The sun hasn’t yet risen when the first children arrive.
Most are middle and high school students, beginning the bleary-eyed walk just after 6 a.m. Then come the youngsters, the elementary school children, accompanied by mothers and fathers and tías and tíos.
The families walk through the opening in the wall, running indefinitely in either direction, and up to a small patio and the Columbus Port of Entry.
The parents help their students slip on backpacks, zip up coats and plant kisses on little cheeks, then they send their children off to the United States of America.
School district staff are not allowed to cross into Mexico for work, and phones are a “hit or miss” with Palomas parents, Chavez said. School staff often aren’t notified when phone numbers change, and email is out of the question while Internet penetration remains slim across the border.
Skype helps fill that communication gap.
Columbus Elementary dual-language teacher Ricardo Gutierrez owns a restaurant in Palomas. So last May, the school held a conference with parents at his restaurant via video chat. About 80 Palomas families gathered around a TV for the one-hour group meeting.
The school expanded the technology further in January, holding individual 10-minute parent-teacher conferences via Skype. Educators filled more than 80 parents in on their students’ behavior, progress, homework and more.
Read the whole article and see more photos here: New Technology Bridges US-Mexico Border at Columbus School - Las Cruces Sun-News