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Wi-Fi, new supplies incoming for students

Superintendent Tim Cochran announced at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting that the Decatur County School System had received a grant for six Wi-Fi busses to park around the community, so students would have access to Wi-Fi for summer school and future projects requiring Internet.

The grant is a curriculum grant for $155,000 and allowed the school to purchase six modems to put inside the busses, 88 new Chromebooks, 26 laptops, and new instructional software.

Moving forward, Cochran told the BoE the Wi-Fi busses will have a set schedule of times they will go to each neighborhood. He is currently working on a schedule, but does not have anything definite yet because he may have secured a few more Wi-Fi modems to add to the list.

The modems will only cover a 100-mile radius, so while Cochran knows they may not solve all the problems, it will at least give kids something to work with.

“It will fix some barriers we have,” Cochran said.

In addition to the grant received for the Wi-Fi busses, the school also received an additional $10,000 grant that will help them pilot a summer school distance-learning program.

The grant received over 900 applications and was only given to 11 school districts and Decatur County was one of them.

The grant allows the school system to expand on the summer school program they were already planning to offer. It will now be for K-12th grade online, and the software used can also be implemented if schools are not allowed to return in the fall.

The summer school program will offer a daily instructional schedule on Monday through Thursday, while Friday will be a catch-up day for students that provides additional help.

All the students with Wi-Fi will be provided with a Chrome book and students without Wi-Fi access will be delivered instructional materials on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.

The instructional materials will also be provided for any family or student who believes they need additional remediation throughout the summer.

Cochran is excited for these grants and how they will continue to impact the students of Decatur County in a positive manner.