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SmartBus technology connects students to online learning

By ThisIsReno
Kajeet SmartBus Access Device

Connecting to the internet is one of the latest requirements for students in Washoe County as hybrid learning and distance learning days have become a reality. To help students who may have connectivity challenges the Washoe County School District has launched SmartBus networking devices at 10 locations and equipped 15 school buses with extended ride durations with the devices.

“We recognize that connectivity is a challenge for many of our families that do not have Wi-Fi capability in their homes, and we are pleased to provide these tools to them and their students,” said WCSD Superintendent Dr. Kristen McNeill. “We have also distributed 3,000 mobile hotspot devices to our schools and will continue to distribute them as we receive more from our suppliers.” 

Despite the fact that the device is called a “SmartBus,” WCSD does not park school buses in neighborhoods that are outfitted with the devices. District vehicles are used instead. Image: WCSD

Contrary to how the name sounds, the SmartBus is a connectivity device, not a wi-fi equipped school bus. Many students have already learned how to use the SmartBus devices since school began in August.

Three SmartBus units have been deployed to the following secured office locations at the Hungry Valley Community Center, the Sutcliffe Marina, and Reno Housing Authority’s Homeless Shelter on Galletti Way. Additional SmartBus units will be in operation starting Tuesday and continuing every weekday between 7 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the following locations: 

  • California Building/Idlewild Park, 75 Cowan Drive 
  • Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center, 1301 Valley Road 
  • Neil Road Recreation Center, 3925 Neil Road – Central Yard 
  • North Valleys Regional Park, 8085 Silver Lake Road – North Yard 
  • Paradise Park Activity Center, 2745 Elementary Drive – Central Yard  
  • Plumas Gym, 475 Monroe Street 
  • Sun Valley Community Center, 115 West 6th Avenue – North Yard  

The following bus numbers will also be equipped with SmartBus units: 2026, 1515, 1514, 1521, 2024, 7023, 8031, 1619, 7020, 1205, 1615, 1202, 1604, 1613, 5123.

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