B-UHS students losing a graduation credit

A change to a class credit for some seniors, juniors and sophomores at Buckhannon-Upshur High School could change their grade-point averages and class rankings, and may potentially affect scholarship opportunities.

Principal Robert Wilmoth explained during Tuesday’s Upshur County Board of Education meeting that a developmental reading class, taken four years ago in grades six through eight by the affected students, gave them high school credit for a class when it should not have.

The potential problem was first noticed when current seniors were in their sophomore years, Wilmoth said, adding that officials worked with the Regional Educational Service Agency at that point in time. He said he followed RESA’s corrections at that point in time.

“We believed we had that problem solved,” he said. “It turned out that we did not have that problem solved until it was re-recognized again.”

Wilmoth said that the problem was brought to his attention again a few months ago.

“We’ve looked through those students and tried to see whether we had any that would be adversely affected or not. We don’t believe that we do,” Wilmoth said.

The correction already has been made to the current senior class credits. Wilmoth said that the corrections also will be made to the sophomore and junior classes. He said that a couple of parents already had contacted him about the changes.

Wilmoth said he explained the changes to a family whose daughter’s grades will significantly change. He said the family seemed to understand and accept the changes.

“Their daughter’s situation changed significantly, but they understand,” Wilmoth said. “They understand how it happened, how we tried to correct it, how the correction made the difference that it did and (they) are satisfied.”

Briea St. Clair, a high school senior serving as a student representative on the Board of Education, said she knew the student Wilmoth was referring to. St. Clair said the student contacted her about the issue and seemed to be very upset by the changes.

“She (the student) was having a bunch of people who were also upset about it sign something. That’s all I heard about it,” St. Clair said.

Board member Patrick Long said that the timing of the notice was bad.

“That was some of the concern I heard,” Long said. “It came out right before spring break, and then no one is at the high school to talk to.”

Wilmoth said that he didn’t want to give out the changed report cards without some kind of explanation.