By ISAAC MEJIA, ARIANA GHALMBOR, NYLA DE CARVALHO and HANNAH PATRICK
Redlands Unified School District parents, staff and students were notified on Monday, Oct. 26 about the power outages that affected local areas and impacted the online learning experience for students and teachers.
Southern California Edison customers in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino county experienced power outages. As many as 9,688 San Bernardino county customers were affected. The power outages throughout the counties occurred for two reasons: high winds and preventative measurements. According to the SCE website, “high winds can damage power lines.” As a safety precaution, they “shut off power in high fire risk areas as a result of extreme weather conditions.” The company restores power only after their crew inspects power lines and confirms that it is safe to do so.
Many students in or around the San Bernardino county area were among those affected and encountered the darkness within their houses and apartments. Some students reported that the stores and fast food restaurants in their areas were closed down by 1 p.m. in the afternoon. Others reported the produce in their refrigerator getting hot and spoiled or rotten, while others said they couldn’t shower, charge any electronics or do homework because the power was out. Some even chose to move locations temporarily.
Additionally, many students throughout the district struggled to attend classes. Even after the power went back on, Cyrus Engelsman, a junior at Redlands East Valley High School, said that he still continued to struggle. “The power outage left my house without power or internet all day,” Engelsman said, “I was not able to go to any of my classes and missed out on a lot. When the power came back, some of our light bulbs ended up dead, which was very unexpected.”
Teachers across the district had trouble using Zoom as well, as many of their students could not attend class as regularly scheduled. Jana Bailey, an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) coordinator from REV says, “It didn’t really affect me, but it affected a handful of my students.”
Wendy McClung, a mental health teacher, said she had to change her lesson plans for the day to accommodate her students’ needs. “Although my home was not affected by the outage, many of my students were unable to attend class. I spent much of my day responding to emails and being mindful about slowing down my lesson so those who had missed the day could easily catch up.”
While some students and staff of the district dealt with the power outages, it was found in a small study with a sample of 15 students that 60% had been affected. Anneliese Reese, a freshman at REV in the unaffected 40%, said, “Yuh, was all good.”