DeKalb County students have trouble logging in to virtual school on the first day of classesDeKalb County School District Administration and Instructional Complex on Mtn. Industrial Blvd. in Stone Mountain. Photo by Dean Hesse
This story has been updated.
DeKalb County, GA — The first day of school in DeKalb County was a stressful one for many parents who had problems logging in to their virtual classrooms.
Reports of error messages and missed classes flooded social media on Aug. 17.
The DeKalb County School District asked everyone to bear with them while they work through the issues. Virtual learning was put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris said in a Twitter message that the technical issues were expected.
“We recognize that the tech issues this a.m. are not ideal, however, we are working on them,” she said. “We built in these first two 1/2 days to address issues such as these. We will get through this together. We are thankful for your grace and patience.”
In a separate message, the School District provided information about what was causing the problem.
“The district is experiencing issues with our authentication proxy servers,” the School District said. “IT has isolated the issue and is currently implementing a solution. We will provide an update as soon as this issue is resolved. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Many parents and students were upset about the situation.
“You knew how many students would be logging on and you’ve had MONTHS to work this out,” one person said in response to the district’s Twitter message explaining the problem. “Once again DCSD fails to put children first.”
Other parents wondered if their students would be marked absent for missing class.
Another person said, “y’all suck!!!! Get it together!!!”
But other Twitter users were also understanding that this is an unprecedented situation caused by a problem the school district didn’t create.
“Some hiccups getting started on the first day of school in @DeKalbSchools, but we’ll get through it,” one Twitter user said. “Teachers have been very understanding. Thanks for that. And thanks to the district for putting the safety of students and teachers first.”
“There were a few hiccups today, and definitely some things I would have preferred to be different, but yes, this is at least a chance for teachers to do their jobs instead of relying on the hope of a cure and then a shutdown,” another Twitter user said.
DeKalb County Schools issued a statement on Monday afternoon addressing problems parents and students experienced. The district also responded to parents who had trouble registering their students for school. Here’s the full statement from DeKalb County Schools:
DeKalb County School District encountered an unexpected technical issue this morning that caused some students and teachers to experience problems logging on to the virtual learning experience. Our technology team worked quickly to identify the root of the problem and take corrective action, and the issue was corrected at 10:07 a.m. We believe this discovery will help minimize potential future disruption.
The District is also aware of the difficulties with registration. The Online Registration (OLR) team worked during the weekend to process applications of students for the first day of school. A problem with one of the address fields in the application was discovered late Sunday evening which affected a number of applications. We have a team correcting the addresses. The flagged applications will be moved to the local school queues for processing by registrars.
We remain committed to providing the best digital learning environment as possible. We conducted ample diligence testing before the start of the school year, and we purposely built in two and a half days at the beginning of the school year to address any technical issues. Parents and students with questions about virtual learning should visit the Virtual Learning Support page on the DCSD website for resources and support.
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