Thousands of Modesto City School District students run into technical problems on first day back

Local News

MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — More and more school districts are gearing up for the opening of the new school year. For many in the region, that day was Monday.

School districts regionwide prepared early to continue distance learning, equipping students with computers.

The Modesto City School District provided online training videos for kids and parents.

Hooking up with a class and teacher can take as many as a dozen steps, but even those who could navigate the district’s online platform couldn’t get on.

“Our website went down,” explained Modesto City Schools spokeswoman Becky Fortuna.

The network was re-established later in the morning but as many as several thousand of the district’s 30,000 students were still having issues later in the day.

“Our IT department is investigating and we are working on solutions right now,” Fortuna said.

“There’s a glitch, which in some ways is understandable, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating,” said mother Kristin Olsen.

Olsen, a county supervisor and former state Assembly member, expressed her frustration on social media when her daughter, Sophie, couldn’t log on with her school-issued computer. She physically took the laptop to Joseph A. Gregori High School, where technicians were standing by, but they still couldn’t solve an apparent network bottleneck.

Sophie eventually attended online classes with the family computer but Olsen’s son starts middle school Tuesday.

“My son needs to use the home computer while at the same time I could be on a conference call for work,” Olsen said. “It’s a challenge.”

Several other districts that opened Monday experienced similar online issues.

The school knew unanticipated problems would arise but said it’s working hard to get through the first few days.

“Working feverishly to address all of the concerns that are coming in. Working together, both our families and our staff, that we’ll get through this,” Fortuna said.

Olsen said the district responded to her issues right away.

“The problem hasn’t been fixed yet but at least we know they’re on top of it,” she told FOX40.

The Modesto City School District has parent and student help centers available by phone and online, as well as in-person help at its campuses and at a drive-thru tech center that has been set up.


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