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How to get a computer or internet access

City Schools' goal is to provide all students with devices they need to participate in virtual learning, both during the summer learning period and for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Starting August 3, City Schools is changing how students and families will get devices and wifi hotspots. Those items will no longer be available at North Avenue. Our plan is to begin distributing devices and hotspots at schools in a few weeks - we will share specifics no later than Monday, August 17. You'll get this information via robocall, email, on Facebook and Twitter, and via the City Schools website.

Devices and hotspots will not be distributed during the next two weeks, after the announcement on August 17. The large increase in the volume of families coming each day to North Avenue has made it difficult to meet ​current social distancing guidelines ​and have sufficient, climate-controlled space for families and students. By providing these important items at school, we can reduce the large crowds and serve you better while also taking time to prepare our schools and staff for the transition.

If you have questions or to let us know about your device needs, please contact our Summer Learning hotline at 443-984-2001. You may also email reopening@bcps.k12.md.us with your student's name, school, and device needed.

For charter school students: Many charter schools have different options for students in those programs. Please contact your school directly to learn about your options.

 

Can you help me get access to the internet?

City Schools, along with community partners, are committed to providing multiple pathways for students without in-home internet access to get the support they need. The district is taking three key steps:

  • T-Mobile hotspots - City Schools will distribute a limited number of free wireless internet hotspots to traditional school students. The hotspots will provide unlimited 4G LTE services for up to 10 users simultaneously. Each family that needs access will be provided with one hotspot. The rollout will occur in multiple phases. However, supplies are limited.
  • Comcast's Internet Essentials Program - Internet Essentials from Comcast brings affordable, high-speed Internet to low-income households. Through the end of 2020, Comcast will provide 60 days of free Internet service to new, eligible Internet Essentials customers, including those with children in Baltimore City Public Schools. Learn more here or continuing reading for details.
  • Mesh networks - A “mesh network” proof of concept is underway in four neighborhoods. Mesh networks allow a group of internet-connected devices to act as a wireless router, enabling users in a certain area to connect without direct access.

My student is in a summer learning program. How do I get internet access?

City Schools will provide internet access hotspots to students enrolled in traditional schools participating in summer programs starting July 7. This includes students that are participating in summer extended-learning programs, homeless and foster youth. and Youthworks summer employment. Only students that lack in-home internet access are eligible. 

If you have questions about the distribution, including if you are eligible, call our Summer Learning Hotline at 443-984-2001. The hotline is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Thursday
 

Do you have more information about Comcast's Internet Essentials?

City Schools is excited to partner with Comcast to bring the power of high-speed internet service for free for 2 months to students, families, and staff through the Internet Essentials program to eligible participants.

Any family with a child attending City Schools is eligible to apply to the Internet Essentials program Check here to see if you qualify! This current offer is for new Internet Essentials customers or previous customers who have not subscribed to Xfinity internet service within the last 90 days.

•    Customers with outstanding balances will not be denied through December 31, 2020.
•    Though social security numbers are part of the application process, they are not required.
•    If you're told that service can't be provided to your home, please contact engagement (engagement@bcps.k12.md.us) or 410-545-1870.

To be eligible for the 2-month free promotion, you must apply by December 31, 2020. After the promotional period, the standard Internet Essentials rate of $9.95 + tax would apply. Program participants must opt-out of the program to not be charged the fee after the promotional period ends. Apply today online at www.internetessentials.com (preferred) or by phone at 1-855-8-INTERNET (1-855-846-8376).

How do I get a laptop or computer?

Starting August 3, City Schools is changing how students and families will get devices and wifi hotspots. Those items will no longer be available at North Avenue. Our plan is to begin distributing devices and hotspots at schools in a few weeks - we will share specifics no later than Monday, August 17. You'll get this information via robocall, email, on Facebook and Twitter, and via the City Schools website.

Devices and hotspots will not be distributed during the next two weeks, after the announcement on August 17. The large increase in the volume of families coming each day to North Avenue has made it difficult to meet ​current social distancing guidelines ​and have sufficient, climate-controlled space for families and students. By providing these important items at school, we can reduce the large crowds and serve you better while also taking time to prepare our schools and staff for the transition.

To replace a computer: If your child’s loaner computer is not working properly, please call the help desk at 443-984-2001, Monday to Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

How can I get help using the computer?

If you have questions about homework, class assignments, online learning, or need support accessing tools such as Google Classroom and BlackBoard Collaborate, please call the help desk at 443-984-2001, Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or visit the distance learning or online learning support pages on the district website.

How can students reset a password?

Please call the help desk at 443-984-2001, Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.