GLCPS gets grant to close homework gap

Date Published: 
November 1, 2018
The Standard-Times
News Type: 

NEW BEDFORD — Global Learning Charter Public School (GLCPS) students with no internet access at home no longer have to search for Wi-Fi to complete their assignments at home.

The school applied for and received a Homework Gap Grant from the wireless provider Kajeet® for a 10-unit SmartSpot® solution which provides safe mobile, connectivity to help students access the internet, school officials said in a news release.

GLCPS is one of only 30 schools nationwide to receive this grant, and one of three in Massachusetts. The other two are Ludlow Public School District and Norwood Public Schools.

“This service complements the school’s 1:1 computer program,” said GLCPS Technology Coordinator Darlease Monteiro, in a statement. “Now students with no internet or unreliable access at home won’t have to leave the safety of their home to find alternative connections.”

The SmartSpot devices will provide safe and secure access to online learning, allowing GLCPS to set the same filters and protections as the school network, restricting access to websites that could pose a distraction to the learning process, officials said.

The grant is designed to help schools and districts pilot a mobile connectivity program so students can complete their school assignments at home, on the go, or on the school bus. Initially, Kajeet® planned to award 15 grants, and after seeing substantial need and many compelling applications, the company doubled the number of winners, the release said.

Currently, GLCPS assigns all students in grades 7-12 their own Chromebooks to use throughout the school year. GLCPS plans to expand the program over the next few years to include all students in grades 5-12, officials said.

At GLCPS, an introduction to technology and the technology-rich curriculum begins on day one of a student’s GLCPS journey, the release said. All fifth and sixth grade students begin their technology exploratory in coding and game design, a dedicated Google Apps course that teaches the ins and outs of Google’s ‘G’ Suite. In ensuing years, other classes offered include game design, coding, mobile apps and computer science.