Students with limited or no internet access at home now have another option.
To help distance learners, Alcorn School District students and community members can access free wireless internet at 11 locations in Alcorn County.
Paid through pandemic CARES Act funds allocated by the state legislature and managed by the school district, the Community Connectivity Project is delivering high-speed internet access closer to students living in rural parts of the county. No password is required to connect and all residents are encouraged to use the service.
“If one good thing comes out of this pandemic, it’s this – being able to get federal dollars to the local school district so they are able to connect more students to the internet,” said Rep. Nick Bain, who along with fellow local lawmakers Rep. Lester “Bubba” Carpenter, Rep. Tracy Arnold and Sen. Rita Potts Parks voted for the collective passing of measures that helped fast track earmarked funds to Mississippi school districts.
“To be able to take the stress of having to worry about how to access the internet off the backs of so many parents is wonderful,” said ASD Superintendent Bill Brand. “We are so very grateful of our local lawmakers who are helping support modern day learning.”
Internet access locations include all schools at Alcorn Central, Biggersville and Kossuth, as well as Farmington Town Hall, Glen Town Hall, Liberty Hill Baptist Church, Rienzi Baptist Church, Wheeler Grove Baptist Church, Lone Oak Baptist Church, Holly Baptist Church and Chapman’s Restaurant.
“During distance learning, a student can be at one of those hotspots and receive wireless internet,” said ASD Technology Director Dylan Lambert. “This will help keep parents and students from having to drive to Corinth to connect to Wi-Fi.”
According to Lambert, the locations are marked by dark blue Community Connectivity Project yard signs.
“District assigned devices including iPads and laptops will automatically connect to the internet at these locations,” said Lambert. “Otherwise, the user will need to search for nearby wireless hotspots to connect.”
According to Parks, the completion of this project will ensure that every student has the connectivity required for distance learning.
“We all know there are many rural areas in our district with little to no internet access,” said the lawmaker. “This added benefit will help give Alcorn County students a more positive online learning experience during this COVID pandemic.”
All Alcorn Central and Biggersville students are currently distance learning from home due to a widespread coronavirus outbreak at the two schools.