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COVID-19 Quick View: Remote/Hybrid Learning Guidance & Resources

Universal Wi-Fi Access

Pursuing an aggressive agenda to connect families to school through community partnerships and SpaceX

Overview

At the start of the pandemic, 39% of families in Ector County Independent School District had no internet access or cell phone internet access. While ensuring adequate home connectivity was a four-year goal, the district needed to move quickly to accelerate progress.

“We had hoped to have Internet in every family's home within four years. That was a part of our strategic plan. But because of the pandemic, we now have Internet and [almost] every family connected today.” - Scott Muri, Superintendent, Ector County ISD

Approach

To provide universal access, the district pursued both short-term and long-term solutions. Families were given MiFi devices and connected with local cable services, but a considerable portion of the rural population in the district had no good options for connectivity. ECISD pursued an innovative partnership with SpaceX to bring satellite Wi-Fi access to those who needed it.

“The challenge was our families that live in a more remote environment. And so all the money in the world wasn't going to bring the Internet to a family when you don't have anything. And so that's where SpaceX came in.” - Scott Muri

In the longer term, ECISD has assembled a local “Connector Task Force”— made up of 26 local business and social sector leaders — to develop a county-wide plan. ECISD leadership is also engaged with a state-level task force to connect its own efforts to state-wide initiatives.


Strategy Resources


Ector Home Connectivity: US & Texas Landscape

This report created by Thru-Ed for Ector County Independent School District was part of a... Learn More

Ector County Home Connectivity: Baseline Assessment

This report created by Thru-Ed for Ector County Independent School District is part of a... Learn More