High Speed Internet Will Be Available To Students At Escambia Libraries, Community Centers

March 21, 2020

As the Escambia County School systems moves toward the start of virtual instruction on April 1, Escambia County is making libraries and community centers available for students.

Students without an adequate internet connection at home will be able to use the high speed internet at county libraries and community centers.

It some instances the internet access may only be able outside community centers. If the community center buildings are opened, or in the libraries, CDC recommendations will be followed for cleaning and distancing.

Details on exactly how the program will work will be finalized and published prior to April 1, the date Escambia County students begin online classes.

“When we learned from Superintendent Thomas that the District needed help with a solution for children who lived in areas with limited internet access…we wanted to step up and partner with them immediately,” said Escambia County Commission Chairman Steven Barry. “We will work with the District to provide direct assistance so children are able to complete their school work and to learn remotely wherever they possibly can. Our Escambia County community centers and libraries offer the availability of high speed internet connectivity and plenty of space for students to spread out and continue to further their education. We will also be focusing on enhancing and even adding infrastructure to existing facilities and areas in the attempt to improve the positive impact we can have in the partnership.”

Escambia County School District Superintendent Malcolm Thomas said, “For our education continuity plan to work, to truly help our students stay engaged in their learning during the pandemic interruption, it will take teamwork between our teachers, support staff, students and their families. For some of those families, a lack of internet connectivity is a roadblock to their students’ success. Although, our instructional plan provides for the use of books and paper packets, the most robust instruction will occur through virtual sources. The connectivity provided throughout the county will allow these students access to their lessons over the internet enhancing their opportunity for greater academic success.”

“It is this kind of community support, during any kind of crisis we have experienced, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, the freeze and now a pandemic, that makes Escambia County an outstanding place for all of us to live and work. Thank you Commissioner Barry for your leadership and please express the school district’s gratitude to the other Commissioners and let the staff members who will be helping our students know that they are making a difference in a difficult time,” Thomas added.


31 Responses to “High Speed Internet Will Be Available To Students At Escambia Libraries, Community Centers”

  1. Dan on March 24th, 2020 7:00 am

    Smart phones have hot spot selection, utilize that technology , I am sure most have cell phones.

  2. America vs virus on March 22nd, 2020 11:50 pm

    Look at China. Look at Italy. Coronavirus is deadly serious. It’s exploding in America, and Escambia County has its own coronavirus population already starting. Community centers and libraries are used for community gathering. Our community leaders need to look at the big picture and temporarily close all community centers and libraries in Escambia County instead of drawing even more people to them at such a critical time.

  3. Sandy on March 22nd, 2020 7:32 pm

    This is as stupid as handing out school breakfast and lunches to the students out of school.. The lives of the lunch room workers and their families are just as important as everyone else’s.. I can guarantee the superintendent will not be handing them out..

  4. Leslie on March 22nd, 2020 2:18 pm

    Henry Coe is spot on!

  5. Old School on March 22nd, 2020 12:24 pm

    Honestly parents could snuggle up with a book, play store,count out coins. (cleaned) Write a story together. Teach them cursive. How to cook and measure. balance a check book. Sing songs. Memorize Bible verses poetry

    It took them 100 years to get the internet after the spanish flu.

    Teach then biology by washing and sanitizing thing and botany by planting a seed.

    PE by scrubbing the house.

    Wax on Wax off–the car.

  6. Amy on March 22nd, 2020 7:44 am

    Isn’t that more than 10 in one area? Some parents may choose for their kids not to risk the exposure in that way. They don’t want adults mingling with each other but will put multiple children in a library.
    Something wrong with that line of thinking.

  7. Dola on March 22nd, 2020 5:42 am

    Henry Coe has the right ideal, seriously.

