Joanna Avalos, a senior at Palatine High School, completes a survey before receiving a wireless hotspot from Sprint as part of the 1 Million Project. Township High School District 211 paired with Sprint in the project which provides free wireless internet to high school students.
Students within Township High School District 211 will have easier access to the internet to complete web-based homework after the District partnered with Sprint in its 1Million Project. The project provides qualifying students a free wireless hotspot from the Sprint Foundation, with an unlimited data package from Sprint, enabling them access they might not otherwise have.
“This generous program will be a game-changer for our students,” said Dr. Daniel Cates, District 211 superintendent. “Since we began the one-to-one program, we have been mindful of students who did not have regular, reliable internet access.”
For some students, it will reduce the number of hours they have to remain after school to work on assignments.
“I will usually stay here until 6:00 p.m.,” said Priyanshu Bahadur, a sophomore at Palatine High School. “If I cannot stay, then I have to come in early the next day to finish.”
With this device, Priyanshu said he would be able to spend more non-school hours at home with family.
Rusty Cumings, the assistant principal at Shaumburg High School, discusses the wireless hotspot from Sprint to a student.
For a student at Schaumburg High School it was time away from school that caused trouble in his ability to do homework. He said when his family is on the road, he cannot access the internet to complete larger assignments. With this device, he will be able to stay on top of his assignments.
For Palatine High school senior Honoer Okhave this will improve more than just his academic performance.
“I didn’t have internet at home, so I just wouldn’t do my homework,” said Honoer. “I used to get in trouble a lot.”
Honoer said he was excited when he saw the letter announcing the new program.
“I used to wish the school could find a way to get us Internet outside of here,” he said. “This is like a dream come true.”
Sprint plans to distribute 1million devices to qualifying students during the five-year project. District 211 is one of the first school districts in Chicagoland to participate.
Joanna Avalos, Priyanshu Bahadur, and Honoer Okhavhe, students at Palatine High School, learn how to use their new wireless hotspot.
“We are both grateful and excited for our students who will benefit because they now have convenient and reliable access to the same universe of information that others have,” said Dr. Cates.
The District has distributed 225 devices to students. Each device has built-in content filters, similar to filters that are in-place in school networks. Part of the agreement between Sprint and participating schools is that Sprint will handle all technical issues and trouble shooting with the devices.
Students who receive a Sprint device will have access to the service for the duration of their high school career.
Dr. Cates believes this will have a positive impact on students well beyond this school year.
“Once we can draw upon the impact for our first group of students, we hope that no student in the future has to be limited by a lack of internet access,” he said.
Mr. Mike Alther, an assistant principal at Palatine High School, explains how to use one of the Sprint wireless hotspots.