Florence School District Two rolls out wi-fi on buses

Florence District Two leaders discussed the possible effects Monday night of consolidating services like transportation with the other four districts in the county.

PAMPLICO, SC (WBTW) – Florence School District Two is ready to roll out its plan to get students internet access outside the classroom.

“If they don’t have it at home, they’ll have it on the bus,” said Neal Vincent.

Vincent, the superintendent for Florence School District Two, has helped the district make strides in technology since taking the reins two years ago. Now thanks to a $115,000 grant from the state General Assembly’s Mobile Device Access Initiative, one of his bigger goals is finally set to become a reality this week.

“The device is filtered,” promised Florence Two Superintendent Neal Vincent, so students will only be able to access schoolwork.

“We have gone through the process now on all of our buses of installing a router and an antenna,” Vincent said.

Each of the district’s 12 school buses has a small black antenna attached to the top of the bus. The antenna, along with a high-speed router near the driver, will give students internet access to and from school.

“So now all of our buses are fully functioning,” Vincent explained. “So the students this week will start working with them and getting connected.”

Because Florence Two is such a rural district, many of the students find themselves on the bus for as many as two hours each day. Now they have both the time and the resources to get their homework done on the way.

Students will only be able to access the network on their district devices, like this laptop given to older students last year.

 

“Our technology committee will assist making sure everybody can connect, and making sure everybody understand the rules,” Vincent said.

Because each student has access to district devices, Vincent said parents shouldn’t worry about kids using the bus wi-fi for anything but schoolwork.

One of the high-speed wi-fi routers installed in Florence Two buses.

“The device is filtered,” Vincent promised. “If the MAC address isn’t in our network, then you can’t connect.”

That means students can only connect on their district devices, which keeps students from misusing their time on the bus and keeps the drivers eyes where they should be.

“The bus driver is going to be concentrating on driving the bus,” said Vincent.

The routers are up and running, and students will get their new passcodes later this week.