Published on August 19th, 2020 📆 | 5098 Views ⚑0
Socorro ISD superintendent addresses technology needs, student safety
Few school districts in Texas understand growing pains better than Socorro Independent School District.
Its 47,500 students packed into 49 schools already makes it the 22nd largest school district in the entire state.
With the new school year now underway and operating exclusively online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS4 On Your Side asked Socorro ISD superintendent Dr. Jose Espinoza about the difficulties of ensuring all students have the technology they need.
“It’s a challenge but we’ve given out an electronic device, or a hotspot, to the vast majority of our families,” said Espinoza. “But those students, those families, who when we start the year don’t have an electronic device, for some reason, we’re going to make sure that at the start of the year they will get an electronic device.”
According to Socorro ISD chief academic officer Lucia Borrego, SISD ordered more than 12,000 laptops two months ago for just its elementary and middle school students. Due to a country-wide backlog, some of those laptops still have not arrived but Borrego believes they will be in the hands of students by the end of August.
CBS4 also asked Espinoza about the possibility that students could return to campus before there is a proven vaccine for COVID-19. He admits there will be many people involved in that decision, including El Paso’s Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza and the SISD Board of Trustees. In meantime, Espinoza is pleading with El Pasoans to do what they can to slow the spread of the virus.
“I urge our community that we need to do our part to flatten this curve or else school are never going to open full-time,” said Espinoza. “That is my goal. To have them open full-time but, more importantly, we will not open them up full-time until it’s safe to do so.”
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