The Carlsbad Municipal School District is receiving $100,000 from ExxonMobil to support online education in response to unprecedented circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funding will help provide technology and internet connectivity to low income students who are living in remote locations with limited access to the internet.
To support the need for social distancing to minimize the impact of COVID-19, New Mexico made the difficult decision on March 16 to close school buildings to students for the remainder of the school year. The closure impacts 7,000 students in 14 schools in the district.
“ExxonMobil is committed to doing our part to support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Staale Gjervik, senior vice president at ExxonMobil Upstream Oil and Gas Company and president of XTO Energy. “We have long supported initiatives designed to support students and teachers and know that these are not easy times for many families or teachers.”
In a short amount of time, teachers have been asked to modify their plans and develop new lessons that can be presented to their students remotely. Gjervik said that ExxonMobil’s goal is to help the school district and ensure students maintain their studies with as minimal disruption as possible.
“Carlsbad’s schools and teachers need support and encouragement during these difficult times,” Gjervik said. “We hope our contribution will help facilitate the transition to online learning during this period and ease the burden on families and the schools.”
The Carlsbad Municipal School District has developed a Continuous Learning Plan for the remainder of the year and plans to submit it to the Public Education Department by April 6, 2020. The plan will be shared with the community as soon as it is complete and ready to be deployed.
“We have been charged with moving to a distance-based education model in a very short period of time. Assistance from ExxonMobil is helping to make this transition successful. The district appreciates and looks forward to the continuing relationship with ExxonMobil in service to our students." said Dr. Gerry Washburn, superintendent of The Carlsbad Municipal Schools.
In addition to donations to the Carlsbad Municipal School District and other community groups, ExxonMobil is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by maximizing production of products such as isopropyl alcohol, a key ingredient in hand sanitizer, and polypropylene, used to make protective equipment for health care workers and first responders.
ExxonMobil is also working with the Global Center for Medical Innovation to design and support the manufacturing of reusable shields and masks for health care workers.
ExxonMobil is a founding member of the Permian Strategic Partnership, an alliance of 19 energy companies operating in the Permian Basin, working in partnership with community leaders to address public education, healthcare, housing, roads and workforce development. In 2018, ExxonMobil contributed nearly $35 million to higher education, medical care, environmental research and arts and civic organizations in Texas and New Mexico.