A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

April, 2021
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Volume 5, Issue 27 - April 30, 2021

A Message from Associate Commissioner Elizabeth L. Bennett
Welcome back from a well-deserved break! Can you believe Saturday is May 1? Our next CCTE call will be on Monday, May 3 at 11:00am and a zoom link will be sent.


News & Updates
Baker-Polito Administration Announces $2.1 Million in New Funding for Career Technical Initiative
The Baker-Polito Administration this week announced $2.1 million in new funding to 10 vocational technical high schools as part of its Career Technical Initiative, to support additional training programs for students and adults. The funds will support training and skill-building programs in the construction, trades and manufacturing spaces across 23 different career pathways. Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito made the announcement at a visit to Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School alongside members of the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, students and school staff. See the full release at this link.

New “After Dark” Designations Announced
Commissioner Riley recently approved the latest round of Chapter 74 Partnership Program (“After Dark”) designations. In total, Commissioner Riley approved six new programs and six new partnerships. They include programs in Automotive Technology, Electricity, and Plumbing at Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School; Automotive Technology at Greater Lowell Technical High School; and Automotive Technology and Information Support Services and Networking at R.L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy in Springfield. New partners are Phoenix Charter Academy and Andover Public Schools with Greater Lawrence Vocational Technical School District; and Rockport Public Schools, Swampscott Public Schools, Marblehead Public Schools, and Lynnfield Public Schools with Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School District. Visit the DESE After Dark webpage for a complete listing of programs and partnerships.
Chapter 74 Partnership “After Dark” designation allows school districts offering Chapter 74 vocational technical education programs to partner with other school districts or with other schools within a single school district to provide Chapter 74 VTE opportunities during times outside the typical school day when vocational technical facilities are underutilized. Designation allows sending school districts, or sending schools within a single district, to report students as Chapter 74-enrolled.

Postsecondary Reporting for Perkins Programs
Perkins Reporting is due for Postsecondary programs. These reporting requirements are important and required components of Perkins V programming for districts, collaboratives and institutions receiving Perkins funding, and with either C74-approved postsecondary CVTE programs or CTE postsecondary programs meeting the definition of Perkins programs. If you are not sure whether this applies to your district, collaborative or institution, please see the resources online. The Report 2021 Template is the collection tool, and Report 2021 FAQs has collection guidance and responses to questions raised, both at the Perkins V Manual web page. Please also share this information with appropriate individuals in your institution. 

Acceleration to College Program for Students Earning the Modified CD
DESE is funding summer 2021 programs at Massachusetts community colleges to help students in the class of 2021 who graduated under the modified competency determination prepare for college-level English and mathematics courses. The goal is to help students transition effectively into and ultimately complete college. These programs will be offered in 14 community colleges across the Commonwealth. Schools that have students who would be interested in such programming are asked to visit and reach out to the designated contact for their area.

Signal Success Professional Development - Spaces Still Available!
Again this spring, DESE is offering high school educators the opportunity to be trained in Signal Success, a proven comprehensive work-readiness curriculum that helps teens develop essential skills for future success. Signal Success is intended to be offered to students throughout the high school years who will be participating in career development experiences, including freshman and sophomore year exploration courses and other work-based learning experiences.
In this interactive training opportunity, facilitated by experts from Commonwealth Corporation, participants will discuss the overall structure of the curriculum and how it is being used with different populations; explore key components of Signal Success and understand how best to implement a variety of core activities and instructional techniques; and begin to discuss how to best support learning objectives and address challenges specific to different implementation models and student needs. The training is intended for high school educators who are creating broad career exploration courses and/or have received a designation for an Innovation Pathway, or who are considering applying for that designation in school year 2021-2022. Schools are encouraged to bring 2 staff members to be trained.

Spaces are still available in the sessions on May 6, June 4, and June 8. The training takes place from 9:30-11:30. Kindly choose the date that works best for your team. Meeting information, including login details, will be sent to all registered participants within 24 hours of the chosen session(s). Contact Kerry Akashian or Jennifer Gwatkin with any questions.

