Classes go virtual due to power outage

Daniela Abrams, News Editor

After a power outage that resulted in the shutting down of the CESJDS Upper School campus, classes returned to virtual learning for one day. PEPCO has been working day and night to help locate the root of the problem so that students can return to the building shortly. 

Rabbi Mitchel Malkus received a text from the director of facilities and operations Izzy Moskowitz just before seven on Monday morning letting him know that sections of the building were without power. Because many students had already started their commute, school remained in session with some adjustments. 

“Once we heard that it was safe to have classes in the building, but that just certain classes would be without power… Dr. Vardi was in touch with all the faculty and staff and alerted them and also asked them to make alternate arrangements in case they were in sections of the building without power,” Malkus said. 

Teachers who taught in sections of the school without power had to slightly adjust their lesson plans and rearrange the location of their classrooms. However, it did not cause a big disruption in the school day, and lesson plans were able to proceed fairly normally. 

“The lights being off actually worked to our advantage, as it made for a generally calm environment with students working,” high school history teacher Matt Cohen said. “My exhibition hall class had to move outside, but those students enjoyed being out there and worked really well.”

Although many rearrangements were made in classrooms, the students also felt that school resumed smoothly and that the situation was handled well. “It was a morning of some adaptation, but it actually worked out okay. I’m glad the school is getting it fixed,” senior Naomi Gould said. 

While classes were able to resume somewhat ordinarily, the school lunch program had to proceed without power and made many adjustments in order to serve students lunch. 

“[The lack of power in the cafeteria] was actually a difficult one,” Malkus said. “What we’ve done this year is make all of the food at the Upper School… but then also deliver at the Lower school, and we had to figure that out.” 

During the school day, PEPCO could not identify the root of the power outage, which necessitated them to shut down the power in the building. School, therefore, had to close at 4:30 and all after school sports were canceled. 

“[PEPCO] couldn’t give us a timeline for when they could fully restore power,” Malkus said. “The last we heard they were going to continue to work at the Upper School until twelve tonight (Oct. 18) …although it is unlikely [power will be restored].”

Students are taking advantage of this two hour delay and virtual learning day. Gould is excited to catch up on sleep and have a day of rest. 

“Five day weeks have been really stressful,” Gould said. “But kind of throwing it back to last year and bringing back a bit of that nostalgia will actually be a really refreshing interruption in the normal schedule.”