  8. Michelle on March 22nd, 2020 1:13 am

    Give homes free internet. Cox and the rest of the companies could turn it on certain times during the day. Or just give free access until this crisis is over. I’m not taking my child to no library or center. Probably more germs there than at her school. Make DVD’s of the lesson plans and send to the kids that don’t have internet. Has to be a better way. You going to give gas money? What if they don’t have a ride? Then what if they don’t have a tablet or computer? Anyone with extras could donate to a child in need. Set up big screen projectors like a drive in movie and everyone stay in their car. They could give their answers on a tablet. We had better start thinking of a better plan or we will be stuck with this one.

  9. Worried on March 22nd, 2020 12:43 am

    I will NOT be send any of my kids to a Library or community center. That is just putting my kids at risk. If you are willing to put kids at risk like that then you should just open the schools back up and put 2 or 3 students in a class room that would be safer but, even then I would not be sending my kids out of the house for any reason. We are self quarantine! What is the Escambia County school Board going to do if the governor says to shelter in place ? You need to come up with a better idea. The most northern part of the county doesn’t have adequate service providers. It’s not about being able to afford for us it’s that we don’t have any options.

  10. Worried on March 22nd, 2020 12:39 am

    I will NOT be send any of my kids to a Library or community center. That is just putting my kids at risk. If you are willing to put kids at risk like that then you should just open the schools back up and put 2 or 3 students in a class room that would be safer but, even then I would not be sending my kids out of the house for any reason. We are self quarantine! What is the Escambia County school Board going to do if the governor says to shelter in place ? You need to come up with a better idea.

  11. Debbie on March 21st, 2020 10:20 pm

    I do believe the families have one other choice and thats to pick up work books and work sheets and teachers will be available through a phone call if needed. I don’t think you have to go to these places if you choose not to. This is what they were saying earlier in the week .

  12. M Lore on March 21st, 2020 4:52 pm

    Library administration and the county commissioners have nothing but blatant disregard for the safety of library employees and library patrons. The libraries are still operating business as usual with the exception of no group programs. Workers are still having to interact in person with patrons. They may be quarantining the returned books but what about all the books the kids are touching while parents aren’t watching? What about the books that are being touched or coughed on while someone is browsing the shelves? Other counties have closed their libraries and still offer limited checkout services to the public, just no coming into the library to browse, touch everything and put others at risk. Commissioners Bergosh, May and Barry are coming up for re-election in November. Just saying.

  13. Pamela Croll on March 21st, 2020 3:08 pm

    What if your child has special needs , Such as an ESE student. Severe ADHD and autism. You cannot be sent in to a group alone and expect to do the work he needs 1 on 1

  14. Pamela Croll on March 21st, 2020 3:05 pm

    By putting these kids all in the center and libraries isn’t that adding more than 10 in a group and still keeping them at risk by going home to different families

  15. William Reynolds on March 21st, 2020 2:02 pm

    Many of the community centers have large parking lots and parks that are covered by the wi-fi.

  16. ElizaBeth Sexton on March 21st, 2020 12:46 pm

    This has NOT been thought out. Those without internet are supposed to go sit in a library with all others in same position? Close the library. Have teachers mail their students assignments that don’t have wifi. …or provide hot spot wifi for their chrome.
    Leaving home to go get wifi should not be considered an option. Figure something else to include everyone.

  17. David Huie Green on March 21st, 2020 11:38 am

    “but we’re gonna take the same students and put them in one room at a library? ”

    I have no idea what the actual plan is but you don’t have to enter the building to get internet access. Wi-Fi from Byrneville Elementary can reach all the way to the park. Others are the same or can be sent further.

    Maybe the Centuy library WiFi will stay on longer or back to being on all the time — like it was for several years.

    David for safe children and those they might infect

  18. Someone never voting for you ever again on March 21st, 2020 10:34 am

    The utter incompetence of officials in a time that we need you to make intelligent decisions baffles the mind. It is 2020. You have spent years ignoring your citizens’ need of high speed internet access, and now you expect people to endanger their kids and themselves to engage in a horribly thought out education system? Never going to happen. Not on my watch. All of you deserve to lose your jobs.

