Catholic Schools Lead in Virtual Learning

May 20, 2020

Article from our 2020 Spring Fulcrum News

“Who would have known I would do homeschool online?” said Ida, a local grandmother, raising her grandson Aahmir, a second-grader at Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School in White Center.

Before COVID-19 forced schools to go all online, Ida had never logged onto a computer.

“I said to the school, what is Google Classroom?” Ida recalled. Holy Family Bilingual’s office administrator, Jesika Santillan-Zapata, talked Ida through how to make sure Aahmir is on track with virtual school.

“We lead with equity and because of Fulcrum, school never stopped for our students. Our demographic is very similar to the public schools in White Center. When COVID-19 happened, the other schools said ‘we can’t’ do virtual school. Our Catholic school said ‘we can,’” shared principal Larkin Temme.

“We’re in constant communication with our students and families, and make sure to respond to each student to foster a dialogue,” said Katie Laskey, Holy Family’s middle school teacher-leader. “We do a check-in question every morning and a ‘mood meter’ talk about things other than the virus, even planning virtual spirit week. Our teachers are trying to respond to each student’s individual needs each day.”

“Thanks to Fulcrum supporters, students who would have otherwise been overlooked in the public system because of a lack of technology resources in their homes have not missed a day of learning with Catholic virtual school in the Archdiocese of Seattle,” said Tom O’Callahan.

Tom and Fulcrum Trustee Jan O’Callahan have worked closely with schools to update their internal internet access for the past five years through the Fulcrum IT Network Modernization Fund.

“Fulcrum helped a number of our Catholic schools with IT modernization which had them ready to send digital learning home with students. No matter what their socioeconomic status is, their education and school community support continues,” added Jan.

Meanwhile, second-grader Aahmir’s grandmother says she couldn’t be more grateful. “Our Catholic school knows that every family is different and they take the time to meet your needs.”