Y2K Readiness: All Montgomery County Public Schools Computer Systems are 'Go' for Year 2000

December 17, 1999
When Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students leave for the winter break on December 23, the final preparations for the transition to year 2000 will be implemented to ensure that schools will open on time on January 3.

The school system is confident that students will be transported to and from schools safely, that buildings will be heated and secure, that students will be fed, that staff will receive their paychecks and that we will enter year 2000 ready to continue to educate MCPS students.

All mission-critical systems in the county have been verified for Y2K compliance. Even though no major problems are expected, contingency plans have been developed for all major systems, including financial information, food services, benefits notification, hiring and termination procedures, payroll, substitute calling, materials management, transportation management and student information.

MCPS has been preparing for Y2K for more than two years. During this time, major computer systems were assessed. A new Y2K compliant Student Information System (SIS) is now in operation, and a decision was made to replace the Human Resources Information System. Payroll and benefits' applications also have been made Y2K compliant.

In addition, more than 20,000 computers in schools and offices have been remediated. Other systems that were assessed and remediated include the fuel delivery system, independent activity fund, school nutrition, transportation fleet management, transportation databases, substitute calling system and warehouse system.

Staff from various offices and departments will be working over the December 31 weekend to ensure that all buildings and equipment in offices and schools, as well as buses, are functioning properly. The hub of the Y2K preparedness plan for the weekend will be an Operations Center in the Central Office. This center will be linked to the County Government's Emergency Preparedness Center, and if any countywide infrastructure problems occur, MCPS will be involved in such areas as opening high schools identified as emergency housing facilities and providing food for distribution through the Red Cross.

The MCPS central servers' functioning will be monitored at the stroke of midnight, and various tests will be performed to make sure that student and administrative data are secure. The MCPS Help Desk will be open on January 1 and 2 to respond to any Y2K technology emergencies.

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