SISD parents concerned about students returning to in-person schooling

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Parents with children in the Socorro Independent School District (SISD) said they feel it will be the low-income students who will return to school first.

On Sept. 8, some SISD students will return to in-person instruction and will be provided a computer and internet for remote learning. The students first to return are those who were not given devices by the district and/or do not have internet access at home.

“SISD is not forcing them to go to school, they are saying you have the option if you want to go back, said Pablo Barrera, a father with four children in SISD. “Well if you don’t have a device and you don’t have the technology to the work from home, then you’re being forced to go back to school.”

Barrera said that because all four children were provided with either a laptop or iPad from the district, they will keep them at home for the remainder of the year. However, they add that not everyone received devices and not everyone can afford to buy their own.

Just down the street from the Barrera family, another family is struggling.

The Valadez family has two children in SISD; however, they only received one computer from the district.

“It’s impossible because they are both in different grades, they are struggling very much,” said Julieta Valadez, explaining her grandchildren’s predicament. “One of them is even using the cell phone to do school work.”

SISD sent KTSM a statement regarding some students not having a device to work on.

“While our district has already provided devices for the vast majority of families in need, we are continuing to work as fast as we can to obtain additional devices with the goal of providing all students with an electronic device. Currently, we are dealing with Covid-19-caused delays in receiving new devices, so we ask for continued patience and support as we work through this and the multitude of issues we have before us in preparing to SAFELY and successfully launch the 2020-21 school year.”

The district added that students who do not have a device or access to the internet have the option to return to school in person on Sept. 8.

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