Winters schools will be in session Wednesday, Oct. 9-with or without power

Winters school district takes steps to provide a safe and secure learning environment for students during Public Safety Power Shut-off.
Photo by Crystal Apilado/Winters Express

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Winters Joint Unified School District Superintendent, Todd Cutler, announced school will be in session on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at all Winters school sites whether there is power or not. This was in response to an announcement from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) that they will likely conduct a Public Safety Power Shut-off (PSPS) for up to five days in the City of Winters and large swaths of western Yolo County beginning around midnight on Wednesday morning. City Manager John W. Donlevy, Jr. confirmed with the Express that power would be shut off in Winters early Wednesday morning. Yolo County Communications Coordinator Jennifer Tan said the power shut-off could affect 5,700 PG&E customers and is planned as a wildfire prevention effort ahead of strong winds and dry weather conditions. As of press time the most recent projections suggest the outage would likely last between 24 and 72 hours. Cutler said he confirmed with the City that the school sites will have water and sewer services. The Winters JUSD Food Service Team is planning on preparing breakfast and lunch from the Waggoner Elementary campus kitchen to distribute out to the other sites. Cutler said Winters JUSD had secured a generator strong enough to not only provide hot meals to students if the power is shut off, but to also run the refrigerators at Waggoner so they can preserve the food at the other school sites. He also said there is a generator to run the refrigerators units in the culinary arts room at Winters High School. All communication from the school district will be posted through:

  1. A text message to families.
  2. On the Winters JUSD website, wintersjusd.org.
  3. On the Winters JUSD Facebook page,  facebook.com/wintersjusd.
When the power is shut off, each school site has a dedicated phone line that will be functioning. Winters JUSD is asking families to avoid calling in unless it’s an emergency in order to keep the phone lines open. Classes will run as a normal minimum day schedule across all school site bell schedules. Cutler said the district will assess how the day goes and determine if they will remain open for Thursday and Friday based on if the school district was successful in providing a good learning environment and if it was a good day for students and staff. “If the answer is ‘yes’ then we learned that we can do this on days without power. If not, then we can access and make new decisions,” Cutler said. The Administration team at each school site will be working with their staff on how to best meet the academic needs of students for Wednesday through Friday should the power be shut off. Cutler said despite the shift to utilizing chromebooks and tablets in classrooms, staff members have access to textbooks and other resources to help initiate learning opportunities. “We’re entering this new era with PG&E and power outages. We want our students to be with us—safe, secure, eating and learning. Through our discussion our team really feels we can provide that,” said Cutler. Classrooms will utilize natural light sources through windows and skylights. Students will be guided to utilize bathrooms with natural light sources. Depending on the school site, bathrooms without natural light sources will be provided with a form of light or will not be utilized during a power shut-off. “I’m hopeful this will be a good day of school despite not having power,” said Cutler. “We got on top of this and I’m feeling really proud of our team right now.”  ]]>

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