As Southern Nevada continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) management and operating contractor Mission Support and Test Services is proud to make a $34,000 donation to the Nye County School District to provide mobile hotspots and internet service for 50 families.
“The Nye County School District is very grateful for the continued support from NNSS,” said Nye County School District Superintendent Dr. Warren Shillingburg. “Their generous donation will help us make sure all of our students have access to their online curriculum and to the online support from their classroom teachers.”
With more than 5,500 students enrolled, the district has had to face challenges to ensure students have accessibility to the technology required for distance learning. Some schools – Amargosa, Tonopah, Round Mountain, Gabbs, Duckwater and Warm Spring – will continue in-person classes with an online support class period. Others like Pahrump and Beatty are utilizing a hybrid model where half the students will attend class in person while the other half is virtual. The district was required to provide a fully virtual option should parents choose that route. Nearly a quarter of students’ families will do so when school begins Aug. 24.
Based on district surveys, 200 individual students need internet access support. The NNSS’ donation will provide mobile hotspots with internet access for 12 months to 50 families who may have multiple students in the household.
“This donation allows us to make purchases immediately,” said Nye County School District Director of Technology Robert Williams. “We have families with a great deal of anxiety because school starts next week, and we don’t have the devices. Being able to work directly with NNSS is enabling us to make purchases faster and into the hands of families sooner.”
Seniors will be given priority access to the devices in order to stay on track for graduation. If younger students are also in those households, they’ll also be able to utilize the technology. In addition to the schoolwork, Williams said the technology is also key to maintaining important connections between students and their teachers.
“I am really grateful that the NNSS has been able to help us,” said Williams. “Speed is of the utmost importance. You’ve enabled us to do something faster than we would have been able to in other ways.”
“The NNSS works to foster a passion for STEM in schools throughout the region,” said MSTS President Mark Martinez. “Until we can connect in person again, this is a way for us to directly support students and encourage them to continue their education.”