Malware attack on district affects community, students


Makayla Archambeault

The Rockwood School District (RSD) created a temporary website for the community to use in response to the malware attack. RSD will be gradually adding information to the website until the original website can be restored.

Juli Mejia, Editor In Chief

The Rockwood School District (RSD) fell victim to a malware attack on the morning of June 17, which disabled most of RSD’s websites and services. Since the attack, RSD has been working alongside technical and forensic experts to solve the issue. 

Without many of their systems functioning, RSD has had to make adjustments to accommodate for the situation. Communications Director Mary LaPak has seen the frustration within the district.

“We have to be very creative. We still have a district to run, and it makes you realize how much you rely on the internet and on our systems working and fully functioning to do what we do. It’s been frustrating but also has cost us to be creative in a lot of ways,” LaPak said. 

The Communications Department has created a temporary website which includes essential information on the malware attack and important information for parents like school supply lists or department contact information. 

The attack has also brought along many new challenges for people in the community, especially for students and staff members who have been doing summer school.

Art teacher Meghan O’Donnell has seen some of these challenges first-hand as she has been teaching Art Fundamentals online over the summer. 

Fortunately, classes for summer school are accessed by teachers and students by using Canvas, which is not connected to Rockwoods systems and not affected by the attack. However, O’Donnell found difficulty in not being able to access parents’ phone numbers to contact parents if their student is not turning assignments in or doing poorly in class. 

“During the couple of days [Infinite Campus] was down, it was tricky because it was around the time when a few students weren’t doing the work they needed to do and I wasn’t able to contact their parents,” O’Donnell said. “It’s such a huge aid for us teachers to be able to contact the parents, and to not have that readily available is scary.” 

Whether they are working in the summer or not, Every staff member has since been required to change all of their passwords connected to RSD, and the district has also advised parents and students to do so as well. 

Rising junior Joe Marlo is taking the Personal Finance and Business online class over the summer to prepare for his future finances and get the required credit before the school year begins. While most websites have been working for him, he noticed he was unable to log in to Infinite Campus for a few days. 

“It said my password expired but it would let me use it on other sites with the same email so I couldn’t log into [Infinite Campus],” Marlo said. 

RSD was able to bring Infinite Campus back and is now available for use, but RSD still recommends changing the password. For now, the district will continue to investigate the situation and plan on finding a solution as soon as possible. 

“The people here [in the district] are working so hard to get things back up and running as soon as possible because we know how many people rely on those systems,” LaPak said.