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Buffalo schools setting up free Wi-Fi for students

Image by Samuel1983 from Pixabay

The Buffalo Public School District is moving ahead with plans to provide free internet access to thousands of students after the school day ends.

The internet is an expense many low-income residents can't afford at home. So the city school district is launching an initiative that will extend the school's wi-fi network into two neighborhoods, one on the East Side and one on the West Side.

Superintendent Kriner Cash says it will help close the digital divide for students in Pre-K through 12 who will be able to access their academic materials at home, like they do in the classroom.

Director of Instructional Technology William Russo says it will also allow parents to keep better tabs on attendance and grades and to communicate with teachers.  
"Now, I think, is even a greater empowering force for parents to be full participants in their students educational process, for parents that might not have been able to access that material before," Russo said.

Russo said filters will limit the type of websites students and parents can access.

The district is spending $1.3 million on the initiative that's expected to be up and running around the first of the year. If it's successful and more funding is secured, Cash says it could eventually be rolled out district wide.