Pandemic, Ransomware Attack Causing Concerns for Hartford Schools

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Right now Hartford Public Schools is dealing with two major challenges.

They’re still adjusting to having kids back in classrooms amid the pandemic and there’s continuing fallout from a recent cyberattack.

At a Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, teacher after teacher raised concerns about the return to school in Hartford.

“We are drowning. The teachers in the schools are drowning,” said one teacher. 

Educators pleaded with Board of Education members for help.

They spoke out about various issues including with personal protective equipment, virtual learning resources and even basic supplies, such as bathroom soap.

Hartford Public Schools are still adjusting to having kids back in classrooms amid the pandemic, and there’s continuing fallout from a recent cyberattack.

“This is the day to day about life or death. So it’s not made up. This is not little stuff,” said Shonta Browdy, Board of Education secretary.

In response, the Hartford Public Schools superintendent says they’re implementing back to class to the best of their ability.

And she argued many of the reported problems are not representative of how things are going overall.

From Waterbury to Glastonbury to East Lyme and other communities big and small across the state, educators are sharing their personal thoughts on returning to school in NBC Connecticut’s Teacher’s Journal.

“Are there incidents in which a bathroom might run out of soap? We’re going to identify that and then we’re going to identify how it is we can be more proactive so there isn’t a bathroom that runs out of soap,” said Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Hartford Public Schools superintendent.

All of this comes after the district was forced to delay last’s week start of school by a day following a ransomware attack on city servers.

On Tuesday, the board approved spending another roughly $50,000 on cloud storage which could help during a potential future attack.

“If something like this were to happen we would have all of our data readily available for us,” said Torres-Rodriguez.

The superintendent says they’re still recovering from the attack about a week ago and some services, including HR, continue to be impacted.

She says whoever targeted the city’s servers also hit a federal court recently.

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