District computers hacked

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by Alyssa Villarreal

Montebello Unified School District confirmed the hacking of its main student database on July 11 which affected summer registration, School Loop and other related school activities. 

Due to the hacking, School Loop was down until last Thursday. Teachers were unable to input grades or message students and parents. Students and parents also could not access the system. 

With School Loop unavailable, some teachers turned to Google Classroom instead, organizing voluntary trainings to learn how to maximize the program. Google Classroom allows teachers to publish grades, post assignments and make comments on student work. 

“It was not the way to start the year,” Principal Stacey Honda said. “We came up with a lot of alternative plans.”

During the summer, the school staff came together to try to get ready for the school year. However, the hacking of district information prevented access to Synergy, the main student database. Without access to Synergy, student information for class schedules could not be made before registration and without schedules, students were unable to receive textbooks. Schedule changes were also out of commission until the second week of school unless a student was explicitly informed otherwise by a counselor. Changes to class schedules are ongoing for students who need adjustments.

Registration is also traditionally the time students take ID pictures and get their IDs. With the student database out of use, the information needed for IDs was inaccessible and students did not take their photos nor receive their IDs. ID pictures are rescheduled for the week of Sept. 23. Senior portraits were similarly rescheduled and photographers will begin their first shoot in late Sept., with appointment information going out to seniors next week.

While many teachers were affected by the hacking, others were indifferent.

“I was able to teach normally,” Spanish teacher Joe Gonzalez said. “I was like a chameleon and was able to adapt to my surroundings.”

On Aug. 6, the district regained access to Synergy. School Loop was also put back into service on Aug. 29. 

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