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RESA fire shuts down school computers

January 03, 2002

RESA fire shuts down school computers



Martinsburg, W.Va.

By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


Computer networks went on the blink in Eastern Panhandle school systems Wednesday after a fire raced through a state educational facility in Fairmont where a key computer system was based, school officials said.

The computer system operated from the Regional Educational Services Agency (RESA) office in Fairmont is used by county school systems to track everything from payroll to student grades, school officials said.

"It's a mess. It's pretty much got us shut down today," said Jim Welton, assistant superintendent of schools in Berkeley County.

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All data regarding student grades and attendance, billing, vacation time for employees and other types of data flowed into the RESA 7 office in Fairmont, school officials said.

It is one of two RESA offices in the state that handle such work.

There is another RESA office in the Nitro area in the southern part of the state that handles computer data collection for schools in that part of the state, said Nancy White, treasurer for Jefferson County Schools.

A backup computer file for the RESA 7 office in Fairmont is kept at another location, said Welton.

State school officials told local school officials Wednesday they planned to take the backup file to the RESA office near Nitro so county school systems could access the data base, Welton said.

It was unclear, however, how the communication lines would be set up from the Nitro RESA office, said Welton.

The situation was especially nerve-wracking for school systems that were about to make payroll, Welton said.

Welton said the next payroll in Berkeley County is put together on Jan. 10, which will give the district some time to prepare.

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