DES MOINES, IOWA — Classes will be canceled again on Wednesday for Des Moines Public Schools due to a cyber security incident, but there is hope that things could return to normal soon. The district says it first became aware of “unusual activity” in their network on Monday morning. The district shut down its network immediately to stop any further threat. Classes were canceled for Tuesday with systems still offline the district announced it would keep schools closed on Wednesday as well.
Interim superintendent Matt Smith says the issue is bigger than just a lack of internet. “When our system is down impacts every aspect of our organization,” Smith said on Tuesday. That includes systems used to guide school buses and keep track of which students are and are not on board, special dietary information for students with food allergies and curriculum and instruction for special needs students. All of these vital systems are completely network based and now completely useless until that system is repaired.
Smith had good news on that front. While he says it is too early to predict if classes would resume Thursday, he is hopeful that will be the case. He says the district’s IT team has contained the threat to their system. They are now working to recover and restore data to get systems back to normal. Smith says they are working with numerous professional and federal partners to do so. The district still doesn’t know where the attack occurred, but he says the district is operating as if this was a ransomware attempt.
All DMPS employees will be paid on time. As for making up the lost time, Smith says the district has two ‘snow days’ built into their calendar that could be used to replace these days.