SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- While many parents have been skeptical how long in-person instruction would continue in Scotch Plains-Fanwood after the district went from all-remote to hybrid this week, few could have imagined that in-class learning would be postponed again because of a cyber-attack on SPFK12 computers.
The announcement came on Thursday, Jan. 21, which was the first day of in which roughly half of the district's 7th and 8th graders and Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School students entered the buildings for classes for the first time since March 2020. Dr. Joan Mast, superintendent of schools, sent an email to parents during the day to inform them about ongoing internet issues.
Later, during the Board of Education's virtual meeting at 8:00 p.m., she announced that the disruptions were due to a cyber-attack.
"It's a serious situation. It has happened to other districts," Dr. Mast said. "I'm very confident that it will be resolved soon."
(See video below).
1.21.21 Update on Internet Outage: Remote Learning on Jan. 22
Dear SPF Community,
IT staff is continuing to diligently work on the internet outage across the district. Troubleshooting is ongoing and has been escalated to the highest levels necessary. However, at this time we have no guarantee that the internet will be fully accessible from our school buildings tomorrow for the hybrid model. This outage is also affecting access to Powerschool, which is essential for families to submit their student’s daily COVID-19 screening form.
To that end, all schools will turn to remote learning tomorrow (Friday, January 22). Remote learning will be possible because teachers/students will have access to Google Classroom from their home internet.
We apologize for the inconvenience the outage is causing and will continue to stay in communication with you.
Dr. Joan Mast
Dr. Mast announced at the meeting that authorities have been contacted and that she expects the problem to be resolved by the end of the day on Friday -- in time for instruction on Monday. She did not know and could not say who the cyber-attackers were or what they were after.
Also during the meeting the BOE recognized the Teachers of the Year and Education Professionals of the year for the five elementary schools, two middle schools and Scotch Plains-Fanwood HS.