Reset and Restart for Career-Technical Education

Reset and Restart for Career-Technical Education

As schools plan for the 2020-2021 school year, the delivery of career-technical education includes unique circumstances. During this critical time, career-technical education programs are challenged to keep students, their families and community safe, while at the same time allowing students to reach their education and career goals. So that schools may continue providing high-quality career-technical education, guidance is provided in this document to address challenges specifically faced by career-technical programs in Joint Vocational School Districts, compact school districts, comprehensive school districts, community schools and satellite schools. This webpage is meant to supplement the information provided by the Ohio Department of Education in the Reset and Restart Education Planning Guide for Ohio Schools and Districts and the Ohio Department of Health in the Health and Prevention Guidelines.
 
Approximately 25% of Ohio’s secondary students participate in career-technical education programs. Collaboration between all education partners is key to the successful continuation of career-technical education programming in Joint Vocational School Districts and compact and comprehensive districts. 
 
Students in career-technical education programs are given real-world examples to help them make connections to what they learn in academic classes and are provided the opportunity to work in a team, which is a crucial element of any career. COVID-19 school-building closures during the 2019-2020 school year impacted the ability of career-technical education students to complete hands-on training on specialized equipment, work-based learning experiences and core content hours needed to earn required credentials in career fields. Changes in transportation, scheduling, safety measures and attendance policies all will impact the delivery of career-technical education programming. Addressing these issues among education partners will help students and schools transition into the next school year.
 
This document is a product of the collaboration between the Department and Ohio’s career-technical education community, including the Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education, Ohio Association of Comprehensive and Compact Career-Technical Schools, Ohio Association of Career-Technical Superintendents, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County, Millstream Career Center, West Shore Career-Technical District and Great Oaks Career Campuses. It is in this spirit of cooperation that Ohio’s partners in education stand poised to plan for the 2020-2021 academic school year.


Responsible RestartOhio Sector Specific Operating Requirements and Career-Technical Education Program Alignment

The Ohio Department of Health posted resource documents including sector-specific operating requirements under Responsible RestartOhio. Responsible RestartOhio is about protecting the health of employees, customers and their families; supporting community efforts to control the spread of the virus and leading in responsibly getting Ohio back to work. Career-technical education programs should be aware of these sector-specific operating requirements when considering safety protocols for lab instruction, implementing school-based enterprises or advising students of expectations prior to starting assigned placements with business and industry. The Department recommends incorporating the sector-specific requirements wherever appropriate in classrooms and labs while taking into consideration the Ohio Department of Health guidance. Instructors may also want to consult state licensing agencies and national industry-specific guidelines for additional information and instructions. Below please find the sector-specific operating requirements as outlined by the Ohio Department of Health.

Agricultural and Environmental Systems


Arts and Communication


Business and Administrative Services

 

Construction Technologies


Education and Training

 

Engineering and Science Technologies


Family and Consumer Sciences


Finance


Health Science


Hospitality and Tourism


Human Services


Information Technology


Law and Public Safety


Manufacturing


Marketing


Transportation Systems


Classroom and Lab Instruction

Career-technical education classrooms look and operate differently from typical academic classrooms. The classrooms are often labs where groups of students gather around equipment or tables to perform tasks together or even practice on each other to gain hands-on knowledge. Schools should consult the considerations  in the Ohio Department of Health’s Responsible RestartOhio Sector Specific Operating Requirements and Health and Prevention Guidance for reopening schools to create safe career-technical education classrooms and labs. Schools should consult their local health departments for specific local requirements.


Return-to-School Considerations for Local Career-Technical Education Planning

  • Ensure minimum of six feet between students and instructors. If this is not possible, ensure students are adequately protected with barriers and/or appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • Note on Alternatives: Plexiglass, corrugated plastic or other dividers may be used in classrooms and other spaces as an alternative to distancing and face coverings when students are working alone or in a place that can be isolated using such dividers. Any alternative measure should be implemented with the approval of the local health department.
  • Workstations and equipment should be sanitized between classes and labs and at the end of each day.
  • Students should be assigned their own industry-specific protective equipment, materials, tools, etc.
  • Students and instructors are encouraged to wear facial coverings. Refer to the Ohio Department of Health guidance for specific instances when facial coverings may not be required.  Continue to reinforce good hygiene practices to stop the spread of germs, including covering sneezes and coughs and handwashing.
    • Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when visibly soiled, before eating and after using the restroom and when coming in from outside.
    • Consider providing hand sanitizer (60% to 95% alcohol based) in high traffic areas including entrances to buildings and classrooms and encouraging it’s use when entering or exiting that area.
  • Some parents and guardians may not feel comfortable sending students to school. Depending on the program and at the discretion of the school, a school may make available materials and other supplies to complete labs for students not returning to the school building due to health and safety concerns.


