ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools announced Wednesday that they will be closed Thursday, Jan. 13 due to a cyberattack. According to APS, the cyberattack has compromised some systems that could impact teaching, learning, and student safety.
At this time, the district is working with local and federal law enforcement as well as cyber specialist to protect systems throughout APS and fix the problem. On Wednesday, the district hoped to reopen schools by Friday, Jan. 14. However, on Thursday the school district announced they will remain closed on Friday.
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“I got an email just before coming to get my one kid from her after-school club and a robo phone call as well. It said that school is going to be canceled tomorrow and there is a cyberattack,” said parent Jacob Werenko.
APS Superintendent Scott Elder says they discovered the attack on Wednesday morning when teachers began logging onto the student information system and were not able to get into the site. APS officials say the software is used to keep track of attendance, grades, and access to students’ emergency contact information.
They say because they don’t have access, this becomes a matter of safety. “Teachers have to take attendance every day and if a student doesn’t show up, the parent or guardian needs to be notified. If a student was out and fell and broke a leg, we would have to know who’s authorized to be called to come and pick that student up. In some cases, there are custody issues,” said APS spokesperson Monica Armenta.
Armenta says a lot is unknown because they are unable to get into the system. That includes if the hackers got their hands on any information about students.
APS says the school days will be made up at the end of the school year, just like a snow day. Athletic games, tournaments, and other extracurricular activities are expected to continue as scheduled. Charter schools will have to individually decide if they will continue classes Thursday. The APS administrative offices will remain open Thursday and Friday.