North Texas school districts experience internet outages during virtual learning

Just as students try to get used to virtual learning, thousands of teachers across dozens of North Texas school districts experienced internet outages on Thursday.

It turns out the issue was a piece of hardware that failed for a contractor that supplies internet to 54 school districts.

For two-and-a-half hours on Thursday, thousands of teachers and students depending on the internet were left stranded without it.

Internet connectivity for dozens of North Texas school districts goes through the Region Ten Education Service Center.

A spokeswoman for the ESC says its provider, a company called Zayo, suffered a hardware problem and "the contractor has assured us that the issue will not reoccur."

Like many others in Richardson ISD, FOX 4 Reporter Lori Brown’s first grader saw an endlessly spinning circle when they tried to log onto zoom sessions. In his case, once the class was logged on, the teacher was unable to see students.

Allen and Frisco ISDs also reported students were having trouble logging in for their assignments.

Joe Guzman, a band teacher at Frisco's Vandeventer Middle School, said he was sent home to continue teaching remotely after the internet went down on campus.

"Adventures in virtual teaching,” he posted on social media. “When the internet goes down at school and in your district so you get sent home to teach remotely. I hope I grabbed everything."

Madison Ashcroft started school last Thursday. She said Thursday's issues were not the first. Her mother, Serena Ashcroft, believes the only real solution is for kids to get back to the classroom.

“Our kids are begging to go back to school,” Serena said. “They've seen how it works. They are losing valuable education time.”

McKinney ISD said in a statement that teachers will work with students to complete missed lessons and absences recorded during the interruption will not be counted towards a student’s 90 percent attendance requirement.