PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Monday marked the first day back to school for Palm Beach County students, and it got off to a rocky start for some children.
The county is starting the 2020-21 academic year with distance learning for all students due to the coronavirus pandemic, but some parents said the digital portal to access their child's classroom was unavailable for part of the day.
Around 8:30 a.m., a spokesperson for the School District of Palm Beach County said there was a connectivity issue that lasted six minutes, and it should all be resolved now.
"We did start this morning with a small technological hiccup. About six or seven minutes we were down, but we're back and running now," said Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy. "It was probably just a bunch of people trying to log in at one time."
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However, around 9 a.m. the school district tweeted that it's "continuing to work through some technical issues with the District Portal this morning. If you're still experiencing issues, students can get into classes by going to classroom.google.com. The IT team is working to resolve these issues ASAP."
The District is continuing to work through some technical issues with the District Portal this morning. If you're still experiencing issues, students can get into classes by going to https://t.co/VLFMwGejIH.— PBCSD (@pbcsd) August 31, 2020
The IT team is working to resolve these issues ASAP.
By 2:30 p.m., a school district spokesperson said the portal is back up, adding in a statement that:
"Not all schools were affected. The District IT department is working with the vendor to determine the root cause of the issue. The workaround will continue to work in the event there is an issue tomorrow or again. But again, the issue is being addressed. IT is trying to quantify the number of students affected."
"Logically, it was probably so many people getting at the system at one time, so they had to open up more space," Fennoy said. "As things come up, we'll fix them."
If students are still experiencing issues, officials suggest going to classroom.google.com as a workaround.
The school district is advising parents to take the follow steps if you're having technical issues:
- Close all Chrome tabs
- Open a Chrome tab and type classroom.google.com
- Click "Go To Classroom"
- For your username, enter your student's email address
- When the screen with two blue buttons comes up, pick "Network ID"
- Log in with network credentials
- Google Classroom should come up
If parents or students need any technical help with distance learning, click here.
"Our goal is to roll out a great product, and make sure that we have the ability to fix it and tweak it as we go along," Fennoy said.
Under the School District of Palm Beach County's reopening plan, "once Palm Beach County moves from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of recovery, students in early learning programs can physically return to District-operated schools if their parents so choose."
That means once brick-and-mortar schools reopen, parents can choose whether to send their students back or continue to keep them at home.
"As I've been saying from the very beginning of this adventure, every hour, every minute, every day something changes," Fennoy said. "The realities of being at home have been difficult for all of our children, all of our families"
To read the School District of Palm Beach County's reopening plan, click here.