DICKSON COUNTY SCHOOLS PARTNERS WITH LOCAL CHURCHES TO PROVIDE REMOTE STUDENT WIFI ACCESS
By Dave Barkholz
Dickson County Schools is rolling out additional hotspots across the county so students without Internet can get online.
Most of the new locations are at churches. They join Charlotte-Fagan United Methodist Church in Charlotte as the first to host a hotspot, as 101.5 The One and WDKN first reported Tuesday.
The district discovered that about 30% of the county’s 8,300 students are without Internet when the schools had to shut March 10 because of the coronavirus and moved lessons online.
The hotspots are a way to get that service to them.
They could take on added importance if the schools can’t reopen fully next semester on August 1.
In that case, the hotspots could be used for online lessons.
To use the hotspots, vehicles can pull up close to the building and use the password: smartbus. Some also have pavillions for setting up computers at tables.
Charlotte-Fagan United Methodist Church has a large covered pavilion on its campus with 12 standard picnic tables that people can use for their Chromebooks and laptops, said Pastor Nick Baird-Chrisohon. The parking lot also has 50 spaces.
Director Danny Weeks said the hotspots, which are about the size of an overnight bag, are being safely placed in locations in Vanleer, White Bluff, Charlotte and even in Dickson so vehicles can drive up and use them for work or assignments. They cost about $2,000 apiece.
The district intends to pay for them with a portion of the $1.4 million it expects to get in federal stimulus money.
Below is a list of locations and instructions.