Consolidated Communications Helps Schools and Students Connect During COVID-19 Crisis

  • Consolidated Communications

MATTOON, IL —  Consolidated Communications is helping to ease the transition from classroom learning to distance learning for schools and students by increasing bandwidth to boost school hot spots and providing internet service.

According to the U.S. Census, an estimated 18 percent of students don’t have internet access at home, in what has become known as the “homework gap.” For more than a month, Consolidated has assisted thousands of low-income families of students affected by recent school closings by connecting their homes to the Internet.

In Mankato, Minn., the Mankato Area Public Schools’ transition to home learning prompted teachers to personally contact families to determine internet needs. They found seven percent of students in the district of 8,600 students did not have access to the Internet at home.

“Schools can assure a learning experience with safety, security, comfort and good relationships with teachers and peers, but when students are no longer in the school environment, so much of the experience is out of our control,” said Marti Sievek, interim director of teaching and learning at the Mankato district. “Partnering with companies like Consolidated Communications provides some continuity and stability to keep learning going for our students.”

Filling the Homework Gap

Sievek said helping families with internet access during this time helps fill a gap that already exists between students across the country. He cited a family with multiple children that would have used one mobile phone for online learning until they contacted Consolidated for service. “This family never had this type of access in their home and now they are all able to get online. It is amazing to see,” he said.

Before some Claremont, N.H. School Administrative Unit #6 students could continue their lessons at home, they needed to secure internet access. “Initially we were hearing that it would take weeks to get access,” said Donna Magoon, assistant superintendent of schools at SAU6. “We were fortunate to work with Consolidated and its employees to install services very quickly to get students online and learning. Making sure all families have internet access was essential to allow all students to work on lessons when it is most convenient for them.”

As a provider of critical services, Consolidated’s customer care, network and field teams are ready to respond. Whether you need increased bandwidth, a second phone line, expanded TV channels, or just have a question, we can help. Contact us at 844.YOUR.CCI or visit our site online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More information on the company's response to COVID-19 and how it is helping customers is available at consolidated.com/covid.

 

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