Schreiber Wifi Policy

Schreiber+Wifi+Policy

Maxwell Bianco, Contributing Writer

At the height of  the pandemic, online classes and virtual assignments, notes, and tests, posted on  platforms such as Google Classroom presented a challenge for those with steady internet access, but it was a far greater challenge for those without.  Schools in poorer parts of the nation, both urban and rural, saw students struggle to keep up to pace with their courses and complete assignments.  Over the summer, some students had to take summer school classes to make up for their failing grades from early on in the pandemic. 

Schreiber students experienced some Internet difficulties of their own in the first couple of weeks back in school.  This was the first time since March of 2020 where the entire student body was in the building.

On Sept. 1, the day before students returned to school, they received an email from the school regarding the use of students’ personal devices, such as laptops.  The letter stated that personal devices were not going to be allowed access to the school’s WiFi network, making them virtually useless inside the building.

  Instead, the administration asked all students to carry their district-provided Chromebooks to and from school every day.  With those devices, students have the ability to connect to a WiFi network to which each Chromebook is already registered.  The administration worked to deliver Chromebooks and a WiFi network that is within budget. However, many students responded to the notice with criticisms that the administration was not aware of their needs.

Within the first few days of school, many students sent emails requesting the WiFi restrictions be lifted.  

“I need my personal laptop to conduct schoolwork for my research class, which has numerous files on it that I can’t save to the Chromebook,” said senior Natalie Parker.

Schreiber students voiced their complaints on the slow Internet service that made classes less enjoyable and caused technical difficulties as teachers tried to navigate a teaching style still unfamiliar to some.  

“School WiFi needs to be improved because in this day and age WiFi and tech has a lot to do with everyone’s lives in school,” said sophomore Mateo Leiva.

At first, Principal Dr. Ira Pernick discussed giving students exceptions on an individual basis.  However, on Sept. 9, students received an email reversing the controversial policy.  

In the brief message, Dr. Pernick reported that the IT department had “revised its policy,” once again permitting the use of personal devices like laptops in school.  However, the letter did state that the District would not be able to provide tech support to devices besides the Chromebooks. The Administration has not commented on whether or not they would be assisting students who had poor or no access to WiFi services at home.