Virginia - 3 school counties report on Y2k status : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

January 4, 2000

Schools Reopen After No Y2K Worries

By Drew Houff, The Winchester Star

Absolutely perfect.

Y2K preparations by Winchester, Frederick County, and Clarke County school officials appear to have been right on target, as none of the school systems encountered any major difficulty with the calendar change to Jan. 1, 2000.

Y2K worries had been such a concern that local school systems had delayed the opening of school until today. providing some extra time to fix any potential problems.

I was very pleased with the efforts of our folks, Frederick County School Superintendent William C. Dean said Monday morning. It was all about our anticipation and preparedness for the change.

He said school employees anticipated potential problems and then put in safeguards to prevent any major complications from the switch to the year 2000.

The goal of the staff who help us with technology is to anticipate and to look at issues, Dean said. They know what to do. They are dedicated to doing it.

Robert W. Cleaver, Frederick Countys assistant superintendent for administration, said the only glitch was in the dates placed on voice mail.

The glitch on Monday was the date on any voice mail message received since Saturday was listed as 1980.

The phones work, but the date is wrong, Cleaver said Monday morning. We have to go in there and fix it, but we didnt have anything else.

Cleaver added a few other problems may appear, but those difficulties probably will be in the details instead of being related to the biggest fear going into the new year: system-wide failures.

It couldnt have gone any better, he said. We had a very successful transition from 99 to 2000.

The same was true in Winchester.

Steve Muller, the city schools director of technology, said the only problem is in some software that the school system receives from outside vendors, which limits the school systems controls.

He said payroll, for example, may have a glitch or two when it is run in mid-January.

That will be our first, full-fledged test, Muller said.

He said some other problems may only result on reports that are done about once every three months.

Muller and Dean each noted that school officials were ready to be on hand to handle the rollover to the new year.

In the city, virtually all of the school buildings heating and air-conditioning systems are operated by computers, making it crucial to make sure the systems operate, Muller said. We wanted to have some people on-site just in case, rather than to have a pipe freeze and burst.

Dean said the only noticeable problem was that the countys school systems link with the Internet was down for about 30 minutes, but only because Lord Fairfax Community College - which handles the web page - shut it down for a few minutes.

To Muller, the biggest reason for the success of the rollover was that school officials spent months in the summer and fall preparing for the conversion.

I didnt expect any catastrophes. There still may be some problems dealing with new software, but that is an expected problem.

Muller said installation of new software almost always requires some work to get it running.

Josh Ajima, director of instructional technology and Y2K coordinator for the Clarke County Public Schools, said this morning his work on Monday was to make sure computer servers and other upgrades were ready.

We didnt have any problems with Y2K, he said. We did have a lot of extra work getting ready.

Source: The Winchester Star, Winchester, Virginia

-- Lee Maloney (Lee, February 26, 2000

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