EL PASO, Texas -- Elementary school students within the El Paso Independent School district who don’t have a reliable computer at home started being issued iPads Thursday, ahead of home learning beginning Monday.
EPISD@Home starts on Monday and every child is going to need a way to connect to their online classes as schools remain closed during the a COVID-19 pandemic.
The district is working to make iPads from across all schools available to elementary students specifically since take home computers is something older students already have access to.
“All of our 6th to 12th grade students already received a MacBook Air, so they already have that access at home and they’re prepared. Of course, our elementary school students are used to having the technology in the classroom even if they don’t get to take home a device,” said Melissa Martinez, an EPISD spokesperson.
For families that don’t have access to other computers having district issued iPads is helping keep everyone connected.
“A lot of these kids, and it’s not just kids from this area, kids from a bunch of other areas don’t have access to computers, so I think it’s a nice things to do to even out the playing field and control the chaos that is going on right now,” said Valentina Aldana, who was helping her little brother get his iPad at Putnam Elementary.
Not everyone should line up for a tablet.
EPISD is asking that anyone who has a laptop, desktop, or other capable computer at home to please use those, that way more iPads are available and we can make sure they go to the children who need them the most.
Families without internet at home will be given a portable hotspot once the latest order is delivered.
“If you have a high schooler, a secondary student you may already have one of those hotspots in your home and in the meantime we have some hotspots on order, again they won’t be here for a couple of weeks, so once those become available we will have more announcements to that,” Martinez said.
The important part is that every household needs an internet connection and a computer, even if they have to share, to make sure children get their education.
Until the hotspots arrive EPISD is urging families without internet at home to reach out to internet service providers that are offering free connections to eligible homes during the pandemic. You can find more information from EPISD about these programs by following this link.
iPad distribution will continue on Friday and Monday, the day classes start back up again.