Additional Considerations

  • Contact employer partners to identify opportunities for students to complete work-based learning hours or industry-mentored projects.
  • Provide remote learning for non-lab-based or theoretical instruction and other activities whenever possible so face-to-face instruction can focus on mastery of technical skills.
  • Develop a remote education plan for students remaining at home and not attending classes or labs in the school-building.
  • Consider implementing a competency-based education model for career-technical courses.
    • Implement competency tests at the beginning of the school year to assess prior learning to inform instruction strategies and interventions.
  • Career plans, student success plans, Section 504 Plans and Individualized Education Program (IEP) requirements for students should be reviewed and implemented.


Resources


Work-Based Learning

Work-based learning experiences are conducted at a work site during or after school. They are designed to provide authentic learning experiences to students that link academic, technical and professional skills. Business and education partners work together to evaluate and supervise the experience, which must be documented with training or learning plans and evaluation forms.


Return-to-School Considerations for Local Career-Technical Education Planning

  • Districts should collaborate with parents and/or caregivers and employers to determine the appropriate placement for students in work-based learning experiences.
  • Special consideration should be given to ensure students’ safety, attentiveness to social distancing and other guidelines suitable for the operation of the business at the time of the experience.
  • Instructors, employers and students should revisit the established learning agreement to discuss methods of delivery or implement remote approaches to working that may allow students to continue work-based learning in a changing environment. 
  • When a program is embedded in an off-site business with government restrictions that limit or eliminate student participation due to COVID-19, such as a skilled nursing facility or early childcare center, an alternative assignment should be provided with consideration given to requirements for earning an industry-recognized credential (certification or state license).
    • Students should be instructed to follow the safety protocols set by the internship/apprenticeship/placement business.
  • Students should report any violations of safety protocols immediately to the students' site supervisor and career-technical education instructor.
  • When a student refuses to wear or is unable to wear personal protective equipment because of physical or behavioral health concerns, an alternative assignment should be provided with consideration given to requirements for earning an industry-recognized credential (certification or state license).
  • Due to economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19, some students must seek gainful employment to help supplement family income. Schools should develop tailored education plans for students with approved work permits who cannot access remote learning during the school day due to work schedules.


Additional Considerations

  • Work-based learning is a student-led, instructor and employer co-supervised experience that results in measurable outcomes aligned with career field technical content standards. It can be used as an instructional strategy to measure student competency. Districts using a staggered schedule may incorporate work-based learning experiences to supplement and enhance classroom or lab instruction when the student is not reporting to the career-technical education classroom daily.
  • If face-to-face check-ins are not possible, virtual meetings, phone calls and written or electronically prepared evaluations between the instructor and employer are appropriate ways to monitor the experience. Instructors may set aside additional time (in-person or through virtual means) to work with students for work-based learning development, coaching and feedback.


Resources


Industry-Recognized Credentials

Many industry-recognized credential preparation programs require hands-on lab instruction that cannot be duplicated through remote learning. In some cases, job placement, lab or experiential learning hours are a requirement for earning an industry-recognized credential. Remote learning, staggered class/lab schedules and access to work-based learning sites and pre-apprenticeship opportunities limit students’ abilities to meet required training hours and create barriers to obtaining industry-recognized credentials.


