LOGAN — Logan County Schools has been awarded almost $375,000 in state grant funding to provide internet access to families who might not be able to afford it.
As reported by The Logan Banner last month, officials at Logan County Schools have been exploring options for providing internet access to low-income families in the county, especially as the school year begins all online thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. During a meeting of the Logan County Board of Education on Wednesday, Sept. 2, Superintendent Patricia Lucas announced that the district has received almost $375,000 in grant funding to make the idea happen.
Assistant Superintendent Darlene Dingess-Adkins said contracts with local internet providers — namely Suddenlink, Shentel, Frontier and Armstrong — to install internet in homes of students without it will be up for the board’s approval on Sept. 21. Dingess-Adkins said school principals have provided a list of students who have indicated they don’t have access at home.
In the interim between the beginning of the school year and when internet is installed, those students will receive paper and pencil packets that can be returned to teachers and graded. Dingess-Adkins said teachers will be able to print off the same assignments and materials as what is being used online.
“They will receive the same work,” Dingess-Adkins said.
Additionally, teachers will have office hours in which students may call in and receive help, as well as make appointments for assignment drop-off.
Dingess-Adkins said she and other officials at Logan County Schools have been “very surprised” by the number of students in the county who do not have internet, noting that it varies from school to school. For example, only two students at Chapmanville Intermediate School are without internet and at Logan Middle School, there are none; the number at Chapmanville Regional High School, however, is over 50.
The internet service provided by the school district will be active for the school year only.
Lucas noted that hotspots are also located at each school and are available for student use. Dingess-Adkins also noted that Gov. Jim Justice has provisions in place to install 22 other hotspots throughout the county.