Keeping Students Connected and Learning

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In Spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to hybrid and remote learning for most schools turned what was once a “homework gap” into a “learning opportunity gap” as devices and internet access became necessary in order to keep students connected and learning. The purpose of this brief is to present strategies for deploying off-campus wireless networks as a sustainable solution to provide home connectivity to all students and educators. This brief shows how school districts have taken diverse approaches to build off-campus wireless networks. Off-campus wireless networks offer a possible long-term approach to solving the home connectivity gap. They may not be a viable solution in all districts; however, we hope the examples highlighted in this brief contribute to the discussion of sustainable, long-term solutions for providing equitable access to high-quality education.

The six models highlighted in the brief include:

  1. [email protected], Albemarle County Public Schools, Albemarle, VA
  2. Northeast Nebraska Tribal Education Broadband Service, Nebraska Indian Community College (NICC), Northeast NE
  3. ICOE BorderLink Infrastructure Initiative, Imperial County Office of Education, Imperial County, CA
  4. LUSD Community Wi-Fi Network, Lindsay Unified School District, Lindsay, CA
  5. Livewire ConnectME Program, Boulder Valley School District, Boulder, CO
  6. FUSD Personalized Learning Initiative, Fresno Unified School District, Fresno, CA

Keeping Students Connected and Learning