The McComb School District has received two grants that will use “hot spots” to improve internet service for students whose homes have a poor connection.

One grant, from the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program, will provide home internet service for 242 McComb High School students and 157 Denman Junior High students at no charge. It includes a monthly 30GB data plan that can last up to four years.

The other grant is for up to 650 hot spots from the T-Mobile Project 10 Million program. It will provide unlimited usage of a hot spot for any student in the district whose home needs a better internet connection. The cost is $15 per month, which will be paid by the district’s federal Covid-19 relief money.

Even though schools expect to return to full-time classroom instruction in August, Ellis said that a lot of students take school-related electronic devices home with them. Poor internet service to some homes was a significant problem during the 2020-21 school year, and parents complained that their kids’ online classroom work was exceeding their monthly data plan.

School board trustees formally accepted both grants at their meeting Tuesday.

In other business the board:

• Approved an agreement with William Carey University for Carey’s “Grow Your Own” program that seeks to attract more students to the teaching profession. Participating students can earn up to 12 hours of dual high school and college credits through online courses with Carey, and also will be eligible for scholarship aid. Recipients must agree to work in the district for three years if there is a job opening.

• Approved personnel changes, including the hiring of Myesha James as girls basketball coach and Alisha Rayborn as her assistant.

• Authorized a second request for bids from banks to hold school funds for the next one or two fiscal years. The district received no bids from its first advertisement.

• Approved financial statements for April. Revenue was $1.231 million, including $250,000 in local property taxes and $939,000 from the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. Expenses were $1.312 million, including $1.122 million in salaries and benefits, and $189,000 for goods and services. April 30 cash on hand was $12.350 million.

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