SALAMANCA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Salamanca City Central School District is making sure students have reliable Internet access while doing work from home.
The school has been delivering wireless routers to remote family homes in the district without a cable run.
“COVID-19 and the mass closures of all New York State schools for nearly 40 days has thrust digital poverty into our daily conversation with remote access, online Pre-K-12 learning and digital content desired but not always possible,” School District Superintendent Robert Breidenstein said.
A 2019 report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said roughly 21 million, or six percent of families in the United States do not have access to broadband Internet at home.
The school district’s Assistant Superintendent, Mark Beehler, said “It’s a problem becoming quickly apparent in our region. Many students lack computers or internet at home, and teachers cannot provide the equitable online education to every student when some can’t log in.”
Salamanca’s solution came in the form of 4×3-inch Kajeet hubs, which create Internet hotspots in homes.
“Each device attaches itself to the Verizon network and has automatic filters and settings that we can keep or customize for how they are used for academic purposes,” the district’s Director of Technology, Rob Miller, said.
Prior to this, students used libraries or community centers to log onto the Internet.
Although these devices are limited by the location and topographic setting of cellphone towers, the school district remains committed to making sure students have Internet access.
To assist in that, school buses with Wi-Fi access have been parked in different locations across the city. Here are the locations where families can park and utilize it:
- Fenton Insurance Agency
- Salamanca High School parking lot
- Allegany Community Center; Prospect Elementary
- Steamburg Community Center
- Indian Park on RC Hoag Drive
Families without Internet can call (716) 945-2400 (ext. 6556), or send an email to email@example.com for assistance.