Return-to-School Considerations for Local Career-Technical Education Planning

  • Collaborate with parents and/or caregivers and employers to determine appropriate industry-recognized credentials.
  • When minimum training hours cannot be met due to government restrictions that limit student participation due to COVID-19, an alternative assignment should be provided.
  • If students cannot complete required hours due to limited access to school lab equipment and instruction because of split scheduling or alternating days, face-to-face instruction should concentrate on mastery of performance skills while theory and knowledge competencies are reserved for the remote learning environment.
  • Review state certification and license agency websites for the most current testing location information, policies and procedures and suspensions to state law.
    • If students cannot complete required hours for a state certification because of limited access to lab instruction time or work-based learning experiences, schools should contact the Department of Education for assistance in working with the credentialing agency or vendor.


Additional consideratons

  • Whenever possible, use credential providers that offer online course modules and remote proctoring of credential assessments.


Resources


School-Based Enterprises

A school-based enterprise is an entrepreneurial operation in a school setting that provides goods or services to meet the needs of the market. The enterprise is managed and operated by students as hands-on learning laboratories that integrate career-technical education career field specific technical content standards. Often school-based enterprises provide services to customers from the community in the school building. Schools should consult the Responsible RestartOhio Sector Specific Operating Requirements, Ohio Department of Health guidance and work with their local health departments to protect the health of students, school staff, customers and their families.
 

Return-to-School Considerations for Local Career-Technical Education Planning

  • Students and instructors are encouraged to wear facial coverings. Refer to the Ohio Department of Health's guidance for specific instances when facial coverings may not be required. When a student is unable to wear personal protective equipment, consider placing the student in a position where they perform duties at least six feet in distance from their peers or with barriers in place.
  • Students should practice good hygiene habits to stop the spread of germs, including covering sneezes and coughs, and handwashing.
    • Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when visibly soiled, before eating, after using the restroom and when coming in from outside.
    • Consider providing hand sanitizer (60% to 95% alcohol based) in high traffic areas including entrances to buildings and classrooms and encouraging it’s use when entering or exiting that area.
  • Ensure minimum of six feet between students and customers. If not possible, ensure students are adequately protected with barriers and/or appropriate personal protective equipment.
    • Note on Alternatives: Plexiglass, corrugated plastic or other dividers may be used in classrooms and other spaces as an alternative to distancing and face coverings when students are working alone or in a place that can be isolated using such dividers. Any alternative measure should be implemented with the approval of the local health department. Communicate to customers that they should wear face coverings in accordance with local health guidelines before entering the school building to access the services of the enterprise.
  • Build in classroom time to instruct students on the proper procedures and safety protocols for delivering services.
  • Consult guidance and implement industry specific COVID-19 safety protocols. See Responsible RestartOhio Sector Specific Operating Requirements and Career-Technical Education Program Alignment


Additional Considerations

  • Provide a place for customers to put personal belongings where they will not touch other customer’s belongings or work surfaces shared by student employees or other customers.
  • Consider having clearly defined pathways for customers to travel when in the school building and implementing contactless payment systems.


Resources


Career-Technical Student Organizations

Career-technical student organizations are an integral component of career-technical education that reinforce technical skill attainment and career activities, encourage leadership and teamwork and promote community involvement. Schools are urged to find ways to engage students locally and develop plans so that students can participate safely in activities and events that may occur outside of the school building. 

Return-to-School Considerations for Local Career-Technical Education Planning

  • Consult school transportation at the beginning of the school year for new requests and safety protocols.
  • Career-technical student organization events are aligned to career field technical content standards and supplement and/or reinforce instruction as an essential component of career-technical education. Districts may allow student and/or chapter participation in all local, regional, state or national events.
  • School administration should work with instructors to develop plans and guidelines prior to the start of the school year for career-technical student organization events.
    • Instructors planning competitions and activities at the local or regional levels should discuss site-specific COVID-19 guidelines with the location of the event and provide the information to school administration for prior approval.
    • Career-Technical Student Organization state staff will provide all necessary information to local districts and chapters for state and national level events.
  • Schools are encouraged to consult local health department guidelines on holding gatherings.


Additional Considerations

  • School career-technical student organization advisors should work collaboratively to share best practices and ideas for safe activities.


