Lancaster City Schools today announced a partnership with T-Mobile, which will provide funding to equip 1,152 LCS students with free portable wireless devices known as mifis.
Mifis are wireless devices that students can take home with them to get free high-speed internet access via T-Mobile’s network. Each student in the Tallmadge Elementary and Gorsuch West Elementary attendance areas will receive a free device.
The mifi devices are provided to qualifying students by T-Mobile along with free mobile broadband lines. The district will also pay for additional 2,009 mobile broadband lines at discounted rates to provide internet access to even more students in the district, as all students at LHS will be provided a mifi with parental approval.
Through EmpowerED, T-Mobile works with eligible schools and school districts nationwide to provide off-campus digital access to students in need.
“This partnership will help Lancaster City Schools to help break down barriers for families without home internet access,” said Superintendent Steve Wigton. “As education has evolved, many classes require students to do research, write papers, and complete other homework assignments online. We know many of our students don’t have internet access and devices when they go home. Providing mifi devices and broadband internet access to our qualifying families levels the playing field for our students and will help our students become competitors in an ever-changing technological world,” said Wigton.
“Our No. 1 goal at Lancaster City Schools is to give access to learning for all students regardless of their family situation and income level,” Kevin Snyder, Director of Secondary Education, shared. “This program gets us one step closer to providing adequate resources for all of our students.”
The district received $403,000 in technology reimbursement through the EmpowerED Grant to make the funding possible for the additional lines.