NEW HAVEN, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – The East Allen County Schools (EACS) district was handing out iPads to students at New Haven High School, but the long lines left many people questioning the district's planning.
Parents and students picking up their iPads at New Haven HS found themselves waiting in line a lot longer than expected.
EACS administrators say it was only supposed to take an hour and a half, but parents say they were waiting as long as two and half hours. New Haven HS parent, Starr Golden says she only had to wait an hour an a half, but is still frustrated.
“I think that with registration at least being two days, that they should've pre-planned this out a lot better,” Golden said. “There's people that work, I mean there's kids that are standing here in lines, moms with strollers. I think it's a little ridiculous.”
iPad pick-up was scheduled between 6 – 8 p.m. Administrators say they knew they weren't going get everyone through on time, but didn't extend the pick-up days or times.
“We knew in that time that we wouldn’t get everybody through. We had some issues with payment plans and getting everybody through quick enough,” said Chris Hissong, Executive Director of EACS Management. “We made some revisions and things seem to be picking up much faster.”
Students were scheduled to pick up the new technology at different times according to their last names, but it didn’t work out the way NHHS had hoped.
“We hoped that by having everyone staggered, starting at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30, we could get them all through, unfortunately we’re limited here by only having one gym and one cafeteria.”
Hissong says other high schools in the district, like Heritage, Leo and Woodlan, have multiple gyms and cafeterias which will enable more students to get their iPads at a time. Woodlan students received their iPads last week, and Leo High School on Monday night. Heritage students are scheduled to pick theirs up on Wednesday, and the Paul Harding attendance area will receive theirs on Thursday.
Although parents, like Golden, are excited about their students having iPads, They say after the wait, they don't know if they're really worth it. Parents say the effort involved with the iPads should've been put toward updating the schools.
“When I came to register my son, they said there wasn’t enough lockers, that the school was over-populated, yet they’re handing out these iPads and having parents pay $30 for each iPad. I just don’t agree with it. I think there should’ve been better planning and a better strategy involved with it,” said Golden.
Parents were required to pay a $30 insurance fee. Hissong says there will also be a $100 deductible the first time a student iPad is damaged. As for the comparing the iPads to the district’s Capital Project, which was voted down on the May Primary ballot, he says the money used for iPads is separate from updating the schools.
“They come out of different accounts. What we’re using is some of our technology money to help pay for iPads and cover those costs. Yes, Capital Projects does help fund our technology, but our technology budget hasn’t changed for the past two or three years and we’re not planning on changing it. So really, it’s a totally different fund that we’re using,” Hissong said.
In response to Tuesday night’s uproar, New Haven principal Greg Mohler says he apologizes if anyone is upset about the wait. However, they were able to pass out over 1,000 iPads, and got all 3,000 parents and students through by 9 p.m.
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