Desert Sun: Coronavirus: Coachella, CVUSD to provide 3,000 wireless hot spots for student internet
By: Christopher Damien and Risa Johnson, Palm Springs Desert Sun
The city of Coachella and the Coachella Valley Unified School District will purchase 3,000 personal wireless hotspots that will be placed in homes in that city and the surrounding area to ensure all students have internet access while schools continue to be closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, city officials announced Monday.
Jacob Alvarez, Coachella’s assistant to the city manager, said the devices will be distributed to approximately 40%, or about 7,000, of the district’s students who do not have internet access. The district provides students with computers and tablets for school use, but some of the students do not have internet access and have struggled to stay current on assignments while school work has transitioned to online. Alvarez said the hotspots will be delivered to the district on May 15, and then they will be distributed to families from there.
“Education is key to helping our children achieve a better future for themselves,” said Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez. “This is one way the city can bridge the digital divide and make sure no student falls behind because of a lack of internet service.”
Coachella Valley Unified School District Board President Silvia Paz added that internet access is “a luxury that is out of reach” for many east valley families, but the hotspots will provide access to students to ensure they can “participate in the distance learning plan set by the school district.”