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Cornell families among first to log into free internet


By Carrie Moniot

The Cornell School District is making good on a promise to offer free high-speed internet service to students who need it.

Kris Hupp, director of technology and instructional innovation, announced at the Sept. 16 board meeting that Pittsburgh Meta Mesh is busy installing internet service in homes throughout the district. Hupp spearheads the Every1Online project at Cornell.

Cornell is hoping to continue to sign up more households in the near future.

According to Superintendent Aaron Thomas, an antenna on the top of the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning beams a signal to a receiving antenna on top of the water tower in Coraopolis.

“Any resident that signs up and receives the converter box plugs that box in at their home. That box will then transmit that signal to wifi,” said Thomas.

In other news:

• An early warning system was launched Sept. 9 to alert parents and guardians when a student’s grade drops below 70% in a class and/or if assignments are missing. The weekly text and email messages are sent out at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursdays.

• A special new course was created for 7th and 8th grade students not participating in band. They will cycle through the following four courses: study skills, communication skills, reading nonfiction and creative writing.

• In an effort to expand mental health services, Cornell is offering the Stop Now and Plan (SNAP) program to students in 2nd and 5th grade. Five SNAP members affiliated with Holy Family Institute will work with those students for 26 weeks. The goal is to help students understand their feelings and emotions and learn ways to help them calm down when they’re upset or stressed.

• Elementary Principal Jeff Carter reported students are adjusting well to social distancing and mask wearing, while the custodial staff is keeping up with sanitizing protocol.

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