Students go back to school — virtually —with some hiccups in South Florida

HIALEAH, Fla. – Across South Florida, thousands of students headed back to class Monday — while sitting in their own homes.

The virtual return from spring break, in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus, came with some snags in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

In Broward, many students and parents struggled to join the first day of online learning in the county.

Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said the vendor they were working with wasn’t ready for the sheer number of students and teachers logging in at once.

“What we saw today was a performance issue in terms of dealing with the capacity, so the system was slow, or some people weren’t able to get on when they wanted to get on it," Runcie said. “I think [the vendor] made some steps, but obviously not enough. We got their attention today, you can be assured of that.”

Things went a little smoother in Miami-Dade, although they weren’t without hiccups as they returned to the distance learning that they had begun before spring break.

Some families in Miami-Dade reported system issues around midday. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said that everything was going smoothly Monday morning, until students on the west coast of the country began logging in, causing an overload to the third-part system that Miami-Dade uses.

“Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of students were logged in successfully. When the west coast woke up three hours later, that additional demand on the capacity slowed down some of the applications and in some cases actually crashed their systems,” Carvalho said.

The issues were intermittent, and Carvalho said they’re working with their vendor to prevent it from happening again.

Both counties had provided laptops to students in need so they could continue learning during the coronavirus outbreak.

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