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Dallas, Fort Worth ISDs say technical issues aren't affecting instruction on first day

As many students across North Texas head back to school virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, technical issues have further complicated an already stressful start.

Updated at 7:22 p.m. with information from Fort Worth ISD.

The largest school districts in North Texas reported technical issues Tuesday morning as the first day of virtual learning got underway for both Fort Worth and Dallas ISDs. However, both districts said those issues were not impacting virtual learning.

Dallas ISD said its phone lines and main website were impacted. The issues are intermittent and the district said it's working to fix them as quickly as possible.

At the same time, Fort Worth ISD said there was no email access and phones were down.

A number of districts have reported issues since learning began in mid-August, including network connectivity and Zoom glitches. 

As many students across North Texas, and around the country, head back to school virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, technical issues have further complicated already stressful times for teachers, students and parents.

The Fort Worth ISD website was also down Tuesday morning.

A district spokesperson said the issue is with the district’s web hosting vendor, and that Dallas and Houston ISDs were having similar problems with the contractor.

The phone issue was due to a faulty Spectrum switcher, which has since been fixed, the spokesperson said.

Neither affected virtual learning, which operates on a separate server, but parents still took to the district’s Facebook page, saying they couldn’t get help troubleshooting connection problems.

Parents reported accounts were locked, codes and passwords weren’t working. One Facebook used called the whole first-day experience “ridiculous.”

The district said individual schools in some cases are better equipped to help individual families. Emily Youree, a mother of two, and CEO of Fort Worth Moms Blog, agrees.

“I bet today is not the only day that we will have technical troubles of some sort,” Youree said. “Don’t hesitate to text, ask for help. Know those teacher phone numbers. Know the phone numbers and text numbers for even your principals. Get to know your point of contact.”