Horry County Schools providing WiFi hotspots for homeless children

Myrtle Beach Shelter Receiving WiFi Hot Spots

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Some families are still awaiting schedules for the school year, while others are trying to figure out how they’ll get their children connected to WiFi for virtual learning.

New Directions family shelter recently received word they’re receiving WiFi hotspots for every Horry County student inside the shelter.

This is exciting news for those running the shelter, as they had some concerns about how they would be able to accommodate students with limited connection.

Kathy Jenkins, New Directions executive director, said the students are divided between hybrid group A or B, and some are doing the virtual program.

But having around ten students on a limited connection was a concern for them. Even a family of five doing work from home can be challenging and slow the internet.

The news of Horry County Schools providing each child with a hotspot is easing the worries about getting students' work done.

“We have twenty-one students right now attending Horry County Schools. Those twenty-one students represent ten different grades and ten different schools in our county," Jenkins said. "I think it’s not only a huge relief for us who work with our families every day, but also our families to know that their kids are well taken care of and that in this particular time of need that they are going to be able to get the internet access that we were somewhat concerned about.”

Jenkins didn’t have exact date of when they’ll receive the hotspots, but expects it to be soon.

While the shelter waits for the hotspots, others are waiting for their final school schedules.

According to officials, 99% of Horry County students have their schedules for school, but of the 45,000 students, about 600 students are without schedules.

Horry County Schools spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said families should have answers for either their child’s full or partial schedules by the end of this week.

Bourcier added for students who can’t log in for online learning, there won’t be any penalties this week for attendance.

The district is fine-tuning those schedules, whether it be class or teacher schedules. Bourcier noted this week is all about adjusting to the expectations and changes to the school year.

“During this week, teacher’s assigned to the virtual program will be contacting students via email and live meetings and phone messages, and making sure that everybody is able to navigate and login to their courses," she said. "If they are having some troubleshooting their username or password, we ask them to reach out to a certain email address to email any additional concerns they have if they are unable to login to their virtual platform.”

WMBF News also reached out to the South Carolina Department of Social Services to find out how many students are currently unaccounted for in South Carolina.

As of Sept. 5, they’ve successfully contacted 2,606 students and 485 students are still unaccounted for. But they are working to touch base with them.

They’re expected to release details about students per county next week.

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