The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education met Sunday evening to discuss plans to purchase 225 MiFi hotspots for elementary school students who currently do not have internet access as the district prepares to implement at-home learning.
CHCCS began at-home learning on Monday, and the period of remote learning has been extended until May 15. Staff has been assessing technology needs for elementary school students, and the team has estimated that 225 MiFi hotspots are needed to address the technology gap among elementary school students.
The purchase is expected to cost $49,581.15, according to a quote from Kajeet — a wireless company that services schools and other education providers. CHCCS has already spent $59,273.55 with Kajeet this year, and this new purchase will exceed the $90,000 threshold that requires Board approval.
The district said Kajeet is facing a backlog of 10-15 days, so promptly submitting the order will allow CHCCS to distribute the devices sooner.
Dave Scott, director of technical services, and his team are setting up extra Chromebooks —approximately 500 of the devices — for distribution to elementary school students. The distribution plan will tentatively include drive-up pickup days for families who are able to get to Lincoln Center, according to the agenda documents. For students who are unable to pick up devices, the plan is to use bus transportation to deliver them.