Newhall School District to resume distance learning after ransomware attack

Photo courtesy of the Newhall School District.

Students in the Newhall School District are expected to be able to continue virtual learning online this week after a ransomware attack on student and staff technology forced a pause in instruction.

Virtual lessons will continue this Wednesday after a ransomware attack paused classes Sept. 14. Students were given alternative lesson plans while the district and outside organizations worked to secure student and staff technology.

“Our distance learning classes will resume Wednesday and everything students need will be working and functional,” said Jeff Pelzel, superintendent of the district. “Mostly everything for teachers will be functional, but we’re working on getting everything running.”

Ransomware attacks are a popular cyberattack that uses software to withhold data unless a ransom is paid, according to, a leading antivirus software maker.

The ransomware attack affected older Chromebooks that were given to students for virtual learning, but all students were advised to stay off the district’s network until district officials could guarantee it was safe to return, according to Pelzel.

Pelzel said the district is working with outside organizations to investigate the attack, but couldn’t release the names of organizations involved because it is an ongoing investigation. 

“Ransomware attacks take a long time to investigate. It’s not a process that’s done in a week or two,” Pelzel said.

Pelzel said parents were notified their students can resume online classes.

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