Trigg County school officials will be using CARES Act money to provide wifi internet coverage to underserved areas of the county to assist with the upcoming virtual platform for parents opting not to send their kids to school for in-person instruction.
When the state encouraged school systems to shut down in-person teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March, the technology gap in rural counties became apparent. In Trigg County, high-speed internet service is lacking mainly in the four corners and near Lake Barkley.
Assistant Superintendent Beth Sumner said CARES Act funding has allowed the school to purchase wifi hot spots that can be placed in different areas of the county. She told the school board last week they have several good features to help provide service and adhere to federal protection laws.
click to download audioSumner said the hot spots would likely be placed near an area where a group of students can use the signal. Some counties have indicated they may ask fire departments or churches to open near a hot spot to give students an inside location to do work while connected to the internet and compliant with social distancing. Sumner said they are still scouting locations for the hot spots.
click to download audioSumner said students who attend in-person classes would not need an internet connection to download assignments to their computer at home.
click to download audioSumner said the school system has enough Chromebooks for each student in grades 1-12 to check out. The school board voted last week to charge $40 for insurance for each Chromebook the district owns which is virtually unchanged from last year. A parent can choose not to pay the insurance but would be responsible for any damage repair bill.
Sumner said more Chromebooks have been ordered with CARES Act money but have not arrived.
click to download audioThe school system allocated over $70,000 of the total $470,000 in CARES Act money received for technology to assist in helping students learn from home.
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