They might not get many snow days in Louisiana, but most students at a Baton Rouge-area alternative school had an unexpected holiday in mid-March because of a network computer crash.
The computer failure, blamed on a faulty part in the school’s main central computer, forced the School of Hope in the Pointe Coupee Parish to close down to most students for a couple of weeks.
The alternative school relies completely on a computer network to teach its 110 students. The school provides a self-paced program for dropouts, discipline cases, those with learning disabilities, and adults returning to the classroom.
The school was reduced to administrating a few written tests to some students while a replacement part was being located.
Because of its reliance on computers and the student make-up of the School of Hope–most have been expelled or suspended from other area schools–closing the alternative school presented a larger problem than it would in most other situations, because students could not simply be shifted to other schools.
“When the School (of Hope) does not function, they’re not in school. It’s not like regular a school,” said Superintendent David Lee.
As a result, many parents had to scramble to find caretakers for their children while the school was all but shut down.