KCSD creates Wi-Fi hotspots for students

District: Access to devices, internet, especially in rural areas, imperative for distance education

The Klamath County School District’s information technology team has installed 16 Wi-Fi hotspots that will allow free access to the internet from outside school buildings.

The goal is to provide Wi-Fi access for any student who needs it as school districts and colleges close and move to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. KCSD’s free Wi-Fi access project is part of a community-wide effort to provide internet access points to those who need it during this time.

“Students in rural areas need devices and access to internet to be successful in distance education,” said KCSD Information Technology Director Kiran Malakar, who spent this past weekend testing signals and accessibility for each new location. “Installation of these access points will help provide stronger internet coverage and allow greater access to students across the Klamath County School District.”

Members of the district’s maintenance crew helped the IT team on the project, which started on Friday and concluded early this week.

To ensure all KCSD students have access to online learning, the school district is providing Chromebooks to families who do not have a device with access to the internet. The free Wi-Fi hot spots will allow students to download and upload assignments and access online lessons. Access is available from parking lots at the following school locations:

  • Henley Complex
  • Lost River Junior/Senior High School
  • Mazama High School
  • Chiloquin Junior/Senior High School
  • Brixner Junior High School
  • Bonanza Schools
  • Gilchrist Schools
  • Merrill Elementary
  • Malin Elementary
  • Keno Elementary
  • Chiloquin Elementary
  • Stearns Elementary
  • Shasta Elementary
  • Ferguson Elementary
  • Peterson Elementary
  • Gearhart School in Bly (free Wi-Fi access is available through the Klamath County Library branch based at the school)

The Wi-Fi access sites are not supervised. The district recommends parents accompany students, and that students and parents stay in their vehicles while using the service.

“Our IT team spent a lot of time and did a great job providing increased Wi-Fi access at our school sites throughout Klamath County,” said KCSD Superintendent Glen Szymoniak. “We are pleased we can be a part of the community effort to help all students have equal access to learning at this time.”

Many community businesses also are allowing free access to their Wi-Fi. Click here for a google map of all community locations so far. Spectrum (1-844-488-8395) and Comcast (1-866-203-0432) also have indicated they will provide two months of free internet for families. When you call, say that you have students learning from home because of covid19 school closures.