Need Help Getting Online?
SFUSD students in Grades 4 and above participate in Chromebook take-home programs in order to do homework. Students who need internet in order to use those Chromebooks are provided with internet hotspots. In certain circumstances, such as with families experiencing homelessness, hotspots may be provided to families whose students are younger than fourth grade, so that the parents or guardians may participate fully in their children’s education.
Information about internet options is found below. For more information about Chromebooks for students, please see sfusd.edu/device.
District Hotspots and Other Options
How to Request a Hotspot
Hotspots are provided 1 per household, for students in Grades 4 and above who need internet in order to do their homework. One hotspot supports up to 5 devices.
To request or exchange a hotspot for homework purposes, please make sure you have submitted the Student Technology Unmet Needs Assessment that appears on ParentVUE as an Acknowledgement, and then contact your child’s school to make arrangements to pick up a hotspot. Each school manages their own technology inventory and will sign out a hotspot to your student in the same way that library books are signed out.
All students and families who borrow SFUSD technology must follow the Student Acceptable Use Agreement for technology. Violations of the agreement may result in disciplinary action and/or a discontinuation of technology access.
How to Use a Hotspot
If you are an SFUSD student who received a district-issued hotspot:
- How to get started with Verizon hotspots.
- How to get started and activate AT&T hotspots: 1 pager (Arabic | Chinese | English | Filipino | Spanish | Vietnamese), video (in 6 languages)
- There is no data limit on the hotspot.
- Internet service through a hotspot is dependent on cellular coverage. Many factors can impact the speed and quality of internet service on a hotspot. SFUSD has limited capacity to troubleshoot wifi connectivity issues with hotspots. If you are having issues with your hotspot, we recommend you start with our hotspot troubleshooting guide, and if that doesn’t help, contact the Student Family School Resource Link. (Call 415.340.1716, or email email@example.com).
- All students and families who borrow SFUSD technology must abide by the Student Acceptable Use Policy for technology. Violations of the agreement may result in disciplinary action or a discontinuation of technology access.
Other Free/Low-Cost Internet Options
Hotspots rely on a cellular signal to access the internet, and because signal strength varies, they are not effective in every SF neighborhood. While not free, other low-cost internet options do exist:
Free Fiber-to-Housing Program
If you live in a San Francisco public housing community, you may have access to free Internet/WiFi. Please visit the City’s Fiber to Housing Program website to learn more about Internet/WiFi availability in your community.
Affordable Connectivity Program Can Provide $30 Per Month for an Internet Subscription
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a permanent, federally funded program that replaces the temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) that was set up during distance learning. The ACP is available to all families that are eligible for free and reduced lunches. It can provide $30 a month to help with an internet subscription and a $100 benefit to help with purchasing a device, such as a laptop, Chromebook, or tablet. Visit GetMyInternet.org, available in English and Spanish, to learn more about the ACP.
To qualify for the program, families need to be able to show that their income is below a certain amount. Or they need to participate in at least one of several government assistance programs, such as SNAP, WIC, Free and Reduced Lunch (as established in the Multipurpose Family Income Form), or a tribal assistance program. Find out more about how to qualify and prove eligibility.
Note: to apply you will need to provide a Social Security Number, use a government-issued ID, passport, driver’s license, tribal identification number, or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) documentation.
Once your application is approved, you will choose a particapting internet provider. AT&T, Comcast, and several other providers participate in the program. Here is the full list of participating local providers.
Ready to go? Start your application here.
Need support with the application process? The SFUSD Student Family School Resource Link is here to help! Call 415.340.1716, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Low-Cost Options
Several internet providers have low-cost offerings. The options listed below are provided for informational purposes and are not endorsed by SFUSD. Families can also search for low-cost internet options in their neighborhood at EveryoneOn.org.
These options are among those currently available:
- Comcast Internet Essentials - $9.95/month
- Monkeybrains - $35/month, billed four times per year (approximatly $105 per bill), with no contract.
- T Mobile Project 10Million - One free T-Mobile hotspot device and 100GB/year data for 5 years per household for student receiving free and reduced lunch
Connect an SFUSD Hotspot to a Chromebook
This page was last updated on March 23, 2023