Winchester and Fall Mountain Regional college districts have been awarded roughly $150,000 in federal funds to assist college students with Web and know-how wants at residence, which have been highlighted through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Final month, U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan’s workplace introduced Fall Mountain was one 12 districts statewide that had been awarded a complete of $2.4 million from the Emergency Connectivity Program Fund, which is supported by the American Rescue Plan Act, based on a information launch. The district — which covers Acworth, Alstead, Charlestown, Langdon and Walpole — acquired $106,800.
In a second spherical this month, Winchester acquired $49,736, based on a separate information launch from Hassan’s workplace final week. Winchester was considered one of 22 districts within the state to obtain cash on this newest spherical of funding, which can see $2.2 million distributed to Granite State faculties.
For the Fall Mountain College District, these funds will go towards supplying college students with new touchscreen Acer Chromebooks, based on Superintendent Lori Landry. College students may additionally be supplied with hotspots to pair with their units, Landry mentioned in an e mail. The district received’t obtain the funds straight, however distributors will probably be invoiced on the district’s behalf, she added.
Winchester college officers weren’t out there Friday to explain how the district plans to make use of these funds. However based on the Common Service Administrative Co., which is overseen by the Federal Communications Fee, Winchester additionally requested Chromebooks and hotspots.
The Emergency Connectivity Program Fund — which is overseen by the FCC — was established to assist faculties and libraries facilitate distant studying through the COVID-19 pandemic. The cash can be utilized for a spread of technology-related prices, together with offering laptops or tablets for college kids to deliver residence, Wi-Fi hotspots, modems and routers, and industrial Web providers, based on the FCC.
Every college district was chargeable for figuring out technological and connectivity challenges their college students confronted and submitted an inventory of desired units and providers in an software to the FCC, based on Hassan’s workplace. This system was created to deal with the digital limitations some college students face, often known as the “homework hole,” which has been exacerbated as many colleges have included distant studying into their curriculum through the ongoing public well being disaster.
Within the information launch from Hassan’s workplace final week, U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster — who represents New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District, which incorporates all the Monadnock Area — mentioned this funding is vital for training within the state.
“Particularly within the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kuster mentioned, “it’s important that our Granite State faculties, college students, and employees have dependable entry to broadband providers to maintain our communities linked and protected by way of distant work and distant studying.”