This Michigan school is deploying Wi-Fi buses to families without internet

JACKSON, MI – With around 35% of students unable to afford or have access to internet service, Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Beal knew he had to do something to help with remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So, Wi-Fi service is on its way to those students via the district’s school bus fleet, allowing families free internet access to connect their devices to on days they aren’t participating in face-to-face school.

JPS spent $65,000 to outfit its full fleet of 52 buses with Wi-Fi hot spots. It’s deploying 15 of them into Jackson neighborhoods with high concentrations of families that can’t afford internet access.

Beal calls this initial deployment a “proof of concept,” with the idea that JPS might need to use all of its buses if moving entirely to remote learning is required because an entire building is put into quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re doing it today to build it out to make certain that we’re ready for tomorrow,” Beal said. “A lot of this is trying to predict what might happen or what might be needed. We want to make certain that we have the ability to make sure all kids have access to be able to continue their education.”

JPS will begin sending buses out to neighborhoods surrounding downtown, with a couple east of downtown and one near the airport, the week of Oct. 12.

The district currently offers a hybrid learning format with two different student groups attending school in-person during different days of the week to avoid exposure to each other.

While the district has made a point to send students home after two days of face-to-face learning, with lessons uploaded to their devices, live online interaction is a key component students without internet access are missing out on during the rest

Valeo Equips Buses and Motor Coaches With a Health Shield Capable of Eliminating More Than 95 Percent of Viruses

Valeo has developed the world’s most powerful air-sterilization system for bus and motor coach cabins.

The system eliminates, upon activation and in a single airflow cycle, more than 95 percent of viruses, including Covid-19, as well as any bacteria or mold present in the air circulating in the cabin.

Irrespective of the source of infection, whether inside or outside the vehicle, Valeo-designed modules are effective throughout the vehicle’s journey with passengers onboard.

The Valeo devices are available as a standalone solution box or they can be directly integrated into a vehicle’s air conditioning system. They use ultraviolet light technology similar to that used in medical and hospital facilities. The UV rays work as both a bactericide and a germicide and can kill microbes such as viruses and pathogens. The rays stop these microbes from spreading and can be used as an alternative to other disinfection methods, avoiding the use of chemical products.

Valeo has created a unique solution integrating a UV light provided by one of the leading global experts in the technology, and a “light labyrinth”, which blocks the UV rays from spreading outside of the metal box, ensuring that passengers are never exposed to them. Only air circulating in the ventilation box is purified by the light.

The Institute of Medical Virology at the Goethe University Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany, confirmed in July the technology’s virucidal efficacy.

The Valeo solution recently has been integrated as original equipment in vehicles manufactured by a Brazilian bus maker. It is designed to be compatible with buses and motor coaches of all types and sizes, air-conditioned or not, and to withstand all weather conditions.

Valeo now plans to bring these systems to markets in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Valeo’s air purifiers also will be offered to operators of vehicles already on