FILE - In this photo, students at a Connecticut high school work on Google Chromebooks.
FILE – In this photo, students at a Connecticut high school work on Google Chromebooks. (AP Photo/Stephen Dunn)

Trimble Local Schools Provides Broadband Hotspots for Families Without Internet Access

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GLOUSTER, Ohio (WOUB) — The Trimble Local School District is providing internet access to students who do not have an internet connection at their home.

John Hurd, superintendent at Trimble Local Schools, said the district purchased 12 Verizon Wireless hotspots for families in the district. Trimble began distributing the hotspots on Thursday, March 26.

Hurd said Trimble families can sign up to use a hotspot for one week at a time, to ensure all families who need internet access can have the opportunity. He explained the district conducted a survey asking families if they had an internet connection.

“Many of the families have phones and hotspots,” he said. “For those people that have neither, we’re trying to provide a solution.”

Hurd said he has fielded phone calls about Charter Spectrum’s offer to give free broadband to families with K-12 students, but said the company does not provide service in Trimble Township.

“It doesn’t affect us in a rural area,” he said. “It’s a moot point for us.”

Hurd added other school districts around the state are on a waiting list for hotspots.

There’s large delays in getting your hands on (hotspots) now,” he said. “We were fortunate, we got ahead of the problem.”

Students in grades 3-12 received Google Chromebooks to access lessons at home. Students in grades K-2 get lessons delivered via school bus every two weeks. Hurd said these lessons are focused on stimulating students’ brains and maintaining vocabulary and reading retention.

“It probably enriches them more than we could measure,” he said.

Like other districts in Athens County, Trimble is sending school buses to students to deliver breakfast and lunch for the week ahead. Hurd said many teachers have signed up to ride on the buses and say hello to their students from a distance.

I’ve got a waiting list of teachers that want to go out and see the kids, even if it’s from the bus and waving,” Hurd said. 

He said he is proud of the work the school district is doing.

I think we’re all learning to be a more digital society when it comes to delivering educational messages,” he said.

Although we’re not in ideal times we’re making the best we can. We’re going to be a stronger community.” 

Trimble Local Schools serves 820 students in grades K-12.