Circleville City Schools has been awarded a $20,000 BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant from the Ohio Department of Education, governor’s office, and BroadbandOhio to address gaps in the internet infrastructure within its school community.
With the grant, the district plans to implement its new ConnectED mobile hotspot loaner program to address internet connectivity barriers to online education. The ConnectED Program is a program sponsored by Circleville City Schools designed to give students of high need (vulnerable students as defined by ODE) and with limited or no internet access away from school the opportunity to receive a MIFI hotspot on loan for one 9 weeks at a time, by away of the school library, throughout the school year. Details to be released in the coming weeks.
Per grant requirements, awarded funds to Circleville City Schools must be used to address the following:
- Economically disadvantaged students, as defined for EMIS reporting, including, students on free lunch;
- Vulnerable children and youth as defined by the Ohio Department of Education;
- Students who might have chronic conditions; and
- Students who do not have other access to the internet
The BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant is linked to RemotEDx, a new $15 million suite of remote education supports for schools funded by the Ohio Department of Education CARES Act state activity funds. A component of RemotEDx includes the deployment of Connectivity Champions, who are singularly focused on helping schools remove barriers to internet connectivity and coordinate connections to state-level resources. Connectivity Champions will be deployed through Information Technology Centers, in partnership with the Management Council and the Ohio Department of Education.
Earlier this school year the district also expanded its 1:1 student-to-technology ratio for all students in grades K-12th (formerly grades 6th-12th only) who know have Chromebooks to take home.