District Info » Technology / Hotspots

Technology / Hotspots

Program Overview

The Charleston R-I School District is offering a limited number of personal WiFi Hotspots for use by students who do not have reliable wireless Internet access for their Chromebook at home.  The purpose of this program is to provide Internet access for student Chromebooks at home. Internet service is provided through T-Mobile at a tiered cost model ranging from $0- $15.99 per month depending on eligibility (see below).  


The program is intended to help Charleston R-I students access online resources at home through their chromebooks to ensure educational equity. The borrowing limit is one device per household. A fee of $100 will be charged to the student’s school account if the device is lost, damaged, or not returned.


Any applicable monthly charge will be billed directly to the parent. These charges must be paid in full each month.  Data service will be terminated if charges are not paid. This device is not intended for use by students who have reliable Internet access at home. The Charleston R-I School District reserves the right to determine, limit, and/or cancel participation in this program at any time for any reason.


Only a limited number of devices are available. If necessary, preference will be given to families with students who attend Charleston High School and Charleston Middle School due to the internet heavy content taught in those buildings. JaysAway virtual students are eligible for the Wi-Fi Hotspot Program.

General Use

This device is intended for the exclusive use of the individual student or family to whom it has been issued, and students should only connect their Charleston R-I School District issued Chromebook to this hotspot (no other devices are to be connected to the hotspot). Students should not share access and/or login information with anyone.  All devices are the property of the Charleston R-I School District.

Application Process

The names of students/families that have indicated on previous school surveys or to school staff that they lack internet access have already been added to the eligible list and should be contacted by the district before January 6, 2021. 


Anyone wishing to request a WiFi- Hotspot should contact the Charleston R-I School District Central Office (573-683-3776) and request to be added to the waitlist.


In order to be eligible for the Wi-Fi Hotspot Program you must:

  • Not currently have Wi-Fi Internet or have inadequate Wi-Fi internet access in your home
  • Have previously completed the Internet Access Survey indicating a lack of internet access or have been referred by school staff
  • Purchase the $10 hotspot insurance policy
  •  Complete the district’s Wi-Fi Hotspot Usage Agreement 

Your family/student may be eligible for the district paid version if you can provide documentation to the school district of eligibility in one of the following programs:

  • MEDICAID: card or most recent eligibility letter for any member of your household currently enrolled in the Charleston R-I School District.
  • Public housing assistance documentation such as your lease, housing assistance payment (HAP) contract, or eligibility documentation from HUD.
  • SNAP: letter indicating you are approved for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
  • SSI: eligibility letter for Supplemental Security Income.
  • One or more of the students in the household meets the legal definition of homeless according to the McKinney-Vento Act

If your family/student is not eligible for the district paid version or if there are no paid Hotspots available, the following data options and plans are available:

  • Unlimited data each month- $16.00 each month
  • 10GB of data per month- $13.00 each month
  • 10GB for the entire calendar year (12 months)- $0 (This plan is NOT recommended as it would likely only last the student 1-2 weeks before reaching the data cap for the year.)

Consequences for Inappropriate Use

Access to the Internet at school is an integral part of the Charleston R-I School District instructional program.  Access to the Internet away from the District, through this means, is an added educational benefit.  Failure to use the WiFi hotspot device in an appropriate manner, violating Charleston R-I School District policies or tampering with the device may result in disciplinary action and possible loss of the opportunity to use the WiFi hotspot. If lost, the family will be charged a replacement cost of $100.

Student, Parent, and Staff Responsibilities

  • Use the device in a responsible manner and follow all policies, acceptable use agreements, and guidelines.
  • Regularly monitor usage and student browsing activity. The Charleston R-I School District provides Internet content filtering away from the District through the Chromebook, but parents should monitor Internet usage at home.
  • Take proper care of the device – keep away from food, liquids, dirt, etc.
  • If applicable, pay any monthly fees in a timely manner in order to avoid deactivation.

Important Dates

  • 2020-2021 2nd Semester Dates:
    • Distribution Date: January 6, 2020 at Central Office (by appointment)
    • Mid-Semester Check In: March 1st- March 5th
    • Return Date: May 3rd 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Mobile Hotspot?
    • The Hotspot allows you to connect Wi-Fi enabled devices to the internet. The device is portable so you can connect from almost anywhere.
  • How much does it cost?
    • Unlimited data each month- $0 (DEPENDING ON AVAILABILITY AND ELIGIBILITY)
    • Unlimited data each month- $16.00 each month 
    • 10GB of data per month- $13.00 each month
    • 10GB for the entire calendar year (12 months)- $0 (This plan is NOT recommended as it would likely only last the student 1-2 weeks before reaching the data cap for the year.)
  • How long is the checkout period for the Hotspot?
    • The check out period for each Hotspot is one school semester with a mid semester check in at the beginning of first/third quarter.
  • What happens if I do not return the item by the due date or bring it in on the check in date?
    • Hotspots not returned by the due date or checked in at the appropriate time will be deactivated and the student’s account will be fined $100, to be paid prior to graduation.
  • Where can I access the User Guide for the Hotspot?
    • The Quick Start Guide is available here and will be provided at the time of pick up.
    • The User Guide is available here. A copy of the manual is also included with other information at the time of pickup.
  • How can I find out if I will have an adequate T-Mobile cellular signal in my home?
    • The T-Mobile Coverage Map is available here.
  • Who should I contact for technical support?
    • T-Mobile Device Technical Support: Call T-Mobile at 1-844-361-1310 (7:00a.m. - 7:30p.m. CST)

Program Contact

  • Amy Brown, Director of Special Programs Charleston R-I Central Office 573-683-3776 [email protected]
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