Fulcrum Grants Helped Prepare Schools for Distance Learning

April 2, 2020

Distance learning just became the new normal.

To slow the spread of COVID-19, all 73 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle have transitioned to remote learning. Students still attend lessons and turn in homework—they just do it from a laptop instead of a classroom.

“Never before have we all needed to rely on our technology more than in this time of COVID-19,” said Kristin Dixon, Superintendent for Catholic Schools. “While we referred to our technology as a tool in each school, we now use it as a platform to deliver quality education to all our students in grades pre-kindergarten through twelve. This is no small feat! Teachers stepped up in short order, and parents have collaborated.”

The Fulcrum Foundation’s past work over the last couple of years has been an integral part of moving schools to remote learning with relative ease in the past few weeks.

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 Modernization Fund. The foundation’s School Partnership Grant Program provided critical funds for the purchase of laptops and tablets.

“Our partnership with the Fulcrum Foundation provided devices essential to internet access and remote learning,” Kristin explained.

Through the generosity of Fulcrum donors, St. Brendan Catholic School, Bothell, put iPads in the hands of teachers who now use them to create remote lessons and St. Michael Catholic School, Snohomish, were able to provide 40 laptops to students.

Due in no small part to Fulcrum’s grants, Catholic students are now on week three of remote learning and continue to receive excellent, faith-filled education from the comfort of their own homes.

“What does this look like?” Kristin said. “Students post homework assignments, and interact with one another and their teachers through online conferencing. Pastors have even offered online school masses for their students.”

“Thank you, Fulcrum Foundation donors,” Kristin added. “You have positioned us to take this giant step forward for all!”