BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – The Kern High School District has a unique way to make sure every student has access to the internet. 

They turned 14 of their school buses to wifi hotspots.

The buses were first deployed Tuesday morning, each with a morning and afternoon route. Drivers park the buses for 30 minutes at each location. The wifi signal covers a 150-foot diameter. Students can find password information on the bus’s windows. 

“We identified the bus stops where we thought we may have students who can easily get to those bus stops who have self-identified that they don’t have internet access at home,” said Dean Mcgee, Associate Superintendent for KHSD.

The district includes 18 high schools that collectively serve about 40,000 students. Mcgee says about 20 percent have reported they don’t have internet access at home. 

Mcgee adds this is only one of the steps in the district’s five-tier approach to deal with school shutdowns. 

Step one was to make all KHSD school site”s networks public, so students can access the wifi from their parking lots. Next was the hot spot school buses, then have local companies offer reduced-cost internet to low-income families.

Followed by distributing Chromebooks. The district started doing that Monday and by today they had already deployed 6,0000.

Shafter High School Chromebook Distribution. Courtesy of KHSD.

And the final approach, still in works, is to make all schools in Kern County wifi hotspots.

Courtesy of KHSD.