One of the greatest challenges to ECS families during the COVID pandemic has been access to affordable, reliable internet service for school-issued devices. We encourage our families to use the following resources.
To assist with students learning from home during the pandemic, Comcast now offers a low-cost internet solution called Internet Essentials. This program includes 25 Mb per second of in-home WiFi for $9.95/month (plus tax) with no credit check and no term contract, subject to qualification. To learn more about Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, visit: https://www.internetessentials.com/
Mobile WiFi Coverage
Elkhart Community Schools provides WiFi coverage for school-issued devices via buses parked throughout the Elkhart and Bristol communities. Look for the ECS bus at/near the following locations:
- Timberbrook Community on Maple Street
- Bristol Mobile Home Park near County Road 27 and County Road 8
- Sterling Park parking lot on Sterling Avenue south of Indiana Avenue
- River Run Apartments near Middlebury Street
- Tolson Community and Youth Center near Benham and Wagner
- Penguin Point near Middlebury Street and Goshen Avenue
- Dairy Queen on North 2nd Street between Jackson and Jefferson
- Sycamore Public Parking Lot on North 2nd Street behind Iechyd Da
- Burger King (Beardsley Ave)
- Ruthmere (Beardsley Ave and Grove)
- Country Club Lanes
- Charlies Butcher Block (Near Bristol St & Hastings)
- Church Community Services
- Midtown Apartments
- Easy Shopping Place Plaza on North Elkhart Avenue near Hacienda
- Hoosier Harley-Davidson parking lot on County Road 7 north of State Road 19
- Cobus Creek County Park on County Road 8
- Walmart parking lot on US20
The range of the WiFi is approximately 450 feet from the buses. Students’ school-issued iPads will automatically connect to the ECS WiFi signal when they are within range. The WiFi is only accessible to ECS school-issued devices. The buses will be parked in these locations from 9:00am until 1:00pm, Monday through Thursday.
School WiFi Maps
Extended WiFi is available outside many ECS school buildings (parking lots). School-issued devices will automatically connect to the ECS WiFi signal when they are within range. The WiFi is only accessible to ECS school-issued devices.
- Beardsley (area of coverage)
- Bristol (area of coverage)
- Hawthorne (area of coverage)
- Mary Beck (area of coverage)
- Mary Daly (area of coverage)
- Mary Feeser (area of coverage)
- Monger (area of coverage)
- Pinewood (area of coverage)
- Riverview (area of coverage)
- Roosevelt (area of coverage)
- Woodland (area of coverage)
LTE-enabled iPad Devices
Elkhart Community Schools recently obtained a grant that provides funds for a limited number of iPad devices with built-in LTE internet service. Due to the limited number of available devices, to qualify, a student must qualify for free (not reduced) lunches and a family must have applied for, and been denied, the low-cost Comcast Internet Essentials program (see information above or learn more here: https://www.internetessentials.com/). To apply for an LTE-enabled iPad, please complete the following form: LTE-enabled iPad Application.
Troubleshooting and Assistance with WiFi and iPads
The following are common issues and solutions related to WiFi on student iPads.
- How do I connect my child’s school-issued iPad to our home WiFi? From the iPad home screen, click settings. Select WiFi. Make sure WiFi toggle is enabled (will be green). Select your home WiFi network. Enter your WiFi password. Click join. The student’s iPad should automatically remember the WiFi network and password, and connect to it when it is within reach (unless you change the WiFi settings/password).
- Weak Signal: If the student is too far from the router, they could be experiencing weak signal strength, which may be preventing the student’s iPad from connecting to the WiFi. Try moving closer, this may resolve your issue.
- Slow WiFi: Too many devices may be connected to the home WiFi. The more devices connected and using WiFi can affect your connection and speed. If your student and other people in the residence are using devices at the same time for things like: YouTube, Netflix, video games, surfing the web, etc., this can affect WiFi performance. During school hours, try limiting the amount of devices utilizing WiFi required activities.
- Hard Reboot: If a device still has a weak signal or slow performance despite trying the things listed above, we will often recommend a hard reboot for troubleshooting, which can clear glitches that slow down a student’s iPad. To complete a hard reboot, press and hold both the home and the power button at the same time for at least 10 seconds until you see the Apple icon appear.
- Disconnect and Reconnect to the student’s home WiFi: Sometimes a weak/slow signal can be a glitch caused by the connection between the student’s home WiFi and the iPad. There may be times when the student’s iPad shows it is connected to the home WiFi, but the WiFi doesn’t work. Disconnecting from the student’s home network and reconnecting to the student’s home network may resolve this issue. From your home screen, tap settings. Tap WiFi. Toggle “off” the WiFi (no longer green). Toggle “on” the WiFi (turns green).
- Reboot the WiFi Router: A simple reboot of the student’s home router can resolve connectivity issues and speed issues. All you have to do is turn off the router for a few seconds and then power it back on. If you are not sure how to do this, please check your router manual and/or contact your service provider. Once you power on the router, it may take a few minutes to fully reboot and accept network connections.
To read more, including the above issues with photos for assistance, please visit tech.elkhart.k12.in.us for helpful information and support with iPads and technology.