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UPDATE: Neenah Joint School District to bring students back in class Jan. 13

Local News
WEDNESDAY 1/12/2022 3:10 p.m.

NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) – All Neenah Joint School District schools will return to in-person classes after a ‘technology incident’ the school district had to address.

According to a release, classes will return to in-person Thursday, Jan. 13, after schools were closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Neenah Joint School District says that without the round-the-clock effort of technology staff it would not be back online this quickly.

“It has been an incredible effort. It seems like maybe it took a while with two days off school but, in all honesty, for something this big to be back up and running after only two days off of school, it’s pretty remarkable,” said Jim Strick, with the Neenah Joint School District.

To be able to return, district officials say they had to have a working phone system, a working wireless system, and access to their digital files. They report these systems are now restored, making schools functional for teaching.

“It’s sooner maybe than we had anticipated. We thought we’d be in a paper and pencil and chalkboard type environment for a week or so but for the most part we’re pretty confident it’s gonna be a fairly normal day,” explained Strick.

Friday, Jan. 14, will remain a half-day for students in grades K-12 and a day off for 4K students.

There will be no school at all levels on Monday, Jan. 17, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Original Story: Neenah Joint School District plans to bring students back to school on Thursday

TUESDAY 1/11/2022 / 10:35 p.m.

NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) – The Neenah Joint School District will be closed for a second day following a crippling cyberattack but plans to have students back in class on Thursday.

Samantha Erickson, a Neenah Parent said, “My eight-year-old was upset, he really wanted to go to school. We’re making it through, there’s really nothing that we can do about it. We can’t stop any of this.”

She said this cyber attack has left her children confused but she is glad the district is working hard on solving the problem.

Dr. Mary Pfeiffer, the Superintendent of the Neenah Joint School District said, “The layers of complexity when it comes to the digital investigation we really are going to be dependent on to see what happened, what was breached, what wasn’t breached and then the next steps we need to take to get back on track.”

A district spokesperson said they can not confirm if this was a ransomware attack but up to this point said there has been no ransom request so far.

In order to get up to speed the school says it needs a working phone system, a working wireless system and access to digital files for lesson plans and student information.

Dr. Pfeiffer said, “Emailing a parent or even calling an office saying ‘i have an emergency at home, my child I need to pick up in about five minutes that can’t happen right now because of our phone system.”

As for Erickson, she said through it all she is thankful she could stay home with her kids but she is worried about the possibility her personal information was stolen.

“There’s always that thing in the back of my mind like it could happen. It could have been compromised,” said Erickson. “But there’s nothing we can do about it.

So far the district said they do not believe any personal information was accessed during the attack.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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