Expanded Wi-Fi Access

Expanded Wi-Fi Access
Posted on 04/02/2020

Dear Families:

We are pleased to offer free Internet/Wi-Fi access at fifteen locations during the extended closure to help better serve our students and families with limited or no access to high-speed Internet.  Although a stay-at-home order is in place, state and federal officials have indicated that travel to and from educational institutions is permitted to allow students and their families to access instructional materials and resources, such as Internet/Wi-Fi. 

Our team recently completed work to increase the signal strength of the Wi-Fi at our four high schools that will provide moderate Wi-Fi access in designated areas outside of these locations (see attachment).  We have also identified eleven other schools across the division where moderate Wi-Fi access is possible. The signal strength varies by building and depends upon many factors. Please also note the following important details:       

General Information

  • A list of approved locations is attached and can be viewed on our Learn-from-Home Google Drive folder.  These are the locations with the strongest signal based upon our test results.
  • Hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., daily.  No one will be permitted on school property outside of this time period. 
  • All guests are expected to adhere to all official social distancing guidance issued by Governor Northam, the Virginia Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., maintain at least six feet between yourself and others, do not assemble in groups, etc.).  You are encouraged to remain in your vehicle.

Access to and Use of School Property

  • Access is available to HCPS students, families, and staff for educational purposes only, not leisure or entertainment.  These locations are not open to the general public.
  • Use is limited to the exterior of each location in the designated areas.  The interior of the building is not available or permitted.
  • Per the Hanover Fire Marshal’s Office, accessing the Wi-Fi while in a fire lane is permissible.  A licensed driver must remain in the driver’s seat. 

Network and Other Requirements

  • All HCPS policies apply, including the Acceptable Use Policy
  • Students may gain access through the HCPS Guest network, which is the same network students’ access inside our schools.
  • For security reasons, the SSID and access codes for the network are not published.  If your student requires this information, please enter a request through our HCPS Student Support Portal
  • Prior to arriving onsite, certificates will need to be loaded to your device.  Please follow the directions at http://hcps.us/certificates.
  • Teachers wishing to access the Wi-Fi network will connect using the same HCPS network configuration they use within the buildings. 

In addition to the expanded Internet/Wi-Fi service we are offering, please note the following third-party information that may be of further assistance to you:


Comcast is now offering 60 days of free service to families with limited income. To sign up, call 855-846-8376 (English) or 855-765-6995 (Spanish). In addition, Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will now be FREE to anyone who needs them – including non-Xfinity subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, just select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch any browser.


Verizon is automatically adding 15 GB of data across nearly all plans, to be used between 03/25/2020 and 04/30/2020.  Please visit their website for more information at https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/covid-19-faqs/#hotspot.

We hope you will find this information helpful as we work to provide access to virtual learning to as many students and families as possible during this challenging time.  Should a student need assistance with accessing the Wi-Fi at one of our fifteen locations or a password reset, please visit our HCPS Student Support Portal.  

Thank you.

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