Fauquier County Public Schools deployed ten school buses equipped with Wi-Fi hotspots to locations throughout Fauquier County this week. Each bus emits a Wi-Fi signal up to a distance of 300 feet. By launching this fleet of smart buses, FCPS aims to increase student access to learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“Thanks to Dave Graham [executive director for administration and planning] and Cheryl Fisher [director of transportation] for making this happen for our kids. I know families appreciate this resource,” said Superintendent Dr. David Jeck.
In March, FCPS surveyed families to gauge the need for devices and internet access. Schools followed the FCPS Device Distribution Plan to distribute over 500 Chromebooks to students in April. When over 400 households responded that they did not have adequate internet access, the school division ordered the Kajeet school bus hotspots. The hotspots arrived and were installed on buses parked in strategic locations.
Smart Bus Locations
- Bus #25 - Sumerduck Ruritan Club, 5341 Sumerduck Rd, Remington
- Bus #32 - Zoar Baptist Church, 11036 Elk Run Rd, Catlett
- Bus #40 - Grace Episcopal Church 6507 Main Street, The Plains
- Bus #106 - Northern Fauquier Community Park, 4155 Monroe Pkwy, Marshall
- Bus # 138 - Trinity Episcopal Church, 9108 John S Mosby Hwy, Upperville
- Bus #139 - Emmanuel Episcopal Church 9668 Maidstone Rd Delaplane
- Bus #170 - Markham Commuter Lot, Rt 688/I-66/Beulah Rd, Markham
- Bus #173 - Old Catlett Firehouse, 3558 Catlett Rd, Catlett
- Bus # 175 - Mt. Carmel Church 12714 Elk Run Rd Midland, Va
- Bus #183 - Marshall Annex, 4133-A Rectortown Rd, Marshall
FCPS staff will monitor Wi-Fi use and make location adjustments as necessary.
Students should remain in their vehicles to access the Wi-Fi and are not allowed to board the buses. The hotspots broadcast the name Kajeet SmartBus. The connection requires a password that the school division emailed to FCPS families on May 8. Students who forgot the password should contact their school.
The school bus hotspots will help provide a learning link for students during the current and potential future periods of remote learning.
“Perhaps, in the future, we can outfit all buses with these devices. Many of our kids have long bus rides and would benefit from having this connectivity,” Jeck said.