USD 457 receives grant to help with internet access

Up to 200 families within USD 457 will get help connecting their students to the internet as part of the district’s continuous learning plan.

At Monday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Steve Karlin said the district received a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation to provide 200 telephone-hotspot devices to be distributed to families in the district without internet access.

“We’ll be able to provide service for April and May ... through the end of the school year,” he said. “We’re right now in the process of getting the devices, getting them ready to get to families.”

About 377 families in K-12 households do not have internet access according to data the district received from a survey, Karlin said. However, only a small percent of families responded, so there may be more families.

Originally they hoped to just get the hotspots for families, but by the time they got the funds there were no hotspots available, they would have had to wait until the end of April at the earliest to get them, Karlin said. Instead they were given cellphones with hotspot features.

“It’s a way to fill that gap for some of our folks,” Karlin said.