Campus struck by internet outage Thursday


computer screenshot

Computers throughout the district saw this message for at least four hours on Thursday as an internet outage limited the ability of some classes to get work done.

A district wide internet outage Thursday that began shortly before noon and lasted until after school dismissed at 4:15 p.m. left some classes on campus scrambling for alternative lesson plans.

We literally can do nothing,

— online math teacher Matthew Horan

“I was planning on doing something with Google Classroom, which I’m unable to do without the internet, and when we get test results and have to do an analysis, we use the internet for that,” world history teacher Ashley Mayfield said. “Sometimes, I’ll drag out activities to fill time, or I’ll pull something we were going to do the next class period, and whatever we’re doing with technology, I’ll try to do the next day, if the internet’s working at that point.”

Internet connectivity issues are especially problematic for classes which rely on online materials for coursework and assessments such as the advanced online math class taught by Matthew Horan.

“All middle schools have a number of middle schoolers who are a few years ahead, so I have about 10 students per school, and that doesn’t warrant a teacher in person,” Horan said. “Our entire class is conducted online. The class requires my instruction through chat, because I have multiple schools on at once, so we literally can do nothing. Our class periods are shorter than in high school, so we start out the year behind, and then stuff like this gets us further behind.”

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For classes such as American Sign Language, the district does what it can to facilitate the spread of information to teachers while also helping students make sure they do not missing learning opportunities.

We couldn’t use the internet, so it made it hard to learn anything new,

— sophomore Taylor Bullitt

“When we have outages, we ask our proctors to try and communicate with the teachers that are online,” FISD Languages Other Than English coordinator Allison Ginn said. “When we do gain access back, they would let us know the internet’s down, and we work with the company to extend assignments. We connect with the online language company for that course, then work with them on due dates and assessments. We also have live sessions, so if a student misses that, I work with our vendor to reschedule that.”

But with no internet outage planned, teachers and students are often caught off guard which can be frustrating for those that are impacted.

“My last period, we needed to use the computers for an assignment we were doing,” sophomore Taylor Bullitt said. “We couldn’t use the internet, so it made it hard to learn anything new.”