Thousands of Households Now Connected[COLUMBUS, OH, April 19, 2022] The Ohio Connectivity Champions (OCC) partnered with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) to help deploy free internet service to more than 6,000 district households during the 2021-2022 school year ensuring online access to health, employment, school, skill improvement, and the economy.
In September 2021, CMSD was awarded approximately $12 million from the Emergency Connectivity Fund, a federal $7.17 billion program that helps schools and libraries provide the tools and services needed for remote learning during the pandemic. As part of Spectrum’s Stay Connected K-12 program and EmpowerCLE+, more than 6,000 high-speed modems were distributed to households in CMSD’s district
Recognizing a need to help CMSD roll out this initiative, Joe Mancini, OCC coordinator, reached out to Melissa Hirsch, executive director and advisor, IT Strategy Execution and Governance, to assist. “After speaking with Ms. Hirsch, we pulled together a team to coordinate the effort between Spectrum and CMSD,” Mancini said. “The biggest challenge has been reaching each household’s caregiver to confirm internet connection. To ensure that CMSD’s families are connected, we call each household three times per week to attempt contact.”
The Champions also help CMSD with address changes, identifying household internet needs, verifying installation of needed internet, ensuring that unneeded modems were returned, and making sure that households that do need modems are scheduled to receive one. “Ohio’s Connectivity Champions are committed to removing the burdens districts face while connecting families to internet,” said Geoff Andrews, chief executive officer of the Management Council, parent organization of OCC. “We are pleased to be part of an initiative that helps Ohioans connect to the internet and participate in the global economy.”
OCC has made over 10,300 calls to CMSD households — completing over 4,900 requests — and will reach out again to families who have not been successfully connected. OCC assists all Ohioans with internet connection, and can be reached at www.ohio-k12.help/remotedx, email or text at email@example.com, and by phone 844-K12-OHIO (844-512-6446).
Ohio’s Information Technology Centers work together through a statewide network known as the Ohio Education Computer Network (OECN). The Management Council coordinates and supports the collaborative efforts of the OECN, which implements a broad spectrum of academic and administrative technologies across Ohio’s PreK-12 education system.