October 17, 2019
CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) has awarded $150,000 in funding to Churchill, Humboldt, Mineral and Storey County school districts to install Wi-Fi on their buses.
“Many of our students travel long distances each day to get to school, so ensuring that they have internet access while in transit is invaluable,” said Jhone Ebert, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Wi-Fi enables students to complete their class assignments, study and receive on-line tutoring so they can make the most of their learning time.”
It is not unusual in Nevada for a school bus ride to take more than one hour each way. Some students in Mineral County spend five hours round trip on the bus each day. Bus trips for sports and other events, especially in bad weather conditions, can be even longer.
“This really helps me with my homework,” said Takayla Antonio, an 11th grade student in Humboldt County. “I do not have enough data to rely on my phone for internet access.”
Through federal Title IV, Part A grant funding, 43 buses have been equipped with Wi-Fi hubs that provide students with access to a virtual classroom on their phones, tablets and computers. Thanks to the federal grant, NDE funded all components of this service including equipment, installation and internet service and system maintenance for the first year.
Although “Managed Wi-Fi” is a partially funded service through the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) E-rate program, the FCC has not cleared the school vehicle funding mechanism. NDE stepped in and to remove this barrier to make this student achievement intervention available.
“The opportunity to have Wi-Fi on our buses supports our collective commitment to guaranteed learning and equity for all students as our student athletes have access to instructional resources while on away trips, allowing them stay on top of their course work thus reducing homework time commitments after traveling,” said Dawn Hagness, Humboldt County School District Assistant Superintendent. “We appreciate this unique opportunity to provide to our students in Humboldt.”