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The Foothill Dragon Press

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The Foothill Dragon Press

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Foothill Tech faces technology shut down during the district wide printer black out

Gigi Richardson Seifert
Across the Ventura Unified School District, a widespread malfunctioning of printers has occurred, which has been deemed a “printer blackout”. This has not only affected Foothill Technology High School, but numerous other schools within the district.

With the beginning of the 2024 year, and students arriving from a lengthy winter break, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) was welcomed back to campus with a school-wide printer blackout, presenting staff and students alike with technical difficulties. 

With students unable to connect to any printers, this causes issues with completing or submitting printed assignments. Librarian Valerie Zeko said that with students not being able to connect to the printers, her work load ends up doubling, stating, “There’s always kids that need to print and they could [print] before on their chromebooks … it was so fast and so easy.”

During the blackout, Zeko shared that for a few days, the Foothill Tech Media Center printer became the default printer for the entire Ventura Unified School District (VUSD). Zeko said, “[There was] over 400 sheets [printed] and we looked at the queue and there was like thousands of documents that would[‘ve] print[ed] if we [had] reloaded it with paper.” 

With the first semester’s grades being finalized, students typically rush to get important things printed. The Media Center had to find a way to print the students’ work  in the most effective way possible. Librarian Dianne Fergus said, “We tried to troubleshoot so that students would still be able to print.  Zeko in particular was having students share documents with her so that we could print [for them].”

It would honestly be so much easier to print from home, but the printers at [Foothill Tech] always end up being a helpful backup.

— Alexander Ramirez ‘26

Teachers heavily rely on hard-copy papers to run their classroom, and the printer blackout could hinder classroom productivity. Even staff who don’t heavily rely on paper end up struggling in their own ways, such as having to think ahead and print papers at home if needed, putting the extra strain on teachers.

For dragons who don’t have a printer at home, the blackout was especially difficult, as they had no other ways to print.

Foothill Tech technician Jonathan Colmenares said, “We have been upgrading the network so its more secure … we separated it into 2 LANs [Local Area Network, which connects computers] … where all [the devices] on the staff VLAN [virtual LAN] [could print] while the chromebooks were all in the student VLAN, [and couldn’t print.]” So with all the new upgrades going into the system, the VLANS were scrambled, causing the student body’s difficulty in printing. 

The school-wide printer blackout impacted both students and faculty, by delaying paper copies that could be used in the classroom. This forced the Media Center to troubleshoot, and find ways to get around the technical difficulties. The printer issues have now been resolved.

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About the Contributors
Bailey Basurto
Bailey Basurto, Reporter
"You can't blame yourself, you just have to blame Mercury, cause it's just hella in retrograde." - Taylor Swift
Aubrey Alderman
Aubrey Alderman, Reporter
First-year news reporter.
Gigi Richardson Seifert
"Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well." - Sylvia Plath

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