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BCPS internet issues reported districtwide Thursday

Posted at 3:40 PM, Apr 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 17:08:40-04

TOWSON, Md. — School officials with say Baltimore County Public Schools staff and students are having technical difficulties logging into the school network Thursday.

According to officials, the internet issues are intermittent.

BCPS took to Twitter around 9 a.m. saying, "Staff are working on the issue."

The school system is currently operating within a hybrid model of instruction, with some students in person and others learning virtually, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I would describe it as a complete mess," said Carol Vidal. She has two students in the school system who are participating in hybrid learning.

"If it wasn't for what happened today they would be in class right now learning. Instead they're outside playing with other kids who are also off," she continued.

Several parents commented on the Baltimore County Public Schools Facebook page that internet connectivity issues began as early as Wednesday.

In a statement to WMAR-2 News a BCPS spokesperson said:

"This is a problem for the system today, but one that is fixable and that we’re working to remedy. Here are some details: At 8:15 a.m. today, BCPS exceeded the capacity of its firewall, which led to a general Internet outage. While the outage has been intermittent as we’ve tried to fix it, it did impact the ability for teachers to engage with our virtual students. The primary cause of the outage is face-to-face student use of Google Meet, which is a platform we commonly use in virtual instruction. In other words, students who are now in hybrid environments – i.e., in the schools – are still turning on their Google Meets platforms and cameras and overwhelming the system’s capacity. So, considering that hybrid students are in the schools and would not in most cases need to use Google Meets to connect with the classroom teacher, we are encouraging students within the classroom environment to turn off their cameras to relieve the strain on the firewall."