Noxubee County School District keeping students, teachers connected

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NOXUBEE COUNTY, (Miss.) —  Internet access in rural area like Noxubee County has been an ongoing issue.

And with the school year set to take off next week, the school district has a plan to make sure students and teachers have what they need for virtual learning.

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“Providing them with these hot spots and this internet services will allow them to be able to do the work necessary for them to continue on their trajectory to college and career readiness,” said Terry Rice, Principal at Earl Nash Elementary.

Administrators are taking steps for virtual learning and installing remote internet connections.

“Our school district is purchasing laptops for our students and our teachers,” said Rice. “And our district is also placing hot spots within different various parts of the community so that the people who do not have internet service will be able to drive up to these hot spots and access the internet.”

Aarica Smith, Assistant Principal at Earl Nash Elementary, said students and teachers will be using a unique platform for the first few months of school.

“Our virtual model we will use the Microsoft Teams platform and that is our primary source for our students the first nine weeks,” said Smith.

Smith said smartphones with internet access will also be available to students.

“We are living in a time of technology, if they are unable to have access within their home, we have many smart phones that students and parents have access to and they can use internet with those devices.”

The need for virtual capabilities is being noticed.

Dave Miller spokesperson for C Spire, said the demand for internet services in rural areas have skyrocketed in recent months.

“They’ve seen the demand go out of the roof,” said Miller. “You know we’ve had probably 50 75 100 percent increase in the demand for those services people want to be connected. So it’s really important to have a really good internet connection and that’s what really C-Spire majors in.”

Rice said roughly 70 students will be on campus for their hybrid model learning. But on Fridays, all classes will be virtual while the school will complete a deep cleaning.