School-issued tablets causing frustration for some parents

School issued tablets causing frustration for some parents

AURORA, IN (FOX19) - Tablet or textbook? These days, most school districts use both as a part of their curriculum and many students are even issued tablets to complete their homework on. But a few parents in one Indiana school district say their kids are falling behind because their households are without internet.

Students taking notes with tablets is the technological equivalent of them putting pen to paper except for one difference, they don't need an internet connection to use a notebook.

"The school said if we didn't have internet at home, kids could download their homework at school and after they download it at school they could bring it home so the kids can do their homework but that isn't working," said Cristen Arauz, the mother of a 6th grader at Aurora Elementary School in Aurora, Indiana.

Last week, Arauz's son was issued a Chromebook by the school to complete assignments in the classroom and at home. Cristen says since they don't have internet at their house, her son can't do his homework at home so he's being forced to do it at school.

"It says on a paper sent home that he had to report to workroom at recess and workroom is considered detention. He didn't show up for workroom and I don't blame him. Do you? He's being punished for something he can't control," Cristen said.

Another parent, Donald Ivy, says his daughter is facing similar setbacks at the school. "She's being told that she's going to have to stay back from recess to finish this homework when she's done everything that she's supposed to do," Ivy said.

FOX19 NOW reached out to the principal at Aurora Elementary School to see if some students were really being required to spend recess completing assignments. The principal released a statement saying, "No student there has received any consequence for not having the internet at home."

The statement also says, "...students are given ample opportunities to download assignments before leaving school so they can complete assignments at home."

While some parents contest this, school administrators ask them to have patience as they make the transition from textbooks to technology.

The full statement from the school reads as follows:

"This is the first year for our 5th and 6th grade students to use Chromebook. We are not using them for 100% of the work completed in the classroom or at home. We are aware that 16 students out of 165 do not have internet service at home. Those students are given ample opportunities to download any assignments before leaving school so they can complete assignments at home. No student at Aurora Elementary School has received any consequence for not having internet service at home. Teachers are not permitted to give mandatory assignments that require internet access at home. As stated, we are also using paper/pencil for assignments. Therefore, our current homework policy stands for any paper/pencil assignment."

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