MIAMI (WSVN) - It was a rough start to the morning for some students and teachers on their second day back to class as the Miami-Dade County Public School login page faced another technical issue.
On Monday, several students and teachers were unable to login to the portal on their first day back to school, and on Tuesday morning the same issue occurred.
The district said on Monday that the issue was due to an external server. On Tuesday, however, they said their internet service was interrupted and hit by a cyber attack.
Students, teachers as well as parents had to deal with error messages and screens saying there were too many people online.
“The major cause of the challenge was not platform-related,” said Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. “Capacity was not the issue. It’s ruled out because a system — the switch kept failing even when there was no capacity demand. It is, again, an external connectivity internet switch access to our school system.”
A district spokesperson said their internet service was interrupted and that they are working with Comcast to figure out why.
The district sent out a message to parents on Monday night assuring them that the issue had been resolved, and that they provided a backup site in case there were any troubles the following day.
However, the backup site also proved problematic.
“Our community deserves better, and our community, quite frankly, has learned to expect more,” said Carvalho.
The vice-chairman of M-DCPS Board, Dr. Steve Gallon III, whose child attends school in the district, took to Facebook and shared that he is using Zoom and encourages others to do the same.
As of 9:30 a.m., however, the server seemed to be up and running again.
The district released the following statement:
“Our internet service was intermittently interrupted early this morning. It is operational at this time. We are working with our service provider, Comcast, to determine the root cause. As of 9 a.m., more than 160,000 students and over 10,000 teachers were logged onto the system.”
Parents also expressed their frustration with continuously running into problems.
“Now they have an F in my book,” said parent Mario Guzman. “He’s unable to do any classwork whatsoever.”
Mario is one of thousands of parents who are fed up with the glitches of the online portal.
“Well, I couldn’t do it, so I logged off,” said student Joshua Guzman.
“I have him sitting there, you know, as long as I can just to get him used to it,” said Mario. “Just sitting there and not being able to do anything is just frustrating for him and myself.”
The Guzmans gave up on Monday and decided to start fresh on Tuesday morning, only to find similar problems.
“This one says, ‘We’ve run into an issue,'” said Mario.
They were placed in some sort of queue for more than an hour before Joshua eventually got into his classroom. His teacher was not as lucky.
“I feel bad for the students, and especially the teachers, because I don’t want to call it a waste of time, but unfortunately, it’s a waste of time for them,” said Mario.
Fortunately, the Guzmans are not alone.
“I probably think we’re gonna flunk because we can’t log on and we can’t do our work,” student Saniyah Allen said.
“To repeat the same cycle is just very, very frustrating,” parent Kessa Murray said.
Lourdes Quinones said she spent hours helping her son log on with no luck, and she’s demanding answers from the school district.
“Yesterday it was Cisco, today it’s Comcast. Who is it gonna be tomorrow?” she asked. “They need to get on the ball.”
Quinones’ son Juan is a senior at Miami Killian Senior High School. He said Monday was a nightmare, so he got up and logged on early Tuesday.
He managed to get in, but by the time class started, he got booted from the system.
“I got into class at, like, 7:50 a.m., everything closed. It said too many people, restarting,” Juan said.
Quinones said they spent hours trying to get into the virtual learning system, but by 3:30 p.m., they gave up.
“It was saying, ‘There’s too many people connected. Try again in 55 seconds.’ This went on for seven hours,” she said.
Quinones, like other parents, found out from the district later that a software glitch and simultaneous cyber attacks were to blame for the shutouts.
“When did that happen? Did this happen yesterday? Did you find out today? Did that cause what happened today? I don’t understand,” she said.
To add insult to injury, Quinones said she spent a lot of money trying to making sure her son was set up for the new school year.
Showing 7News the Class of 2021 balloons and banner, Quinones said she’s trying to give Juan the best senior experience at home, but now they’re both worried about what’s next.
They say he should be focused on applying for college, but instead he’s stalling out on trying to start 12th grade.
“I wish they had it under control so that I could get in because I was wondering about my attendance, like how am I going to do my classes, my grades, my work,” Juan said.
“And we’re not looking forward to tomorrow because we know it’s going to be another excuse after another. I just want to know when it’s going to end,” Quinones said.
Even with all the headache, Quinones said she’s grateful for the staff at Miami Killlian Senior High School. They have been responsive and helpful in every way they can.
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