Officials with Montgomery ISD have prepared and sanitized 680 laptops to send to students who lack devices for e-learning. The laptops will help students complete online assignments as coronavirus keeps schools closed, but issues remain surrounding Wi-Fi connectivity for some students.

MISD officials sent out an initial survey to assess what students' needs were in terms of access to internet and devices. Following the survey, individual campuses then contacted families for specific needs or families who had not responded to the survey.

“We determined we’re in pretty good shape,” interim Director of Technology Amy Busby said. “Maybe about 10% of our district needed something; maybe they didn’t have a device or their internet access wasn’t as strong.”

Busby said she expects the majority of the laptops will be picked up by students beginning March 27. Since Montgomery County issued its stay-at-home order that same day, Busby said laptops will need to be picked up as soon as possible.

But helping students who lack internet access is still an issue, Busby said.

“We were researching the options; the whole state of Texas is in the same boat—a lot of those [Wi-Fi] devices are out of inventory,” she said.

The district determined the best solution was to expand guest Wi-Fi at each district building and made sure access points were pointed to parking lots, Busby said.

“[Students] can at least, if nothing else, ... come to the school parking lot, stay in the car ... jump on the guest Wi-Fi ... download what they need or work for a few minutes from the parking lot,” she said.