MCLEAN, Va. — Kajeet has awarded the Austin Independent School District a grant to install 534 Kajeet SmartBus WiFi routers on their entire school bus fleet. The grant, valued at over $600,000, will be used to equip Austin school buses with Education Broadband to support the district’s COVID-19 plans, as well as to provide Wi-Fi access that keeps students on task on traditional bus routes, field trips, activities and athletic trips throughout the 2020-2021 Academic Year.
Although the grantmaking process began months before the COVID-19 outbreak, the award will figure significantly in the district’s remote online learning plans. “As we prepare for the possibility of extended school closures, we know that an Internet connection is a lifeline and a learning link for our students,” says Kevin Schwartz, chief technology officer for Austin Independent School District. “Austin ISD will be deploying many of our 500+ Kajeet Wi-Fi/Internet enabled school buses to locations around our school district so that students can connect using our district Chromebooks.”
Under the terms of the award, both Kajeet and Austin ISD agreed to jointly deploy, promote, monitor, evaluate, and report on the impact of patented Kajeet SmartBus Wi-Fi as it relates to utilization rates, improvements to homework completion rates, student satisfaction, driver satisfaction, and reduction in disciplinary incidents, among other key performance measures. These metrics and more, planned before the recent COVID-19 outbreak, will be evaluated throughout the coming school year.
“We’ve already seen the positive impacts of our Kajeet SmartBus Wi-Fi in school districts across the country, but this exciting partnership—the largest deployment of our SmartBus Wi-Fi program in a single fleet—will give us irrefutable empirical evidence of its widespread impact in education, both enabling students to connect beyond the classroom and keeping them even safer on the school bus and as they disembark,” says Daniel Neal, founder and CEO of Kajeet. “We’re especially pleased that the SmartBus Wi-Fi will be an essential component of Austin ISD’s COVID-19 response plans, since our underlying mission as a company has always been to provide safe, equitable mobile broadband access for students.”
Kajeet SmartBus Wi-Fi has been deployed in more than 285 school bus fleets across the United States and Canada across 6 major LTE networks, extending broadband access for all riders and enabling buses and other school vehicles to be used for additional connectivity for special activities, sporting events, field trips, and at community locations.
Our story began more than 15 years ago with three dads figuring out how mobile technology, kids and parents work best.
Thinking of our own kids, (“Kajeet” is an acronym of the first letters of the names of the company’s founders’ children), we designed a service to provide them with everything they need to safely explore the exciting world of mobile technology. When we started this company in 2003, we wanted kids to be agile with technology, to be empowered and safe, and we wanted to help them respond with confidence to what’s happening in their world.
Not incidentally, we want parents, educators and guardians to be involved too. Being part of the mobile world is not just fun, it’s a responsibility – a shared responsibility. So we’ve designed Kajeet products to incorporate all the tools to help educators and families customize and manage every aspect of the mobile experience.