Chattahoochee County parents concerned about internet access for virtual learning

Chattahoochee County parents concerned about internet access for virtual learning

CHATTAHOOCHEE COUNTY, Ga. (WTVM) - Chattahoochee County Schools announced announced this week two options for students this fall.

The choices are full-time virtual learning or a hybrid option, where students will spend part of their day learning at school and the other at home. Both options require internet access and devices. One grandmother said she’s worried she will have to go out of pocket so her grandson can start kindergarten this year.

“Not every family has the money to get a tablet, not every family is able to sit down with their child to do the work that has to be done in order for that child to learn, and three, this is a poor area,” said Karen Moore.

According to Chattahoochee County School Superintendent Kristie Brooks, the school system has a few options to assist families this year.They will be extending WiFi from school-owned buildings to parking lots and providing WiFi extenders around the county so families will have access from their neighborhoods. These were made available through the schools budget, a partnership with Columbus Tech, and the Georgia Board of Education.

“We’re fortunate with the state that they are providing us this at no charge,” said Brooks. “Our students will be able to have unlimited data, free access, and we believe this is going to be the start of showing how when we have equitable services in rural Georgia, our students can perform and out perform.”

According to Brooks, the school system is working with Chattahoochee county management to divide the county map to strategically place the nine WiFi extenders. Some areas that will be receiving WiFi extenders are McKnaughton Street, Liberty Hill Road, a neighborhood in the ranch area, and the RiverBend Mobile Home community.

She also said the school system isn’t in a position to provide devices for every student right now, but they plan on buying additional devices with funds from the federal CARES Act. They also have principles working directly with families that are in need with a check out process.

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