Creating a More
Equitable Future

For our children goes
beyond the hotspot

The COVID-19 Pandemic
Has Widened the Digital Divide

Learn How the San Diego Region Can Support Equitable Distance Learning

Why We Must Act Now to Reduce Academic Inequities

In San Diego County over 60,000 students still struggle with having an appropriate device and/or basic access to the Internet

The average student could fall behind seven months academically.

The loss could be as much as 10 months for Black children and nine months for Latinx children.

Some Districts have reported up to 40% of their student populations lack connectivity access.

According to the latest data out from the Parent Institute for Quality Education:

17% of statewide respondents indicated they do not have reliable internet or Wi-Fi t home.

1 in 5 parents does not have their own email address.

62% of respondents are concerned about their student(s) emotional needs.

Community Needs Assessment

Read the full Parent Institute for Quality Education October 2020 Community Needs Assessment here.

Connectivity is needed, but so is a wider network of support

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A quarter of parents who identify as Spanish speakers do not have email addresses

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A third of parents found distance learning instructions confusing or inaccessible

Families are struggling with balancing childcare needs

Pandemic-related unemployment is creating additional economic strains

Community Organizations Are Mobilizing

Since May 2020, a county-wide group of school districts, education experts, non-profit organizations, and community leaders joined to form an Equitable Distance Learning Taskforce. The Taskforce is initiated and led by the Classroom of the Future Foundation and San Diego for Every Child, in conjunction with the San Diego County Office of Education.

The goal of the Equitable Distance Learning Taskforce is to regionally prioritize both technological and non-technological needs of school-age students and their families across our community. The Taskforce aligned data and research to map out the distance learning impacts of COVID – and identified solutions.

Connectivity Issues are Equity Issues
0 households
need connectivity in San Diego County


Respondents among the refugee community with K-12 age children say they do not have home WiFi or internet

How you can help


Sponsor wired connection for a family, or expand public WiFi reach


Connectivity is Only as Good
as Human-Based Supports

Supporting Parents

37% of respondents with K-12 age children report that they have technology problems they can’t fix
1/3 of parents and caregivers respondents noted that they could use additional support with distance learning
How you can help

Pay for tutoring, or sponsor a parent engagement network


Supporting Student Learning Outside of School

When asked what was needed for their children to return to school on campus, the top answers involved safety, scheduling, and before and after-school care

1/3 of parents and caregiver respondents noted that they could use additional support with distance learning
How you can help


Support extended childcare hours for working parents


Supporting Student Mental Health

Among communities that are most impacted, 69% of respondents with K-12 age children agree/strongly agree that their children are more anxious than usual

How you can help

Help fund teacher training or school district’s mental health supports


The need for electronic
devices remains persistent

The San Diego Refugee Communities Coalition reported 34% of respondents with K-12 age children report there are not enough computers at home for everyone who needs one

For the 2020-21 school year start, the Classroom of the Future Foundation received more than 20,000 requests from schools for electronic devices, 95% of which were laptops or Chromebooks

A YMCA survey of child care providers identified headsets as the number one device need
How you can help

Donate computers or headsets for 1 child or 1 school


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The Taskforce’s Key Findings

Think beyond the hotspot

The majority of San Diego County families have at least one device in the home. But that device is not always suitable for distance learning, it may have to be shared across multiple family members or housemates, and connectivity can be spotty and unreliable at best.

Students and their families require connectivity long-term, such as:

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Appropriate devices

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Broadband connection in the home

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Power packs for device charging

Parental/Caregiver Supports

Parents want to support their children’s academic progress. Empowering parents in this role during remote learning requires consistent, culturally, and linguistically appropriate communication and shared understanding of the expectations for children and for families.

Dedicated translators

Dedicated translators

Increased digital literacy

Increased digital literacy

Quality child care supports

Quality child care supports

Coordination with Community-Based Groups/Before and After-School Providers

Community-based organizations and Out-of-School Time providers have expertise in learning-based programming, working with families, and using that information to direct support where it’s needed most. We can expand their capacity to:

  • Build parent capacity
  • Support student tutoring
  • Extend before & after school programs

All students deserve safe, supportive learning environments

Students are navigating a months-long stint of isolation, uncertainty, and disruption to their learning and social routines, all factors which can increase risk for poor mental health outcomes.

Ways to address this include investing in:

Teacher professional developmen

Teacher professional development

Social emotional learning supports for students

Social emotional learning supports for students

individualized student learning for best results

individualized student learning for best results

This is just a sampling of what can be done. What can you do to help?

Read the White Paper

“Beyond the Hotspot,” a white paper developed by the Equitable Distance Learning Taskforce, provides a thoughtful analysis of COVID-19’s disproportionate impact across San Diego County. Recommended approaches are outlined for addressing distance learning through an equity lens.

Donor Brochure

If you are interested in investing in solutions, our Contributor Brochure provides a chart with identified areas of need and investment estimates.

More Information

We need you! Contact us for updates and more information. Learn how you can connect your resources to organizations doing meaningful work to minimize learning loss in the community of your choice.

Contact: or (619) 431-0370

San Diego for Every Child logo
Classroom of the Future logo

*U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation:
Classroom of the Future Foundation
San Diego Refugee Communities Coalation. COVID-19 Refugee Community Impact Report.
SANDAG. The Hardest Hit: Community Members Share COVID-19 Impacts.
YMCA San Diego. Supporting Child Care Providers With School-Age Distance Learning.
All other data points are documented in “Beyond the Hotspot,” a whitepaper developed by the Equitable Distance Learning Taskforce.