California school district uses buses as Wi-Fi hotspots so kids can connect for e-learning

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Officials with the Kern High School District found a new way to provide internet access to students learning from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The district mobilized a fleet of school buses to act as WiFi hotspots on Tuesday, March 31.

The buses are scheduled to stop at locations on a route for 30 minutes at a time. Once students are at the stop, directions will be provided on how they can connect to the hotspot.

Once connected, students will be able to upload and download homework.

Students will not be allowed on the bus, but they can connect from a radius of 150 feet.

KHSD officials noted 5,921 Chromebooks were distributed in two days.

"The Kern High School District has a goal of making sure that all students have access to the online learning opportunities available across every one of our schools, " said Dean McGee, Kern High School District associate duperintendent.

McGee said more hotspots were to be rolled out -- aimed at helping middle school and elementary school students, with school leaders working to create a universal Wi-Fi code so students can use schools nearby their homes as hotspots.