What’s Going on with the Recent Zoom Issues?

Hayden LaRocque Green, staff writer

Since the end of January, the school district has been facing reconnection issues over Zoom. 

The Zoom issue comes from a lack of connection at school, causing the teachers to be disconnected from their classroom temporarily. When this occurs, remote students have been directed to leave the Zoom, and try to reconnect after ten minutes. Teachers are supposed to continue with their lesson plan during this time, while trying to reconnect, from their phone if they choose to. James McGeechan, the NPHS Department Head of Technology and Teacher of Engineering, sent out an email informing the students and staff of this after the reconnection issues had occurred for a few days. 

Alex Menard, the Network Administrator, explained that the issue with zoom was caused because the district’s firewall was not working properly.

“The Technology Department has worked with the manufacturer of the firewall to isolate the issue and find a solution to the problem,” Menard said. 

The Zoom issues in New Providence are completely unrelated to any problems the East Coast was facing from reconnection. There was a massive internet outage that impacted remote work and virtual school, but the Zoom issues at NP were solely because of the firewall problems. 

Overall, teachers and students seem to be annoyed, but understanding, with the Zoom issues. Losing half of your class for an unknown period of time can be extremely frustrating.

Mrs. Kirkland, the Choir and Voice Class teacher, has experienced reconnection issues at least once per day for the past week. Although they are usually in her Voice Class period, it can be a struggle to deal with. 

Also, students are often confused on what to do during reconnection. When the teacher left the Zoom, initially a student would be assigned as host, and they didn’t know what to do in this situation. Students were unaware of what was going on in the class and what they were missing in the curriculum. 

“Before Mr. McGeechan sent out the email, I was really confused on what to do when my teacher left the Zoom. I wanted to leave the meeting, but I don’t want to miss out on the lesson, so I wasn’t sure if I should stay on the Zoom or not,” said Tanvi Silvester, a sophomore at NPHS. 

However, for the most part, students and staff are choosing to look on the bright side when it comes to these issues. 

“While it can be disconcerting and frustrating in the moment, I do know that the IT staff are working really hard to address the issue.  It may seem like it should be an easy fix, but it is not always as straightforward as it seems.  We’ve all had to adapt a lot this year, so I’ve pretty much learned to roll with it,” Mrs. Kirkland said. 

Fortunately, these issues with Zoom are expected to be resolved for the upcoming school week, starting February 1.

Menard said, “The firewall is scheduled to be replaced after school today so this problem should not occur next week.”

Although everyone can agree that the Zoom issues were annoying and created a lot of confusion, the staff has worked hard to resolve these technical difficulties.