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Bonduel offering ‘tech lounges’ for students to get WIFI while virtual learning

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 4:33 PM CDT
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BONDUEL, Wis. (WBAY) - The Bonduel School District is going virtual for the next two weeks because of COVID-19 related issues, but to make sure all students have the internet access they need, the district is offering some additional help.

Back in March when schools were forced to go virtual due to the governor’s order, Bonduel Superintendent Joe Dawidziak said they started hearing more from parents about WIFI issues in the district.

“There’s definitely a need,” said Dawidziak. “We’ve been working with providers in the area to try to establish where there are geographical areas within our district where internet is an issue.”

Since March, the district has been using mobile hotspots for students to access the internet at home, but now with all students learning virtually for the next 14 days, the district is offering ‘tech lounges’.

“The most recent thing is the concept of having these kind of ‘tech lounges’ is what we’re calling them, which is really just reusing space that currently exists that really isn’t being used much while we’re virtual,” said Dawidziak.

Bonduel parents were sent an email, with a link to a spread sheet. The spread sheet allows parents or students to sign up for 1.5 hour increments at three different locations.

“So at the elementary school, it’ll take place in the gym there. Then in this building, so this is the 712 building where I’m at right now, we’re going to use our high school Commons and then Sousa Hall, right next next door to that, which is an auditorium,” said Dawidziak.

Students or parents will be able to use the spaces from 8am-7pm for the next two weeks. Dawidziak said each space can safely accommodate up to 15 students per time frame. The spaces will be monitored to maintain social distancing and to make sure masks are worn at all times, but it won’t be a tutor for students.

“It’s not an actual teacher. It’s just more of a monitoring thing to be able to provide Internet access,” said Dawidziak. “I’m sure questions are going to come up and we’ll help to the degree that we can but that’s not really the intent.”

The intent, Dawidziak said, is to provide another option for high-speed internet for those who need it to complete school work.

“As this year started we kind of figured at some point we’re going to have to go virtual, that it would just be a matter of time so this this option provides another thing out there for those parents and students if they so choose. So we’re going to try it out and see how it goes,” said Dawidziak.

Here is the email Dawidziak sent out to Bonduel families, along with the link to the spread sheet:

"Parents, beginning next week Tuesday, September 29th from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. each day we are virtual, the Commons, Sousa Hall, and the Elementary Gym will be available for internet access to only those students we are aware of with internet issues at home. Accessibility will be available via advanced sign up only and only in one and a half hour increments. At this time, only 15 students will be allowed at any given time in each of those spaces and will be expected to be masked and socially distanced. These spaces will be supervised by a staff member, but there should not be the expectation of technology assistance or educational assistance, it is strictly for the use of the internet for educational purposes due to lack of access at home. Transportation will be the responsibility of the parent. Sign up is on a first come first served basis and parents can sign their children up here: https://rb.gy/huojsz "

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