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### Agenda Highlights: Cyberattack and Migrants Lead Discussions at Lowell School Committee

Cyberattack Recovery Progress in Lowell Public Schools

In the aftermath of the recent cyberattack on Lowell Public Schools, Superintendent Liam Skinner provided an update to the School Committee, indicating that the recovery process is well underway. Jennifer Myers, the district’s spokesperson, confirmed that internet access has been fully restored across all schools.

While the IT staff continues to visit schools to ensure password changes for everyone and restore access to the MUNIS system pending city approval, Skinner explained that the cyberattack targeted a district file server. To prevent any potential malware spread, the information technology department proactively shut down all internet access.

Fortunately, unlike the previous year’s cyberattack that disrupted municipal operations, this recent incident was unsuccessful. Skinner reassured the committee that no data was exfiltrated, and district systems remained undamaged, with no ransom-worthy information seized by the perpetrators.

Responding to a committee member’s motion for an external security audit, Skinner emphasized the importance of staying vigilant against cyber threats, acknowledging the ever-evolving tactics of malicious actors in cyberspace.

Myers highlighted the implementation of Cynet security software on all computers and reassured that the IT Department, in collaboration with the City’s Management Information Systems, is diligently working to enhance network security before fully reopening access.

Acknowledging the challenges faced, Skinner expressed optimism about a swift recovery, crediting City Manager Tom Golden and the Management Information Systems team for their collaborative efforts in the recovery process.

Additionally, Interim Chief Schools Officer Wendy Crocker-Roberge updated the committee on the manageable status of migrant students enrolled in the district. Amidst the influx of migrant families, predominantly from Haiti and Venezuela, the district has been accommodating these families, with a focus on providing necessary services and support.

Lowell’s experience in integrating diverse learners, particularly through the ELL program, underscores the district’s commitment to ensuring equitable access to educational opportunities for all students. The state’s reimbursement at a rate of $104 per day per student further supports the district in meeting the needs of the diverse student population.