Online learning cancelled at Durham school board as cyber attack fallout enters fifth day


Published November 29, 2022 at 3:44 pm

Online learning at the Durham District School Board has been cancelled for the second day in a row as the board tries to deal with a cyber attack discovered last Friday.

In addition to DDSB@Home being cancelled Tuesday, the cyber incident has also forced the postponement of this week’s scheduled literacy test (OSSLT).

The school board says its IT services team is prioritizing restoring critical systems to support school and business operations while external consultants try to determine the scope and extent of the cyber incident that has impacted the entire school board network.

“Unfortunately, much like when a snow day can impact in-person schools, this cyber incident is impacting DDSB@Home. We continue to explore ways to try and address this challenge (and) we ask for your patience as this investigation is complex and will take time to complete. We are committed to sharing more information on this topic, including if there are any privacy impacts,” read a letter to parents and students signed by Director of Education Norah Marsh, Equitable Education Associate Director Jim Markovski and Corporate Services Associate Director David Wright.

The Board has created a public Frequently Asked Questions document that will be updated regularly and will be providing further updates if there is new information to share about the incident or how we are restoring full school operations.

“There have been some questions about student safety protocols,” the letter acknowledged. “While schools are not able to receive calls, they are able to make calls and regular protocols are in place at schools for calling those parents and/or emergency services. The one student safety protocol not in place at this time is the safe arrival program. Attendance will continue to be manually taken and parents/guardians will not be notified should their child be absent. We recognize that this may have an impact on families’ morning routines and that in some cases parents may wish to alter their drop-off practices.”

The Board is also working to ensure payroll to staff is not interrupted.

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