Fairfax County Cancels Distance Learning for Rest of Week After Tech Issues

NBC Universal, Inc.

Fairfax County Public Schools is hitting pause on the rest of this week's distance learning schedule after experiencing technical problems.

Superintendent Scott Braband notified parents Wednesday night that teacher-led instruction through Blackboard 24/7 is canceled for Thursday and Friday.

"As you know, the start of distance learning has not gone as smoothly as hoped.  We sincerely appreciate your patience and share your frustration related to our distance learning challenges this week," Braband said.

Teachers will contact students through email or phone calls to ensure that third quarter work assigned before to March 13 is completed and submitted, Braband said.

According to Braband, FCPS worked closely with Blackboard’s technical team weeks before launching distance learning and "there was no indication that the system would be unable to handle the volume of participating users or would be susceptible to the security issues that many of our schools encountered."

Braband expects teacher-led instruction will resume on Monday.

The school system shared the following statement from Blackboard:

“Blackboard has been working hard with Fairfax County Public Schools to move its 189,000 students to fully remote instruction during this unprecedented crisis. We encountered unexpected technical challenges over the past couple of days that caused some users to experience issues when logging into the FCPS 24-7 Learning site, and we are working closely with FCPS to resolve the issues as quickly as possible. In addition, we are working with FCPS to require students to log in to the FCPS 24-7 site and  authenticate their identity before they are permitted to join a virtual classroom.

“As a Fairfax County-based company, we are deeply committed to providing Fairfax students and parents the robust and secure learning environment that they want and need. We apologize for the disruption this has caused to instruction and we appreciate patience as we all work together as an education community to ensure continuity of learning for students.”

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