Fresno Unified trying out new WiFi equipped school buses, effort to help students with distance learning

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FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — Fresno Unified is trying to overcome the digital divide by giving their students options to access the internet. 

Amy Idsvoog, Executive Officer of Communications with Fresno Unified says they have a new pilot program that think will make a big difference to many students. 

“We have brought in two of our school buses that are equipped with free wifi that students in the neighborhood can come they can find space on the grace or grab a lawn chair and actually get access to internet,” said Idsvoog.

Idsvoog said the WiFi router is located at the top of both buses. If students are interested in getting onto the WiFi, they are able to sit near the bus and log on.

“Learn some things from this experience and then our hope is we can extend it into other areas in need in the city and around our district where wifi is sparse,” said Idsvoog.

Fresno Unified made it their mission to give every student a laptop or tablet during this time of distance learning. That’s when they say the lack of adequate WiFi became obvious. 

Future principal of Kirk Elementary School, Tobiase Brookins says this new program is a game changer for so many students.

“Although they are receiving tablets many of them do not have internet access. So, it gives our community instead of spending all of that money out trying to get internet access it gives them quick accessibility now,” said Brookins. 

For the next two weeks these buses will be parked right outside Kirk Elementary school and if the pilot program is successful the district will strategically place more of these buses throughout the city during their summer instruction. 

“We know that many of our families don’t have that access so we are hoping this is an added opportunity an added layer to help supporting them at home as they continue to learn,” said Idsvoog. 

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