Arlington public schools report system issues with online learning on first day

The first day of school is in the books across Northern Virginia and day one of virtual learning for most schools is complete. By most accounts, it was a smooth first day online for most students – but not all.

Arlington public schools reported connectivity issues with online learning Tuesday.

READ MORE: Arlington schools superintendent proposes postponed start, online learning

The Northern Virginia school district is one of several that opted for the virtual learning route to start the school year.

Tuesday morning, the district’s Facebook page was littered with a handful of comments complaining about the “connectivity issues” officials have since confirmed.

The Arlington County Public Schools superintendent apologized for the system-wide technical challenges many families experienced today, especially with connecting APS devices to Canvas and Microsoft Teams distance learning software.

They emailed FOX 5 the following statement: 

"We knew there would be a high volume of traffic on the first day of school. We believed we had taken all necessary steps to prepare for this in advance, and unfortunately this morning we discovered an additional adjustment was needed. We are refreshing the firewall servers now."

APS says its Department of Information Services identified that the primary source of the issue was firewall-related, due to the large volume of traffic trying to access Microsoft Teams at one time.

FOX 5's Tisha Lewis reports the school district is working on a solution now.

READ MORE: Some school-district employees are on the payroll despite not working

Meanwhile, there was a lot of anxiety across Fairfax County about distance learning software Blackboard, given the stumbles back in spring. The county is now using an enhanced version this time around.

There was similar feedback in Loudoun County. Things were smooth today aside from a minor glitch that was fixed immediately and didn’t impact the day.

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