Power Outage Hits the High School


On the evening of December 29th, Dr. Fech sent an email to Winchester’s high school students and parents saying that a power outage had let to short-term technical issues at the school. Although the main building, Molloy Posner Hall, is back to full operations, the high school is not.

According to the email, a series of failures have affected Winchester’s ability to effectively heat the high school. Interestingly, Dr. Fech mentioned a potential shift to remote learning, although this is not the school’s preference at this time.

Dr. Fech said whether the high school moves to remote learning will depend primarily on the weather. As of now, the lows for next week are as follows: 47 on Monday, 55 on Tuesday, 38 on Wednesday, 32 on Thursday, and 32 on Friday. It is not clear whether the move to remote learning would be determined by the projected temperatures for Monday, when classes would begin again, or for Thursday and Friday, which would likely see the coldest days inside the high school.

The head of school continued that the building was averaging 62-65 degrees as of right now. Today, the weather outside reached a high of 59. One might posit that although the weather inside is now influenced by the weather outside, the building’s insulation would mean that there isn’t a 1-1 correlation. As a result, a 10 degree drop in the weather outside would not translate to a 10 degree drop inside as well.

Student Council President Tommy Gordon says the most effective move for student council would be a hot chocolate event like they did last year. Although council had taken steps for one in January or February, it was not planned for next week. Action would need to be taken to fast-track the hot chocolate project, and other parties, namely Metz, would have to approve it.

Additionally, President Gordon poured cold water on the idea of an indoor ice hockey classcapade in the Willis Room. He did, however, convey that if given the chance, students should seize the opportunity to “play in the snow.”

On the issue of going to remote learning, the president said that he was personally in favor of returning the school, as he would like to avoid classes falling behind on content for the year. Further, he reminded that the school was no longer paying for premium Zoom accounts, and that might cause some delays and difficulties if classes went online.

Voices held a poll with current high school students, posing the question, “how would you feel about a week of asynchronous learning if the alternative was to ‘dress in layers’?” 76 percent of students said they would prefer asynchronous learning, while 24 percent said they would rather return to a cold school.

Although it is unknown whether other schools have been affected, the official websites of Allderdice, Shadyside Academy and Sewickley Academy say that the schools are off Monday, January 2nd off for the new year. Winchester is not.

The Joan Clark Davis Center, coined by student council secretary Brynne McSorley as “JCDC,” is not yet open and could not accommodate students in the meantime.