Transformative, Evidence-Based Ideas

Pods in Action: Cleveland Metropolitan School District

Case Study: Making the most of a rich network of district partners

Cleveland came into the pandemic with a history of collaboration among civic organizations and schools. In summer 2020, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and partners—community organizations, funders, and out-of-school-time organizations—saw that students were in a crisis and came together to establish full-day remote-learning pods for their most vulnerable students.

Key Lessons
  1. By establishing strong connections and shared goals, out-of-school-time program providers and community organizations can collaborate quickly with school districts to support students and create opportunities for greater student engagement and learning during a crisis—and strengthen relationships for long-term collaboration.
  2. When learning-pod organizers have support from a mix of robust city-wide coordination and assured operational funding, charitable donations, local and state funding, and an active local philanthropic sector, they can provide learning-pod hosts with guidance and a set of standards for the level of service students will receive—such as supervision for a minimum of eight hours per day for four days a week, staff training, and observance of public-health precautions.
  3. Preliminary data suggest that students who attended Cleveland learning pods had higher attendance rates and grades than students who did not.

Related Publications


Sign up to receive our latest research

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Skip to content