Janesville22.5°

Five weeks for school computer fix

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
October 15, 2008
— Completely fixing the Janesville School District’s virus-damaged computer system will take at least five more weeks, business director Doug Bunton told the school board Tuesday.

District employees have dealt with computer outages and have been unable to access important computer programs for about four weeks already, Bunton said.


Bunton’s comments came after board members questioned him about an article in Monday’s Janesville Gazette.


A teacher had complained to the newspaper, prompting the article.


“I want teachers to know they can come to the board instead of to the press because we certainly will take them seriously,” board member Lori Stottler said.


Bunton said he knows the outages are “a tremendous burden” for all staff members.


The problem is that the virus attacked the district’s 80 servers, and it takes a long time to rebuild those servers, Bunton said.


The servers tell the individual PCs how to access printers, the Internet and various programs, Bunton said, and that function has been disrupted.


Bunton said about 75 percent of the system was running Tuesday, and the extent of the problems varied from place to place.


Board President DuWayne Severson asked Bunton to provide the board updates on the problem at each board meeting. Meetings are held twice a month.


Severson asked that Bunton’s next report include a description of the additional workers brought in to work on the system and a diagram showing how the system works.


Once the fix is complete, Bunton said, the district must upgrade its computer defenses.


One improvement would be to install Internet security filters at various points in the system and not just around its perimeter, he said.


Severson commended the work being done without the aid of computers. Children are getting a good education despite the problems, he said.


Stottler also noted that the district’s Web site, which has been inaccessible for several weeks, now contains out-of-date information, and other information is missing. She asked that the administration give top priority to redesigning the Web site.


Sheryl Miller, district information coordinator, said workers have replaced missing information on the Web site, only to have it disappear.



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