“It’s important for students to have access to educational resources at home,” said Technology Director Dustin Nelson. “This is a way to help provide that access.”
Six hundred of the internet hot spots were donated by T-Mobile and just under 1,500 were purchased with funds from a USBE grant that was funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The equipment students receive will either be a Kajeet hotspot or a T-Mobile hotspot.
Each device has safeguards in place to protect children from inappropriate websites and downloads. Before the device is distributed, a user-agreement form must be filled out by a parent or guardian. Although there no fee to use the device, there will be a replacement cost for devices that are damaged, lost, or stolen.
Only one device may be issued per household during the school year. Students must meet one of the qualifications in order to receive a Wi-Fi hotspot. These devices are specifically meant for:
- Students attending a rural school
- Students who do not have internet access at home
- Students who are homeless
- Students registered through the Child Nutrition Department to receive free or reduced lunch
“Once the data runs out, the device will be shut off and will need to be checked back into the school,” said Nelson. “If students are using them only to access their educational materials, there should be more than enough data.”
The internet hotspots have already been distributed to students at rural schools within Tooele County School District. Because there is a limited supply, priority will be given to students who have no way of accessing the internet at home. The remaining devices will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis to those who qualify. Students can request a device through their school.