WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichita Falls ISD students have been successfully learning from home for two weeks now, but WFISD superintendent Michael Kuhrt believes more can be done to help students without WiFi.
Superintendent Kuhrt wants to bring wifi to the digitally disadvantaged; a change he believes would not only help students and families, but the entire Wichita Falls community.
WFISD is already accustomed to online learning which is why it was an easy decision to switch to fully online classes once schools were closed. But that change affects students and families that rely on WFISD for more than just instruction.
“I think it’s more than students having wifi,” Kuhrt said. “It’s families having wifi. And so I want to have a conversation with our community.”
The community aspect is key; which is why Kuhrt would like to see if this idea could be a part of the community’s plans.
“I will reach out to county and city government officials. I will reach out to maybe the Chamber of Commerce and economic development and things like that and just see what that entails,” Kuhrt said.
Some internet providers are offering free wifi to families of students and teachers for the rest of the school year. But providers have certain rules that may restrict families from immediately gaining access.
“They have three and four and six-week delays on getting installed. And then as soon as you get it installed as soon as the free wifi period is up, you have to start paying for it if you wanna continue it. And our parents or families that don’t already have wifi, probably because they can’t afford it or don’t feel they can, that’s an issue.”
And while Kuhrt knows this issue most likely won’t be resolved for this school year, he aspires to assist the future digitally disadvantaged.
There is not a plan right now since these talks are so early but WFISD will look at grants and other funding options to see how they would proceed if the community agrees on this idea.