District Gains in Digital Inclusion Initiative

District Makes Gains in Digital Inclusion Initiative
Posted on 09/22/2020

The School District of Palm Beach County and the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County have been working diligently to close the digital divide and ensure that all students in the District have equal access to technology.

The Education Foundation has secured commitments from several agencies for a total of $265,000 in grants to support the expansion of digital access:

City of Boynton Beach: $75,000

Consortium of Florida Education Foundations grant: $70,000

Florida Crystals: $60,000

Lost Tree Village: $50,000

Anonymous donor: $10,000

Representatives from the Education Foundation and the School District have made formal presentations to other local city councils to solicit additional funds. Additionally, the Education Foundation is working closely with the School District, Palm Beach County government, the Economic Council, and Quantum Foundation, to raise approximately $1.2 million to fund the purchase of 25,000 Wi-Fi Extenders for families in need.

The following milestones have also been achieved through this initiative:

Belle Glade Wi-Fi is on track to go live in some neighborhoods in September.

The first 250 neighborhood mounting poles for Wi-Fi mesh radios have been delivered and are staged at West Technical Education Center.

Pole installations have started in Belle Glade.

Neighborhood mounting pole design is 80% completed for Lake Worth Beach, South Bay, Pahokee, and Canal Point.

Neighborhood mounting pole design is 50% completed for Westgate, Pleasant City, and the Central County corridor including areas in West Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Greenacres, and unincorporated Palm Beach County.

District staff is working with various public housing authorities to provide access to students within those communities.

By mid-September 2020, nearly 8,000 households received resources through this initiative to facilitate internet connectivity. Going forward, the initiative is continuing to engage with communities through presentations to city councils and commissions, and ensuring the completion of County work on infrastructure.

The School District of Palm Beach County