Power lines down, students have virtual learning


At the end of March, specifically the weekend of the 24th, there was a severe thunderstorm which had high mile per hour winds. Due to these winds, many trees were blown over, as well as power lines. Thousands of houses went without power for multiple days, and in some cases, when the power would come back on, it would be shut off again shortly after. This was the case for the school, but the power did not come back on so easily.

All across Freedom, Conway, New Sewickley and most of Western Pennsylvania, people were affected by this severe storm. Power went out in houses, businesses and of course, schools. This made it extremely difficult for people to go about their normal lives, especially for students. With modern day classrooms and technologies, this is very understandable, as without the power, it was very difficult for students to learn and do assignments. Internet connections were lost as well, and it became hard to recharge devices. 

“With the power being off and on, I went to sleep for most of it. I also spent time and talked a lot with my family,” sophomore Richard Wasko said. “The weekend that the power went out, it lasted one day from three in the afternoon until three in the morning. Then another time from one to six in the evening. Now after everything, the lights in my room still flicker, but not anywhere else in the house.” 

The school had a couple virtual learning days during the week, as they were still waiting for the power to be completely fixed. One problem with this though was that some students still experiencing power outages did not have an internet connection to join their classes. These virtual days were flexed in with the days allotted for spring break, and in the end, the students did not have to make up any days during break for these virtual learning days. 

“I cleaned up around my house, more mainly out of boredom,” freshman ZeShawn Williams said. 

There was limited time for the downed power lines to be fixed. Since there were only a few heavily damaged poles and lines at the school, one would think that a fix would be manageable over the couple day weekend. Unfortunately, that was not the case, since the rest of Western Pennsylvania had also been heavily hit by this storm. This caused a delay in the fixture, as many members of electric companies had their focus set on fixing the general population’s power lines. 

Once the power was finally back on for most students and the school, normal activities resumed during the week. Students and staff were flexible with the changes, and still accomplished what they needed to academically.