Petersburg City Public Schools

By Zach Armstrong

PRINCE GEORGE, Va -- Some students at Petersburg City Public Schools experienced technical issues logging on for virtual learning on the first day of school Tuesday.

The school district addressed the matter on social media stating on twitter that they “are aware that some students are experiencing issue logging on this morning. We are working to address and solve those issues. Thank you for your understanding and support.”

Most students were successful in logging into their learning services. According to Seth Stephens, chief communications officer at PCPS, the help staff at the district received complaints from around 200 families on Tuesday. Approximately 4,000 students attend the school district.

Although most difficulty was solved as the morning progressed, some families were still receiving assistance with logging at around 12:30 p.m.

“We're confident that once parents and students get into the habit of logging in to their accounts then things will be smoother,” said Stevens. “The problems involve logging on and we're addressing this with more support staff to help families going forward,”

PCPS is using the platforms Schoology, Zoom and Clever to provide digital learning services to students. These services allow schools to manage academic content with video chats, attendance records, online gradebook, tests and homework dropboxes.

Clever and Zoom are providing Petersburg Schools their services for free. The school district is paying $35,000 to Schoology for the school year.

Petersburg was not the only county in Virginia whose schools experienced difficulty with new online services. Chesterfield County Public Schools experienced a network outage on the same day. As tens of thousands of students and teachers tried logging in, some were able to access the program while others were not.

All CCPS students were able to access the learning program around 10 a.m. that day following two hours of technical difficulty for many.

The Chesterfield County School District released a statement saying “We are continuing to work with Rapid Identity to make sure that the issues experienced this morning are not replicated.” The statement went on to read “we feel confident that Wednesday’s start will be a much smoother one.”