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Technical Issues Hamper Remote Learning for NYC Schools During Storm

Pivoting to remote learning Tuesday because of an intense snow storm, New York City Public Schools had issues taking attendance and using programs that required an IBM authentication to log in.

People in ponchos walking through Central Park in the snow
People walk through the falling snow in Central Park on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, in New York City. Millions of people in the northeastern U.S. were engulfed by snow on Feb. 13 as a powerful winter storm battered the region, causing flight cancellations and closing schools.
Yuki Iwamura/AFP/Getty Images/TNS
(TNS) — New York City public schools are facing technical issues with remote learning Tuesday morning after the nation’s largest school system pivoted online for the city’s largest snowfall in two dry years.

The problem appeared to be impacting the attendance application and other departmental programs that require authentication, barring some families from logging onto their classes.

“We are currently experiencing issues with services that require IBM authentication to log in,” New York City Public Schools wrote on X.

“We are actively working with IBM to resolve. We will provide an update as soon as possible.”

An internal email obtained by the Daily News showed the outage began at 8:03 a.m., only minutes after teachers and families began trickling into online classes. An hour and a half later, the school system said on social media that IBM is adding capacity and “improvements” are rolling out across the city.

“As an educator who taught during the pandemic in [New York City Schools] we are seeing the same thing happen all over again,” said Councilwoman Rita Joseph, D-Brooklyn, who chairs the education committee and received an error message when she tried logging on with her son. “The lack of preparedness when it comes to technology for our New York City students, educators and staff.”

At least one elementary school in Manhattan had to cancel its first period and ask students to start with independent reading and written responses. At another in Brooklyn, teachers quickly pivoted to a music-filled morning meeting on Zoom, and a “suggested” schedule of reading, math and practice presentations with friends.

Councilman Shekar Krishnan, D-Queens, told the Daily News both his sons were shut out of their classes this morning. While his third-grader eventually got on, his kindergartener is still locked out.

“Should’ve just given them the snow day!” he said.

Mayor Eric Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks on Monday had touted the school system’s preparedness to move online after remote learning practices earlier this year — and scolded parents with concerns about technology.

“Snow days, my mother had to walk us to school with her arthritic knees,” Adams said at a Monday press conference. “If you are a parent and you are not willing to navigate a computer for your child, that’s a sad commentary.”

©2024 New York Daily News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.