  19. Shawn E on March 21st, 2020 10:11 am

    I completely agree with the other comments. It would make no sense for people have to go to the library or Community Center when parent’s are already having trouble trying to find time to spend with her kids, when they have to work as much as they do survive in this economy. Also are libraries going to stay open after hours so kids that have parents that work late can go get their school work done?

  20. Kevin Enfinger on March 21st, 2020 9:34 am

    So let me get this straight. We close things to prevent spread but were gonan take the same students and put them in one room at a library? Well done well done.

  21. mq on March 21st, 2020 9:25 am

    This is the DUMBEST idea ever!!!
    Nice try, but good way to spread the virus and make it last even longer.

  22. Michael L on March 21st, 2020 9:25 am

    County Commissioners need to remember at election time we’ll be thinking about how irresponsible and slow they were to react to this crisis.

  23. seriously? on March 21st, 2020 9:15 am

    Bad, bad, bad idea! Come on y’all! Let’s use common sense. Please DO NOT take your children to public libraries or community centers during this time!! I understand that Escambia County Commission Chairman Steven Barry wants to help, but this is not the way…not the way. Perhaps offer free(even if temporary) internet in the homes of those who currently don’t have it? Maybe then offer chromebooks, or laptops of some sort to those families who also don’t have a computer at home…? I don’t know they answer, but I know there has to be better alternatives than to put our children, and their parents at risk like this! Here’s to hoping parents make the right decision even if Thomas and Barry don’t!

  24. Justathought on March 21st, 2020 8:12 am

    Since most students have chrome books, if they do not have internet access, issue them a hot spot access-password protected for the chrome book use only! Since school is saving on meals and, extra curricular activities. To be returned as soon as over, checked out just like chrome books are.

  25. Concerns on March 21st, 2020 8:04 am

    Why not open the schools back up then. It will be easier to social distance at school than at the libraries. They need to close everything. Come on people this is a serious pandemic. THINK!!!

  26. JustSaying on March 21st, 2020 7:59 am

    Set it up at the school and rotate in shifts of 10, with cleaning in between. Plenty of room to space out in auditorium and staff to monitor. I’m sure those that have it at home won’t come anyway, it won’t be that many!

  27. Oversight on March 21st, 2020 6:46 am

    Sorta defeats the purpose of social distancing (quarantining), right? Libraries and community centers should be closed, like the restaurants, gyms, and fitness centers.

  28. Michael Lore on March 21st, 2020 4:39 am

    Close the public libraries. Ridiculous. What was the purpose of closing the schools then? Why can’t they open the school media centers and let them gather there? I find it hard to believe the libraries are still open anyway. Even if they are cleaning surfaces, what about all the books? They are returned after spending days in one person’s home and then put back on the shelves for others to be exposed to? During a virus pandemic how is this helping?

  29. Molino on March 21st, 2020 3:49 am

    Well this is dumb. If they can all pile in the library then they can all pile back into school, and we all know they can’t do that. I know they did this trying to do a good thing but…come on.

  30. Henry Coe on March 21st, 2020 2:17 am

    The kids who’s parents can’t afford internet access need to be provided internet access in their homes. Adding the extra obstacle of our poorest having to travel to get internet access adds an extra obstacle that others won’t have and it will impede their access to study.
    Internet access has become a basic utility that everyone needs access too.
    With all that said, the reason for shutting down the schools is so people won’t be traveling or congregating in groups. This plan lacks ambition for any kind of real success for community and our kids.

  31. pencil on March 21st, 2020 1:49 am

    What makes anyone think libraries are anymore capable of handling packs of kids? Might as well have left the schools open if you’re going to do this!

    Seems to me they are just creating another breeding ground for the virus to transfer. Aren’t books the type of surface this type of virus can travel on . . . . not to mention key boards, mouses, touch screens, table tops . . . . .

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