United Response to COVID-19 for Connecticut's Youth and Young Adults
The Partnership for Connecticut will commit resources, time, and energy toward assisting with a united, statewide response to COVID-19 for Connecticut’s disengaged and disconnected youth and young adults (ages 14 to 24), helping them to access the educational and career opportunities they need to succeed in life.
Advancing Equitable Access for up to 60,000 High School Students
The Partnership will work with the Connecticut State Department of Education and local school officials to increase equitable access to education for up to 60,000 students enrolled in eligible high schools by understanding their technology needs and making every effort to secure laptops for those high school students as quickly as possible.
- The objective is to advance equitable access to education by providing laptops to those eligible high schools and students who need them.
- Program eligibility is limited to the high schools across the 33 Alliance Districts who serve significant populations of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, and laptop distribution will prioritize students demonstrating the most need; however, if the needs are met for these eligible high schools and there is remaining inventory and resources, then program eligibility may expand to include high schools beyond the Alliance Districts where more than 40% of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals, and laptop distribution will prioritize students demonstrating the most need.
- Eligible districts and high schools may opt into this program on behalf of their students if student laptops are a need.
- Eligible districts who opt into the program will receive laptops to increase their ability to provide high school students with devices during their high school careers; districts will retain ownership of these laptops to help close opportunity gaps and support future cohorts.
- The program will distribute laptops through a collaborative design, such that everyone is working together to achieve the program objective, as follows:
- The Partnership and the Connecticut State Department of Education will determine the available inventory of laptops in the country’s supply chain;
- The Connecticut State Department of Education and participating school district superintendents will develop a comprehensive plan to promote equitable access to public education by linking the program with efforts to expand content and connectivity for eligible students and their families;
- The participating school district superintendents will:
- Determine specific needs within the available inventory identified by the Partnership and the Connecticut State Department of Education;
- Develop and assume responsibility for device distribution and maintenance plans, ensuring that students receive the laptops once ordered and that the laptops are well maintained and integrated into each participating district’s IT system;
- Create a communications plan so that eligible high school students and their families have the information they need to participate in the program;
- The Partnership’s CEO will negotiate prices and develop proposals with device providers based on the available inventory, identified needs, and available resources, and recommend proposals to the Partnership’s Board of Directors for consideration and final approval by early April 2020.
Launching the United Community Program for Direct Funding Opportunities
The Partnership will also work with young people and their families, State leaders, higher education leaders, mayors and community leaders, and non-profits and service providers to develop an inclusive and impactful strategy for addressing immediate and longer-term challenges consistent with the Partnership’s mission.
- The objective is to help Connecticut’s disengaged and disconnected youth and young adults overcome the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Program eligibility is limited to under-resourced communities in Connecticut where there is a high poverty rate and youths and young adults (ages 14 to 24) who are showing signs of disengagement or disconnection from high school, the workforce, or the community.
- The Partnership will work with stakeholders in under-resourced communities to ensure public input and participation in program design, while remaining focused on advancing positive outcomes as quickly and sustainably as possible.
- The Partnership’s CEO will present a recommended strategy to the Partnership’s Board of Directors for consideration and final approval by mid-April 2020, leading to direct funding opportunities consistent with the Partnership’s mission and the explicit goals for the United Community Program.
The Partnership is actively planning, engaging stakeholders, and developing proposals and recommendations for the Board of Directors’ consideration and approval as soon as possible in accordance with the Equitable Access Program Guidelines and United Community Program Guidelines.