COVID-19 continues to impact school classrooms all across the country. At this time, no one really knows when we will have a return to a safe learning environment that is free from the threat of the coronavirus.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem took steps on Tuesday (October 27) to cut down on the number of disruptions in the classroom that are tied to the coronavirus pandemic by introducing the K-12 Connect program.

According to Dakota News Now, K-12 Connect will help provide free internet service to the homes of eligible K-12 students for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

Thanks to COVID-19, good reliable home internet service has never been more important. The pandemic has already forced the temporary closure of some schools throughout the state. In most cases, students need to remain home for a period of time due to exposure incidents with the virus. And then there are the instances where some students are not attending classes in-person and rely entirely on virtual learning for their education.

The new K-12 Connect program will be a big help in each case.

Dakota News Now is reporting eligible households will receive a letter sometime this week indicating their eligibility and identifying a telecommunications company that is nearby to call to access free internet service through K-12 Connect.

It will be the responsibility of someone in each eligible household that receives a letter to contact the telecommunications company noted in the letter to set up internet service.

Dakota News Now says the internet service will be provided free of charge to eligible households through (June 30), 20201. After that time, households must return the internet access equipment to the provider, or they will be charged for their service.

Eligibility for the K-12 Connect program is based on having at least one student enrolled in a school that meets income eligibility guidelines for the free and reduced school lunch program. Also, eligible households cannot be subscribed to a fixed broadband internet service as of (July 1.)

November 20th is the cutoff date for enrollment into the program.

You can get more information on the K-12 Connect program here.

Source: Dakota News Now

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