Leander ISD faces technology hiccups on first day of school

Education

LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — Leander High School students were set to start virtual learning Thursday, but the night before, school leaders said they’ve already run into technology issues.

In a Twitter update Wednesday night, the Leander Independent School District announced it canceled the first two virtual learning days of the year for all high school students.

The first two days were supposed to be Thursday and Friday of this week. According to the district, it all stems back to issues with technology.

Leander ISD said it had to cancel “due to an issue with the web content filtering tool that allows students to connect to the internet on their district-provided laptop.”

A few hours into the district’s first-day of class, Leander put out a statement saying they were experiencing an issue with Home Access Center (HAC) that prevented 6th grade students from accessing their accounts. In addition, 7th through 12th grade parents could not reset their passwords.

Middle school parent Annie Hardy says her daughter experienced those issues Thursday.

“Leander ISD decided to restart all the devices, so she’s trying to log on to her math class and all the devices shut down, it was really frustrating,” said Hardy. “We went into this saying: It’s not going to be perfect. It’s just not. The district is doing everything they can.”

Hardy says despite those hiccups, overall the day went smoothly. Her elementary school son even gave the day a 9 out of 10.

“I feel very confident that tomorrow it’ll be better, and then Monday it’ll be better. We just have to pull back out expectations,” said Hardy.

Elementary school students are using Chromebooks or personal devices, which are not impacted by the technology issues.

The vendor Leander ISD uses is called Content Keeper. The company is tasked with getting all of Leander 10,000 devices online. Last Friday, the company told Leander ISD officials it would be able to do that in time for Thursday, until noticing an issue Wednesday evening.

“They called us and said: We have made a miscalculation. We noticed a mistake with another district, and that’s what pointed us to this issue,” said Leander ISD Superintendent Bruce Gearing.

Gearing says the company will be over-nighting new software, and they plan to work tirelessly over the weekend to install it.

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