Triad smoothly manages power outage


A decision last year payed immediate dividends this year for the Triad Local School District.

Last year, the Triad Local School District made the decision to 1:1 learning, providing Chromebooks for each student. As part of the decision, the district installed generators at each building.

“In moving to 1:1, we knew that was one of the steps we had to take before we could get there,” said Triad Superintendent Vicki Hoffman. “Our concern was that if we lost power, learning would stop and we didn’t want that.”

Over the summer, the generators went online. Thursday and Friday, they were called into service.

Hoffman explained that during the morning session of classes Thursday, power went out to each district building. Within seconds, it was restored to all but the high school. She said power remained out for about an hour. Teachers were able to use ambient light and power was restored within an hour. She said all after-school activities went on as planned.

“About 9:30 or 10 p.m. last night, it went out again,” Hoffman said.

She explained that a teacher was still working in the building and quickly notified district officials. Hoffman said electricians worked through the night to get power back. Eventually, officials decided the building would not have power for the start of the day.

“We already had the generators hooked up to the buildings,” Hoffman said. “We didn’t have to bring anything in for that.”

She said the building had light and running water.

Hoffman said the generators powered most of the building but some rooms did not have lights and some appliances didn’t work.

“Every single outlet is not on a generator, but the building is,” Hoffman said.

She said the kitchen did not have the ability to cook food.

“But we came up with a lunch option that did not require stoves or power,” the superintendent said.

Officials said they provided peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

“We had other things we were able to provide to make sure it was a full lunch,” said High School Principal Kyle Huffman.

He said the lunches were provided free of charge. Students who packed their lunch were able to use microwaves.

“If a student had an allergy, a lunch was brought in from the middle school for them,” Huffman said.

Another issue was drinking water. Because the school’s water fountains were connected to outlets that did not have power, Hoffman purchased bottled water to have on hand for the students.

She said teachers made the best of the situation.

“Some teachers moved close to the windows,” Hoffman said. She added, “The internet worked outside, so we told teachers ‘It’s a beautiful day outside.’ So, they didn’t have to, but it was an option.”

District officials said the power outage reinforced the idea they had made the right decision.

“We did have a plan, we just didn’t know we would use it in the first week,” Hoffman said.

Tuesday was the first day of classes for Triad students.

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