High schooler unable to access internet with CMS hot spot five weeks into school year

Mom says child hasn't had internet all school year

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School district is wrapping up its fifth week of remote learning, but some students have still not been able to log on to learn.

According to CMS, about 16,000 students do not have reliable internet access. That’s more than 10 percent of K-12 students in the district.

One of those students is a Mallard Creek High School freshman who says he cannot get access to the internet, even using the hotspot given to him by the district.

Genesis Roland is new to CMS and was excited to start school.

His mother lost her job and cannot pay for home internet, so they are relying on a hot spot from the district. They tell WBTV they still cannot get it to work.

“It’s frustrating because like I haven’t done any work in like five weeks," Roland told WBTV.

Roland went to Kipp Academy last year where he played basketball and did well in school, but this year he feels he has not been given the chance to succeed.

“At first it was my information that was messed up so I couldn’t get logged in even if I had WiFi," he said.

He says once he got his student ID, the problems continued.

“It’ll say that’s it connected, but when I go on NC Ed Cloud it won’t load," Roland said. "It’ll stay at 1/4th of the bar.”

Roland’s mother says she keeps trying to get help.

“I talked to the guidance counselor, the tech guy, the assistant principal, the principal, the secretary basically anyone that would listen and they said basically there’s nothing they can do," April Blakely said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for CMS told WBTV:

"Making sure that our students have access to remote learning is of utmost importance to the district.

Any time a student has an issue with their district distributed device they are asked to reach out to the school for guidance. The school will work with the student and the family to resolve the issue. Should there need to be further inspection into the device issues, the student and family are asked to bring the device to the school to make any necessary repairs. Should there be issues that may not be repaired, the school will issue a new device to make sure the student has access to remote learning.

Also, sometimes there are issues with hotspots that are not able to be corrected by the district. Families may need to check with the wireless company that has issued the device. Again, if that does not work, the school will do their best to provide a new hotspot for the student."

Blakely said the technology supervisor gave her the number for Sprint.

“They told me to take the battery off I did, they told me to reset it, they told me it should work better in 10 minutes here we are Friday it still doesn’t work," she said.

Blakely is concerned about how this is affecting his attendance.

“If that means you gotta send him some work in the mail, whatever needs to happen, but I feel like they don’t care," she said.

Roland just wants to start learning.

“I’m really behind," he said. "And that’s gonna be hard to catch up.”

The district is running a program to bring internet to two areas of Charlotte. Students can sit in the parking lot and connect to school buses with WiFi.

Blakely said she is spending each day trying to find a new job, and her son does not have his driver’s license, so that is not a realistic solution for them.

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