Donna and Mercedes ISD lose power on second day of STAAR testing

Local News

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — Wednesday’s storms left 36 thousand customers without power, and mid-valley area school districts, like Donna ISD and Mercedes ISD, saw dire impacts on the second day of STAAR testing.

Mercedes ISD’s superintendent, Carolyn Mendiola, says that students have the opportunity to make up test days.

“The good thing that the state has done this year because of the pandemic and because it is online, the state has allowed us a window to test if they are testing online,” said Mendiola.

Mendiola says that most of the campuses were left without power, so they had to contact all staff and parents that school would be closed on Wednesday.

“Seven of our nine schools were without power, our central office was without power,” said Mendiola.

Mendiola says because the STAAR test is being taken online that the state has given them more time to complete testing.

“The students that are testing the do have to come physically to school in person and they’ll take it online, in campus,” said Mendiola. “Most of our students are online testing, so the students will still be able to make it up.”

Currently, only 50% of students are scheduled to take the STAAR test at Mercedes ISD this year, and Mendiola says they plan to submit a waiver to the tea for today’s absences due to the weather.

“If the T.E.A waives the day, then that means we will receive funding for that day,” said Mendiola.

Mercedes ISD says they were on the phone as early as 5 a.m. on Wednesday trying to figure out when power would be restored.

“When it was all said and done we had about 36000 customers out at our peak time,” said Eladio Jaimez, a spokesperson for the AEP.

At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the AEP reported 13,000 outages in the Rio Grande Valley, with 8,000 in the mid-valley and 2,700 in the Pharr area.

“So, in the Pharr and mid-valley area where we have the largest concentration of outages we are looking at about 3 pm tomorrow, Thursday, as our estimated time of restoration,” said Jaimez.

The AEP says that they have all hands on deck to restore the power as quickly as possible and have called in extra help from the Uvalde and Corpus Christi areas.

Mercedes ISD says that they are waiting to see what happens with the weather before deciding to resume classes tomorrow.  


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