Superintendent of Upshur County Schools Scott Lampinen presented information about the schools system to his fellow members of the Buckhannon Rotary Club at Tuesday's Buckhannon Rotary meeting.
Lampinen provided a few demographics about Upshur County Schools, as well as a slide show of photos about activities such as Red Ribbon Week, Rachel's Challenge, food collections and veterans ceremonies at local schools.
"We work very, very hard on the academic side, but we're also trying to impart a social conscience in our students," Lampinen said. "They live in this community. It's not just what's going on in their individual classrooms, but we're trying to provide those reach-out opportunities for our students."
The Inter-Mountain photos by Melissa Toothman
Superintendent of Upshur County Schools Scott Lampinen, a Rotarian, told the Buckhannon Rotary Club about county school demographics and activities Tuesday.
Club members saw images of students participating in renovations of Fred Eberle Technical Center, receiving hands-on instruction, participating in educational and community events and more. Photos of educators being recognized for their hard work were also among the images Lampinen shared in a slide show.
"Good things are happening day to day in each one of our schools," Lampinen said. "I could talk for hours just from my heart about the good things that are going on in Upshur County Schools."
Another piece of good news from Lampinen is that drop-out rates in the county are declining. He said through drop-out prevention programs and grants, the county hopes to keep the drop-out rate on the decline.
Upshur County Schools will host the Destination Graduation Forum that was postponed after Superstorm Sandy. The forum will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Engle Hall. It is open to the public.
The forum will focus on drop-out prevention measures and host communitywide discussion of issues and solutions to improving the graduation rate, as well as other issues that may be facing the county school system. Students, parents, guardians, family members, agencies, businesses, health professionals, educators, retirees and anyone else who is affected by or interested in the issues is encouraged to attend.
Lampinen said that of 3,859 students attending schools in Upshur County, 700 have disabilities, accounting for about 17 percent of the county's student population. Lampinen also said that attendance for those students is at 94 percent.
Lampinen said that as of Oct. 1, 61 percent of all students attending schools in the county are on free or reduced price meals.
"This is a startling statistic that has increased this year," Lampinen said. "Sixty-one percent of what we term in the school system are financially needy."
The county has 48 bus runs to transport students to and from school, traveling an estimated 2,800 or more miles daily.
The county employs 202 service workers, such as custodians, cooks and bus drivers. More than 350 professional employees, such as teachers, nurses, superintendents, librarians, serve the county schools. There are 213 substitutes employed by the Upshur County Board of Education.
"We have an economic impact on the community of Upshur by employing 766 people," Lampinen said.