Upshur County Schools to remain on ‘blended’ model through end of 2020

Editor’s note: The follow is a press release issued by Upshur County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus Thursday afternoon.

BUCKHANNON — Upshur County Schools will remain on a blended operational model through the remainder of the 2020 Calendar Year. Students will continue to attend in-person school as part of Group A on Mondays and Thursdays or Group B on Tuesdays and Fridays. School will continue to dismiss at 2:00 p.m., and Wednesdays will remain full-time remote for instruction.

This decision follows the recommendation of the Upshur County Schools Re-Entry Advisory Council, which has been meeting since just after the mid-point of the first nine-week term.

“Two themes have emerged from our Re-entry Advisory Council meetings,” said Dr. Sara Stankus, Superintendent. “These include the need to revise our plan for more than just the next nine weeks; the re-entry plan needs to discuss our options for the remainder of the 20-21 school year. Also, the virus spread in the community indicates that we must continue to exercise caution with in-person instruction.”

Upshur County Schools also distributed a survey to its families in October asking for feedback on remote instruction and re-entry. One of the major notes to come out of that survey was the fact that our families want in-person instruction to resume.

The blended model allows for the necessary caution yet recognizes the importance of in-person instruction.

Attendance decisions will be consistent with the School Alert System map issued by the West Virginia Department of Education on Saturdays.

“We will continue to share with our families the information regarding the Saturday map designations. We understand the stress that the uncertainty causes for our families and our employees,” Stankus said. Along with sharing information, Upshur County Schools will continue to work closely with public health authorities to limit virus spread to allow for in-person instruction more consistently.

The blended model will continue through the end of the calendar year, and the central office, board of education, and the Re-entry Advisory Council will continue to meet to develop an outline of what school will look like after the holiday break in January.

Regarding food for next week, Wednesday is Veterans Day, so food box delivery is going to be on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 curbside from 11:00-1:00. Assuming we are back in school next week, we will be serving 3-day boxes for blended students and 5-day boxes for full time virtual. You may pick up the food boxes at any school near you or the Upshur County Warehouse. Thank you again for your patience as we work to keep our students, staff, and community safe.

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