COLTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - Patchy internet service in St. Lawrence County is a big obstacle to educating students online.
The three Cole children were ready to study, learn and explore at home. They even practiced last week. There was just one snafu: they don't have internet service.
“We have internet available half a mile one way and a quarter mile the other, but nothing in this small stretch of main highway that we live on.” said Stacie Cole, mother of three Colton-Pierrepont students.
So they use a WiFi hotspot on their phone. It can be spotty.
They are far from the only people without internet service in St. Lawrence County. Schools say anyone without internet access should call.
“We'll do our best to come up with alternative ways to get the information to the students,” said James Nee, Colton-Pierrepont Central School District superintendent.
There is no exact count of how many students don't have internet. They're gathering information.
BOCES officials say they are working with providers on a solution and there are temporary fixes.
The Colton firehouse is one of 8 places around the Colton-Pierrepont school district where you can pick up WiFi from your car. It may not be the best solution, but for some people for now, it could be a way to gain internet access.
Some of the sites were set up using WiFi from school buses. The town and school worked together on it. In the meantime, families like the Coles soldier on.
“I love reading so 30 minutes goes by really fast," said Joslyn Cole, Colton-Pierrepont 4th grader:
"We're doing volume of cylinders...Volume equals Pi r-squared – h,” said Morgan Cole, Colton-Pierrepont 8th grader.
But even keeping busy can't keep you from missing all your friends.
“It made me really sad that I would miss my friend, Lexis, really bad. And my friend, Bea, that gave me all the hugs,” said Jordan Cole, Colton-Pierrepont 2nd grader.
The tentative return date for schools in St. Lawrence County is April 20. But that is subject to change depending on the public health situation.