BUCKHANNON — All members of the Upshur County Board of Education met on Tuesday to recognize students and staff, and to hear reports on each department as the school year draws to a close.
Following student and teacher recognitions, the Board received brief updates from all avenues of the school system, concluding the 2020-2021 school year.
First, a financial update from Jeff Perkins. Perkins addressed the Board’s realignment of funds, following several grants received for schools in the area. He reported that one grant was used to install WiFi in the homes of several in the system who needed it. In addition, Perkins discussed the funding of new school bus purchases for the following year. The financial report was accepted as presented.
Next, Mr. Tim Derico provided an update on facilities. He announced the completion of a roofing project at Union Elementary School, explaining that the construction is finished and the roof is back to functioning fully. The facilities crew continues preparing for summer, as they will complete several small projects before the full return of students in the fall. Derico added his collaboration with the Parks & Recreation department, as they continue finalizing plans for new trail heads and signs at B-UHS.
Following, Kayla Yocum provided a brief technology update. Yocum put together a survey for teachers regarding their Apple certification, increasing knowledge on the technology used to help teach students. Yocum continues to conduct the survey, but she has already collected data depicting that over 80 teachers are Apple certified, and over 60 teachers are in the process of receiving their certification. Overall, the survey shows teachers and staff members have become much more comfortable with the technology used in the school system. Although the school year is drawing to a close, Yocum and her team continue to resolve help desk tickets and provide assistance to students, families and staff members.
Dr. Jeff Harvey then provided a Safety and Emergency update. Harvey explained the current COVID-19 cases and quarantine numbers within the school system. After one small exposure incident, several students are completing quarantine, and returning to schools for the last days of instruction. Harvey continues working with local clinics to carry out more vaccination efforts, ensuring anyone interested in receiving the vaccine has access to do so. He is also working with the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department to construct safety procedures and guidelines for the Summer Learning activities planned for coming months.
Jody Johnson provided the final department report, regarding Student Achievements and Remote Learning. Wrapping up the school year, teachers have begun to finalize and enter grades. These grades will be used to report the progress of students in Upshur County once the assessments are finalized. This year, all B-UMS and B-UHS students received their schedule for the next academic semester, ensuring students know what is to come in the fall.
On Wednesday, upcoming 6th and 9th graders will visit the middle and high schools for the first time. In conclusion, Johnson also added that her team is working to provide a full-time remote option to students unable/unwilling to return to classrooms.
Following the department reports, the Board of Education worked to finalize the upcoming calendar for Pre-K, as well as announcing the dates of the upcoming BOE meetings in 2021-2022. These calendars can be accessed at www.UpshurSchools.com.
The next Board of Education meeting will take place on June 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium at B-UHS.