SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A chaotic day for public schools in the City of Springfield, as officials worked to resolve a threat to the IT network, forcing an early end to the virtual school day for students.

School officials announced virtual learning will be on as normal tomorrow, but some parents said this incident brings the problems with remote learning to light.

"We knew early this morning that something had happened, the minute the sun rose," said Springfield Public Schools' Assistant Superintendent Lydia Martinez-Alvarez.

On Thursday, Springfield Public School officials detected a threat to the school's IT network, forcing an early end to the virtual school day for students in the city.

"The decision was made to bring down the system so that it couldn’t get in and destroy some of our work," she said. "That’s the reason why we called a day early for our students. To protect our system and protect what’s going on in our classrooms."

But some parents told Western Mass News they fear more obstacles could be thrown at their children.

"This is just once, and it’s early, so how many more instances and so what happens when this does happen," asks Springfield parent Nicole Desnoyers. "What are we doing to make up for that time that’s now lost?"

Desnoyers said that her son has special learning needs, and without the paraprofessionals who help him in the classroom, remote learning has been a nightmare.

"Now it’s just me, and that puts a huge strain on our relationship. He dislikes me for things that are a school, and it’s not my fault, so it’s emotionally taking a huge toll on families," she noted.

She told us with all the variables that come with virtual learning, like the power outages after Wednesday's storm, cyber attacks, and server issues, she worries the challenges will be never-ending.

"They’ve already lost out on so much, so why should technology end up getting to be a barrier?" she asks. "How do we make sure everyone is still getting their needs met, like can we do it?"

At this time, it's still unclear what exactly the threat was. School officials told Western Mass News tomorrow students will have to log on through the school's main website.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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