BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – On Monday, July 6, Upshur County Board of Education members voted to extend the discussion of the school re-entry plan until Friday, July 10. In doing so, the board members wanted to further involve school personnel in the decision-making process by requesting their insight through an additional survey, according to a release.
Surveys were used to collect anonymous information from students, families and community members in order to make informed decisions regarding re-entry for the 2020-2021 academic school year. Board officials explained that more than 1,800 individuals responded.
Officials stated that based on the community survey results, the preferred option for re-entry involves returning to school. Dr. Sara Lewis-Stankus, Superintendent of Upshur County Schools explained that even though the current, preferred option is to return to a five-day schooling week with distancing measures put into place, that may not be totally set in stone.
“While a preferred option is a five-day week, we understand that we may have to alter those plans. We will remain flexible, and we will work with local health authorities as well as state health and education officials to keep as many children in school, as much as possible,” Dr. Lewis-Stankus explained. “We may temporarily close individual schools, or schedules may be altered. We may use a combination of in-person and online learning. In any event, we will strive to give you, our families, timely information so you can plan appropriately. If your student needs to stay home, we have hired a remote learning teacher to meet their needs.”
In a time of uncertainty, the Upshur County School system is preparing to get back to the business of teaching and learning. As we anticipate the reopening of schools, we are taking precautionary measures to ensure that our students and school personnel are safe. The input offered through the Re-entry Survey, the re-entry stakeholder group, as well as, guidance from local and state health and education officials, is driving our reentry plan.
“Upshur County is a unique and supportive community. They are very involved, value education, and understand the importance of what we do as a school system. We wanted to hear from our families and stakeholders,” Dr. Lewis-Stankus said. “They are key to our success as a school system and community!”
Dr. Tammy Samples, Upshur County Board of Education President, shared, “On behalf of the board, we wanted to let you know that all parties are working tirelessly to create an environment that keeps all of our stakeholders safe. We want our children back in school focused on learning. We continue to consult with experts to find the best, safest way to return to school.”
Upshur County Schools and the Board of Education have stated that they will continue to work closely with health and education officials to ensure the very best safety measures and education opportunities are offered for our students.
The students of Upshur County are a top priority for the school board, and they will continue to do all that they can to meet their needs, whether that be through in-class or remote learning opportunities.