Rats! Power outage during finals affects classrooms in E, G buildings

On Jan. 26, the last day of finals for the first semester, a power outage that left the school with no internet and some classrooms without light for the entire school day occurred at TPHS.

According to Principal Rob Coppo, the reason behind the power outage was that the night before, rodents had eaten through wires in electrical boxes off-campus. 

The power outage affected not only TPHS, but also surrounding homes and buildings. 

Classrooms in the E and G buildings were left without light, but lighting was not affected in other buildings. Administration aided teachers in finding and transferring their classes to classrooms that had power. 

“The administration office found the available room [for my classes] quickly before school started,” Japanese teacher Sato Umabe said. “Mr. Harvie, who did not have a class that period, let us use his classroom.”

According to Coppo, it was nice that the day the school did not have power was a day with only two class periods. On the other hand, for Umabe, it was unfortunate yet “slightly interesting” that it landed on one of the finals days. 

The power was reinstated by workers from San Diego Gas and Electric approximately 24 hours after it went out. The electrical box is located off-campus near the Torrey Highlands Park on Lansdale Drive, according to Coppo’s secretary, Grace Lisle. 

Although the main problem was that there were no working lights in classrooms, the internet outage was also a problem. Both internet and light power come from the same source, so when the lights went out, so did the internet. 

Communication from administration to staff members was not completely blocked off by the power outage. Teachers were still able to receive messages and emails from Coppo and administration through their phones.

Yerin You (12) was in her Advanced Placement Computer Science class during the power outage. None of the computers could turn on, so students did not do anything in class. Like many other classes, “no lights worked, so we stayed in the dark and had the door open for light to come in,” You said.  

Even with the unplanned power outage, staff and students adapted well and the school day passed smoothly. 

“The amazing staff at TPHS were able to fully carry out their classes without too much trouble,” Coppo said. “I also really appreciate that no teachers had to submit semester grades late because students were not able to take the final on the assigned finals day.”

According to Umabe, during her teaching days at TPHS, a power outage has never occurred before, and she is glad that none of her students panicked. 

“The power outage was uncomfortable because the Wi-Fi  and lights were down, but it wasn’t too troublesome,“ You said. 

Although power outages at TPHS are uncommon and temporary, there are still solutions that can be implemented in case another power outage were to happen in the future. 

“It’s San Diego, there is nice weather,” Umabe said. “If a power outage happened again, I was thinking about putting desks outside and taking the final there.”

Coppo also recommends that “students go to class” in such situations. According to him, there are always some students who try to find reason to get out of school, but a power outage at school should not be one of them. 

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