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News / Northwest

3rd day of internet, phone outage in Richland schools. ‘Unauthorized access’ investigated

By Eric Rosane, Tri-City Herald
Published: June 14, 2024, 9:00am

RICHLAND — Phone and internet outages stretched into a third day at the Richland School District on Thursday, crippling information access for parents, students and teachers in the final days of the school year.

The district says its IT teams identified “unauthorized access” to some of its computer systems connected to its network this week.

“Out of an abundance of caution, our additional systems were taken offline,” staff wrote in a Wednesday message to families. “We are currently working with third-party forensic specialists to investigate the activity, confirm its impact on our systems, and to restore full functionality as soon as possible.”

Attendance records, grades and the district’s enrollment portal remain inaccessible online.

Staff say records requests, applications and other submissions forms will be processed once their systems are fully restored.

A notice on the district’s website says the “cause of the outage is currently under investigation.”

“We appreciate your patience. The district remains committed to safeguarding the information in our care and will continue to take steps to ensure the security of our systems,” staff wrote in the message.

Wednesday was the final day of classes for Richland students for the 2023-24 school year.

More than 13,700 full-time K-12 students attend class across the district’s 12 elementary schools, four middle schools, two comprehensive high schools and an online school.