For the last several weeks, school board members, Upshur County Schools administrators, the Upshur County Health Department, Buckhannon-Upshur High School personnel and Delegate Robbie Martin held numerous meetings to plan a graduation ceremony that would keep all graduates and guests safe with social distancing at the Football Stadium.
Mr. Wilson (senior class advisor) and Mr. Vincent (principal) created a seating chart, including six feet spacing to meet social distancing guidelines, arranged for assistance with guest-seating, and designed a complete plan for the entire ceremony to ensure the safety of all involved. This plan was approved by Dr. Joseph B. Reed of the Upshur County Health Department and then shared with Dr. Catherine Slemp, of the WVDHHR, Bureau for Public Health, who serves as Commissioner and State Health Officer. Delegate Martin forwarded the plan to the Governor’s Office and spoke with a representative from that office.
Because this plan includes more than 25 persons, the Governor's Office declined to approve the plan as presented. Upshur County Schools is, therefore, unable to proceed with this graduation ceremony plan at this time.
The B-UHS Graduation Committee created a secondary plan that still allows graduates to receive their diplomas on May 22. The graduation ceremony is now tentatively scheduled for June 26. Graduates can choose to participate in either one, or both, of those ceremonies, or opt to have their diplomas mailed.
While we are saddened by the directive from the Governor's Office and we understand that graduates and their families are disappointed, we cannot disregard the Governor’s directive during these unprecedented and unfortunate days of the pandemic. Student, family and staff safety are always our number one priority.