Orange County parents test LaunchEd ahead of first day of school

Dozens of parents tested Orange County’s LaunchEd At Home program over the weekend and many had trouble opening the app on school-issued devices.

“It was coming up as 'error' multiple times, so I shut down the device [and] did all the steps that were suggested,” said one parent.

Several parents then say they were able to log in hours later.

“Eventually, the app became active again and just logged straight in,” the parent said. “I don’t know if the network was down or what.”

Tom Jelneck, president of On Target Digital Marketing, said network delays are possible.

“They know this is a huge load,” he said. “[It's] 212,000 students logging into a system. That’s a lot of people.”

In a memo to parents, Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins said the district and AT&T are prepared for the increased traffic.

If you’re experiencing technical issues, Jelneck recommends checking your home internet connection.

“A lot of times it can be your local neighborhood. Think about all these kids, all these parents staying at home, all hopping on the internet. And to add to that, this is a lot of video and audio, so it’s sucking up your bandwidth at your house,” Jelneck said.

Jelneck also said to make sure hardware, such as your router, are up-to-date.

AT&T said it does not expect internet interruption.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our network has performed very well. Our customers made a lot of calls and used plenty of data while staying home, but we have seen the usage stabilize and our network is operating normally. We will continue to monitor bandwidth usage with tools that analyze network performance and help us manage network traffic,” an AT&T spokesperson said.

Dr. Jenkins told parents to expect challenges.

Jelneck said he would be surprised if there were no technical issues.

“They have multiple servers; they have redundancy; they have increased bandwidth like they mentioned, but there are going to be hiccups,” he said.