'Technical challenges' force one of nation's largest school districts to halt online classes

'Technical challenges' force one of nation's largest school districts to halt online classes
© Getty Images

Virtual classes have been put on hold in one of the nation’s largest school districts due to technical issues with Blackboard, an online education program.

Teacher-led instruction in Fairfax County, Va., was canceled for Thursday and Friday, with classes slated to resume next week.

The county had canceled classes Wednesday after announcing an initial two-hour delay, according to WUSA9. Schools have been closed since March 13 in response to the coronavirus outbreak.


Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand told families that the district’s transition to distance learning “has not gone as smoothly as hoped.”

Brabrand said tech teams for the county and Blackboard believe they have identified the root cause of connectivity problems and are making the necessary fixes.

“These critical updates take time and we will reassess the situation and provide an update on Friday,” he said in a statement, adding that he expected classes will be held again starting Monday.

He also shared a message from Blackboard regarding the issue and attempts to move the county's 189,000 students to fully remote instruction during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We encountered unexpected technical challenges over the past couple of days that caused some users to experience issues when logging into the FCPS 24-7 Learning site, and we are working closely with FCPS to resolve the issues as quickly as possible,” Blackboard said.

Fairfax County reported 16 new coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing its total to 1,375. There have been 30 coronavirus deaths in the county.