For the last week or more schools across the country have been closed. Many students have been taking their classes online, including some students in South Bend who get the internet for those classes from a school bus.
South Bend Community Schools got some of their buses outfitted as WiFi hotspots so they could be deployed during snow day elearning this school year. When school was closed for the coronavirus, the buses were ready to roll.
“People can access, for free, the WiFi that is on that bus and it branches out about 300 feet we’re told,” said Susan Devetski, the Chief Academic Officer for South Bend.
Devetski said they park in front of apartment complexes and in parking lots in places in South Bend where parents say they can’t get WiFi otherwise.
“We’ve seen people come and park their cars in the parking lot next to the bus. We’ve seen on nicer days people sitting outside and using their laptop right outside the buses so it’s a variety of ways in which they can access using the buses.”
Devetski said the buses are parked in one place on Monday and Wednesday and move to a different place on Tuesday and Thursday.
She said the school is speaking with parents and teachers to make sure the locations are working for the students.