A big thank you to everyone for their understanding during a very crazy morning. We wanted to just update everyone on what happened today that resulted in the cancellation of school.
GPS was notified that LES did not have power while the buses were already on route to the schools. We knew that we still had bathrooms and water, so we had time to see if the power came back on. While we were dealing with that, the DCHS power went out and there were reports that there may have been a fire in the trees around DCHS. After a quick investigation, we were able to confirm that there were no trees on fire and the students and staff were safe. The backup generator kicked back on which allowed DCHS to have power again. We tried to get the first message out to everyone about what was going on, but our internet and phones were not working. The only thing we had working were cell phones. It took 20 mins for the message to successfully send. There are reports that some people still did not get that message. We sent it out by text, phone, email, app, website, and Facebook.
Reports then came in that JES and WMS were without power. We were in constant communication with our electrical company to see when the power might be restored as we knew we weren’t going to be able to feed our students if we didn’t receive power before then. Typically when the power goes out, they can usually have us up and running in half an hour. Because Jefferson is on a well, they did not have water to supply the bathrooms. Once we realized it was going to take 3 hours to get a generator hooked up to the well, we decided at that point that we needed to cancel school. We had also heard from the power company that there was a good chance it was going to take longer to get the power back up. This meant that there was a really good chance that power would not be restored to allow us to serve lunch at JES, LES, and WMS. At that point, the decision was clear that we needed to cancel school for the rest of the day. We immediately sent messages out to parents to come pick up their student(s). Again, our communication system took longer than we had hoped to get the message out. We were able to get all students home safely.
We are working on our communication systems to figure out why those are not working correctly and to ensure that we have backup systems in place. In order for GPS to ensure information reaches all parents, we have to have accurate contact information for all parents. Please make sure that you have updated all your contact information on Infinite Campus and that you have downloaded our app. This will ensure that we will be able to contact you in case of an emergency.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding through this difficult situation. It was awesome to see how responsive our parents were to help pick up their students in a timely fashion. We will be sending more information out in the near future about our communication systems and what would happen in case of school closures. Power has been restored in all buildings and at this point plan on having school tomorrow. Please stay safe.