM fields.


Thank you to Portage Robotics, sponsor Mr. Kappes, the She Can Tech team, and our panel of volunteers for hosting this life-changing and groundbreaking event!

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PHS art students showcase quarter 1 projects

The art student at Portage High School have been learning a lot and showcasing their new talents. Check out some of the students' artwork they created during the first quarter of the school year.
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Fegely PLTW creates modified playground prototypes


Our seventh grade Project Lead the Way students at Fegely Middle School were recently tasked with designing and prototyping a piece of playground equipment modified for students with physical special needs. Some groups focused on wheelchair accessibility, while others focused on hand grips. Some groups modified more advanced equipment with safety harnesses. One group even created a trampoline with several safety precautions and modifications! Great job to our PLTW students!

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Universal Technical Institute visits with PHS students

Our Portage High School Engineering and Technology Department recently welcomed Andrew Brasher, an Admissions Representative from The Universal Technical Institute, to speak with our students! Mr. Brasher spoke on the wide variety of technical schools and professional training UTI offers, such as automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, marine, welding, CNC machining, and even NASCAR. It was an interesting and informative presentation. Thank you to Mr. Brasher and the Universal Technical Institute for sharing the programs that are available to our students upon graduating high school!

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Fegely participates in practical Fitness Lab

The health classes at Fegely Middle School took their review of Health Related Fitness Components to the gym for a practical application Fitness Lab! The student did great and had fun while reviewing for their assessment. Some students even enjoyed a little competition among peers and one of their SROs, Officer Crayne! Great job!

MCJROTC participates in commissioning of USS Indianapolis

Our Portage High School MCJROTC students participated in the Commissioning Ceremony for the USS Indianapolis this weekend at the Port of Indiana! The students assisted with some of the final preparations Saturday morning prior to the ceremony. The cadets enjoyed being part of this historic event!

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