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The Gamut

The Gamut

Oxford caught in district-wide Internet outage

Celine Park
A Cross-County Catastrophe: The Anaheim Union High School District oversees eight junior high schools and nine high schools across Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, La Palma, and Stanton; all affected by the Wi-Fi outage on Oct. 18. (Photo by Celine Park)

Oxford Academy faced a campus-wide Internet outage from Oct. 18 to Oct. 20, causing major disruptions to classes, club meetings, office duties, and other campus activities. 

After a reported vandalism of fiber-optic cables located approximately 1.5 miles away from the Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) Office on Oct. 18, high schools across the district, including Oxford, experienced a wi-fi outage.

During the outage, students, staff, and faculty were left to devise a course of action to proceed with their usual activities, uncertain of when the Internet would be restored. However, because lesson plans and assignments are largely reliant on the Internet, and because the issue struck unexpectedly, they did not have sufficient time to do so.

“As of now, we’re quite reliant on the Internet to complete our schoolwork– and because losing the Internet was so unexpected, the teachers couldn’t really change how we did our work,” said freshman Atharv Kulkarni. 

As a result, many classes granted students “free periods,” and were consequently left behind their original lesson schedule. 

Outside of (academic impact), the Internet outage also interfered with the attendance office and its procedures to record student attendance. Matthew Muniz, the attendance clerk substitute, says that because Aeries was unavailable during the Wi-Fi loss, he was unable to log information online and thus, was backed up on two days’ worth of attendance. Though he and other office staff were able to improvise using sticky notes and other alternative methods of organization, Muniz expresses the process was “stressful,” as they were also doing so amidst the national Great Shakeout earthquake drill on Oct. 19. 

The Internet outage wasn’t Oxford students’ and faculty’s first time facing technology issues, however; from the district-wide Google Drive storage insufficiency issue on August 31st: a consequence of contract issues between AUHSD and Google, to the regular malfunctions of attendance and grading platform Aeries attributed to system misconfigurations, these technological (malfunctions) are a rather common occurrence. 

AUHSD’s Chief Technology Officer Erik Greenwood was involved in the process resolving the issue. A majority of the solution was a back-and-forth with the district’s Internet provider Spectrum who, in the end, were able to send crews to repair the cut cables. Greenwood then expresses the stresses and numerous components of maintaining smooth Internet access for the district.

“To get access to the Internet, there’s probably a hundred things that could happen,” Greenwood said. “It could be Wi-Fi, we could have an axis point that goes bad that can impact a classroom or multiple classrooms, it can be a cable, it could be a cybersecurity threat, it can be an equipment problem in the district office…so the initial stressful part is communicating out that we have an issue and then trying to triangulate, “what is the issue?” Then, the stress is, “how long will it take to rectify the issue?”

AUHSD is constantly upgrading and planning to implement new technology. Greenwood says that the district is currently working to replace old axes in schools, and reveals that plans to install an emergency Internet line to serve the entire district through Kennedy High School are in progress. Greenwood then shares more broad plans further down the timeline, including establishing “more than one way out to the Internet,” and updating the district’s data lines for the 2025-2026 academic year: when current contracts are set to end. 

“We’re looking to have a resilient setup,” he says. “We’re looking at different options to make the network more resilient going forward.”

About the Contributor
Celine Park, Staff Writer
Celine is a freshman staff writer and is eager to learn more about the world through participating in the Gamut. Encouraged by the Mrs. Galvan to join the paper, it’s no secret Celine is a terrific writer, and she even plans to pursue journalism to some capacity in the future. Furthermore, she is a diehard fan of Taylor Swift and has been ever since 3rd grade. And, of course, Celine went to the Eras tour, thoroughly enjoying it to the point she started sobbing. Although Celine has a great taste in music, she also has pretty controversial and (objectively, if you will) bad takes, despising both pickles and dark chocolate. As for her bucket list, she hopes to befriend everyone in her grade (Class of ‘27 is not ready for her.) and, of course, take a photo with Taylor Swift.