Haverhill Schools Partially Reopen After Ransomware Attack

HAVERHILL, Mass. (AP) — Younger students are returning to Haverhill schools after the district was hit with a ransomware attack, but other grades will continue to learn remotely while technicians work to restore internet access in buildings, the district said Friday.

Superintendent Margaret Marotta said it has been a “slow and tedious process” to reverse the effects of the cyberattack, which has left school buildings without access to wireless internet, The Eagle Tribune reported.

The district canceled classes Thursday after the district’s IT department recognized something was wrong and shut down the network before a “large scale corruption of the system occurred," Marotta said. The canceled day will be considered a snow day and will be made up at the end of the school year in June.

Students in pre-K through fourth grade returned to the classroom Friday unless they were enrolled in remote learning. Grades five through high school were scheduled to continue taking online classes from home.

The district had been transitioning away from remote and hybrid classes toward full-day, in-school classes this week. Second grade through fourth grade classes were set to return Thursday, while younger students started earlier this week.

Grades five and six and high school seniors are expected to return to school April 12. The remaining grades are set to come back April 26.

Marotta said the district is getting help from police, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a private cybersecurity company.