CMSD NEWS BUREAU | August 18, 2020

As the 2020-2021 school is set to begin with nine-weeks of remote learning due to the spike in Coronavirus cases in Cuyahoga County, many CMSD families are worried about how their children will complete their assignments.  


“Some people can’t afford internet,” said Deshawnee Little, a grandmother of seven CMSD students who live with her in the Hough neighborhood.  

“We’ve been having problems with the internet staying on while they were doing their homework," she said.

Little is fortune to have internet access. When Governor Mike DeWine closed school buildings back in March to reduce the spread of the cornonavirus,  nearly 40-percent of CMSD families didn’t have internet and students didn’t have a way to log on to complete their assignments during remote learning.  

As a short-term response, CMSD handed out nearly 17,000 devices and close to 4,900 temporary hotspots. 

CMSD and non-profit DigitalC are working together on a more permanent solution by offering free reliable high-speed internet access access to students until they graduate high school. 

 “Kids should be able to do the work they're being asked to do,” said Gerad McClain. 

He recalls the difficulties he had trying to complete homework without internet at his home.  

“So, I'm either on my phone and hoping my data plan can make up for it. Or I'm walking to libraries sometimes it's seven o'clock, eight o'clock at night,” he said.   

McClain now works for EmpowerCLE, a low-cost high-speed internet service provided through Digital C, as a brand ambassador. 

McClain and other brand ambassadors, like Katrina Smiley, are going door to door in the Hough, Glenville, Woodland Hills, Clark Fulton neighborhoods to sign CMSD families up for internet, paid for by the district.