Updated May 1, 2020 - 4:26 pm
The Clark County School District on Friday rolled out buses equipped with Wi-Fi hot spots on 13 routes throughout the Las Vegas Valley to help students access online learning materials during school closures.
In a test of the new program, each bus stopped at four locations and stayed for approximately one hour and 15 minutes so that students could download online work or access Khan Academy activities. The service will continue each weekday until further notice, the district said.
Technology and connectivity inequity has been a major concern for the district since the state shifted to a distance learning model in March, with one study from the Guinn Center for Policy Priorities estimating that approximately 21,000 households in Clark County with children ages 6-17 lack internet access.
The hope is that parking the buses close to apartment buildings will enable students to connect to the network without leaving their apartments, or at least their apartment balconies, according to district representatives.
Families need to approach the buses initially to receive the network name and password and are asked to adhere to social distancing protocols.
Wi-Fi-enabled buses have been used in other parts of the country, including in Kansas and Texas, to help students connect to the internet and complete assignments.