Technical glitches on first day back to school for Seattle kids

Technical glitches on first day back to school for Seattle kids

Dahlia Bazzaz

Seattle Public Schools kicked off its soft start to school today, and technical glitches made for a bumpy morning in some homes. Students spent a few hours Friday getting to know their teachers and classmates over Microsoft Teams, but many families reported difficulty getting on the platform.

Some said they were booted out of class calls or couldn’t access certain features such as the chat window or view camera feeds. 

“We are currently experiencing slow internet and learning platform access due to the high volume of traffic this morning. This has resulted in disruption of service on district issued laptops,” SPS spokesperson Tim Robinson wrote in an email. “Our technology teams are actively working the issues. We will update this alert when we have a resolution.” 

Another glitch occurred Wednesday when the district prematurely called families to tell them school would start the next day.

The district is slated to have its first day of full instruction on Sept. 14. In West Seattle, Chanie Stamford woke her daughters Mkinnley, 6, and Saniyah, 11, at 6 a.m. to get them in the swing of the school routine.

Saniyah, a sixth-grader at David T. Denny International Middle School, was only able to hear the audio from her two-hour class call. The screen was blank for some of her other classmates, too. Despite the hiccups, she said the call was “really good.” 

After explaining technical logistics to the class, Saniyah said, the teacher asked the students to find and describe an object of special value to them. She chose to talk about a medal she earned for running.

Students were also asked to send emojis that described how they felt that day. They also did stretches.

Mkinnley, who started first grade at Leschi Elementary School, spent her call playing ice-breaker games. She drew a picture of her friends playing at recess and held it up to the screen, her mother said.

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