Monday, 17 August 2020 18:28

Richmond County Schools has 'awesome' first day despite early technical problems

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Several students sit spaced apart at West Rockingham Elementary on the first day back at school since mid-March. Several students sit spaced apart at West Rockingham Elementary on the first day back at school since mid-March. Richmond County Schools

HAMLET — Richmond County Schools had an “awesome first day” back as some students returned to the classroom Monday, according to a statement. But it wasn’t without its hiccups.

Students and teachers statewide had issues with the sign-in portal early on.

“The vendor-provider of the NCEdCloud Service confirmed that the product experienced a degradation in service this morning,” read a press release from the N.C. Department of Instruction, after the issue had been resolved. “The vendor will provide an explanation of the root cause once it has identified the source.”

In the statement from RCS, Public Information Officer Jasmine Hagar said of the issue, “Our teachers were quick to adapt and finish the day strong."

One teacher commented on the DPI’s Facebook page that the system has a tendency to crash even in the classroom.

According to DPI, NCEdCloud is the portal to other Home Base resources, including PowerSchool, Canvas, NCEES, ImagineMath,, and Schoolnet, but there were no issues with those products.

Monday was the first day back in class since schools were closed by Gov. Roy Cooper on March 16.

“As bus riders and car riders arrived, they were welcomed by staff members early this morning,” the statement from RCS continued. “Temperatures were checked and attestation forms were collected as students made their way to the classrooms. Teachers were super excited to finally see their students both face-to-face and online. It was a great day for all.”

According to the statement, Superintendent Dr. Jeff Maples attributed the “smooth start to all of the hard work and planning of administrators, teachers and support staff.”

In the statement, RCS also thanked the Rockingham and Hamlet police departments and Richmond County Sheriff’s Office for directing traffic.

Richmond County Schools’ plan for reopening had elementary students attending in-person classes and middle and high schoolers learning remotely.

Families could also opt to have the younger students stay home for remote learning.

The RO emailed the school system asking for the number of how many chose that option and how many students there were in class versus learning remotely on the first day.

Several photos posted on social media by RCS on Monday appeared to show only three or four students in a classroom with a teacher, socially distanced, while others showed as many as 10. 

The RO also asked how many students would normally be in a classroom.

None of those questions were answered.