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Computer glitch disrupts first day of classes for Albany schools
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Computer glitch disrupts first day of classes for Albany schools

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Stock PIx: Chromebook distribution (copy)

Chromebooks lined up for distribution during checkout at West Albany High School in June.

Fall classes got off to a rough start on Monday for Greater Albany Public Schools.

Because COVID-19 infection rates in Linn and Benton counties still don’t meet state metrics for reopening schools, GAPS made preparations to begin the school year with online-only classes.

But hundreds of students found themselves unable to access the district’s network on Monday because of a widespread computer glitch.

Apparently, the company that provides filtering hardware and software for the network changed the settings on Friday, blocking most students from logging into the network to use Zoom and other remote-learning tools, according to GAPS spokesperson Andrew Tomsky.

As the scope of the problem became apparent Monday morning, the district’s information technology department was able to make a software patch to fix it, Tomsky said.

He added that the problem appears to have affected only students using GAPS-issued Chromebook computers to access the internet, but that represents most of the district’s enrollment.

“The good news is right now we think we have it fixed,” Tomsky said Monday afternoon. “We should be fine for (Tuesday).”

Tomsky sent an email to district families on Monday letting them know the issue had been resolved and that their students wouldn’t be marked absent for the first day of class if connectivity issues prevented them from doing schoolwork.

Bennett Hall can be contacted at bennett.hall@lee.net or 541-812-6111. Follow him on Twitter at @bennetthallgt.

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