QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (Q&A)
What is the Student Connect Grant Program?
The SkyLine Student Connect Grant Program continues SkyLine’s focus on connecting technology with education throughout the cooperative’s five-county service area (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Watauga and Johnson-TN). Having provided nearly $500,000 in technology grants since 2006 to fund technology in the classroom with Smart Boards and related equipment, our funding focus is now on providing needed connections to students who lack broadband access at home. The case for broadband adoption has been further elevated by necessity in light of Covid-19 and the increased demand for remote access across many sectors, including business, healthcare and education.
How are students selected for the program?
Working with our public schools, SkyLine is providing at-home broadband Internet connections to those students identified by school staff as lacking connectivity at home. The grant seeks to provide direct access to a school-issued device for the student to use for instructional/educational purposes during the current academic year. SkyLine will provide up to 15 student broadband service connections, with a 1:1 match option for schools to fund an additional 15 students in the program.
Are there restrictions?
Yes. The broadband access is restricted to:
- areas where SkyLine/SkyBest provides fiber-based broadband service, and
- the school-issued device, which is designated for the student’s use only. This broadband access connection is not available to the household for personal use.
How long is access provided? Can it carry over to the next academic year?
The broadband access is provided to the student for the current academic year only. A student may be eligible to receive the service for another school year if the school determines a need exists.
- Alleghany County Schools — Steve Hall, 336-375-4345
- Ashe County Schools — Amy Walker, 336-846-7175
- Avery County Schools — David Reep, 828-733-6006
- Watauga County Schools — Alison Schlade, 828-264-7190
- Johnson County Schools — Dr. Stephen Long, 423-727-2640