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Salesforce grants $20M to help schools reopen

(Photo Provided/Salesforce)

SAN FRANCISCO (Inside INdiana Business) – San Francisco-based Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) is launching for Schools, an effort to help schools make data-driven decisions on when and how to return to campus safely as well as facilitate communication between teachers and families. The company says it is granting $20 million to support five major public school districts across the U.S., including Indianapolis Public Schools.

The company is pledging a total of $600,000 to IPS to support distance learning and bridge the equity gap for students and educators. Salesforce says the funding will support professional development for educators, including racial equity training for teachers and a new principal residency, among other initiatives.

In addition to the district grants, Salesforce has committed $100,000 each to Chicago Public Schools and Indianapolis Public Schools’ COVID-19 relief funds.  

“Public schools are the backbone of our communities—the heart and soul of our neighborhoods,” said Ebony Beckwith, chief philanthropy officer at Salesforce. “As we reimagine education for a post-COVID-19, learn-anywhere world, we are committed to helping our schools build an equitable future for every student.”

Additional grant recipients include San Francisco Unified School District, Oakland Unified School District Chicago Public Schools, New York City Department of Education and Courageous Conversation Global Foundation.

Salesforce says for Schools provides administrators with technology needed to navigate the complexities of reopening and managing ongoing campus safety. The suites feature several components: the Workplace Command Center, a technology hub for school administrators; Wellness Check, giving schools the ability to assess if students, teachers and staff are able to return to campus; and Contact Tracing, which allows administrators to manually trace health relationships efficiently and privately by collecting data from individuals who are infected or potentially exposed to an infectious disease.

Additionally, Salesforce says its new Education Cloud for K-12, schools can support students and families no matter where they are. Communications and Family Engagement Tools enables schools to manage communications quickly and at scale on any channel or device. The Student Success Hub aims to help schools deliver equitable and holistic student support by connecting students with services such as food and mental health services to devices and tutoring, among others.