As schools across the country shut their doors indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, millions of students are now adjusting to online learning. But for low income families who may not have access to WiFi, this transition is a problem.
Austin school district deployed over 100 school buses equipped with WiFi for students without internet access
That’s why the Austin Independent School District (ISD) has deployed 110 school buses now equipped with WiFi to neighborhoods and apartment complexes where the district identified the highest need for internet access.
Starting on Monday, the district “strategically positions” the buses, which have WiFi capabilities up to a distance of 300 feet, every weekday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Students can connect to the WiFi using their school computers only, not personal devices, though they’re not allowed to board the bus. While everyone is advised to stay inside, students may have to move closer to the bus to gain access to the WiFi, but must remain at least six feet apart from anyone else to follow social distancing guidelines.
The WiFi equipped buses are funded through a $600,000 grant from Kajeet, an education technology provider.