Duval HomeRoom experiences outages

Thursday begins 2020-21 academic year for Duval County schools

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County Public Schools sent email and robocall messages Thursday morning telling students and parents that some who students who are starting their school year with distance learning were having issues logging onto Duval HomeRoom.

“Many classes and schools are up and running and the rest are coming online. We apologize for the delay and ask for your patience as we launch this across the district,” the school district said in a message.

The district told News4Jax its technology department is working closely with Microsoft Teams to get it up and running and students will not be penalized for the delay. Students were encouraged to fully log out before logging back into the system when they retry.

Some of the parents who went Thursday to an office at the Shultz Center off Beach Boulevard that was set up to resolve back-to-school issues were there to report problems with HomeRoom access.

“I’m here trying to get my child linked to the system,” parent P.K. Mickens said. “There was an error trying to get her connected. We tried registering online for her to try and do HomeRoom because I thought it was the safer option, but today the systems are down and I’m not able to get it taken care of. So they took my name and they’re going to work on it throughout the day to try and get her set up.”

A majority of the people News4Jax talked to coming out of the center said their questions answered or issues were fixed. A DCPS representative said they are expecting several parents over the next few days to have questions and the location at 4019 Boulevard Center Drive will remain open for walk-ins from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays through Tuesday.

Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene said about 25% of students who were remote learning on Thursday morning had issues signing into their classes.

“I thank teachers, parents and students for their patience because we did have some problems today, particularly, a big problem with our relaunch of Teams, and I don’t want to save big problem because in some schools they worked just fine but in others we had issues,” Greene said. “Although it didn’t go as well as we wanted, we know that Microsoft is working very hard to fix the issues. I’ve spoken to them directly today and I expect the experience to improve very quickly.”

According to Duval County Public Schools, Microsoft has resolved many of the issues that students experienced with the Teams software, but the problem is not yet completely fixed.

The school district said it is possible that some students could experience a problem seeing Teams classrooms on Friday. Students are encouraged to try to log into classes throughout the day. Also, students should check their school email for any messages from their teachers. Many teachers are creating workarounds while the system is being repaired.

“We have every expectation this problem will be resolved in the near future,” the school district said in a statement Thursday night.

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