The United Way of Southwest Virginia is also offering mini-grants to localities to help establish hot spot areas. Carter said the district is in discussion with the county administrator for possible solutions.
Bristol Virginia City Schools Chief Technology Officer Jeff Shelton said the system has identified 108 families that need hot spots. The city has 115 hot spots available.
“We will provide more if needed, just may have a delay in getting them,” he said.
In Washington County, Schools Superintendent Brian Ratliff said outdoor wireless access has been added to each of the county’s school parking lots.
“The lessons can be accessed from any location with public internet access,” Ratliff said. “Schools have been instructed to work with those students without internet access to facilitate them being able to participate in classes.”
Teachers will frame lesson plans as asynchronous as possible so that students can download their lessons at a location with internet access and then work on them at home while offline, Ratliff said.
In Wise County, School Superintendent Greg Mullins noted that many students live in areas that cannot be served because internet is simply unavailable.
“We have trained our teachers on providing offline content for those in homes with no internet,” Mullins said. “Our school Wi-Fi is extended into our school parking lots to provide students a well-lit, secure option if they desire to come utilize it after school hours.”
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