12-04-20 Updates Regarding Cybersecurity Threat

Click the More Information button below for the most recent updates regarding the cybersecurity threat, as well as student, staff, and faculty return on Monday.  Today's update includes a letter from HCS Superintendent Finley, as well as updates on the magnet application and the 2021-2022 school year calendar survey.

Cybersecurity Threat Updates

12-04-20 Information Update
Letter from Superintendent Finley

Dear Huntsville City Schools families, 

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.

Xổ số thành phố trực tiếpAs 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.

Xổ số thành phố trực tiếpIn 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.

Xổ số thành phố trực tiếpI 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.

Very Respectfully,

Christie Finley
Xổ số thành phố trực tiếpSuperintendent

Magnet Application Update

The Magnet Application Window for all programs has been postponed. Future applications will resume in the Spring. If you have already applied for a program we will let you know as soon as possible if you will need to reapply. There is no additional information needed from current applicants or future applicants at this time. Additional information will be updated and provided as soon as possible.

2021-2022 Calendar Survey

Huntsville City Schools (HCS) is asking stakeholders to vote on two proposed calendars for next school year:  Both calendar proposals include the same scheduled holiday days for students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, both proposals include 180 student days and 187 teacher days as mandated by the ALSDE.  Read more about the changes and access the survey via the calendar survey article.

Teachers & Staff Preparing for Students on Monday

12-03-20 Information Update

Dear HCS Families,

Xổ số thành phố trực tiếpAs we continue to address the current technology situation in our district, our plan, at this time, is for students to resume instruction beginning Monday, December 7, 2020.  All HCS students on a traditional schedule (face-to-face) will return to campus on this date; however, please refer to each section below for information related to specific grade levels.

Elementary Schools:
  • Elementary school students on a traditional schedule (face-to-face) will return to campus and follow their normal daily schedule.  At this time, students will be provided assignments that will not require the use of their district-issued device.  This will be the process until normal technology operations resume.
  • Students in HVA will be able to pick up assignment packets no later than Monday, December 7.  These assignments will be due the following Monday, December 14.  Each school will communicate specific procedures and locations for pick-up and return of assignments. Prior to December 14, your school will inform you about the plan for the remainder of the fall semester.
  • Students in quarantine will receive assignment packets to complete at home until their return to campus.  Parents will be notified by the school as to when instructional packets may be picked up and returned.
Middle/Junior High School:
  • Middle and Junior High students on a traditional schedule (face-to-face) will return to campus and follow their normal daily schedule.  At this time, students will be provided assignments that will not require the use of their district-issued device.  This will be the process until normal technology operations resume.
  • Students in HVA will have assignment packets prepared for student pick up no later than Monday, December 7. Each school will communicate specific procedures and locations for pick-up and return of assignments.
  • Students in quarantine will receive assignment packets to complete at home until their return to campus.  Parents will be notified by the school as to when instructional packets may be picked up and returned.
High School:
  • All traditional (face-to-face) high school students will attend in person on Monday, December 7.  The staggered cohort schedule will resume on Tuesday, December 8.  Students in cohort A will attend school on campus on Tuesday, December 8, and Wednesday, December 9.  Students in cohort B will attend school on campus Thursday, December 10 and Friday, December 11.  Beginning Monday, December 14, students will resume attendance following the cohort schedule posted in the HCS Reset Plan. During this time, students will be provided assignments that will not require the use of their district-issued device.  This will be the process until normal technology operations resume.
  • Students in HVA will have assignment packets prepared for student pick up no later than Monday, December 7. Each school will communicate specific procedures and locations for pick-up and return of assignments.
  • Students in quarantine will receive assignment packets to complete at home until their return to campus.  Parents will be notified by the school as to when instructional packets may be picked up and returned.

Although the above items represent our current plan, these are subject to change – as has been the case throughout this semester.  Our intention is to follow the above plan if possible; however, we continue to be thankful for your patience and flexibility.


12-02-20 Information Update

Dear HCS Families, 

School and district leaders returned to campuses today to begin developing plans for students and teachers to resume instruction.  Teachers will begin returning to campuses tomorrow on Thursday, December 3, to prepare lesson plans and materials for students based on the current circumstances.

The District team is planning for students to resume instruction and return to campus as early as possible, next week. In the meantime, our CNP Department will continue to distribute curbside meals at all school campuses between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for the remainder of the week. 

We know that our community is curious about the nature and impact of this cybersecurity threat.  We can assure you that we will let you know as soon as we are able to do so responsibly.  Please ensure devices continue to be turned off and remain off, and please continue avoiding logging in to any HCS platforms. We will continue to provide you with frequent updates as we learn more about the situation. 


12-01-20 Information Update
  • Principals, assistant principals, and Operations staff who are notified by their supervisor will return on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. Additionally, district personnel will return on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. Teachers and all other HCS employees will return to campuses beginning Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 to prepare materials for students. Supervisors will contact employees regarding schedules.
  • HCS will serve curbside meals at all school campuses Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 through Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 from 11:00AM to 1:00PM.
  • Students will not return to campuses for the remainder of the week. Plans for next week will be shared in the coming days.
  • The district is working with local and federal authorities, and this is an active investigation.
  • As part of this investigation, HCS is continuing to work in conjunction with authorities to determine if any or what information may have been compromised. HCS is aware that some families at several campuses may have received phone calls regarding internet access for students. This does not appear to be connected to the cybersecurity threat. As a precautionary measure, these calls have been reported to law enforcement authorities as part of the investigation.
  • Families will not receive any district correspondence requesting their student’s name or personal information. HCS encourages families to be extremely cautious in sharing personal information with anyone.  Avoid opening any emails and do not click on any links from unfamiliar email accounts.  
  • HCS updates will continue to be shared via official district platforms including Schoolcast (call, text, email), district social media platforms, and the district website at .
  • Ensure HCS devices remain off, and do not log on to any HCS platforms until further notice.
  • The HCS Board of Education work session originally scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 will be rescheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020.
  • HCS administrators are working to resume classes as quickly as possible. We will keep you informed as we continue to consult with authorities and determine plans moving forward.

 


11-30-20 School Closure Notice

Dear stakeholders,

Xổ số thành phố trực tiếpWe thank you for your understanding surrounding the early dismissal today. Our district is continuing to work with both local and federal authorities to work to resolve this cybersecurity threat, which appears to be a ransomware attack.

To mitigate the spread of the cyberattack, we will proceed with closing schools and campuses tomorrow on Dec. 1, 2020. Students, faculty, and staff members will not report to buildings. For clarity, students and teachers will not engage in remote learning.

We continue to encourage all users to ensure HCS devices remain off and to avoid logging on any HCS platforms until further notice.

While we are working to resume classes as quickly as possible, we acknowledge this may require some additional time away from buildings. We will keep you informed as we continue to consult with authorities and determine a plan moving forward.

Xổ số thành phố trực tiếpWe ask for your support and flexibility during this time as we have only the best interests of students, families, and employees in mind.

Very respectfully,

Christie Finley
HCS Superintendent

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