by Joseph Sweeney | editor-in-chief
On the morning of Monday, Feb. 15, students woke up for a day of asynchronous learning amid winter storms. Little did they know that the snow would continue to fall, and the remainder of that school week would be cancelled.
“When the day started, not many people had problems just yet, because most people still had power, but by noon it was starting to affect different people, with losing power, and not being able to login,” principal Gary Comalander said. “It did get a little hectic at that point. By the time it got to the afternoon, we knew it was getting ready to be widespread within Northeast, with many people without power. That was about when the decision was made to go ahead and cancel the rest of the week and not do asynchronous or virtual learning. There were just too many people without power.”
Attendance and grades from the 15 have been waived by the district, and it is currently unlikely that schools will have to make up the remaining four days from that week.
“What we had to do was we had to go back to apply for a waiver to be able to cancel those days and not have to make them up, because in a normal situation, if we were to, let’s say, not have school one day because of ice, like we’ve had in the past, typically we would have to make that day up, because we to be in school for so many hours,” Comalander said. “Now, working with the state, due to such a long extended time, because really, the entire state was having issues, they would waive those days and would not have to make them up. The waiver goes through the state next week, and, as long as it’s approved, we would not make those days up.”
Sports matches set for the week of Feb. 15 have also been rescheduled.
“Soccer games, the first baseball, softball games last week,” Comalander said. “Everything has been reworked, even today I received more new schedules for soccer. They’ve rebuilt it into spring break, so that nobody has to play back-to-back nights, there’s at least a day in-between. We’ve had to move all those games to another time.”
Saturday academy has also been rescheduled for students needing to make-up attendance credits, and to improve their grades.
“We had two we had to cancel, so we’re going ahead and we’re doing one this Saturday and we went ahead and set one up for next Saturday, Feb. 27,” Comalander said. “Going into spring break, we originally didn’t have one for March 6, but we do now, so we added on an extra Saturday.”
A boil water notice was also put in place for the city on Feb. 18, though it did not cause any problems for schools in our district. All areas in San Antonio were cleared from the notice as of Feb. 23.
“They’re doing okay because anything they need is boiled for cooking, and they are also getting bottled water shipped in to take care of all the issues with making breakfast and lunch,” Comalander said. “But the struggle is that we are having to cap off every water faucet in the school, and so that’s why we’ve asked students and teachers to bring their own. We have some water bottles in places like the clinic so that students can come in to take medicine, or for other issues, in a need-situation. So we do have water for those in need.”
Though many neighborhoods in the surrounding area lost power or sustained some damage, the school was largely unaffected.
“We’ve been very fortunate,” Comalander said. “We had a couple of pipes break, but none of them were in what we would call a bad place, there was a bit of damage, but not anything that would have stopped learning or [disrupted] instruction areas. We’ve got those pipes capped off and replaced. We’re very fortunate in that area, some other schools were not as fortunate. I have not really heard from outside [the district], but I know that I’ve heard some of the elementary schools in our district had some issues, pretty serious, with flooding being worked on, but nothing really specific.”
Now, as students go back to school and teachers begin reworking their lesson plans, we all reflect the power that altruism has on our communities.
“That’s what has been really nice, how many I’ve heard about that have moved in with a friend or family member one neighborhood over because they still have power,” Comalander said. “The main thing is that everybody in the community has been doing a great job of overcoming no power and no water for quite a few days this past week, and helping each other out.”