The Central Virginian

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Schools delay testing

Posted on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 6:06 pm

We don’t realize how much we rely on the Internet and other modern technology to get through the day until it suddenly stops.

That’s what leaders at Louisa County Public Schools realized earlier this week when technology problems forced schools to cancel planned SOL testing on Monday.

“We all tried to put our thoughts together to deal with an unprecedented situation,” LCPS Superintendent Dr. Deborah Pettit said. “We’ve realized how dependent we are on the Internet.  The phones and internet are all tied in together.  That posed some concerns.”

Only two schools’ testing schedules were not impacted by the glitch since they weren’t scheduled to test that day—Louisa County Middle and Trevilians Elementary Schools.

The nearby Louisa County Public Library, which is connected to the school division’s wireless Internet service, was also without.

The problem began on Saturday when Bruno Sestito, director of technology for LCPS, realized there was a problem. After investigating on his own, he contacted Verizon, which dispatched a technician early on Sunday morning to investigate.

“It was then we learned that the main board was out, but the technician did not have the part on his vehicle,” Sestito said.

The failed connection serves as the main line for the school division’s voice, Internet and ethernet connections which link Moss-Nuckols, Trevilians, Thomas Jefferson and Jouett elementary schools on a wide area network.

“So, the central office was not able to connect with those schools,” said Sestito.

The technology director said that two voice T1 lines were also not able to function, which affected the buildings at the main campus ability to communicate by telephone.

According to Pettit, the elementary schools did have telephone service, but the central office could not communicate with them through the division’s wide area network.

“We knew about it over the weekend, but we thought it would be resolved,” Pettit said. “We realized at midnight [Monday morning] that we would have to cancel our tests.”     Read The Central Virginian’s May 16, 2013 issue for full story