Make it in Massachusetts May Event
Make history and take part in the second MAKE IT IN MASSACHUSETTS: Manufacturing the Future! Virtual Manufacturing Event. MassHire Workforce Boards across the state are providing an opportunity for students to experience how STEAM is driving cutting edge manufacturing in Massachusetts. This event is supported by DESE and Governor Baker’s office. Both Governor Baker and Secretary Peyser have contributed brief keynotes for the event. 
The MAKE IT IN MASSACHUSETTS: Manufacturing the Future virtual event is a statewide collaboration of manufacturers, educators, and community leaders to raise awareness of advanced technology in the world of manufacturing and post-secondary careers utilizing these advanced technologies.   
What you need to know about MAKE IT IN MASSACHUSETTS: Manufacturing the Future Event 

  • It is taking place during the entire month of May 
  • It is FREE. 
  • It comes with a lesson plan for teachers with curated learning experiences for your students. 
  • It is designed to flexibly fit into a single class period at any time or day. 
  •  It can be plugged into a remote, hybrid, or in person content delivery model. 
  •  It takes approximately 45 mins. for a student to complete the learning activities.  
  • It includes a certificate of completion for each student upon finishing the exit ticket, which could be provided to the teacher for accountability. 
  • It includes a month long access to the website that will host edgy content of technology to engage students such as: 3D printing, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Engineering/Design, vignettes of real people in the industry, inspiring women and many more companies highlighting their MA manufactured product 
  • NEW ADDITION: Live sessions with Apple that discuss the future of technology in manufacturing!    

If you are a middle school or high school and want to expose students to possible pathways in manufacturing such as vocational, or an Innovation Pathway school, then this is an ideal opportunity to provide additional career exploration that showcases a portion of the depth and breadth of Massachusetts manufacturing.    

If you are interested in registering your school or schools for this event, please click here and we will make sure you have the latest information.  Please forward this to your teachers in your schools.  Please feel free to contact Kelley French with questions. 

RFR: Career Technical Initiative Adult Training Planning Grant
Up to $150,000 available for planning grants to develop Career Technical Initiative Adult Training Programs

To address the persistent demand in construction/trades and manufacturing, Governor Baker announced a new initiative in January 2020 to transform vocational high schools into Career Technical Institutes, running three shifts per day to expand enrollment of high school students and adults. $4M was included in the FY’21 State Budget and to date 10 schools have been awarded Career Technical Initiative Adult Training grants.
On behalf of the Workforce Skills Cabinet, Commonwealth Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the Career Technical Initiative Adult Training Planning Grant Request for Responses. This Request for Responses makes available up to $150,000 to fund Planning Grants to support Massachusetts High Schools with designated aligned Chapter 74 vocational programs, who are not yet ready to implement adult training programs through the Career Technical Initiative. The purpose of the funds are to provide schools with time and capacity for planning and program design.

  • Questions will be accepted in writing. We encourage applicants to submit questions by May 9 to allow adequate time to respond before submission. Please submit these via email to Jessica Sáenz at
  • Need to talk through an idea? If you are a vocational school or workforce partner, please reach out to CommCorp ( to get connected with staff to talk further about how your idea may fit into the Career Technical Initiative application.
  • Stay in contact. Applicants can sign up at this link ( to receive email notifications when new responses are posted.
  • The deadline to submit responses is Monday, May 13, 2021 by 5:00 PM. Please upload your submission electronically to the following link:

Please see the Request for Responses for more information.

Communications Survey
Clear communication is essential to bring us together and plan for a safe future. DESE is continuously working to improve communication with all those involved in and impacted by our public schools. Please take this two-minute survey to help inform DESE's communication efforts. Thank you!

Safety Corner - from Dave Edmonds, CCTE's Safety Specialist
Many thanks to those who joined The Safety Stop on Thursday for a session on Fall Protection. The instructor was Joe Green of the U. S. Department of Labor OSHA. The presentation covered the requirements for fall protection for both raised areas as well as when working over dangerous equipment and machinery, regardless of the fall distance. It was an informative session! Stay safe.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Office for College, Career and Technical Education
Copyright © 2021 Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, All rights reserved.

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