Earlier this week, we updated families on the connectivity issues experienced by our students. Today, we want to provide you with an update regarding the progress that has been made.
We analyzed the connectivity issues experienced on Tuesday and determined a key cause was a bug in the software of our firewalls. Technicians put a patch in place on Tuesday night that substantially addressed connectivity issues for the iPads on Wednesday, although MacBook Airs continued to experience issues. Working with our vendor, we identified the cause of the different experiences for iPads and MacBook Airs and additional changes were made on Wednesday night. These changes seem to have addressed the issues for most students.
At this point, we have resolved the known network issues and will continue to monitor connectivity and refine the systems in order to enhance the student experience. We are aware of some issues related to using Microsoft Teams functions in virtual classrooms, and we are working to address those to better support teachers and students.
Some students have elected to use family-owned devices for virtual learning during the past few days due the initial issues connecting. When teachers plan their instruction, they rely on the students having access to a specific set of applications and software available on the student devices, set up in a specific way. We encourage students to resume using their APS-issued devices so teachers can leverage these resources. This helps to ensure all students have a consistent experience and allows APS to better monitor learning and provide support efficiently and effectively.
If you continue to experience connectivity issues, please visit https://www.apsva.us/school-year-2020-21/technical-support/ for guidance.
In addition, we want to clarify that the Family Technology Call Center can walk you through basic steps as outlined in the self-help guides available on the APS website, or can escalate issues to your child’s school on your behalf. Issues that cannot be resolved using self-help such as device replacements, password resets, and not seeing classes in Canvas, will be escalated to your child’s school.
We are continuing to work on this and thank you for your patience during this first week back.
Assistant Superintendent Information Services