A limited number of mobile Internet hotspots will be made available for qualifying Loudoun County Public Schools students during distance learning, school system officials said Tuesday evening.
Requests for hotspots will go through students’ individual schools, and LCPS plans to share more information about the process in the coming week.
Schools are to identify qualifying students “based on socio-economic conditions or educational accommodations,” LCPS Public Information Officer Wayde Byard wrote.
He added temporary hotspots may be given to families needing to “bridge a gap” while arranging for necessary distance-learning accommodations and services.
There will be a one-device-per-household limit, as each one supports up to 15 connections.
Per LCPS, each hotspot will also include pre-configured Internet content filtering in keeping with the Children’s Internet Protection Act.
However, coverage by one of the division’s cellular carriers — Sprint, T-Mobile or AT&T — is required for a hotspot to operate, and the devices will not help families in areas with insufficient cell signals.
“Staff is working with principals to determine other possible alternatives, including printing learning packets or reserving spaces inside a school for families with no connectivity at home,” Byard wrote.
Other potential alternatives include use of 24/7 wireless connectivity in the parking lots of all LCPS high schools and Loudoun County libraries.