NoVa public schools have returned to virtual school — here’s how the first day went

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NORTHERN VIRGINIA (WDVM) — School is back in session, as Northern Virginia students began their virtual academic year on Tuesday.

Loudoun, Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington and Prince William County public schools all began the school year successfully, according to officials for each of the counties.

School officials say that there were only minor hiccups with the technology, such as some classes not being able to access a Zoom link.

Arlington Public Schools released a statement regarding the technical issued they faced regarding students being unable to access classroom software.

“We sincerely apologize for the system-wide technical challenges many families experienced today, especially with connecting APS devices to Canvas and Microsoft Teams. The 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. We are deploying a solution now,” Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán wrote in the statement.

Despite these issues, the schools say that they were more equipped for the remote school year compared to when the pandemic first began in March. The schools attribute the success to being able to provide computers and internet access so all students can learn.

“What we were able to do this summer was create a partnership with Comcast to be able to offer our families pre-paid internet access through the year,” said Elizabeth Hoover, Chief Technology Officer for Alexandria Public Schools.

Loudoun County also aided in making distance learning capable for all by providing Chromebooks to students and setting up Wi-Fi hotspots in high school parking lots.

Schools have created technology helplines to call into if you or your child can’t correctly access the remote learning option. Parents struggling with technology are asked to reach out to your school district for assistance during this transition.

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