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Keeping Students Connected and Learning

Wireless Network Brief cover includes title and images of four students independently learning using computers and tablets.

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Strategies for Deploying School District Wireless Networks as a Sustainable Solution to Connect Students at Home


In spring 2020, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the shift to hybrid and remote learning for most schools turned what was once a “homework gap” into a “learning opportunity gap” as devices and internet access became necessary in order to keep students connected and learning.

The purpose of this brief is to present strategies for deploying off-campus wireless networks as a sustainable solution to provide home connectivity to all students and educators. This brief shows how school districts have taken diverse approaches to build off-campus wireless networks. Off-campus wireless networks offer a possible long-term approach to solving the home connectivity gap. They may not be a viable solution in all districts; however, we hope the examples highlighted in this brief contribute to the discussion of sustainable, long-term solutions for providing equitable access to high-quality education.

The six models highlighted in the brief include: 

  1. ACPS@Home, Albemarle County Public Schools, Albemarle, VA
  2. Northeast Nebraska Tribal Education Broadband Service, Nebraska Indian Community College (NICC), Northeast NE
  3. ICOE BorderLink Infrastructure Initiative, Imperial County Office of Education, Imperial County, CA
  4. LUSD Community Wi-Fi Network, Lindsay Unified School District, Lindsay, CA
  5. Livewire ConnectME Program, Boulder Valley School District, Boulder, CO
  6. FUSD Personalized Learning Initiative, Fresno Unified School District, Fresno, CA

Webinar: Sustainable Wireless Strategies for Keeping Students Connected and Learning

In this webinar, the state and district technology leaders highlighted in the brief share the diverse approaches they’ve taken to build off-campus wireless networks. Webinar slides [PDF] | Webinar Transcript [Word]

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