BUCKHANNON – Upshur County Board of Education members finally approved revisions to Policy 8006 during their most recent meeting, Aug. 10, where it passed by a 4-1 vote.
The revisions to the original policy outlining salary schedules and other supplemental compensation were approved follow a third and final reading at the BOE’s July 27 meeting.
At the July 27 meeting, Upshur BOE members voted to table the policy.
Policy 8006 deals with compensation, outlining how Upshur County Schools configures salary schedules and supplemental compensation for employees of the Upshur County Board of Education, taking into consideration teacher-to-pupil ratios; supplements for principals, assistant principals; supervisors and directors; school counselors; and librarians and media specialists.
Also outlined in the updated policy are salary schedules and supplemental pay for the following positions, individuals with specific certifications, or instructors in certain circumstances: co-curricular music positions; extracurricular coaching positions at Buckhannon-Upshur High and Middle Schools; extracurricular positions at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle and High Schools; extracurricular positions at elementary schools; professional support personnel at the central office; substitute teacher pay; compensation for teachers covering classes during their planning periods; National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification salary bonus program; service personnel salaries; and other items such as jury duty, travel allowances; and tuition assistance.
A copy of Policy 8006 may be viewed here.
During a prior meeting, BOE member Kristi Wilkerson had pointed out that the policy removed five days from the B-UHS Librarian/Media Specialist, moving that position from 205 days to 200 days. Wilkerson objected to that because the position brings programing and extra opportunities to B-UHS students, such as a free book for every B-UHS student. Wilkerson said she felt the extra five days allowed for the librarian to offer these programs which were of great benefit to the B-UHS student body.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Wilkerson said she still had questions about how some of the compensations amounts were determined and distributed.
“The numbers proposed for the choir directors and band directors seem a little bit out of whack,” Wilkerson said. “I am just unclear on how these numbers came to be and I just wanted to share that concern.”
BOE member Pat Long made the motion to approve Policy 8006 and the motion received a second from BOE member Dr. Greenbrier Almond. The policy was approved with a 4-1 vote with Wilkerson voting not to pass Policy 8006.
During the July 27, 2021, BOE meeting, public comments and questions from BOE members led to the policy committee to take a final look at the policy for updates before presenting it for its final reading. Folks had questions about the ‘equity of some of the supplements’ and asked about why some positions did not receive supplements. In that meeting, the passage of Policy 8006 was tabled and BOE members instructed Upshur County Assistant Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Harrison to send an email and allow individuals one week to respond with comments.
During that prior BOE meeting, Joseph Hymes, who teaches agriculture education at Buckhannon-Upshur High School questioned the equity in being hired as a 200-day employee while working side-by-side with an agriculture instructor who had a 230-day contract. Hymes also said the proposed $400 supplement for the agriculture education instructor had previously been split among the instructors.
Allyson Lewis, who also is an agriculture educator, spoke during that meeting, saying her contract was for 220 days and asked why some vocational clubs such as FBLA received a stipend while other clubs — such as DECA and Educators Rising — did not receive stipends.
Other questions included paying only for a single head girls and boys track coach with four assistant coaches rather than having one girls head coach and one boys head coach for track and field. That provision was removed, and each track team retains a head coach.
In other business, Upshur County Schools Facilities Director Tim Derico reminded BOE members that their focus needs to be on the 10-year CEFP (the Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan).
“I think as we move into the new school year, our focus needs to be on that,” Derico said. “What we do know is that the folks in our planning committee and from our community have determined that Buckhannon-Upshur High and Middle Schools are the priority. I think our focus needs to be directed to these schools in the next several months as we move forward.”
Upshur County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus told members she would like to invite the architect to come and speak at the next BOE meeting about the priorities of the CEFP as they begin moving in that direction. Long agreed that would be helpful and thanked Derico and his crew for all of their hard work over the summer.
Also, during Tuesday’s BOE meeting, board members took the following actions:
Voted to approve a request from the FFA to transport students to the National Convention.
Learned from the new Virtual Learning Coordinator Stacy Marteney that to date, there are 78 Upshur County students in grades K-12 enrolled in virtual learning for the 2021-2022 school year.
The next Upshur County Board of Education meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24, at Buckhannon-Upshur High School auditorium.