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School district offers WiFi buses for students who need it

Updated: Apr. 15, 2020 at 5:58 PM EDT
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YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV)-- The coronavirus has changed how students learn. With schools closed, some South Carolina school districts moved toward online classes and e-learning.

But, some students don’t have WiFi access to continue their education.

One district stepped in. The South Carolina Department of Education sent WiFi access points to York School District One. District officials stored the WiFi in buses and sent it on the move to student who need it.

”I love to help kids and at this very time right now it’s very needed," says Christopher Dewberry, who drives one of these buses.

Dewberry is normally a teacher in York School District One, but while school is out, he drives a bus that brings WiFi to students.

”It’s already a difficult time," he says. "They’re not in the classroom everything’s so changed and now trying to get some WiFi to the kids to help them understand we are helping them learn.

York School District One spokesperson Tim Cooper echoes the same message. He says York County is very rural. The county doesn’t have a good wired network in some areas. The buses reach rural students who might not have access to WiFi.

”For our students the ability to stay connected has simple been invaluable," says Cooper.

Students meet the bus in the parking lot with their work. The WiFi password is posted in a bus window. Cooper says some come with their phone or computer and work for hours.

”That need to stay connected while we’re not physically all together being able to be electronically connected has been very important for our students and for our parents and our teachers," he says.

School might not be in session, but York School District One works to make sure learning never stops.

”It feels good," says Dewberry. "It feels really good."

The buses are available from nine to 11 Monday through Thursday. There are six different WiFi locations throughout the district. Here are the locations:

  • Grace Chapel Church
  • Liberty Church
  • Filbert Presbyterian
  • Sharon ARP Church
  • Bullock Creek Presbyterian
  • Celebration Place Church of the Nazarene

Some schools are also open for students to come if they miss the bus WiFi times. The schools that are open:

  • Cotton Belt Elementary
  • Harold C Johnson Elementary
  • Hickory Grove-Sharon Elementary
  • Hunter Street Elementary
  • Jefferson Elementary
  • York Intermediate
  • York Middle
  • York One Academy

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