10:00 – 10:30 a.m. (ET)
At the national and local levels, both educators and policymakers are working toward creative solutions for narrowing the digital divide between students outside of their school walls. Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel will help kick off Digital Learning Day Live! with a discussion about the federal role in supporting digital equity and a look at Coachella Valley Unified School District’s unique approach to tackling connectivity gaps in rural California.
Rafranz Davis (moderator)
Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning
Lufkin Independent School District (TX)
Twitter Handle: @RafranzDavis
Coachella Valley Unified School District (CA)
Twitter Handle: @DrAdamsCVUSD
Federal Communications Commission
Twitter Handle: @JRosenworcel
Alliance for Excellent Education
Twitter Handle: @BobWise48
Coachella Valley Unified School District (CVUSD), located in southern California, is taking remarkable actions to ensure that all of its students have equitable access to the internet. The district serves approximately 19,000 students and about 80 percent of its students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. CVUSD serves a 100-square-mile area and some students live as far as two hours away from school, making internet access difficult or even nonexistent.
Since many CVUSD students do not have internet access at home, CVUSD has taken steps to close the “homework gap” by outfitting school buses with wireless routers. After buses complete their stops for the day, they are parked in rural or low-income communities, allowing students to stay connected. Solar panels have been added to some of these buses to extend wireless access through the night. Last year, the CVUSD school board approved the purchase of routers for ninety-seven school buses, ten of which were outfitted with solar panels, expanding connectivity across the district.
For more information about CVUSD’s “WiFi on Wheels” program, check out the links below.