Back To School: Dayton family recalls “frustrating” start to the school year

Dayton family recalls “frustrating” start to the school year

DAYTON — At her home in Dayton, Kristie Sergent said it was a “frustrating” start to the school year for her son, Kaiden.

He started his first day of 6th grade at Eastmont Park School online Tuesday morning. Or, at least he tried to. He wasn’t able to log in to a Zoom session to start his first day of virtual learning with Dayton Public Schools.

Like many other DPS families, Kaiden and his mom ran into password problems Tuesday. The district is holding classes online for at least the first nine weeks of the school year.

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“It’s not been fun so far. But today’s the first day,” Sergent told News Center 7′s John Bedell in the family’s living room-turned classroom. “We have not even be able to log onto Zoom. They keep saying the password’s wrong. DPS gave us passwords. We got a one call this morning telling us the problem seemed to be a password issue and where we could find the password in the classroom pack that we received from DPS. I’ve used that password, we’ve not changed that password and it’s still not working.”

Sergent said she spent part of Tuesday morning on the phone with the districts IT department. “I had the option to sit on hold or have them call me back and at that time I was number 65 ... to get a call back,” Sergent said.

Dayton Public Schools tweeted a picture Tuesday morning that contained information on two hotlines for families to call for password and username help.

News Center 7 reached out to the district for comment.

District spokesperson, Alex Kincaid responded in an email saying, “The log-in issues are not due to any district server problems, it’s student password-related. We have been posting the log-in help on social media for several weeks now so students/parents logging into their Chromebooks for the first time in nearly 6 months knew who to call if they had difficulties.”

Kincaid also included a statement from DPS superintendent, Elizabeth Lolli, in the email. The statement from Lolli read:

“The Dayton Public Schools opened today in a virtual setting. As with any first day of school, no matter how much planning occurs, there are always glitches. Many high school students did not show up to classes, so the district will need to be in contact with them; several families just arrived this morning to pick up their technology and Ready Packs; and several classrooms experienced technology-related issues. However, on the bright side, most classrooms in the elementary buildings and middle schools ran smoothly with the majority of the students in attendance. By the end of this week, the district will be up and running totally, as planned throughout the month of August, with glitches resolved!”

“I’m hoping before this week’s over that things will work,” Sergent told WHIO. She said it was an irritating start to the school year for her and her son. “I know that things take time to get the bugs fixed, it’s just frustrating,” Sergent said.

She’s hoping things get smoother after the rough start. News Center 7 will be checking in with the family throughout the school year.

“I’m going to try not to miss work myself just so I can get him started but then right now, today’s been a disruption to life,” Sergent said.

When News Center 7 asked about an update when it comes to what Dayton Public Schools plan to do for classes after the first nine weeks of the school year, district spokesperson Alex Kincaid said in an email Tuesday, “After the first 9 weeks of online learning, the COVID situation in the county will be reassessed and we will either continue with virtual learning for an additional 9 weeks, or return to in-person classes with the option for parents to choose totally remote learning.”