Internet access, requirements for Mathews students addressed at school board meeting

Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Jul 24, 2013 - 02:15 PM

Several members of a group of Mathews residents concerned about increasing requirements for internet access to complete homework assignments spoke to the county school board at its July 16 meeting, which was held in the Mathews High School media center.

Group members MaryLou Sterling, Judy Rowe, Eunice Hyer and Gaylen Davis submitted a letter to the school board prior to the meeting, which outlined their position on the internet usage requirements. After hearing from the group, the school board decided to place the item on its August agenda to hear from a professional on the matter and discuss it more in depth.

According to the letter, group members understand that the computer is a present reality and that life and work in the future will require considerable internet literacy. "But," the letter continued, "the present framework which sends second graders home with online work that affects grades raises serious questions."

The group cited a recent survey that was conducted showing that 30 percent of school children in Mathews County do not have access at home to the internet.

"Children who lack the means to achieve success in school are being denied equal opportunity in life and are not competing on a level playing field," the letter stated.

Though group members stated that strides have been made to lessen the impact of these new demands, it also stated that the school board has a responsibility to all the children in county schools.