Every morning at 6:00 a.m. Jamie Gould’s two Matthey Middle School students wake up to get ready for class. Class begins at 8:25 a.m. and already Gould’s children are logged on to Bus 57’s WiFi parked at U.S. Highway 281 South at Memorial Lane.
“We don’t have internet at home so we come here so the students can learn,” Gould said. “It’s a sacrifice because there are no bathrooms and we have to keep turning the car on and off to save gas.”
Southside ISD bus drivers station a fleet of 15 buses throughout the district’s vast 125 square miles to provide WiFi to students. “We’re trying everything we can to help our students,” said District Transportation Director Jesse Berlanga. The bus transmits a WiFi signal up to 400 feet.
The buses are parked in needed areas Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the following locations:
- Bus 29 Loma Verde and Redgate
- Bus 30 24415 Oliver Rod
- Bus 32 Little Walnut & Tea Time
- Bus 37 Hickory Way and Sandy Bend
- Bus 39 Mogford Rd & U.S. Highway 281
- Bus 41 Sandy and Breakers Rd.
- Bus 43 Rabel Rd. and Tucker Place
- Bus 44 Hickory Pass (by cul de sac)
- Bus 47 Hume Rd. and Dunes
- Bus 48 Kendall Way and Comal Cove
- Bus 57 U.S. Highway 281 between Memorial Lane and Dupont
- Bus 58 Hickory Pass and Uvalde Circle
- Bus 59 Hickory Way and Sandy Pass
- Bus 60 Hickory Way and Post Oak Park
- Bus 61 Kendall Way and Hackberry Hill
About 550 students signed on to the bus WiFi during the first week of school. Data monitoring is showing that student usage of the bus WiFi is increasing daily.