Upshur County Schools announces back-to-school plan

BUCKHANNON — The Upshur County Board of Education voted last night to require face coverings indoors while the community status is Orange or Red on the WVDHHR COVID-19 County Alert System map. The board members passed a motion to implement the following guidelines for Upshur County Schools:

  • Face coverings will be required for all students and staff while indoors, regardless of vaccination status while the county is orange or red status on the WVDHHR County Alert System ( This system updates daily.
  • Non-compliance by staff will be addressed by administrators following county face covering non-compliance information and procedures.
  • Student non-compliance will be addressed utilizing the disciplinary measures as identified in the student code of conduct and protocol at school level.
  • Face coverings are required on all buses regardless of the WVDHHR County Alert System per the CDC order.

Dr. Sara Lewis-Stankus, Superintendent, commented, “We have opened the school year with a focus on collaborating with all stakeholders to accomplish a shared goal. That goal is to keep Upshur County Schools open for learning, and our charge is to do what is necessary to keep our students and staff safe. We understand we will have to remain flexible and ready to pivot as the COVID-19 and variant situation demands.”

Dr. Jeffery Harvey, Director of Safety and Emergency Preparedness, stated, “Protecting the health and well-being of our students and staff will continue to be of the highest priority, with many of the preventive health protocols that we embraced last year remaining in place. This includes following the mitigation strategies, which have shown to be effective in keeping our schools safe. These strategies include: consistent use of face coverings, hand hygiene, social distancing to the largest extent possible, proper cleaning and disinfection, and contact tracing in collaboration with our local health department.”

To reiterate the guidelines set forth by the Board of Education, face coverings will be required indoors for all Upshur County students and staff regardless of vaccination status, while we are in Orange or Red status on the WVDHHR County Alert System. Face coverings must be worn at all times while on buses or other school transportation, regardless of color-coded map status.

As explained by the infographic, in the event of exposure, contact tracing will be conducted and families will be contacted by a member of the Upshur County Schools Board Office or the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department. Individuals who are wearing face coverings will not need to quarantine while awaiting test results.

School officials encourage families to visit for additional information and resources.

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