Technical issues for Chesterfield online learning 'largely’ resolved

Tech errors delay virtual classes

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - After facing technical issues on the first day of online learning, Chesterfield County Public Schools says the issues have been resolved.

Chesterfield County schools say problems with the system, Rapid Identity, began to occur around 8:30 a.m. due to the number of students logging on, and student ID authentication began to slow down.

“My 3rd grader, my daughter was really excited to start school virtually, to see classmates, and meet her teacher. She was disappointed," explained CCPS parent Rachael Morse. “9/9:30 a.m. when she still couldn’t get into her classroom, she just went to her room because it was too much.”

Morse was among parents who spent hours attempting to log in. She says her 3rd and 9th grader started class at 8:30 a.m. and logged on early to make sure everything was working. When they attempted to log in again, Morse says the problems started.

Working with Amazon Web Services, Rapid Identity was able to double their capacity to process information by about 9:30 a.m. The log-in process for students started to improve for some families at that time.

By 10 a.m., the system was nearly at full functional capacity, and students were joining their classes.

Middle school parent Mikkia Lindsay says her son was also excited for virtual learning, and experienced issues until 10:45 am. He missed three classes during the server issue. By 12 p.m., her son was finally able to experience the remainder of his first day of 6th grade.

“I was able to call the school, which they were a great help throughout this entire process, and also the CCPS school board division was of great help as well,” explained Lindsay. “They kept us parents informed the entire time, giving us updates via email, phone calls and text messages, periodically informing us of the steps that had been taken to fix the issue."

NBC12 photojournalist and parent of two CCPS students, Jennifer Warnick, worked from home Tuesday, spending much of the day refreshing and restarting Chromebooks in an effort to get her son and daughter online for class.

“We had gone through everything a couple days ago to make sure we could log in and I felt really good about that,” said Warnick.

She says her daughter in middle school was able to log in and attend her first class of the day, but issues started during the first virtual class, which Warnick says the teacher eventually ended early.

“You heard over the intercom, ‘Rapid Identity is down,'” she said.

Warnick says her daughter was unable to log on to her next class and it took her son, who is in high school, more than an hour to log in to his first class of the day.

“We went to log in, and it kept circling and circling, by the time he could log in, she could no longer log in,” explained Warnick.

Chesterfield County Public Schools released the following statement:

Team Chesterfield families and staff,

We apologize. This morning was not the best morning for our school division. It certainly was not the way that we expected to serve and support students in the virtual learning environment. We are sorry for any inconvenience created for families, and angst created for students who struggled to get to their online classes earlier this morning.

The network issues that caused a disruption to students’ and staff’s teaching and learning opportunities for about two hours this morning largely have been resolved.

Chesterfield County schools says they are working with Rapid Identity to make sure the issues that occurred Tuesday morning will not happen again. Spokesperson Shawn Smith confirmed that CCPS increased its server capacity in order to accommodate the 63,000 students and 8,000 staff members in the district.

Team Chesterfield families and staff, We apologize. This morning was not the best morning for our school division. It...

Posted by Chesterfield County Public Schools on Tuesday, September 8, 2020

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