Miami-Dade parents, students grow frustrated with virtual learning issues on first day school

The first day of Back to School in Miami-Dade County was a very frustrating one.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The first day of Back to School in Miami-Dade County was a very frustrating one.

Thousands of teachers and students had trouble connecting to the new online learning platform.

Several teachers took the initiative and set up their own online classes instead.

The first day of school is usually celebrated with pictures of smiling kids in back packs but this year, the morning kicked off with a frantic exchange between parents who swapped screen grabs of error messages as they tried to log onto Miami-Dade County Public School’s distance learning platform.

“It’s just a really rough start,” said Amanda Prieto, a mother of two. “It is timing out, we can’t get in.”

Leslie Brenes is a mother of four who could barely knock out an interview with Local 10 News’ Christina Vazquez without tackling technical glitches.

“This morning was crazy,” she said, before her daughter Giley was suddenly removed from a class.

“Too many students, so the system just kicked us out,” said Leslie.

Added Amanda: “We didn’t anticipate an hour and a half of log in issues.”

Calling the school district’s help line was futile; a busy signal became the soundtrack to a frustrating start to the school year.

Vazquez’s 9-year-old daughter Mina was excited to get the new school year started when the day began.

“It took a little time to get the system ready,” she said. “I changed into my clothes, ate breakfast.”

She even positioned her Barbie to distance learn alongside her, with the pair growing frustrated due to issues connecting to the school platform.

“Sometimes when it wasn’t working, I breath in and out,” the girl said with a laugh.

Many district teachers pivoted to Zoom to host a virtual class, but problems persisted.

“Then the teacher started having technical issues from the school,” Amanda explained. “You know they had months to prepare, this wasn’t last semester where things happened suddenly, and they needed to make a decision quickly.

“They knew what the expected load was on these servers, I think they should have been better prepared.”

About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."