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NC schools dodge computer crash — so far

N.C. technology officials are cautiously letting out their breath after the first two days of school brought no crashes of the PowerSchool data system that controls student schedules, attendance and other vital data.

Wake County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the state’s largest districts, experienced slowdowns Monday, but that improved Tuesday. Union County had PowerSchool slowdowns Tuesday morning — unrelated to a crash of the district web site last week, which was caused by employee error and not related to the statewide data switch.

But Philip Price, technology chief for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, said Tuesday evening there were no problems that disrupted opening of schools around the state. About 1.5 million students returned to school on Monday, flooding the new system with data and demands.

“The first two days have been an extremely pleasant surprise,” Price said. “We haven’t had a lot of problems.”

CMS board Chair Mary McCray agreed. “Everything went off without a hitch with PowerSchool,” she said at Tuesday’s meeting.

But Price and his staff aren’t ready to celebrate yet. He warned that demands on the system will continue to increase throughout this week.

The switch from the old NC WISE system to PowerSchool, run by the New York-based Pearson School Systems, affects data on student attendance and grades, bus routes and employee data.

For families, PowerSchool’s Parent Portal replaces CMS’ Parent Assistant program for checking their children’s attendance, grades and assignments. Families with questions can call 980-343-9420.

Helms: 704-358-5033 Twitter: @anndosshelms
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