Fulcrum Programs Enrich the Entire Catholic School Community

October 10, 2021

Student from St. Rose school and diagram of Fulcrum programs working together

The Programs Work Together

Fulcrum was established to ensure that the excellent, 150-year-old Catholic school system in Seattle receives the financial support it needs to continue its legacy of a Christ-centered education, providing students with academic rigor and a strong moral compass throughout their lives.

By funding students, schools, and educators, Fulcrum begins a cycle of support that builds up every piece of a school community. Supporting students helps families afford Catholic education, bringing more diverse voices into each school community. Supporting schools allows each community to improve curriculum and complete capital projects, giving students and educators the tools they need to succeed. Supporting educators means providing teachers with leadership training which, in turn, supports the students and staff at each school.

This cycle of success creates a promising future for Catholic education, all thanks to our incredible school communities and the support of Fulcrum donors!

Collaborating during the unprecedented. In the following pages, we will show you how Fulcrum programs build vibrant communities of students, families, and educators. The impact of Fulcrum donors is evident across the breadth of archdiocesan schools—from rural communities to urban, from large to small. St. Rose School in Longview and St. Philomena Catholic School in Des Moines are home to two different school communities, but both exemplify the power of Fulcrum partnership with archdiocesan schools.

Principals Kristin Silva from St. Rose and Steve Morissette from St. Philomena tell us in their own words exactly how the different Fulcrum programs have strengthened each of their particular communities.

Kristin Silva
Kristin Silva began teaching at St. Rose School in Longview in 2007. She remained at St. Rose throughout the next 13 years and began her tenure as principal in 2020, taking over leadership of the school community in the midst of a global pandemic.

KS: “Without the aid of the Fulcrum Foundation, many students would not have the opportunity to remain at St. Rose. Our goal is to continue to provide access to a quality Catholic education in Cowlitz County and we could not accomplish this without the support and generosity of the Fulcrum Foundation.”

Steve Morissette
Dr. Steve Morissette joined the St. Philomena Catholic School community in Des Moines in 2010. He has taught at several schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle, including St. Vincent de Paul School in Federal Way, Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School in Seattle, and All Saints School in Puyallup and Fife.

SM: “Fulcrum is the best gift we as Catholic schools have in this archdiocese. They provide support in so many ways, but most importantly, they help families who truly want their children to have a Catholic education. They help all children who attend our schools, no matter their ethnic background and their religious background. They have been a beacon of equity and accessibility for years. Fulcrum has developed into a full-fledged, multi-faceted support system for Catholic schools, not one that just provides tuition assistance grants. They truly are the foundation for all Catholic schools.”


SUPPORTING EDUCATORS

Leadership Grants

KS: “Last year, I accepted the position of principal knowing that I would have to go back to school to receive both my Master’s in Educational Leadership and my principal certification. Over the past year, the Fulcrum Leadership Grant has funded and supported me along this journey. Completing my principal certification in May from Saint Martin’s University, I am grateful for this leadership grant and the help it provided to offset the cost of returning to school. I am currently two classes away from completing my Master’s in Educational Leadership and I am grateful that Fulcrum once again renewed their commitment to support this part of my educational journey.”


SUPPORTING SCHOOLS

Early Childhood Education Grant Program

SM: "Early childhood programs offer students the opportunity to get acclimated into the school at an early age. They learn the traditions of both the school and the Church. They provide the students with a solid academic and religious foundation. The early childhood program provides the building blocks for a Catholic school. Students feel welcomed, confident, and ready to go into kindergarten. We have found students who come from a strong early childhood program do much better in kindergarten and are stronger students. Our retention rate for our pre-k to kindergarten program over the last seven years has been 95% or above. We are using our ECE grant to purchase an interactive whiteboard for our pre-k program. This will allow the pre-k teacher a multitude of opportunities to further strengthen the pre-k program. It will also give additional learning opportunities for the students.”

KS: “Our early childhood program is imperative to our school since it feeds into our K-8 program. Having a solid foundation of faith and academics starting in preschool helps us build relationships with parents and families that we hope will last for years to come. With the help of the ECE grant, we were able to purchase a light and water table for several pre-k classrooms. This will aid in providing additional centers and enrichment activities for the students, as well as make early literacy fun and engaging for all students.”

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund

SM: “St. Philomena School used our first COVID grant to help with operating costs and tuition expenses. Due to the pandemic and our remote learning model, our pastor and school commission decided that we should offer a 25% discount in tuition for our families. They felt it was morally the right thing to do to help out our families. We had 60 families accept the tuition discount. This helped out our families, but also was a factor in our overall budget. The second COVID grant was used to purchase Chromebooks and helped us reach our goal of 1:1 technology for all of our students. The COVID grant was a godsend.”

KS: “St Rose used our COVID-19 relief grants for a variety of things. We used it to purchase Swivl cameras for hybrid learning. In addition, we used the grant to support families who needed extra assistance to stay in our community. We also used it to purchase cleaning and sanitizing supplies like new sanitizing stations throughout the school, face shields and masks, and disinfecting wipes for all classrooms. We also used some of our grant to pay for extra deep cleanings from an outside company. Without this fund, we would have lost many families due to their inability to pay tuition. The sanitizing supplies cost thousands of dollars that Fulcrum graciously covered for us.”

School Partnership Grants

KS: “This year, we used our School Partnership Grant to rekey our entire school building. We have made a concerted effort in the past few years to work on our all-school safety plan, but our keys have not been changed for 15 years. Rekeying the school allowed us to control who was in the building and when they come and go. With our school being used by outside groups and the greater community, this was a necessity for the safety of our school.”

Building Diversity and Inclusion Grants

KS: “Living in a rural community, our students are not exposed to much diversity, be it skin color, language, etc. St. Rose chose to use these funds to build a diverse library that all students would be represented in. As a staff, we will be doing a book study on The Blind Spot and the implicit biases we inherently have. In addition, we will be using the funds to bring in culturally diverse programs at assemblies next year for our students. This is important enrichment for our students as we prepare them to be world leaders, we need to expose them to the world and all it has to offer.”


SUPPORTING STUDENTS

Tuition Assistance Grants

KS: "Receiving tuition assistance at St. Rose helped the community to thrive. Receiving tuition from outside sources plays a major role in how we continue to be able to keep our doors open. Our donations from the auction, our Annual Appeal, and generous benefactors only go so far and outside supporters like Fulcrum help us fill those gaps and allow us to continue to grow our school community.”

SM: “We had more families apply for tuition assistance than I have ever seen at St. Philomena School. We typically help around 80 families with some form of tuition assistance, last year we helped 98 families! The Fulcrum grants were a lifesaver because they allowed us to use our other financial resources to help our families that requested financial aid. Families need additional help to send their children to Catholic schools. Most Catholic schools have in-house tuition assistance opportunities for them, but it is not always enough. We rely on Fulcrum to help cover the gap; we would be truly lost without them.”