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Hundreds of BCPS Chromebooks swapped out following ransomware attack

Posted at 4:20 PM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 17:15:26-05

TOWSON, Md. — IT support continued through Friday at six high schools across Baltimore County Public Schools. From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. parents once again lined up to have district issued devices checked or swapped out.

WMAR 2 News asked BCPS how many laptops have been replaced since last week's ransomware attack.

"I can tell you the confidence checks have gone very smoothly," said a district spokesperson. "While I don't have updated numbers for today, I can tell you we've swapped out several hundred devices thus far, nearly all of them involving routine problems unrelated to the cyber-attack."

Parent Lori Jackson was one of many parents arriving at Towson High School to swap out her child's laptop.

"I just got out of work," said Jackson. "They said I had to be up here before 3 o’clock so I just drove up here."

Jackson said her daughter's computer presented a handful of issues.

"She can still get back online but she just can’t, they can’t see her," she said. "She can’t see them and sometimes you can’t hear anybody."

Just before 10 a.m. TABCO sent out a message across social media letting the BCPS community know BcpsOne was down. It read:

"This message is for our students and families: BcpsOne is not working. Please log into schoology using your teachers are waiting for you in your google meets. We look forward to seeing you today! Please share and spread the word to our students."

While many parents have praised the district for its quick return to virtual learning, other parents still have questions. Many see the issues as all the more reason to return to in-person learning.

"They are bored," said parent Lori Jackson. "They’re getting tired of being in front of the screen. They want to get back into normal stuff."

While BCPS did not respond directly to the BcpsOne issue, the district has been updating students, staff and families via social media sites and on its web page.

Here is BCPS latest update as of December 3:

We are hearing from schools that our second day of instruction has gone well. Our staff are working hard on providing access to more instructional tools as well as training.

  • SAT: Nine BCPS high schools will offer the SAT this Saturday, December 5. Those high schools are: Catonsville, Eastern Tech, Kenwood, Loch Raven, Milford Mill Academy, New Town, Parkville, Perry Hall, and Randallstown.
  • Sports: Due to the increasing COVID-19 infection rates across Baltimore county, the winter athletic season, previously scheduled to start on Monday, December 7, is postponed until further notice. Online registration for winter athletics will remain open through schools. Virtual athletics will continue. Additional information will be provided to students and families as conditions permit. We are continuing to monitor health metrics along with our county medical partners and will share any plans to offer in-person opportunities when the health metrics allow us to do so.

We can’t thank you enough for your partnership as we cope with both COVID-19 and the ransomware attack.