The BRF school district added a Wi-Fi bus last year with the hopes to help students keep up with homework during long trips.

The Black River Falls School District recently outfitted one of their extra-curricular buses with Wi-Fi hotspots to give students access to the internet while traveling on the bus to help get online homework completed.

Shelly Severson, superintendent for the district, said that they got the idea from some other districts that have tried something similar.

For a relatively low cost, about $42 a month, the school is able to provide the service on one of their buses. Currently the buses with Wi-Fi are used for athletic event travel.

“The problem is sometimes when we have a lot of events, kids want to make sure they get the bus with Wi-Fi,” Severson said.

As more and more homework requires internet, more importance is being placed on Wi-Fi, so the district is always looking at other options for the students.

The hard part is knowing whether or not students are really using the service for homework or for other sites instead.

Many of the coaches have said they haven’t really seen a difference or impact of the bus usage yet.

“Some of the coaches ask for it because it has the underneath compartments for storage,” transportation supervisor Jeff Hensel said.

The bus has only been around for a year so some are still adjusting to having access to it, but for now it is an added resource for the school.

Some districts have Wi-Fi hotspot checkouts that allow the students to take the device home that allows them to work on their online homework.

Severson said she also heard one school district parked a Wi-Fi bus in a neighborhood with a lot of students that might not have internet access so they could complete their homework.


Stephen Knoll is a reporter for Jackson County Chronicle. Contact him at 715-284-0085.

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