Uplift Education answers the heavy question evoked by the Coronavirus outbreak
Release Date: 3/23/2020
While the coronavirus has created uncertainty for communities, Uplift continues to pay all staff and offer comprehensive resources for staff, families, and students.
Dallas, TX – For decades, Uplift Education has demonstrated inspirational leadership in the Dallas-Fort Worth community by offering world class education and resources to its student of any ethnicity or socio-economic background. Now faced with an enduring obstacle, Uplift is finding resolve through resilient leadership and unassailable commitment to its students.
Since the events of Covid-19 have unfolded, Uplift has not only broken down the isolation wall that the coronavirus has established in communities across the DFW Metroplex, but the nonprofit organization has doubled down on its mission to provide a college and career focused education by remotely providing learning and meal services while its staff and students remain at home.
As the Uplift school system is supporting national and local efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus and keeping schools closed, CEO of Uplift Education, Yasmin Bhatia, is ensuring that all staff will continue to be paid. The network of support the organization has built is also shining through during this difficult time, with health-related assistance and social counselors remaining available for staff and student use.
Across the country, community members have expressed concern over school meals, namely because lunch program meals are a vital source of nutrition for many children. With awareness of this growing national issue, Uplift leaders are ensuring that school closures don’t inhibit the needs of their students; the organization has transformed five of its central locations for families to pick up “to go” breakfast and lunches, and last week the network served 8,848 meals to its students. In letters to staff and Uplift families, Bhatia has urged that the organization is striving to meet the holistic needs of Uplift students.
In demonstration of the Uplift mission to inspire a life-long love of learning in students, Uplift has made online learning and academic enrichment available to its students through video lessons presented by network teachers. Uplift students watched more than 124,000 hours of instructional video last week. Moreover, over 3,000 Chromebooks and graphing calculators have been loaned out to students so they can have access to free educational activities and lessons posted by teachers.
Uplift prides itself on providing personalized learning plans for students. To that end, the network is exploring ways to expand the online learning experience. They are researching options for increased interaction between students and teachers through virtual classrooms and diversified academic offerings, and plan to implement these upgrades soon. Uplift students will continue to receive an education that prepares them for college, career, and life.
In addition, to the needs of students and families, Uplift is equally prioritizing the needs of its staff throughout the network. In November, Uplift became the first school system in America to hire a Chief Well-Being Officer who not only supports the well-being and social and emotional learning needs of students but who equally focuses on supporting the adults on the front lines of teaching and learning. As part of Uplift’s COVID-19 response, the Well-Being team is actively offering counseling and health services support to staff as well as sharing regular practices on how staff can take care of themselves in the midst of the uncertainly brought about by the pandemic.
The Uplift Road to College and Careers team has been working tirelessly to connect ALL of the network’s alumni to the resources they need at this time. Uplift offered support in order to get alumni home safely, as well as additional support during their time back home. The network also launched an alumni job board to help any alumni who need to find a job during this time and is offering career coaching for alumni. In addition, the College Access Team is reaching out to the network’s college partners and to colleges with Uplift alumni to understand more about the resources available for students and how those schools are supporting those students.
While all Uplift Education schools are being thoroughly sanitized and readied for eventual reopening, Uplift Education’s focused response to the COVID-19 pandemic ensures that staff and students are put first with the support they need.
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Uplift Education is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the lives of teachers, families, and, most importantly, students. With a network of 43 college preparatory, public charter schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Uplift offers students of any background the powerful chance to study within a multidisciplinary curriculum and prepare for the college career they deserve. Uplift is the largest International Baccalaureate district in Texas and the #2 IB district in the nation because of the number of holistic extracurricular and educational programs. The incredible educators in the Uplift network guide and teach nearly 20,000 students in Pre-K- 12th grades, with the majority being low-income and minority students who will be the first in their family to attend college. For more information Uplift’s mission and their blind lottery selection system, visit uplifteducation.org or facebook.com/uplifteducation.
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