Family Technology Information: Internet Access

Important Verizon Hotspot Announcement: Recall and Exchanges

Important Verizon Hotspot Announcement: Recall Updates

Following a recall announcement of the Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack Hotspot (pictured below) by Verizon and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, SFUSD offered in-person exchange options between April 23rd and April 30th. SFUSD will be deactivating all unreturned Ellipsis Jetpacks on June 3, 2021, the day after the school year ends.  

Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack Hotspot

Please note that, in most cases, there is no immediate safety risk. However, if your hotspot is bulging or swollen, immediately stop using the hotspot, turn it off, and unplug it from the charger to minimize the safety risk

To lower any risk of the hotspot overheating while in use, Verizon has released automatic software updates. Your hotspot must be powered on at 8:00 AM, 11:00 AM, or 2:00 PM to receive the automatic update, and you will need to turn the device off and on for the update to take effect. These updates will prevent the hotspot from charging when powered on. After the software update is installed, the hotspot will display “Battery charges only when device is turned off ” when the hotspot is powered on and plugged into the charging cable.

For additional safety tips, visit this Device Safety Guide.

If your student is using their district-provided Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack hotspot to participate in distance learning and needs to exchange it before it is deactivated on June 3, 2021, please complete the SFUSD Hotspot Recall Form

If you have any questions or concerns please contact the SFUSD Family Resource Link by emailing familylink@sfusd.edu or calling 415-340-1716

 

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Updated 4/14/2020

Last year, SFUSD distributed more than 3,500 Hotspots to students in grades 3rd-12th to provide Internet access for distance learning. Any returning student who already has an Internet Hotspot should notice that it is still working and can continue using it this year! Any student who already has an internet service at home should rely on that.

Families who do not have internet access at their residence and need it for distance learning can request to borrow a Hotspot from SFUSD. 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.

To request a hotspot, families will need to complete the Online Technology Request Form available in ParentVUE, in order to submit their request for a new device or an exchange. To do so, families must have an active Family Portal (ParentVUE) account.

  • If you haven’t activated yet, please contact your school site for an activation key and follow the steps. You can activate your ParentVUE account at sfusd.edu/activate.
  • Login to your ParentVUE account at portal.sfusd.edu and click on “Online Forms.”
  • You can find step-by-step instructions for completing the Online Technology Request Form and a recorded video example at bit.ly/SFUSDtechrequestguide.

Technology distribution will be coordinated by your child’s school. Your school will respond to your submitted requests to coordinate the technology distribution. After you submit a technology request, you may wish to contact your school in order to arrange your technology pickup.

Hotspots use a cellular signal to provide Internet, and might not be effective in every SF neighborhood. If your cell phone coverage at home is too weak, a hotspot probably won’t provide a good internet connection for you, so you might do better to investigate some of the other internet options listed below.

All students and families who borrow SFUSD technology for distance learning must abide by the Technology User Agreement. Violations of the agreement may result in disciplinary action or a discontinuation of technology access.

 

District-Sponsored Offerings

Hotspots - mobile internet access

If you are an SFUSD student who received a district-issued hotspot: 

Hotspot Guidelines:

  • Hotspots are provided 1 per household as it supports up to 5 devices.
  • There is no data limit on the hotspot. 
  • Internet service through a hotspot is reliant 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.

Additional Offerings for Free/Low-Cost Internet Service

In support of our efforts, several Internet providers are offering free options to SFUSD families. While neither SFUSD nor the City of San Francisco endorses these providers, families can visit sf.gov/get-online-during-coronavirus-outbreak to learn about eligibility and to apply for access. Families can also search for low-cost Internet options in their neighborhood at EveryoneOn.org.

These options are available now:

  • Comcast Internet Essentials - Free 2 month promotion until June 30, 2021 for new costumers. $9.95/month after first two months.
  • Sonic - Free for 3 months for new customers 
  • AT&T - $10/month after the first 2 months
  • Monkeybrains - $35/month and $0 up front installation for SFUSD families.
  • 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