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Coachella & CVUSD to buy hotspots to help students without internet access

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The city of Coachella, in partnership with the Coachella Valley Unified School District, will buy 3,000 personal wireless hotspots to help students studying from home who don't have access to the internet.

Coachella and CVUSD will place the hotspots in homes throughout the city and surrounding areas.

Back in March, the district established a "Distance Learning Plan" after the county ordered all school campuses to shut down. A part of the district's plan for March included a survey on student's online access needs that was sent out through phone, text, and email.

The new hotspots will target the 7,000 CVUSD students, or 40% of the student body, who do not already have service be able to use the computers and tablets supplied by CVUSD to do online classwork.

"For many East Valley families, internet access is a luxury that is out of reach," said Coachella Valley Unified School District Board President Silvia Paz. "By providing these hotspots, more students will have access to participate in the distance learning plan set by the school district."

The partnership between CVUSD and the city of Coachella will help reduce the overall cost of buying this equipment and speed up the implementation of the project, officials say.

"Education is key to helping our children achieve a better future for themselves," said Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez. "This is one way the city can bridge the digital divide and make sure no student falls behind because of a lack of internet service."

Schools in Riverside County remain closed through June 19 under the county health officer's current order.

If the order is revoked by the Board of Supervisors, then the county would simply follow the state's order. Governor Newsom has mentioned a possible plan to start schools in late July.

Watch: Educators and businesses gearing up for possible reopening

For more information about CVUSD's distance learning programs, visit www.CVUSD.us.

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Jesus Reyes

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