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Huntsville City Schools prepare to return to classes after cybersecurity threat

The district has been working to find effective ways to reach students while regular virtual instruction is not available.

Faculty and staff at Huntsville City Schools have been working to find a way to educate students after a cybersecurity threat turned normal operations upside down.

Superintendent Christie Finley released the following statement:

I know that this has been a tough week, so I wanted to take the opportunity to reach out to all of you for an update. Before going any further, I would like to thank our district and school level teams who have been working diligently this week to prepare lessons and materials for our students.

As shared in our update yesterday, our team has developed plans for classes as we minimize the use of technology. As a parent of a child in our school system, I acknowledge that our plan is not perfect. Based on our technical constraints, we are unable to provide our regular virtual instruction. In our response to the cyber security threat, our highest priority is remedying this as quickly as possible. I know that you are anxious about resuming virtual instruction, and I can’t stress enough that, as a parent, I share this same sentiment.

I also understand that there are concerns in our community about the unknowns and curiosity surrounding our data and personal information. Since learning of this, my team’s goal has been to resolve this incident while protecting you and your information. This isn’t something that we are doing on our own. From the outset of this process, we have worked with law enforcement and an outside cybersecurity team. These individuals have been reinforcing our IT team and helping us remedy this situation. As Superintendent, I believe we make our best decisions when we let internal and external experts guide us. That’s exactly what we are doing in this scenario. This process will take some time, but we are working with the best.

In times like this, it is common to assume the worst. I understand that feeling, but one of the best things we can do as a community is to minimize speculation. To help with this, my team is committed to keeping you informed throughout this process, and we will continue to do so. I am hopeful that we will have good news to share soon, but we will share information as soon as we can do so safely and responsibly. It is critical not to share information prematurely in order to protect the integrity of the investigation and our team’s response.

I appreciate the outpouring of support our district and school teams have received throughout this process.  Our community and our District have repeatedly shown that we can overcome any challenge that we may face.  This year has been full of challenges, but we have remained resilient.  While we still have work to do, will get to the other side of this even stronger than before.