Union Schools Prepared for Y2K

Friday, October 29th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

When it comes to Y2K preparations, the Department of Education says hundreds of America's public schools aren't making a passing grade. But several Tulsa area school districts say they will be ready. The News on Six talked with Union Schools about their Y2K plans.

Union Schools aren't that worried about classroom computers crashing on Y2K day. Learning can still go on the old fashioned way. But, like other schools, the district is concerned about other problems a Y2K glitch could cause. Union began work more than two years ago to prevent Y2K bugs and it's been costly in both time and money.
"I would say that it's a major ordeal,” said Union chief financial officer Debra Jacoby. “We've spent significant time in the last year and a half primarily working on this situation."

The district's main concerns are computers handling student records, payroll, and operations such as heating and air, and security. Union is relying on its vendors' systems being Y2K compliant, but the school system also has plenty of contingency plans just in case. They're also running tests and some systems have already passed. Testing at Union will continue until the final hour. Beyond that, their major concern is a breakdown outside such as power or banking. Otherwise, education will take place. "I don't see that anything having to do with Y2K would keep a teacher from standing up and teaching their children,” said Jacoby. “That's assuming there are lights, electricity, heating and the kids can get to school.

Like most other districts, Union's Y2K force has tried to anticipate and prepare for any possible scenario. For now, Jacoby says they're confident that there'll be no blips on any computer screens at the magic midnight hour.

The News on Six checked with a dozen other area school districts Thursday including Tulsa Public Schools. All of them said they've been working on Y2K for several months and don't anticipate problems. School officials also say they plan to test their systems several more times in the final days of this year.