At a time when a shift to remote learning has all but made snow days obsolete, Haverhill Public Schools students will be getting one in April after a ransomware attack forced administrators to cancel school on Thursday.
“I regret to inform you that due to a ransomware attack on our computer system we will need to cancel school tomorrow for the Haverhill Public School District (Pre-K – 12). The day will be considered a ‘snow day’ and will be made up at the end of our school year,” according to an email administrators sent to parents and teachers on Wednesday afternoon that was shared with the Herald.
The ransomware attack derailed remote learning for older students on Wednesday and the district said online teaching will be “impossible” until the network is restored.
Thursday would have been the first day back for in-person learning for grades 2-4. State guidelines require most elementary school districts to resume full in-person learning this week.
“We know this is heartbreaking for many students who were looking forward to a return to something near normal,” the district wrote in the email. Administrators said they are “hopeful” that school will resume on Friday.
The Haverhill Public School District said its IT department noticed early Wednesday morning that something was “awry,” and shut down the network “before large scale corruption of the system occurred.”
The district is working with Haverhill police and Homeland Security to restore operations, but administrators said it is a “large task” that affects email, Schoolbrains, Google and the district’s phone system.