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Superintendent of Upshur County Schools Christy Miller

Upshur County Schools releases Q&A in response to public questions

BUCKHANNON — At the Dec. 19 Upshur County Board of Education meeting, multiple members of the public asked questions about the school system, and this week, Upshur County Superintendent of Schools Christy Miller released a Q&A with updates and answers to many of those questions.

Here is that document in full:


School-level academic data meetings were conducted earlier this month. Analysis yields data for school teams to generate action plans which positively impact student learning. Next steps beginning in February will include school-level audits of instruction and the student learning environment.

Upshur County Schools held its second county-wide professional development session on the Science of Reading.  This session was led by building-level administrators, School Improvement Specialists and Marshall University Literacy Office’s Leah Sparks. UCS is using a department-suggested resource, Mighty Moves, allowing a deeper dive into the strategies and knowledge needed by staff to implement the SOR.  The county is also currently examining phonics programs to be used in all classrooms.

Superintendent Miller has recently attended meetings of the Upshur County Chamber of Commerce, Upshur County Development Authority and Upshur County Library Board. She also presented the Excess Levy to the County Commission and met with Forge Business Solutions to support business and industry.  Feedback from the latter can be used within the county’s strategic plan and potentially identify CTE opportunities at the middle and high school levels. 

UCS has scheduled professional development throughout the rest of the year in the following areas:

  • WVDE Policy 2419 – Regulations for the Education of Students with Exceptionalities
  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
  • Specially Designed Instruction (SDI)
  • Countywide Teachers Academy
  • Phonics
  • Special Education Academy
  • Rigorous Curriculum Design

The county has secured the services of NEOLA for the full review and subsequent revisions of its policies. The first set of policies will go out for public comment on January 24, 2024.   

Questions & Answers

What will be the start and dismissal times of schools for the 24-25 school year?

Start and dismissal times for the 24-25 school year are yet to be determined.  Upshur County Schools is evaluating relative information.  Many variables influence this process.  This may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • All schools must meet the minimum number of instructional minutes required per day set forth in West Virginia Code §18-5-45.
  • Bus runs will be examined to measure overall transportation efficiency. This also includes an assessment of current student enrollment which may result in a decrease or increase in the number of stops on any given bus run. This may or may not result in changes to existing bus runs.
  • The county must adhere to West Virginia Code §18-5-45 which mandates the school calendar shall provide for one hundred eighty separate instructional days or an equivalent amount of instructional time.

Is the board/county considering the potential cost of adjusting bus routes?

A cost/benefit analysis is part of any such process.

Has the county communicated with daycare and afterschool care facilities to see if they can adequately handle the impact of any proposed changes? AND/OR What is the plan for elementary students who may not have anyone to receive them stops? (It should be asked if time changes will impact parents on this front.)

UCS (Upshur County Schools) has not completed its internal processes of assessment regarding start and finish times for the 24-25 school year.  The county will work with stakeholders to address concerns that may arise from any adjustment to school start and finish times.  Stakeholders are encouraged to reach out to Superintendent Miller with potential concerns. 

Are there available copies of the county’s audit?

County board audits are filed on the WV State Auditor’s site at the following link: https://www.wvsao.gov/ChiefInspector/Default#AuditReports.

Which accounts did the repayment funds come from? 

Most of the repayment of funds came from the general fund balance.  These are discretionary funds.  The county also had the ability to shift about $105,000 of unauthorized expenses from Title and ESSER funds to the general fund.

How long might the WVDE’s intervention in Upshur County Schools last? 

There are many variables which may impact a county’s intervention timeline.  However, a recent analysis indicated the average length of intervention to be 6.9 years.

Matters pertaining to ongoing investigations and personnel 

Neither Upshur County Schools nor the WVDE comments on matters pertaining to ongoing investigations and/or personnel.

Additional concerns & questions

Additional items related to the day-to-day operations of Upshur County Schools and/or the WVDE may be directed to Superintendent Miller or Jeffrey Kelley.

Christy Miller
Superintendent Upshur County Schools

Jeffrey Kelley
Assistant Superintendent WVDE District & School Accountability

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