Washington County Public Schools Dealing With Lost Student Data

Some servers went down in April.


Hagerstown, Md. (KM) Four weeks of student data were erased as the result of a mulch fire outside of the Center for Educational Services building, and the Washington County Public School System is working to correct that.

On April 29th, a mulch fire was reported outside of the building. It activated the fire suppression equipment on the inside . “That’s not what you think of a sprinkler system with water shooting down on the computer equipment. It  actually is some kind of fire suppression material that ended up shutting off the servers,” says Board of Education member Pieter Bickford.

He says four weeks of data, including student grades and attendance information, was erased. “They’ve been able to recover the grades up through the third marking period. But they did not the have the grades for the fourth marking period. We’re talking about four weeks worth of grades, and those are gone,” says Bickford.

In addition, a company that was hired by the School Board to handle the backup for that data failed.

The computer system is called Synergy Student System, which brings the StudentVUE and ParentVUE. The School System hopes to have those  two services back up next week.

Bickford says teachers have been given a lot of leeway in their efforts to retrieve and re-enter this data. “We’ve basically told teachers if they have to put in extras hours to catch up in the grade system, we’re willing to pay them for that. And we’re stressing patience with students as we get toward the end of the school year,” he says.

As the work continues to bring the system back up, Bickford says some students may need to re-take tests, or re-do projects for their classes. “Possible, but I think at this point, we’re putting a lot of trust in teachers that they come up with the appropriate grade or do what needs to be done to reassess the kids,” he says. “They may have to take a test again, but sometimes you have to deal with that when you’re in school.”

The School System says no student personal information was compromised during the computer shut down. The data that’s needs to be rebuilt in Synergy from February 10th through April 27th. is attendance, course history, Synergy Student Grades for grading periods 1,2,3, new and transfer students information, student class and sections, and discipline incidents.


By Kevin McManus