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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Two Weeks Into Class, Some CPS Students Still Lack Internet Access For Remote Learning

internet cable

During a board meeting for Cincinnati Public Schools on Wednesday, a board member brought forth concerns that roughly 5,000 kids may not have the internet access necessary to complete their remote learning classes.

Chief Information Officer Jeremy Gollihue said attendance being taken for classes will show directly who is not showing up for class, and that those students will then be contacted to see if they need help getting internet services.

Board Member Ben Lindy said the size of the number is "incredibly important."

"If it is 5,000, that means there are 5,000 kids, I’m assuming almost all of them are low income, because that's why that we think they would need internet in the first place," Lindy said. "Which would mean there are 5,000 kids who have already missed the first two weeks of school. From my perspective, how big of a deal is that on a scale of 1 to 10? It feels like a 10. You have 5,000 kids that can't go to school."

Gollihue said if CPS continues its trend of getting internet access to 200 kids per day, it could take between 25 and 30 days for the remaining 5,000 kids to get internet access.

Assistant Superintendent Shauna Murphy is leading a project to help get those students connected to the internet. Murphy said they are looking at students who were provided wireless internet networks (Kajeets) to see if they are truly in need of them. If not, then they can be deployed to other students who are more disadvantaged.

CPS COVID-19 Dashboard

Credit Cincinnati Public Schools (screenshot of slideshow shown during Sep. 2, 2020 meeting)
The dashboard will allow for employees and students to report suspected COVID-19 cases

During the board meeting, Cincinnati Public Schools also unveiled an online dashboard to allow for employees and students to report suspected COVID-19.

The website will allow the public to see positive cases being reported by the individual schools in the district.

A mobile app will also be available for employees to receive alerts for active cases and to fill out forms for suspected cases.

Chief Information Officer Gollihue said the dashboard will go live next week.

Family Technology Support Center

Cincinnati Public Schools has launched a tech support hotline to help students and their families dealing with tech issues they may run into while doing school online.

Tech support will help troubleshoot any connectivity issues, reset passwords and help fix a CPS device that is broken or not working.

The hotline's number is 513-363-0688.

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.