Career and Technical Education schools transition to fully in-person learning

Wednesday April 07, 2021

The Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators share The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) updated guidance on April 1 for culinary and cosmetology programs as schools statewide continue to plan for a transition to fully in-person learning. “By reopening school operated restaurants and salons, students in these programs once again have the opportunity to practice not only the skills they’ve learned in their industry, but they also get the chance to practice employable skills like service and professionalism. Those are extremely valuable learning moments for young people,” Executive Director Kevin Farr said. “We’re pleased that DESE has shared this guidance to support programs prepared to safely begin serving the public again.” 

Essex North Shore Agricultural Technical High School Superintendent Heidi Riccio and Vocational Director Jill Sawyer, were among multiple members of MAVA who participated in the statewide committee to provide their input to DESE as the guidance was crafted.

The latest updates to the state’s guidance include:

  • Culinary programs can commence serving the public, fellow students and staff as long as they are following state guidelines for restaurants and DESE’s reopening guidance. Masks will be required unless one is eating. 
    • Culinary programs are also encouraged to continue offering online ordering services for curbside pick-up.
    • Disinfecting stations must be available at the front and back of the dining operation.
  • Cosmetology programs can commence serving the public, as well as classmates and staff, as long as they comply with the state’s standards for close contact personal services and DESE’s reopening guidance. Services must be limited, however. Haircuts and other services are only allowable as long as people will not be face-to-face for extended time periods. 
    • Students must follow industry standards including wearing masks, gloves, gowns or smocks, and prescription glasses, safety glasses or goggles. Patrons will also be required to wear masks.

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