CCISD Cares Launches Access for All

CCISD Cares to Connect Students to Distance Learning Tools
Posted on 08/07/2020
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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it countless challenges for the world, whole economies and individual families. But CCISD Cares, a 501(c)3 support organization formed to assist Clear Creek ISD families with basic needs during times of crisis, intends to ensure that student success rates remain unaffectedly high throughout the crisis.

As a result of COVID-19 and the increasing reliance on distance learning, CCISD Cares has added internet access to the list of what constitutes “basic needs” in order for a student to succeed academically.

Clear Creek ISD has planned to provide three modes of instruction in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The District will hold in-school instruction with safety and prevention measures in place as well as offer families a high-quality online experience through the newly-developed Clear Connections Online Learning Program. Additionally, CCISD has outlined an instructional model that provides for a continuation of instruction in the event a classroom or a school must temporarily move to a School-to-Home instruction model due to COVID-19.

This three-pronged offering translates to the critical need for all students to have the capability to access their learning remotely whenever necessary. The challenge lies in the data that in Clear Creek ISD, economically disadvantaged families total nearly 29% of the population – with that number expected to rise given the economic ripple effects of the health crisis and resulting shutdowns.

Through tax deductible donations to CCISD Cares and the “Access for All” initiative, organizations and individuals may support the District’s efforts to provide WiFi hotspots to families facing hardship so that students are not cut off from their learning and academic progress.

Clear Creek ISD is able to identify students lacking viable internet access through surveys and follow-up discussions with the family to pinpoint the barriers and identify possible free access points and solutions. If these options are exhausted and the family is still unable to secure a reliable internet or WiFi connection, the District plans to supply a low-cost hotspot so that students in each household can connect to their online instruction, learning applications and coursework. The supplied WiFi hotspot only provides internet capability for the District-issued devices in the home and is subject to CCISD firewall protections.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first interrupted in-person instruction during the spring semester, the Clear Creek Education Foundation underwrote emergency hotspots for students facing hardship so they could access remote learning tools and receive and submit assignments.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is working with a major internet provider to classify school districts as corporate customers. Additionally, the TEA has committed to covering a portion of the cost of the hotspot units. These new moves translate to significant discounts on internet service and hotspots for low income families. Clear Creek ISD estimates that a household would receive the WiFi access for $110 for the entire school year. Early forecasts indicate the need for between 700 to 1000 units to bridge the digital divide for economically disadvantaged CCISD students.

Through the District’s one-to-one student device initiative, CCISD provides a laptop to students in grades 4 through 12. During a July 20, 2020 special meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to approve an emergency purchase of laptops for students in kindergarten through 3rd grade for the 2020-2021 school year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more about the CCISD Cares “Access for All” initiative, visit www.ccisd.net/ccisdcares and click on “CCISD Access for All.” To contribute, click on “Make a Donation” and select “WiFi Hotspots for CCISD Families In Need” in the PayPal dropdown menu.

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