HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – As the investigation into a possible ransomware attack continues, Huntsville City School students enrolled in traditional learning are back in the classroom but learning the old-fashioned way, using using only pencils and paper.
Teachers and students are still not allowed to use district devices or many online learning tools. The students enrolled in the Huntsville Virtual Academy aren’t virtual at all, they are picking up printed packets of work to do at home.
Challenger Middle School principal Bo Coln says they are happy to have students back in the building but they are definitely adapting.
“You know now they are having to get in that context and look for context clues reading a passage and have to sit there and study and think, ‘Okay did I retain that?’ versus asking Google or Siri or something like that to give me the answer,” said Coln.
He says thankfully the district is providing plenty of paper and ink for the print off sheets and veteran teachers have stepped up to help create work packets.
Parents and students were instructed to pick up their packets starting at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Coln says they will drop them off at their schools next Monday and pick up a new packet if need be.
He says they are going to do everything they can to insure students get what they need to continue learning.
“I personally will take it to their house if I have to, because they have to be getting the information. So my assistant principal and I will probably deliver a lot of them if they don’t pick them up,” says Coln.
Coln says the traditional and virtual students are receiving the same packets and at this time, they are focused on reviewing topics that have already been taught. He says ultimately it doesn’t matter the mode of teaching– as long as it’s happening.
“Technology is great. Our teachers, they rely on it somewhat, but school will go on even if we don’t have that,” says Coln.
District leaders say it doesn’t matter if students are learning traditionally or virtually, the packets that are started have enough school work for seven days.
The district says they are working to resolve this cyber security issue but there is no exact timeline for when they will be able to use district issued devices again.