It looks like many children across America will still have to experience distance learning throughout 2021.
While this is a welcome change by many students and parents alike, it’s a challenge for many others.
Many American families still don’t have access to a reliable WiFi connection. This leaves children across the country unable to get an education while the lockdowns continue.
So what’s the best solution for your school? What do you do if some of your students don’t have reliable WiFi?
You should offer them the school bus WiFi. Children can commute on the school bus with their laptops or tablets. They can connect to the WiFi to complete their coursework and watch lectures.
Here’s what you can do:
Where Are Your Buses?
You want to learn about which neighborhoods don’t have reliable internet connections. If you have students in these neighborhoods, you want to park a few school buses there.
While schools might be closed, there are other places where students like to spend their spare time. These can include parks, local gyms, or shopping plazas.
You can keep a school bus parked in these areas. A student can hop on the bus with their device to connect to the school bus WiFi.
Make sure you first test out your school bus WiFi. You might need to invest in an internet provider to address the digital divide.
Let Everyone Know
Once you’ve set up your school buses, you want to send regular communications to the parents and students. Set up social media pages specifically for the school buses.
These will provide regular updates on where the buses get parked. It will also let you know if a bus is running late or changing its route, etc.
You can also create a WhatsApp, GroupMe, or Telegram chatroom where students/parents can interact with the school bus drivers.
On the side of each school bus, hang a banner that provides instructions on how to connect to the WiFi.
Make sure that you follow the CDC guidelines to protect against COVID-19. Offer hand sanitizers on each bus for the students.
You want to also set limits on how many students can sit on each bus.
Make sure that students sit apart from each other. You can also hand out face masks for any student that doesn’t have one.
If your school or school district has many students that need school bus WiFi, then you can create a reservation system. Students will have to reserve a spot to sit on the bus. Or, you can set a time limit on how long each student can sit on their bus.
For exams, ask teachers/proctors to schedule time slots. This is for when they can watch over students while they take their exams.
Bring School Bus WiFi to Students Today
Now that you know the benefits of school bus WiFi, you can start working on implementing them for your district.
Make sure you first test that the buses have a reliable internet connection. Then you want to prepare each bus to meet CDC guidelines for virus protection.
Start informing the parents right away so you can assure them that their children will still have access to education.
You can find more great tips on helping schools and improving education on our website.