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TPS mom unhappy with lack of communication, technology within district

Thomas Edison Preparatory School in Tulsa
Posted at 6:20 PM, Sep 27, 2022

TULSA, Okla. — The mom of a Tulsa Public School student is looking for answers after waiting more than six weeks for school equipment her child needs. TPS students are supposed to be issued an iPad or Chromebook at the beginning of the school year. But nearly two months into the year, this mom said her daughter still has no Chromebook.

McKenna Hillshafer is a mom to three TPS students. Two of them are students at Edison Prep but she said one of her daughters was not set up to succeed and she said it’s because the district doesn’t have the technology.

“We would ask the kids, did you get your Chromebook today? No not today, maybe tomorrow — and that kept on and kept on and finally we could see that one of my daughter’s grades was suffering,” said Hillshafer.

Her daughter Genevieve is a 7th grader at Edison Prep. She said Genevieve is normally a straight “A” student but when an “F” showed up on her grade report, her mom knew something was up. She said she initially blamed her daughter for not getting her work done, but then later realized it’s a problem with the technology.

“For some kids that makes it hard to complete the assignment. And then you get home and you don’t have a Chromebook and you don’t have the assignment on paper and you don’t remember all the instructions,” said Hillshafer.

She said she started reaching out to anyone she could think of to help, starting with the Edison principal.

“He sent out a letter saying all the teachers are going to work with the students so that they can get things turned in other ways, either on paper or send them to the library to use those computers,” said Hillshafer.

But she said it never should have happened in the first place.

“This should have been something that at the beginning of school, was remedied. Somebody should’ve stepped in and said we can’t let all of two grades of kids go without for six weeks, seven weeks,” said Hillshafer.

After reaching out to numerous TPS staff, her mom said they set up Genevieve’s cellphone and family computer to allow her to turn in her work which bumped her grade back up to an “A” but Hillshafer said this can’t happen again next year.

2 News reached out to TPS and the district said all Chromebooks and chargers are supposed to be turned in at the end of the year. But they didn’t discover until the beginning of this school year, not all of them were. The district also said the delivery of chargers was slowed down because of supply chain issues but all Edison students should receive a Chromebook and charger by next week.

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