Rotary Club contribution helps high school hot spots |

Rotary Club contribution helps high school hot spots

The Nevada Joint Union High School District has been able to increase its capacity to lend internet hot spots to students, thanks to a $1,500 contribution made by the 49er Rotary Breakfast Club of Nevada City.

According to district Chief Technology Officer Jason Skinner, the club’s contribution allowed the district to purchase an additional 42 internet hot spots for students. He said the district currently has 325 hot spots deployed throughout the district.

“Our school sites have been working with students and families throughout the year to determine internet connectivity needs,” Skinner wrote in an email Thursday. “Our latest acquisition of hot spots, of which those donated by the Rotary Club are included, enabled us to distribute devices to all of the students our schools had on their latest lists.”

District Superintendent Brett McFadden described the contribution as “yet another example of what a great community we have and how much this community supports public education.”

Although the district does not plan to continue a full distance educational model for much longer — and has announced a planned return to a hybrid model Feb. 1 — McFadden said an improvement to student internet access remains an impactful step in maintaining engagement.

“Even in a hybrid model, still more than half of a student’s weekly education is going to be utilizing online services, so having reliable internet is very important,” said McFadden.

Marsha Burch, president of the 49er Rotary Breakfast Club of Nevada City, said that amid a challenging year, club members have remained engaged — although through virtual meetings — and found themselves asking, “What can we do to help alleviate, and who is facing some of the biggest challenges?”

She said the club found that one of the answers to those questions was the set of challenges experienced by local youth as they navigate virtual education due to the pandemic.

“I think everyone was really excited that we could at least do something to make that process a little bit easier during a time that’s challenging,” said Burch.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at

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