Denton ISD recently added free wifi to all 206 school buses in its fleet.
Last year, the district implemented an initiative to address the “digital divide” concern among school-aged students, according to a news release from the district. Since that time, the district has committed to becoming one-to-one by providing laptops for all students in kindergarten through 12th grade to ensure district-wide access to the digital tools and resources necessary to participate in classes, whether in-person or remotely.
The district took that notion a step further by partnering with Cradlepoint, a broadband internet connectivity company, to equip its bus fleet with wifi to “allow bus riders to stay connected beyond the classroom walls” and to be able to work on school assignments while on the bus, whether they are simply headed home from school or en route to a game or UIL competition.
“When we travel to away football games, our band members can spend an average of two and a half hours riding on our school buses,” said Brian Wilson, Denton High director of bands. “We have band contests in Princeton which is located along the far eastern edge of Collin County and those bus rides can last as long as three hours total time. Travel time to UIL area round band competitions similarly take three hours roundtrip as well. The amount of time our band, cheer, and student-athletes can spend on a school bus adds up quickly each week.”
Funding for wifi hotspots and broadband services for school buses was obtained using Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds, according to the district.