In an ongoing effort to support online learning for students through Comal Continues: Home Learning Opportunities/ Residence Learning Program, the Comal Independent School District has equipped school buses with wireless network devices and parked them at seven strategic locations throughout the district’s 589 square miles to provide internet access to those students who otherwise may not have access.
These seven Wi-Fi buses will broadcast a signal within 100 yards, the distance of a football field, and will be parked at designated locations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday until the last day of the school year, May 28. The bus Wi-Fi network is 'ComalISD-HomeLearning' or 'ComalISD-HomeLearning5G.'
“To date we have provided nearly 1,900 laptops to families who do not have access to technology in their homes through our Technology Checkout Program,” says Travis Brown, the district’s technology chief information officer. “We believe that this is just one more opportunity to provide our students with the tools they need to participate in the District’s Residence Learning Program.
The Comal Education Foundation was instrumental in making the Bus Wi-Fi program a possibility by provided the district with a $7,000 donation in order to cover the cost.
“We are happy to see the program ‘rolling’ out to communities across Comal ISD, connecting teachers, students and families in a way that is sure to have a lasting impact,” said Chris Narendorf, president of the foundation.
Understanding that internet access is key to the success of at-home learning, the district also has offered families discounted rates through local internet providers as well as MiFi devices. As of Friday, April 17, Comal ISD has provided 124 MiFi devices so students can access the internet at home.
Comal ISD families in need of either a laptop or MiFi device can contact the District’s Technology Checkout Program at 830-221-2690.
-Comal ISD Safety Training Supervisor Cheryl Lessing shows off one of the seven buses ready to provide Wi-Fi connections throughout the district.