WESTLAND, Mich. – For man families, virtual learning is as easy as flipping on a laptop, but it’s much harder for others.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, 6% of American house holds do not have internet access. In rural areas, that number can jump as high as 30%.
That’s why the Wayne-Westland Community Schools District has found a unique way to get its children to school while staying at home.
On another day, at another time in history, school buses would be bringing children to school, but amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the school buses in Westland are delivering school to the children.
The Wayne-Westland district has about 10,000 students learning remotely. Like many other districts, Wayne-Westland has struggled with a back order of devices. Once the students received their devices, the district realized having a Chromebook was one thing, but having connectivity was something else entirely.
In the mornings, 21 buses are deployed to various communities in the Wayne-Westland Community Schools district and, during school hours, the buses beome beacons for technology. Behind the doors and windows of the homes around them, children are able to connect by way of a big yellow hotspot bus.
The district is using this kind of outside-the-box thinking to make sure its students have the tools they need to learn.
The Wayne-Westland Community School District has the big yellow bus hotspot program funded through the rest of the year and, if needed, will find additional funding next year.