Lenoir County Schools giving hotspots to help students with school work at home

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KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Now more than ever, internet connectivity is important for students. Lenoir County Public Schools have been giving out mobile hotspots to students for nearly two years now.

“We have a segment of our students, probably about 400 out of 8,500 have no internet connectivity,” said Patrick Holmes, LCPS public information officer.

Right now the district has around 200 total hotspot devices, and over the last two weeks have put most of these resources into the homes of students.

“I think right now we are down to about 40 or 45 hotspots,” Holmes said. “We distributed in the last two weeks over 100.”

Holmes said each student takes home an iPad from school, so these hotspots aren’t a substitute for in-person learning, but rather an extra tool to use their technology.

“It’s not a point of us moving away from in-person instruction, we are firm on that,” he said. “We’re going to keep the kids in the classroom because that’s where they belong and that’s where they learn best, but there are times when they need internet connection to do homework or communicate with their teachers.”

Holmes says right now Lenoir County doesn’t have any plans to switch to remote learning.

“I know that the numbers are disturbing,” he added. “They are going up and everybody’s concerned about that and we are as well. But we are taking measures in terms of in-school COVID testing, mask-wearing, sanitizing, all things we do to keep kids in school. It’s going to work, we are going to be fine with this.”

If you’re in need of a hotspot for your Lenoir County student, Holmes said to contact your child’s school and ask for their digital learning specialist. From there, the school will distribute a hotspot to families for free. The only thing Holmes said to keep in mind is that the hotspot does need access to a cell signal for it to work in your home.

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