Huntsville students out all week after computer system attack

Huntsville school students will not return to campuses for the rest of this week as the school system responds to a computer ransomware attack, the system said today.

Principals, assistant principals, and some operations staff will return Wednesday, and teachers and other employees will return Thursday “to prepare materials for students,” the system said on its website. Curbside meals will be available at some locations Wednesday.

The school system said it is working with local and federal authorities on what is “an active investigation.” An FBI spokesman confirmed Tuesday that the bureau is “involved and working on the case.” No further details were released.

The system said it is working to “determine if any or what information may have been compromised” by the computer system break-in. It said “some families at several campuses may have received phone calls regarding internet access for students. This does not appear to be connected

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Dallas ISD plans to build cell towers, pay for internet to help students

Almost none of the students at W. W. Samuell High School had access to district-issued laptops or internet hotspots in their homes just one year ago.

In what would now be viewed as a prescient decision, Principal Jennifer Tecklenburg started handing out Chromebooks to students in December so that every student could have a device to take home.

“It was an equity issue,” she said. “The students needed the technology at home as much as they needed it at school.”

Most of Samuell’s students had a device when the pandemic forced campuses in Dallas and across the country to close last March. But there was still the glaring issue of internet connectivity – what good was a laptop if a student didn’t have a Wi-Fi connection to use it on?

Students completed work on their phones, submitted assignments via text message or parked outside of libraries and restaurants to access

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Norwich University holds outdoor classroom design competition for high school students

Norwich University holds outdoor classroom design competition for high school students

Norwich University’s School of Architecture+Art launched a competition for high school students to design an outdoor classroom with thousands of scholarship dollars as prizes.

The competition, which is open to all high school students, launched Wednesday, Nov. 4; the submissions deadline is Sunday, Dec. 13. Students may register and compete as individuals or in teams with up to four members. All entries will receive feedback from Norwich University School of Architecture + Art faculty, who will also advise and guide registered competitors. Click here for all details on the design parameters and submission guidelines.

A completed submission will earn an individual or each individual in a team a Norwich scholarship of $500 per year for four years, totaling $2,000. The first-place winner will earn a Norwich scholarship of $2,000 per

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E-LEARN Act would provide free internet to all students during COVID-19

Thousands of New York students have been attempting to learn online without internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic, but new legislation seeks to change that.



Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Shelley Mayer that are looking at the camera: State Sen. Shelley Mayer is education chair of the NY state Senate.


© David McKay Wilson
State Sen. Shelley Mayer is education chair of the NY state Senate.

The E-LEARN act, announced Tuesday by Sens. Shelley Mayer, D-Westchester, John Liu, D-Queens, and Pete Harckham, D-Putnam, would provide free broadband access to every student and school in the state for the duration of the pandemic. That access would be funded by internet service providers.

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“We are not complying with the state constitution,” Liu said. “The New York State Constitution requires us to provide a sound basic education for all of the school kids in the state of New York. In this day and age, that is impossible without quality broadband internet access. 

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Most NJ students have computer access, but that won’t close divide, advocates say

Parents lined up at schools in Dover, Haledon and Camden last week to pick up computer devices for their children, as New Jersey makes strides to close a digital divide that has strained families and schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Distribution of over 200 free Chromebooks in Paterson to help students during the pandemic

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About 35,000 students across the state still lack computer devices or internet connections at home, a big improvement from the 231,000 tallied in August, according to a New Jersey Department of Education survey this month.

But while the number is narrowing, it doesn’t give a full picture of remote-learning challenges, say advocates and school leaders.

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“We’re in a good place when it comes to devices,” said Norma Fernandez, deputy superintendent of Jersey City’s schools. “But the

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Fisher River Cree Nation gives students free laptops and internet access for online learning



a person in a blue shirt sitting on a desk: Grade 12 student Koby Wilson is one of 230 students in Fisher River Cree Nation who received a laptop and MiFi box for online schooling.