Resources



Transportation

Many students depend on reliable school transportation when taking courses at both a traditional school and Joint Vocation School District, comprehensive or compact career technical education middle or high school program. Additional considerations and challenges need addressed such as modified schedules, extra time for loading and unloading students, bus sanitation and rider capacity to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Per Ohio Revised Code 3327.01 Transportation of Pupils, if a district’s career-technical plan requires pupil transportation, a student’s district of residence is required to provide transportation for any student attending a career-technical program operated by another school district, including a joint vocational school district. Coordination, collaboration and communication will not only be key to helping students access career-technical programs but is mandatory under law.


Return-to-School Considerations for Local Career-Technical Education Planning

  • School administration should work with bus transportation supervisors to determine the length of additional time for loading and unloading students per local safety guidelines.
  • School transportation must adhere to local health department guidelines when transporting students.
  • Implementation of additional safety measures could mean the cost of transportation will increase. Schools will need to collaborate to develop cost-effective transportation plans.
  • Schools should review student self-transportation and carpooling policies and modify them to meet health and safety guidelines. Establishing student personal transportation and/or carpooling policies is a local decision.
    • Review state and local health department guidelines for social distancing.
    • Encourage transportation by parent/guardian and ridesharing with siblings when possible.


Additional Considerations

  • Districts may consider increasing course offerings in math, science, English language arts and other content areas at career centers to limit student travel.


Resources



Professional Development

During the ordered school-building closure, educators adjusted quickly from teaching in the classroom to teaching in a virtual environment. As education transitions back to school buildings, teachers may be adapting to new delivery models, classroom schedules, blended learning and conducting non-traditional educator duties. Career-technical education teachers face additional challenges to instruction. Providing professional development opportunities is essential to supporting educators and continuing the delivery of high-quality career-technical education.


Return-to-School Considerations for Local Career-Technical Education Planning

  • Instruction should be provided to career-technical teachers regarding:
  • Additional COVID-19 safety guidelines for types and use of personal protective equipment in relation to industry-specific equipment and protective gear used in career-technical programs.
  • Use of additional cleaning materials and appropriate procedures for industry specific equipment, tools and materials used in career-technical programs.
  • Promote statewide collaboration of school districts to share best practices related to:
    • Instructional strategies for social distancing in labs and for remote learning for career-technical education courses and earning industry-recognized credentials.
    • Accessing technology for students and staff for remote learning specifically for career-technical education programming.
    • Accessing industry specific equipment, tools and materials for students and teachers for remote learning.
  • Engage with Ohio Department of Education staff to identify delivery platforms, innovative strategies and to develop statewide connections with other school districts.


Additional Considerations

  • Leverage business and industry advisory committee members, community partnerships and local healthcare organizations to identify knowledge gaps and:
    • Provide professional development opportunities for school staff.
    • Secure personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.
  • Set aside necessary planning time before the school year starts to allow educators and administrators to identify and resolve potential issues and develop educational plans specific to each career-technical education pathway program.


Resources


Operational Consideration

Daily school building operations will look different compared to past years. Increased health and hygiene measures such as wearing facial coverings, temperature checks, handwashing, frequent sanitation and social distancing will become normal daily activities. In addition to health and safety considerations, administration and staff will need to address other operational considerations that impact the delivery of high-quality career-technical education programs.


Return-to-School Considerations for Local Career-Technical Education Planning

  • If students will be participating in blended learning, ensure students are able to demonstrate proficiency of knowledge and skills through competency-based learning models. Typically, minimum course hours are based on the scheduled seat time of a class. In blended learning, the completion of a course should be based on the demonstration of learning expectations for the course.
  • In response to the ordered school-building closure that was extended through the end of the 2019-2020 school year, the Ohio General Assembly waived state testing requirements, including WebXams, to protect the health and safety of students. The Ohio Department of Education, in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Higher Education, will continue to monitor circumstances and develop new guidelines if the need arises for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Given the likelihood of increased teacher absences related to COVID-19 illness or quarantine, the Office of Career-Technical Education will create an override process for teacher certification errors.


Additional Considerations

  • Work collaboratively with local health department and stakeholders to determine the safest and best processes to meet the needs of students.
  • Continue to reinforce good hygiene practices to stop the spread of germs, including covering sneezes and coughs and handwashing.
  • Ensure minimum of six feet between students and instructors. If not possible, ensure students are adequately protected with barriers and/or appropriate personal protective equipment.


Resources

Last Modified: 9/11/2020 2:44:32 PM