Mayflower School District prepares for school year with low internet access

Reopening Schools in Arkansas

MAYFLOWER, Ark. – Schools are preparing for the fall while also confronting COVID-19.

Even though the Mayflower School District is between Little Rock and Conway, the district still has a problem when it comes to high-speed internet. A lot of students who live in rural areas don’t have it.

Some parents have the option to keep their kids home and the school is preparing in case students must learn from home. Mayflower Elementary Assistant Principal Neely Claassen says a problem this smaller rural district faces is the lack of high-speed internet for some families.

“The main problem we found was the Internet here in Mayflower.”

In case students must learn from home, the school is putting classwork on a flash drive.

“Load up the teacher’s instruction videos and all of the materials. The student will need for two weeks.”

That device, and meals, can be taken directly to the student’s home by bus drivers.

‘They came in in the summer and drove these routes to deliver food every week.”

This way students don’t miss a beat.

“One thing I think this will lead to is an academic achievement and equability between those who have access to broadband Internet and those who don’t.”

The district is also looking at a small computer device called “Raspberry Pi”. It can be plugged into a tv and connect to a keyboard and mouse with Bluetooth. It can connect online or use the flash drive.

“This is one option we’re exploring and this would work best for our students at home,” Mayflower Superintendent John Gray said.

These are some ways the Mayflower School District is fighting COVID-19 while also keeping kids learning in the classroom.

“We went to provide all of the students in our building the same Equitable opportunity to learn and grow,” Claassen said.

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