Marietta buys 700 WiFi hot spots for students during coronavirus closure

School District Superintendent Grant Rivera will donate his first-ever $10,000 bonus to pay for college application fees for every student who applies to college ahead of regular application deadlines.

Credit: Marietta City Schools

Credit: Marietta City Schools

The Marietta City School System will make it easier for students to access the tools they need to continue learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

The school board on Friday voted to purchase 700 WiFi hot spots so its students can access the internet while at home.

The hot spots, which cost the school system $159,570, will be loaned to families so students can access Schoology, Marietta’s learning management system while schools are closed during the virus outbreak.

“Our moral and academic responsibility is to be responsive to any child who does not have access to a device or internet,” said Superintendent Dr. Grant Rivera. “We cannot conveniently overlook that students without access to Schoology will fall further behind as the school closure continues.”

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Marietta City Schools closed its buildings March 16 to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

The school system said it conducted a survey this week to determine the number of students who would need access to the internet or a computing device to use the online learning system during the coronavirus outbreak.

Families who need the items will be able to complete the system’s Technology Assignment Agreement, which acknowledges their personal and financial responsibility for the devices.

The system will use its existing cache of Google Chromebooks, and the WiFi hot spots will be purchased from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. The school system said those three companies were chosen “based on their ability to guarantee a reasonable delivery date for the WiFi hot spots.”

Marietta City Schools will use this service for six months, allowing it to be in place through the opening of the 2020-21 school year.

In response to questions from community members about how they can help students, the Marietta City School System is accepting donations through its Connect-a-Kid program to help offset the cost of the purchase. A $35 donation provides one month of internet access for a Marietta student. You can click here to donate to the program.

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