ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools is still closed while it tries to recover from a cyberattack, they’re taking this time to come up with a plan to get kids back in the classroom. APS isn’t the first district in the state to fall victim to this kind of attack. Las Cruces Public Schools, the second-largest district in New Mexico, had their own experience in 2019.
“It was a tedious process for our IT department,” said Samantha Lewis, a spokesperson for Las Cruces Public Schools. “They scrubbed between 25,000 and 30,000 devices in the district, one by one.”
APS says the hack breached the student information system, which schools use to take attendance, contact families and make certain people authorized to pick up a student from school. They say operating without that system would put students at risk.
Las Cruces Public Schools said their 2019 attack was similar to the one APS is currently experiencing, and it took them months to recover. LCPS didn’t close school, they transitioned into a pencil-paper method of teaching. APS says it’s not that simple.
“Before you can even go to pen and paper, you have to have access to the information that you’ve been locked out of,” said Monica Armenta, a spokesperson for APS. “You have to be able to capture, in this district, the names and information of 75,000 plus students to be able to arm the schools with that information to use when we open back up.”
Armenta says there is no timeline for when the system may be restored but they’re confident at this time that school will be back in session on Tuesday. These two days are considered a cyber security snow day. They will be made up at the end of the year.
APS is working on a backup for all of their online records, so they can keep track of attendance and student records manually.