Fulcrum Donors Make All the Difference in Archdiocesan Schools

August 28, 2020

Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle asked for help in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fulcrum’s donors stepped up.

The first two rounds of aid from Fulcrum’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund were awarded in August, granting over $899,000 in essential funding to 16 archdiocesan schools for tuition assistance, new equipment, and creating safe classroom spaces. More schools are already working on their applications.

The COVID-19 Fund will help schools prepare for an entirely new kind of school year.

“We’re starting the school year in full remote mode for K-8 students,” said Principal Anton Kramer of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School. “Our preschool and pre-K are starting in person. We’ve learned all the guidelines. We’re following lots of safety precautions, like rethinking physical areas, spreading kids out, and getting extra PPE.”

“It has been the most unusual summer of my twenty-year career in education,” Anton added.

Chris Gavin, a veteran principal of Saint Patrick Catholic School, agreed. “We have been asked to have multiple plans for how to begin school. I can’t plan for remote learning without thinking about what the implications are for when I’m allowed to phase kids back into the school building.”

Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Patrick were some of the first schools to receive aid from the COVID-19 Fund and the much-needed grant money is being put to good use.

“We’re upgrading the ability of our teachers to access students online,” Anton explained. “We’re replacing aging hardware and equipment. We’re also making sure that students have the devices they need. Just about half of our families are requesting to check out school Chromebooks, so we need to make sure we have enough of those devices.”

Chris said his school also purchased new technology—including Swivl and document cameras—and used some of Fulcrum’s funding to train his teachers to become even more effective instructors during remote learning. Other portions of the grant will be used to create safer classroom spaces, as per the health department’s guidelines.

“The Fulcrum money was a generous and timely gift that allowed us to become a stronger remote school while giving us the flexibility for when kids can come back to us on campus,” Chris said. “I am pretty sure I would not be able to have kids eventually coming back if I didn’t have access to these funds.”

“In this time of unknowns and great need, all the support we get goes to meet the needs of our community, especially those that are more on the margins,” said Anton. “That’s such a strong testament to our Catholic faith, as well as a true statement of our community of schools supporting all learners. Thank you!”

Watch an interview with Principal Anton Kramer of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School and Kristin Moore, the Fulcrum-funded director of marketing and enrollment for OCS, as they talk about COVID-19, the new school year, and how Fulcrum donors have made all the difference for Catholic schools!