APS students to return to classrooms Tuesday - Albuquerque Journal

APS students to return to classrooms Tuesday

Students enter Washington Middle School just before the last bell on Jan. 12. APS officials announced earlier in the day that district schools would close due to a cyberattack. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

After a two-day cancellation of classes due to a cyberattack, the 75,000 students enrolled in the Albuquerque Public Schools will return on Tuesday.

“While we are still dealing with the cyberattack that forced schools to close last week, we have found ways to work around the issues so that students can return to learning,” APS officials said Monday afternoon. “We will be able to take attendance, contact parents in emergencies, and assure that students are picked up from school by authorized adults.”

APS spokeswoman Monica Armenta said district Superintendent Scott Elder is expected to speak publicly about the cyberattack on Tuesday.

Armenta said no other information would be released while the cyberattack was still being investigated.

Teachers and administrators on Wednesday discovered that their student information system had been compromised. The system is used to take and track attendance, contact families in emergencies and ensure that only authorized parents or guardians can pick up students.

Classes were subsequently canceled Thursday and Friday. There were no classes scheduled on Monday in honor of the national holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

The canceled classes will be made up at the end of the school year, like a “snow day,” Armenta said.

Numerous questions are still unanswered: Was the cyberattack a ransomware event in which there was a demand for money? How did hackers get into the computer system? Were any other APS systems compromised? Was there any other personal information about students or parents in the compromised system?

In a video message released Thursday, Elder said that cyber experts and law enforcement from “near and far” were aiding in the investigation.

Cyberattacks, he said, are a growing problem for school districts nationwide, which have seen a five-fold increase since 2016.

Further, he said, virtual learning necessitated by the pandemic has made schools even more vulnerable because “there are more access points for potential intrusion.”

The state Public Education Department has said no other school districts in New Mexico were affected by the cyberattack.

APS is the largest district in the state, but not the only one to have been the target of cyberattacks. In the last five years, hackers have broken into the computer systems of the Taos Municipal Schools, Gadsden Independent School District and the Las Cruces Public Schools. New Mexico Highlands University has been a victim as have the small town of Truth or Consequences, the city of Farmington, San Miguel County and Bernalillo County.

Home » ABQnews Seeker » APS students to return to classrooms Tuesday


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
St. Pius X names Deely as its new Head ...
ABQnews Seeker
Barbara Rothweiler to retire after 18 ... Barbara Rothweiler to retire after 18 years as principal
2
APS hosts donation drive for firefighters
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque Public Schools is collecting a ... Albuquerque Public Schools is collecting a range of items for firefighters battling wildfires in northern New Mexico. APS's Drive for Supplies will be held ...
3
Biden vows full support for NM fire recovery
ABQnews Seeker
Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire surpasses 300,000 ... Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire surpasses 300,000 acres
4
11-year-old joins fight to help the homeless
ABQnews Seeker
'I didn't know kids at my ... 'I didn't know kids at my school could be homeless,' Russell explains
5
BernCo Commission race attracts three Republicans
2022 election
Each is running for the first ... Each is running for the first time due to concern for their community
6
Lobo hoops notebook: Pitino says roster is set, Sandia ...
ABQnews Seeker
Lobo men's basketball coach Richard Pitino ... Lobo men's basketball coach Richard Pitino says he's happy with the program's recruiting hall this offseason.
7
Water authority approves rate hike, budget
ABQnews Seeker
Utility says much of the increase ... Utility says much of the increase is due to supply chain issues and inflation
8
Officials say woman set 12 fires in the bosque ...
ABQnews Seeker
Suspect in custody, facing charges of ... Suspect in custody, facing charges of arson, battery on a peace officer
9
Lawmaker accuses ABQ gas station of price gouging
ABQnews Seeker
Unleaded fuel listed at $6.83 per ... Unleaded fuel listed at $6.83 per gallon at M&M Stores on Yale and Gibson