WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Students across USD 259 are working remotely this year, but some families have found it challenging to maintain the internet bandwidth for six and a half hours for their students at home. The administration has launched an initiative to help these students close the homework gap.
“Our kids were going to have a deficiency with the internet, and having adequate bandwidth to be able to be online for six-and-one-half hours to do the instruction. So we looked at different ways of how we could partner with community members,” said Terrell Davis, Executive Director of Public Affairs and Special Projects USD 259.
“Closing the Homework Gap One Tribe at a Time” is a community effort to increase internet connectivity for students that need it to learn. When parents were asked in a recent survey if their students had internet connectivity at home, over 5000 answered, with many saying yes.
However, the district found that many who responded were referencing connections through cell phones that may run slower and did not consider the lengthy connection time students would need for the school day.
“What we’re trying to make sure is that we don’t have kids who are two and three weeks behind,” said Davis. “We know that if a student is two or three weeks behind, the propensity for that kid may be acting out because them being academically frustrated goes up. We’re trying to make sure they are staying on target. Making sure that they’re staying with the classroom.
To aid this need, USD 259 is has asked community organizations like churches, businesses, and individuals to sponsor students. The district says that just $120 dollars could provide a student with sufficient internet for 12 months.
Davis says that the initiative has received $25,000 dollars from 39 church organizations and individuals who have donated so far but they still have quite a way to go to ensure every student in the community is served.
If you would like to contribute, you can send a check made out to Wichita Public Schools for the amount you wish to donate and send them to the Alvin E. Morris Administrative Center at 903 S. Edgemoor St. Wichita, Kan., 67218 with attention to Terrell Davis. You can even designate which school you’d like to donate to in the memo line. You can also contact Davis directly by phone at 316-973-4639 or email to make contribution arrangements.
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