MSD students and teachers experience district-wide WiFi issues on return from winter break

MSD+students+experienced+spotty+WiFi+on+Monday%2C+Jan.+4.+Students+and+parents+were+updated+throughout+the+school+day+via+Remind.+Photo+by+Isabelly+Silveira

MSD students experienced spotty WiFi on Monday, Jan. 4. Students and parents were updated throughout the school day via Remind. Photo by Isabelly Silveira

Matthew Rosenthal

As students and teachers returned back to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, both physically and virtually, the Broward County Public Schools WiFi gave everyone some troubles on their first day back from winter break. 

The morning of Monday, Jan. 4, BCPS experienced problems with the WiFi at all schools across the district. Most of the students that were home learning via Microsoft Teams found out when their teachers could not join their meetings. 

“Since we rely solely on WiFi to deliver our lessons, losing it on our first day back from break was a disaster. The engaging lessons I planned were rendered unusable and frustrated not only me, but my students,” Language Arts teacher Stacey Lippel said. “We should have had our regularly scheduled planning day so the district could have worked out any potential problems that were predictable.”

At 9:13 a.m., BCPS teachers and faculty received an email from BCPS Alerts about what had been going on that morning.

“BCPS is experiencing intermittent, District-wide Internet access issues impacting all cloud base workloads including Teams, 0365, VPN, and SharePoint. The Information Technology Division is working with our vendors to determine the root cause and resolution to this issue. An hourly update will be provided until services are restored,” the email read.

Throughout the day, MSD sent out Remind messages letting the students know that the WiFi was out at the school, starting at 7:56 a.m. They then informed the students that the problem was a widespread issue throughout the district at 8:06 a.m. and that the WiFi was still spotty at 1:09 p.m. 

“It was frustrating and I basically got nothing done in terms of actual teaching since students and myself could not access anything,” culinary teacher Ashley Kurth said. “It was a hot mess, and I guess they did the best they could because the problem shooting should have taken place before the first work day back to lessen the lag.”

As the email stated, BCPS teachers and faculty received an hourly email to assure them that the problem was being worked on. 

Both students and teachers were frustrated since what they anticipated for the first day back after winter break was not what they expected. Many teachers’ lesson plans were not put to use because of the many disruptions the WiFi created throughout the day. 

BCPS sent a final email after the day had ended for high school students stating that the problems were fixed.

“We believe the BCPS intermittent, District-wide Internet access issue impacting all cloud-based workloads including (but not limited to) MS Teams, Office 365, VPN, Raptor, SAP and SharePoint has been resolved. Nevertheless, additional validation testing will continue throughout the evening starting at 5:00 PM. If you are unable to access any network resources before 5:00 PM today, please restart your computer and retry. Please report any abnormalities to the IT Service Desk immediately.  We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and thank you for your patience,” the email read.

By Tuesday, Jan. 5, students and teachers were able to access all systems without issue.