Home Access Needs Assessment Playbook

A step-by-step guide to identifying students who lack home access

Identifying which students do not have access to the Internet or a dedicated learning device is the first step in delivering remote learning to all students this fall.

Inaccurate responses, inefficient collection processes, and incomplete datasets are common pitfalls for school districts when surveying families about home technology access. Our Home Access Needs Assessment Playbook is a step-by-step guide to collecting and analyzing the data you need to identify unconnected students and provide them with connectivity and device solutions.

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STEP 1 | PRIORITIZE

Use the data you have available. Understand how your students have engaged with distance learning applications to date, then segment students who might need help.

  1. Identify students who have missed class (i.e. not “attended” online learning or a required event.)
  2. Segment students based on their potential level of need and prepare a specific outreach plan for each group.

RESOURCES:
Case Study: See How Atlanta Public Schools Approached this Challenge.

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STEP 2 | COMMUNICATE

Response rates tend to be higher when outreach is targeted and direct (e.g., a calling campaign) and when the data is collected through an existing, required process (e.g., student registration). 

  1. Use our question bank to adjust your school district’s registration/enrollment process to assess the home access and device needs of every student.
  2. If you are unable to include this information at student registration, include our questions in a targeted survey campaign. 
  3. Use our call and voicemail scripts to help your school district conduct a target calling campaign. Adjust your segmentation to prioritize those students who did not respond to your survey.
  4. Send an email or letter to follow up on your call (especially to non-responders).

RESOURCES:
Guide to Creating a Survey to Assess Home Access
Question Bank
Call and Voicemail Scripts – English
Call & Voicemail Scripts – Spanish
Email Template

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STEP 3 | ORGANIZE

Record all of the responses you receive in a single tracking tool. This will enable you to quickly re-prioritize outreach efforts, identify data gaps, and prepare to research connectivity options.

  1. Organize the responses your technology needs assessment in real-time using our data entry template.
  2. Build fields into your Student Information Systems (SIS) to capture an accurate picture of your students’ technology and connectivity needs. 

RESOURCES:
Data Entry Template and Outreach Tracking Tool

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STEP 4 | VISUALIZE

Map students who do not have access to the Internet at home, and overlay local Internet service provider options available and the location of hotspot solutions.

  1. Contact Greer Ahlquist who will help your district set up a secure account, load your data and visualize your results. View demo.

RESOURCES: 
School District Mapping Tool

Student Home View
Service Provide View
Add Super Hotspot Screenshot
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Connect Students

STEP 5 | CONNECT

Support the students that you confirmed do not have access by providing a connectivity and device option to meet their needs.

  1. Create a list of potential solutions that could connect students in your school district. 
  2. Use our low-cost Internet provider template to help distribute the list to families to help them get connected. 
  3. Consider whether your school district’s budget could support connectivity and device access for students in your school district.

RESOURCES:
Low-Cost Internet Provider One-Pager
District Budget Calculator

No matter where you are on your data journey, our tools and resources can help you efficiently analyze barriers to connectivity and devices and design plans to address them. 

For more information please contact Greer Ahlquist.