November 25, 2020

Vigo County Schools Deploy Wi-Fi Enabled Bus Fleet To Connect Families Still Without Internet

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
The small Wi-Fi router is placed in the front window of the buses can cover the distance of an average-sized parking lot to provide students and families short-term internet access.  - Provided by Vigo County School Corporation

The small Wi-Fi router is placed in the front window of the buses can cover the distance of an average-sized parking lot to provide students and families short-term internet access.

Provided by Vigo County School Corporation

As schools move more of their students back to virtual learning, internet connectivity remains a significant hurdle for some families. But in Vigo County, the school district is deploying a fleet of Wi-Fi-equipped buses as part of its strategy to help bridge the gap. 

Vigo County School Corporation is sending out nearly 140 school buses equipped with WiF to help students download and upload assignments during remote learning days. 

Spokesperson Bill Riley said it's a way to keep bus drivers working even if kids aren't coming to school buildings, but it's just one part of the equation.

"They're great for a couple hours a day, but it doesn't really solve the inequity that lack of internet access causes in our community," he said.

Riley says the district is using grant funding and working with local partners to explore expanding broadband access to different parts of the community. 

According to an analysis of federal data, more than 100,000 Hoosier children didn't have a computer or a computer with internet access at the start of the pandemic.

Contact reporter Jeanie at jlindsa@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz.

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