CTE looks to provide in-person experience despite remote year

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Arjun Shatkin

With the hands-on nature of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) department, teachers have been thinking all summer long and even back in March about how to integrate some level of in-person learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CTE department head Kathleen Duff.

“It’ll be a slow start, but I have no doubt that we’ll figure something out in one way or another,” Duff said. “If we get half of the kids in one week and another half the other week, I have no doubt that will create some opportunities for them to get in there and get their hands on the equipment.”

The ability for teachers to run Zoom classes from the classrooms is one change in distance learning from last spring. The change is a good way for freshmen and new students to gain familiarity with the space and equipment they would be working around. Additionally, teachers will be able to do demonstrations with the equipment they need from their classroom, according to Duff.

“Everybody will be remote and they’ll be doing the Zoom classes, but they’ll have activities that they’ll be assigned,” said Duff. “Once everybody’s schedule has had a couple weeks to be in there running and we’ve worked out kinks, then we can figure out ways to do what we call in-person field trips or reverse field trips.”

According to Duff, “in-person field trips” would take place in North classrooms, and give students the opportunity to gain hands-on, authentic experience with course material. The specifics of this initiative are not set in stone, and Duff said that it is something that CTE teachers and staff are keeping in the back of their minds.

“We need to figure out logistics, busing, and accessibility for everybody to make sure it’s fair for all and equitable,” said Duff. “It depends upon the needs of the teacher as well as the ability of the students to get there.”