Gwinnett virtual learning system crashes for many parents during test run

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Gwinnett County Public Schools had a big test run of its online learning portal Monday morning and it didn’t go well.

Channel 2′s Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Tony Thomas received lots of calls and messages from parents who couldn’t even log on.

The state’s largest school district says the technology test Monday was designed to see if the system could handle 200,000 or so people logging on at about the same time.

The district said the system will be ready for Wednesday but many parents fear the worst.

With his first and fourth graders looking on, Mose Jones said his efforts to log onto the e-learning portal resulted in repeated failures.

“We tried probably 20 -30 times multiple times. It just kept saying the server was down or the site was just not coming up,” Jones said.

The same thing happened at Holly Terrie’s house.

“I’m not feeling completely confident after what we experienced today,” she said.

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A school district spokesperson said many users were able to log in and complete part of the tasks for the tech check.

A Channel 2 Action News photographer logged in two times for his children as part of the drill. There were hiccups and delays for one of his kids, but ultimately the system worked.

The district spokesperson emailed Thomas and said the portal is now back up after some adjustments.

“Our technology team is still investigating the root causes of the issues,” Sloan Roach said. “Our team will continue to monitor and make adjustments in preparation for Wednesday and the start of school.”

Many parents though are a bit skeptical after this dry run.

“Gwinnett County has had all summer to look at these issues,” Terrie said.

“I’m going to try to go on and I’ll keep trying and trying because they need to do their work,” Jones said.

Gwinnett is set to begin virtual learning Wednesday and then transition later in the month to in-person classes for those who want them.