Arlington, VA

Overzealous parents may have helped to bring down the server that hosts the Arlington parks and recreation class registration system this morning.

Registration for winter parks and recreation classes, popular with school-aged children, opened at 8:00 a.m. The registration website was beset by technical problems within 5 minutes of the opening, but was back up and working by 8:15 a.m., according to Arlington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources spokeswoman Susan Kalish.

Even though the problems lasted less than 15 minutes, some parents — who rushed to register their children for classes before the classes filled up — weren’t pleased. Similar technical problems have plagued the class registration system in the past.

“Server crashes have happened repeatedly on the morning of class signup — to the frustration of parents across Arlington trying to sign their kids up for classes,” one parent told ARLnow.com.

Another tipster said that the timing of the registration opening — around the same time that kids are getting ready for school — has made things unnecessarily difficult for parents.

“The problem is that some of the classes fill up so fast and if you can’t get through by the time you do someone else has your class and you are wait listed,” the parent said. “Also try working on this with kids running around trying to get ready for school and climbing on you. Not easy. This happens every registration.”

Another source of frustration for some: this year’s class schedule erroneously listed the registration date as “Wednesday, Dec. 13.”

Kalish said the parks department is working with its technology vendor to identify the source of this morning’s problems. Despite the fact that online registration number have “increased significantly over the past few years,” Kalish said server capacity was likely not the culprit this year.

“In the past, the registration volume in the first 10-15 minutes of registration has taxed our servers,” Kalish said. “We addressed that issue prior to this registration cycle and our servers functioned well and were not at capacity this morning. We are working with the vendor to explore what else could be contributing to this issue.”

Kalish said today is one of the  busiest days for class registration, though the first day of summer camp registration is usually the busiest.

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