Laguna Beach USD cancels Zoom classes amid service outage

Laguna Beach High School

The Laguna Beach Unified School District canceled Zoom sessions scheduled for Monday, the first day of the 2020-21 school year, following a reported widespread outage on the videoconference platform, according to a prepared statement.

Zoom service has been inconsistent and intermittent with many school district accounts working fine while many others did not, Deputy Superintendent Leisa Winston wrote in an email.

“This was a worldwide problem with one of the biggest concentrations of the issues being the west coast,” Winston wrote. “We have developed alternatives for today’s first day of school so that our teachers can begin the process of developing relationships with their students, which is important on the first day of school.”

District staffers continued distance learning with students using alternative methods Monday, such as phone, text, chat, email exchanges, and discussion boards. The district’s learning management systems, Canvas and Google Classroom, are still functioning, Winston wrote.

Zoom said Monday that it started receiving reports of disruptions around 6 a.m. Pacific Time, the Associated Press reports. It has identified the issue causing the problem and is working on a fix, the company reported on its status page.

Laguna Beach Unified is developing contingency plans in case a future disruption to the service occurs, administrators said.

Two parents confirmed receiving a standardized email from teachers or principals regarding the Zoom disruption.

“Please hold tight for a more detailed email later this morning with information about today’s lesson and a few short activities to complete in lieu of class,” the email states. “You (the student) should also expect a short phone call from me later … today. We are very sorry for the confusion, and appreciate your patience yet again.”

This story is developing and will be updated as necessary.

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  1. As a parent of a student who chose the distant learning option all year I am immensely grateful for how the district is handling this. It evolves daily given the mandates and guidelines. My son is in 11th grade and in constant touch with the school and the resources they provide. I think of it as a “snow day” back East… Elements beyond control of the district.


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