PHOENIXVILLE, PA — Phoenixville Area School District has distributed almost 2,000 district-funded laptops, and over 250 hot spots are functioning in a response to help everyone participate in online instruction.
Phoenixville Area School District Board of Directors this week approved a professional services contract with T-Mobile and Comcast to provide internet services at low rates for district families who have not had internet at home.
Virtual instruction, in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, left some behind, and the Phoenixville Community Education Foundation partnered with the district to make sure kids could participate in live classes at home and access all instruction and materials.
Costs related to technology will be covered by the Phoenixville Community Education Foundation (PCEF), which has been raising money in recent weeks to pay for the internet access.
“PCEF is doing some incredible work in supporting the tech needs of our families,” said PASD school board president Blake Emmanuel.
Emmanuel explained that PCEF continues its fundraising for two areas of related need. First is the need for families to pay an annual fee for insurance. They must pay $50 per loaned device, up to a maximum of $150 per family, and they also must pay the costs associated with with having a hot spot or getting a Comcast essentials package for internet service. The foundation said the discounted cost of internet services is $10-20 per month.
The board approved those contracts with T-mobile and Comcast for such services on Monday, Aug. 31.
“We were able to negotiate lowered rates, and PCEF is funding these efforts, Emmanuel said.
The Phoenxiville Community Education Foundation is asking for help through a Technology for All campaign.
This article originally appeared on the Phoenixville Patch