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Partnering with Housing Authority to Increase Universal Wi-Fi Access

Hotspot buses bring internet to under-connected students

Overview

The pandemic shed new light on the lack of sufficient internet access for many families across the country. In Austin, TX, the school district recognized early on the impact that the digital access gap was having on students in remote learning. District leaders at Austin ISD turned to the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) to quickly surface and implement solutions.

Approach

In partnering with HACA, Austin ISD was able to identify high-priority locations around the city where students were under-connected. The district then outfitted school buses with hot spots and hired bus drivers to park them each day in those high-priority locations.

The unique partnership made remote learning possible for thousands of students across the city who otherwise would be left behind.

For another example from a different district, check out how Lindsay Unified in California implemented a community Wi-Fi program.


This strategy is a part of TLA's Hop, Skip, Leapfrog release, which explores the concrete ways in which schools and systems pursued student-centered innovation during COVID-19. Explore the full guide to find additional strategies, insights, and resources.


Strategy Resources


Lindsay Unified’s Path To Community-Wide WiFi: Connecting Every Learner

An in-depth profile of Lindsay Unified School District's efforts to provide students with home Internet... Learn More

LUSD Community Wi-Fi Project

Lindsay Unified School District worked to provide at-home connectivity through a community Wi-Fi program. Learn More

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