Michigan School District Offering Wifi Buses – The Good News
"We want to make certain that we have the ability to make sure all kids have access to be able to continue their education."
The superintendent of Jackson Public Schools, Jeff Beal, has worked with the school district to outfit their entire fleet of 52 buses with Wifi for students who don't have internet access at home. The entire project came with a price tag of $65,000, according to MLive.
The plan was announced at the end of April, when the pandemic first hit the United States.
Currently, the school district offers hybrid learning for students; different groups of students attend on different days of the week, in-person, to limit COVID-19 exposure to the kids and staff. For now, the district is making sure that the plan is in place to potentially move to a fully online schedule, just in case.
The buses can transmit their Wifi signal anywhere from 150-300 feet and will start parking in neighborhoods from 9:30 AM til 12:45 PM every day.
To plan out locations, the district sent out a survey to families. Based on that survey, they will deploy the buses to different locations every day. The district doesn't want it to be a permanent solution; it's more of a temporary measure for the time-being, especially if students have to move to an all-online program.
According to a survey done by the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators back in the spring, almost 24% of students in the state do NOT have access to a computer at home, and about 27% don't have access to the internet.