© Submitted
Grade 12 student Koby Wilson is one of 230 students in Fisher River Cree Nation who received a laptop and MiFi box for online schooling.

Fisher River Cree Nation is making the transition to online learning easier by giving students in the community a free laptop or iPad and internet connection device.

“It’s a great thing… because not every family actually has the money to afford a laptop,” said Grade 12 student Koby Wilson.

Wilson is one of 470 students who attend the two schools in the community about 170 kilometres north of Winnipeg. He works part time at the local restaurant and is a councillor for Fisher River’s junior chief and council. 

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During the first few weeks of the school year, students were given paper homework packages. 

In October, the Fisher River Education Authority received an order of 230 Toshiba laptops which were given to

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These Stanford students are racing to get laptops to kids around the U.S. who most need them

The digital divide is not a new phenomenon. Still, it largely took Americans by surprise when, as the U.S. began to shut down to slow the spread of Covid-19 in March, schools grappled with how to move forward with online classes.

It wasn’t just a matter of altering students’ curriculum. Many lacked either internet access or home computers — and some lacked both. According to USAFacts, a non-partisan organization funded by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer,  4.4 million households with children have not had consistent access to computers for online learning during the pandemic.

It’s a problem that two Stanford students, Isabel Wang and Margot Bellon, are doing everything in their power to address, and with some success. Through their six-month-old 501(c)(3) outfit, Bridging Tech, they’ve already provided more than 400 refurbished laptops to children who need them most — those living in homeless shelters — beginning with students in

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In Wi-Fi ‘Dead Zones,’ Rural Students Can’t Log On to Virtual School

Shekinah and Orlandria Lennon were sitting at their kitchen table this fall, taking online classes, when video of their teachers and fellow students suddenly froze on their laptop screens. The wireless antenna on the roof had stopped working, and it could not be fixed.

Desperate for a solution, their mother called five broadband companies, trying to get connections for their home in Orrum, N.C., a rural community of fewer than 100 people with no grocery store or traffic lights.

All the companies gave the same answer: Service is not available in your area.

The response is the same across broad stretches of Robeson County, N.C., a swath of small towns and rural places like Orrum dotted among soybean fields and hog farms on the South Carolina border. About 20,000 of the county’s homes, or 43 percent of all households, have no internet connection.

The technology gap has prompted teachers to

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Lack of internet access causes problems for remote students

Heather Johnson’s work suffers due to COVID and now she worries about paying for the internet as her kids go back to full remote learning.

EVANS, Colorado — As more school districts move back to remote learning, what has become the norm for many families is a burden for others.

“I know I’m not the only one,” said Heather Johnson, a parent of two students in the Greeley-Evans School District.

The district is closing their campus Monday, and Johnson said she is worried about her kids. 

“My girls are both remote learning and my 14-year-old is special needs,” Johnson said.

With the rise in COVID-19 cases across Colorado, Johnson said her financial struggles have followed the same pattern. 

RELATED: These school districts have shifted to remote learning

“I was okay. We were okay,” she said. “We’re able to make our bills and everything, but we ran out of money around

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No signal: Internet ‘dead zones’ cut rural students off from virtual classes.

Shekinah and Orlandria Lennon were sitting at their kitchen table this fall, taking online classes, when video of their teachers and fellow students suddenly froze on their laptop screens. The wireless antenna on the roof had stopped working, and it couldn’t be fixed.

Desperate for a solution, their mother called five broadband companies, trying to get connections for their home in Orrum, N.C., a rural community of fewer than 100 people with no grocery store or traffic lights.

All the companies gave the same answer: Service is not available in your area.

“It’s not fair,” said Shekinah, 17. “I don’t think just the people who live in the city should have internet. We need it in the country, too.”

Millions of American students are grappling with the same challenges, learning remotely without adequate home internet service. About 15 million K-12 students lived in households without adequate online connectivity or remote

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