Saturday, May 2, 2020

Remote Career-Technical School in the COVID-19 Pandemic - The Atlantic

Remote Career-Technical School in the COVID-19 Pandemic - The Atlantic

Shop Class, Over Zoom
How one career and technical high school is going remote

Editor’s Note: This story is the 16th in our series “On Teaching,” which aims to collect the wisdom and knowledge of veteran educators. As the coronavirus pandemic has forced the majority of American students to learn at home or remotely, we’re asking some of the country’s most experienced and accomplished teachers to share their advice and identify their students’ most urgent needs.

Wearing a mask and heavy work gloves, and keeping at least six feet away from passersby, Amani Benouardia—a freshman at Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School, a public high school in Massachusetts known as Essex Tech—spent a recent afternoon picking up litter on her street. Her tally included 14 plastic water bottles, 26 bottle caps, and 263 cigarette butts.
Benouardia is in Essex Tech’s environmental-science-and-technology program, which prepares students for careers in fields including wastewater management, ocean resource policy, and wildlife biology. She was supposed to take a school trip to the coast to look for shoreline debris. But with that canceled, Benouardia and her classmates did sweeps across their own neighborhoods, collecting and analyzing trash that could hurt marine life if it travels from storm drains to waterways.

This is career and technical education, or CTE, at a distance. Unlike vocational high schools of previous generations, where students learning trades were split off from their college-going peers, Massachusetts’s CTE schools give academics and workforce preparation equal weight. The 1,300 students at Essex Tech, one of the state’s 56 vocational and technical programs, alternate every two weeks between academics—including the options of honors and Advanced Placement classes—and training in a wide range of professions, such as plumbing, sustainable horticulture, and veterinary science. The school fielded about 1,400 applications for 460 seats in the upcoming freshman class.
At the sprawling campus in Danvers, 20 or so miles north of Boston, Essex Tech students operate large-scale manufacturing equipment, care for the school’s horses and other livestock, raise endangered turtles and brook trout for eventual release into the CONTINUE READING: Remote Career-Technical School in the COVID-19 Pandemic - The Atlantic