Tangipahoa Parish School System working around cyber attack on first day of school
TANGIPAHOA PARISH, La. (WAFB) - A cyberattack on the Tangipahoa Parish School System may have limited the district’s ability to communicate critical back-to-school information with parents via the computer, but personnel will be working the phones all weekend to ensure that everyone has the info they need to return to campus on Monday, Aug. 12.
The cyberattack has made it impossible for district officials to utilize their bus look-up system online. As a result, TPSS officials have had to “go old-school” and remap all routes manually, using paper maps and highlighters. Those color-coded maps are available on the Transportation website to help parents locate their child’s bus route and driver information. The map files are large, so please allow time for download.
For those without computer access, Tangipahoa Parish School Superintendent Melissa Stilley said the TPSS Transportation Office will be manning phone lines much of the day Saturday and even Sunday afternoon to make sure all parents have time to call and check on bus service for Monday’s first day of school.
Callers are asked to contact the following transportation officials based on their child’s school attendance area.
- In the Kentwood, Amite, Spring Creek, and Roseland areas, call Derek at (985) 748-2437.
- Independence, Loranger, Natalbany, Midway and Nesom parents should contact Veronica at (985) 748-2437.
- For Hammond area schools, call Rhonda at (985) 748-2424.
- Ponchatoula, Champ Cooper, and St. Joseph School parents are asked to call Tessa at (985) 748-2427.
Starting Monday, parents can contact the transportation office as early as 6 a.m. and reach department head Byron Muse or Assistant Superintendent Byron Hurst. After 7 a.m., calls will cycle through the Central Office, and if those lines are busy, parents can also contact their child’s school for assistance with transportation-related questions.
Stilley said special after-school transportation requests that were submitted prior to July 19 have been processed and will be in place in time for Monday’s first day of classes. Unfortunately, new requests for special after-school transportation needs cannot be considered until the district’s computer system is back up and operational.
Stilley said drivers have been instructed to pick up any child waiting for a bus on their route. She asks that students in grades Kindergarten to 5th grade be accompanied by an adult while waiting for the bus.
“The cyberattack has hindered many of our plans, but we refuse to allow it to ruin our students’ return to class,” Stilley said. “We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding as we strive to make Monday a great first day back for our children."
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