The McFarland Unified School District board of trustees approved a plan earlier this month to provide LTE internet coverage to most of McFarland.
On Sept. 8 in a unanimous vote, the school board approved the project that would extend fiber optic cable through various parts of the city, while also building upon existing systems. This allows the district to install antennas that would provide a stronger, more reliable signal than Wi-Fi to district students in McFarland.
“Approving this project helps us get our kids connected to their teachers, classmates and course projects,” said school board trustee Angel Turrubiates. “When the project is completed, it will support our students for as long as they’re on distance learning.”
The project was aided by the city of McFarland, which owns some of the property where the district will be installing the LTE antennas. With the support of Mayor Sally Tafoya, City Manager Maria Lara, together with Public Works Director Mario Gonzales, the city worked with the district to identify locations that provided the greatest signal strength.
“The children are the foundation of our community, and we are proud to partner with the school district. United together for a stronger academic community,” said Tafoya.
Upon completion, over 80 percent of MUSD students, nearly 3,000, will have district-provided internet service, at no cost. The expected completion date is December 31, 2020.
“When we shifted to distance learning, a main concern was the ability of students to access their classrooms if they did not have strong internet connectivity at home,” Superintendent Aaron Resendez said. “This project looks to eliminate that barrier that our students may face.”
The McFarland Unified School District is a basic skills district where reading, writing, mathematics and responsibility comprise the foundation for the educational program.
The district strives to enhance a positive and creative atmosphere for in-service training, develop effective teaching strategies, improve home-school communication, and instill a sense of community within the district.