Learning continues despite cyber attack

Caylin Bell, Staff Writer

On November 11th, both Jackson and Hillsdale County schools experienced a cyber attack that shut down all internet services for a few weeks. Even without the internet and electronics, the Concord Community teachers thrived under pressure and continued teaching.

Some teachers used this to their advantage by doing hands-on learning such as projects. Mrs.Fiero had her Biology classes create a “Baby Project” and learn how genetics work. The Anatomy and Physiology classes Mrs.Fiero teaches went back to textbooks to take notes, along with eating very blue cupcakes to track their digestive systems and how healthy they are. Mrs. Fiero says, “As a whole, I feel like we have adjusted very well. Being reliant on technology for so long did not help. Everything has been moved online so switching on a dime was unnerving. All of my classes are a bit behind schedule, but overall I believe they will all catch up fine.”

Coach Max Clark has taken this opportunity to turn work online into class lectures without the distractions of computers. While Miss Fields has gone old school for her math classes. It’s pencil paperwork that comes with an in-class lecture instead of a video. Miss Fields jumped head-first into an offline learning experience, “As a class, we went “back to the basics” and focused on doing notes on the whiteboard and practice [problems] straight from the book. During that time the amount of positive math talk was EXCITING to hear. I am super grateful to have technology to help aid us during instructional lessons. Although I find that the reset encouraged me to focus more on what I can do with limited technology and how I can effectively integrate technology into my classroom without relying on it to learn.”

Junior Alonzo Hopkins has felt both the good and the bad from the outage. He shares, “I feel both good and bad: good because it allowed me to refresh, and bad because of the stress from the breach.” While the outage was happening, it gave the students a break from electronics, which could have provided some much-needed relaxation for the eyes and brain. 

Madison Coburn not only takes her normal high school classes but also takes some college courses. One in which she lost a few days of progress due to the outage. Coburn says, “I was able to access my college class but lost a document that was saved to my computer. It was a learning curve on how to change everything from Chrome to Apple. I did lose access to my online Physics and lost a whole week of work time. I came back to many assignments I had to complete. I did not enjoy having to continue my online class while we did not have school.”

As of this time, there are no risk to the systems. The essential systems are safely up and running. Law enforcement was contacted, and there is no evidence to suggest that any one individual was the target of this attack. Jackson County ISD will count November 14th-November16th as Act of God Days. These days are built into the school year and prevent unforeseen cancellations from elongating the academic year. As of Monday, November 28th, all staff and student passwords have been reset, and everyone should be back online.  Power School will be closed from December 5th-7th for additional work.   We are incredibly grateful for all the efforts the technology team has invested in getting our systems back to normal.