Results of Statewide Survey Reveals Technology and Other Needs of Students During Pandemic

April 20, 2020

DENVER – Colorado schools say they need more help developing effective online instruction, providing students computer hardware and access to the Internet and supporting students who are suffering from stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statewide needs inventory conducted recently.

The Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Education Initiative from March 27 to April 4 asked districts, BOCES, charter schools and facility schools to share their top needs since in-person instruction was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the first round of quantitative analysis, CEI conducted interviews with superintendents from across the state to validate and update regional results. Results released today will provide state and local leaders and philanthropists insight into the needs of educators and communities around the state.

“I am grateful to CEI for helping us gather and validate this information which will be incredibly useful as we work together with the Governor’s Office and community partners to support districts during this challenging time,” said Education Commissioner Katy Anthes.

“I know that our educators and school leaders are struggling with the inequities that may be widening right now – students who were already behind are in some cases falling further behind. The information from this needs inventory will help policy makers and potential donors know how to target resources to ensure that we are supporting our most vulnerable students.”

The voluntary assessment was completed by more than 91% of districts and BOCES, as well as 186 charter and facility schools. Results showed an immediate need for hardware, software and connectivity solutions:

  • approximately 53,000 students need wifi-enabled devices
  • approximately 65,860 children need Internet access at home

CDE and CEI are partnering with the Governor’s Office and philanthropic organizations to respond as quickly as possible by linking donors and federal relief aid to needs.

The assessment identified four top education needs:

  • support for students and families who are struggling to manage the stresses caused by the pandemic,
  • technical supports for delivering remote learning,
  • online instructional supports for teachers, and
  • help with family engagement.

In addition, the survey identified that increased Internet connectivity and assistance with food, mortgages or rent and unemployment assistance are the top needs for communities.  The final report also details how local priorities differ across regions in the state.

The report showcases the incredible effort by educators, students, and families who are working together to marshal community resources to meet the needs of families, provide devices to students and increase internet connectivity.

The full report is available here: https://www.cde.state.co.us/communications/needsinventory-results

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