Wayne County Schools deliver instruction in all kinds of ways, which is helpful during a pandemic. During virtual and hybrid learning days, every effort is being made to bring Internet service within reach of every student.
The Wayne County School Technology Department is providing WiFi service at several locations in the community, with the help of Community Telecom Services. It’s all about enabling students without home connections to easily find a neighborhood WiFi “hot spot” to connect their Chromebook to so they can complete daily assignments. WiFi is a family of wireless network protocols used for local area networking of devices and Internet access.
The school district has provided a Cardinal Hot Spot school bus that bounces back and forth between the Wal-mart and Tradeway Shopping Centers. Families can drive to the parking lot and pull up within 150 feet of the bus and their child's Chromebook will automatically connect. School Chromebooks are the only devices that will connect.
The next step in the school's plan was to create more WiFi connections in the community. Local churches and organizations have pitched in to help by providing the following WiFi connections at Elk Spring Valley Church, Mill Springs Christian Church, Susie Fire Department, and CTS Office. Later In January, Dairy Queen will be added to the list.
Wayne County Schools Technology Department came up with the idea to help students who may not have Internet at their home or perhaps relative’s home where they stay during the daytime.
Fortunately, 95 percent of Wayne County’s students have found a way to get access to the Internet. But, the school district wants to make sure every student is covered so they can work virtually and not fall behind. Last spring when the pandemic started, only 75 percent of the student body had internet connections from home. Recently discounted internet services for students has helped families afford the extra expense.
“We’re working with CTS to put up to 15 hot spots around town,” noted Chaplin.
Community Telecom Service is providing the fiber and the school district is providing the device to connect to hundreds and hundreds of the Chromebooks that are rented to students each year. Student Chromebooks are valuable tools that facilitate student learning and are currently in high demand nationwide.
“We appreciate our partnership with CTS on this Cardinal Hot Spot project,” said Chaplin. “We just want to make sure we reach every student.”