CHIPPEWA FALLS (WQOW) - Chippewa Falls area students without internet have gotten help accessing the web from the district for virtual learning, and now the district is getting some financial help in turn thanks to grants.
In March the district made a one-year contact for 120 WIFI hotspots for students who had trouble affording internet access. Because the district had not budgeted for the pandemic, they had a hard time coming up with the money to pay for these hotspots.
Those costs have now been mostly offset after the district received $23,000 in grants from Marshfield Clinic, Casper Rutledge and Community Foundations, and an $800 donation from Midwest Family Communications from their "Back to School Bucks" promotion.
"I think what is ultimately important is that all of our students have equitable access to internet," said Sarah Radcliffe, director of educational technology for the school district. "Having access to a device and to internet to get those resources, it levels the playing field for the families in our district."
Being able to pay for student internet access is crucial for students in the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District, who have been learning remotely since November and don't plan on returning until January.