BURGAW – Schools are closed and social distancing measures are in place as Pender County responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, but staying connected remains a necessity during these trying times.
To help students engage in learning, Pender County Schools has installed Wi-Fi hotspots at the county’s three traditional high schools where district-issued devices can get online, allowing students to connect with their teachers.
“Last Monday, a lot of students and their families picked up Chromebooks from our schools in anticipation of online learning becoming necessary. With help from our community partners, including ATMC, Four County Electric, the Pender County Government and NCDOT, we’re trying to make sure our students have the opportunity to access the information they need to keep learning,” Pender County Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Hill.
Thanks to Wi-Fi access point hardware provided by ATMC, students can come to Pender High, Topsail High or Heide Trask High, remain in a vehicle and access the internet in the parking lot. The hotspots, which have a range of several hundred feet, are marked by an orange traffic barrel labeled “PCS Wireless Access.” These hotspots will be live from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. seven days a week. Additionally, the Pender County Public Library in Burgaw also has an ATMC provided public access point, giving students another option to utilize.
“Our maintenance staff and technology department worked quickly to drill holes and run cable to make this possible. Their work is greatly appreciated to bring this together,” Dr. Hill said.
At this time, only district-issued devices will be able to access the internet at these hotspots. If you did not get the opportunity to pick up a PCS-issued device last week, please contact your school to set up a possible pickup in the coming days.
Pender County Schools would like to offer its appreciation to ATMC for providing the needed hardware. Additionally, PCS would like to thank Four County Electric and Pender County Government for needed support to make this project possible.
“These are really unprecedented times, and ATMC is glad that we can help,” ATMC CEO Keith Holden said. “We were proud to be able to work with Four County EMC and Pender County Schools to design and implement a solution that will be critical to keeping students connected.”