Fredericksburg City Schools was selected as the Region III winner in the Kajeet Virginia Broadband Grant. The $30,000 grant will allow for students to have free access to Wi-Fi while traveling on FCPS buses, so they may have more time to complete homework and other assignments while traveling to athletic events, according to Chief of Operations/Information Officer Michael George.
Mr. George applied for the grant and School Board in February, and School Board Member Kathleen Pomeroy was notified of the award during the Spring 2022 VSBA Regional Meeting.
Over 12 community centers throughout our city will also be provided with Kajeet Routers for Building or Home Wi-Fi to provide homework hotspots to allow students to have a location in their area that they can go to for internet and tutoring.
According to Mr. George, “[FCPS] currently supplies internet access in one form to around 700 out of our 3500 students in the City of Fredericksburg. We estimate that about 300 to 400 more have not been identified or have not reached out to us for assistance.”
The funding will be sustained through previously approved Emergency Connectively Fund (ECF) funding to support bus Wi-Fi and hotspots through T-Mobile.
The district has made the digital divide a priority in Fredericksburg and will continue to seek out all methods of funding including future ECF funds, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER), Title funds, and local operational funds.
“We would always appreciate any help with identifying future funding sources,” Mr. George said.