PHARR, Texas – Vanguard Academy Superintendent Narciso Garcia says the Rio Grande Valley’s legislative delegation must make Internet connectivity for all students a top priority next session.
The Rio Grande Guardian hosted an in-depth conversation with the Dr. Garcia about Vanguard’s response to COVID-19. The charter school has won praise for the way it planned for the event, leading to national reporters calling for interviews.
Garcia ensured school classrooms were disinfected before the virus struck and ensured nourishing meals were distributed to students during the lockdown period. And the meals were not limited to students of Vanguard. All local students were able to pick up a meal.
The Zoom conversation focused heavily on the digital divide. Dr. Garcia acknowledged that a high percentage of students have been unable to access the Internet during the lockdown, even though Chromebook were issued. This is because Internet is not offered where they live. Hundreds of students have had to drive to Vanguard parking lots to take advantage of a wifi hot spot. This is not good enough, Garcia said. Which is why he is calling for state and national legislation to ensure all families have access to broadband.