Virginia Public Schools Experience Technical Issues on the First Day of Virtual Education

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By Tyler Eddins, Technology Editor

Originally published September 16, 2020.


The COVID-19 pandemic has without question been difficult for everyone. Being away from friends and family, staying inside, canceling events and moving school online. For some, the first day of online school became even harder.

On September 8th, children and parents in multiple Virginia school districts were having difficulty loggin on to school sites, some of which was due to filter software Securly. Virginia Beach and Norfolk districts specifically use Securly to filter inappropriate content.

The software was experiencing outages that made it impossible for staff to even use the internet. For Virginia Beach the software is internal meaning that the only classes that were affected where the ones held by teachers physically inside the school. The outages affected phones as well as computers.

Thankfully before noon in Virginia Beach, and around 1 p.m. for Norfolk, the connectivity issues were reportedly solved. At the time of writing, there is no word on why the outages began.

York and Williamsburg-James City County also experienced technical issues involving phone line outages and program glitches respectively. Both county’s issues were resolved before 10 a.m.

Portsmouth, Suffolk and Chesapeake had no reported problems and an overall successful first day of school.

Much like York, Hampton had problems with the phone lines going down. Newport News had no issues minus the general issues of families needing help logging into the school’s system.

Newport News spokesperson Michelle Price said, “To prepare for the first day of virtual learning, NNPS staff prepared several introductory videos, and called/emailed families with specific log-in instructions.” NNPS was also helping families and students via their phone lines.

Issues like these should smooth out over the next couple of weeks as students, families and the school districts themselves become more familiar with how their various virtual learning systems work.