• MST adds new routes to take Wi-Fi to students who have no access

    As schools across Monterey County have shut their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of students are now adjusting to distance learning. However, this transition can pose great difficulty for many families who may not have access to internet connectivity.

    That’s why the Monterey County Office of Education (MCOE) has launched its Digital Equity Team (DEQ) to ensure every student in Monterey County has the ability to participate in high quality online distance learning by providing access to the devices and connectivity needed for success.

    Securing connectivity in the home is a long-term solution, but for the short-term, MCOE and several districts in the county are proud to join with Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) to deploy MST buses equipped with WiFi to neighborhoods where the districts have identified the highest needs for internet access.

    “As we work to ensure high-quality distance learning for all and are planning for the possibility of extended and/or repeated school closures, we know that an Internet connection is a lifeline and a learning link for our students,” said Dr. Denen Guss, Monterey County Superintendent of Schools. “We are thankful to MST for their partnership to bring connectivity to our students when they need it most. We are also thankful to community member, Mary Ann Leffel for bringing the idea to us.”

    Leffel, a community member who has been involved in transit, broadband and education shared, “I believe this is a good way for public entities to work together to support the community.”

    MST General Manager and CEO Carl Sedoryk stated, “The decision to use MST resources to support students and help our neighbors bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas was simple – MST exists to support the communities we serve, and together with our educational partners during this crisis we will deploy our resources where they can achieve the most benefit.”

    Starting on Monday, May 11, 2020, students and families can drive to an expanded list of locations below, and while remaining in their vehicles, connect to the WiFi to download needed distance learning online content. Any student, no matter their district of residence, can visit these sites to park, connect and learn.

    The schedule, to begin on Monday, May 11, 2020 will be as follows:

    • New! Mondays – Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.: Serving the Greenfield Union SD Area
      • Mary Chapa School 490 El Camino Real, Greenfield
    • New! Mondays – Fridays from 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Serving the Greenfield Union SD Area
      • Oak Ave School 1239 Oak Ave., Greenfield
    • New! Mondays – Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Serving the Salinas UHSD Area
      • La Paz Middle 1300 N. Sanborn Rd., Salinas
    • New! Mondays – Fridays from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Serving the Salinas UHSD Area
      • La Paz Middle 1300 N. Sanborn Rd., Salinas
    • Mondays – Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Serving the South Monterey County JUHSD Area
      • Site: Salinas Valley Fairgrounds 625 Division St., King City
    • Mondays – Fridays  from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Serving the Soledad USD Area
      • Site: 425 Gabilan Dr., Soledad
    • Mondays – Thursdays  from 1:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.: Serving the Soledad USD Area
      • Site: 441 Main St., Soledad
    • Mondays – Thursdays  from 3:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Serving the Soledad USD Area
      • Site: YMCA 560 Walker Dr., Soledad
    • Thursdays – Fridays  from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Serving the Soledad USD Area
      • Site: Jimenez Camp McCoy Rd., Soledad
    • Mondays – Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Serving the King City Union School District Area
      • Site: Salinas Valley Fairgrounds 625 Division St., King City
    • Fridays from 1:30 p.m.to 5:00 p.m.: Serving the King City Union School District Area
      • Site: Salinas Valley Fairgrounds 625 Division St., King City

    As planning continues, MCOE hopes to announce additional WiFi bus stop locations in the near future. Residents can find a complete listing of locations, dates and times on the Monterey County Office of Education’s webpage at:www.montereycoe.org/resources/alerts/coronavirus/wifi-bus-schedule/index

    For questions about this program, please contact Communications and Public Relations Officer, Jessica Hull at jhull@montereycoe.org or 209-679-4858.

    Jessica Hull

    Communications and Public Relations Officer

    Communications Office

    Monterey County Office of Education

    901 Blanco Circle / P.O. Box 80851

    Salinas, CA 93901 / Salinas, CA 93912

    (831) 784-4245 Direct 

    (209) 679-4858 Mobile

    jhull@montereycoe.org

    MCOE Online: Website | MCOE on Facebook | MCOE on Twitter

    posted to Cedar Street Times on May 7, 2020

    Topics: Uncategorized

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