BUCKHANNON — Several students were recognized at the Upshur County Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening for their dedication and participation in the virtual program this year, directed by Virtual Learning Coordinator Jenny Drake. Like most students and staff across the nation, Upshur Schools continue to have a challenging school year composed of new technology, new learning platforms, and so much more.
Drake noted that these students have pushed extremely hard to exceed expectations throughout the rigorous program. The Upshur Stars recognized were as follows: Aubree Bozic, Maria “Mia” Bozic, Jozef Bednarski, Sophia Jack, Kayla Oldaker, Gwendolyn Rogosky, Liam Rogosky, Aubry Shay, Gareth Shay and Samantha Shay.
Also recognized as an Upshur Star was Rock Cave Elementary School Kindergarten Aide Chrissy Anderson. Rock Cave Principal Amanda Craig explained that Anderson is always willing to help, treats all of her students fairly, and goes beyond normal expectations. She also noted that Anderson is certainly an asset to RCES.
Newly appointed Student Board Representative Maggie Nolte was also recognized at the meeting Tuesday evening. Nolte was selected by Mr. Michael Wilson and B-UHS principal Mr. Jon Pollock. Dr. Sara Stankus welcomed Nolte in her new role as the “Student Voice.”
Technology Systems and Digital Communication Specialist Kayla Yocum provided an overview of updates with the one-to-one Apple technology occurring within the schools. Yocum explained that Schoology Professional Development opportunities are currently being offered to Upshur County teachers, counselors and administrators. These virtual sessions are optional; however, they can be accessed through a Schoology group at the leisure of the those interested. The technology team also met with Angela Miller from Apple to discuss future goals and gained insight regarding “what’s next?” According to Yocum, “We are continuing to develop our plan and will offer support and learning opportunities that will further support our innovative classrooms in the upcoming year. What a wonderful opportunity it was to meet with this team and reflect on how far we have come in a year.”
The technology team is also applying for the Apple Learning Coach program, which according to Yocum, will allow them to gain knowledge and skills while being able to collaborate with other technology specialists across the nation. She noted, “We look forward to providing additional support that will allow us to support teachers with digital lessons that positively impact innovative classrooms.”
Director of Safety and Emergency, Dr. Jeffrey Harvey provided an update regarding case numbers and vaccinations within Upshur County Schools. Based on Harvey’s data, there were currently four positive cases amongst students and 74 individuals within the school system that are quarantined. Although these numbers have increased slightly since the beginning of March, they are still significantly lower than the beginning of the year.
Additionally, 412 staff have received their first vaccination and 399 have received their second dose, leaving only approximately 13 staff left to be fully vaccination. Harvey noted that the 412 number includes school faculty/staff, substitutes, and partners such as Pre-K providers, contract social services in the schools, etc. “It also includes our initial efforts to support the vaccination of the family members of our employees,” he added. Their partners also indicate that 65 individuals, in addition to the 412, between the ages of 16 and 18 have received the vaccine.