A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

February, 2021
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Volume 5, Issue 19 - February 12, 2021

A Message from Associate Commissioner Elizabeth L. Bennett
As we celebrate CTE month, here are a few inspirational stories from the field! Wishing you a happy, healthy and restful February break. Thank you for all you do for our students. Our next CCTE call will be on Monday, February 22 at 11:00am and a zoom link will be sent.


CTE Month Feature Story: Vocational Schools Adjust Instruction
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical HS was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article highlighting efforts vocational schools have made to adjust instruction due to the pandemic. To hear about Montachusett, along with Ignite Technical Institute in Brooks County, TX, see links to the podcast and article.

CTE Month Feature Story: Practical Nursing Students Administer Vaccine
See a local new story of postsecondary Practical Nursing students from Assabet Valley Regional Vocational Technical HS. The story describes students trained to help administer the COVID vaccine in their community in a partnership between the school and city. 

Workforce Skills Cabinet Announces New CTI Grants
This week, Governor Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet announced eight Career Technical Initiative (CTI) grants totaling $1.3 million to train 256 people ready to enter the workforce or advance in their current careers. Round 1 supports 21 career pathways across the 8 schools. The state-funded CTI Program is an initiative of Governor Baker's administration to up-skill students, as well as adults, for careers in high-demand and high-growth sectors, with an emphasis on creating pathways for people from underserved populations and underrepresented groups to access training. They will be the first set of programs funded by the Career Technical Initiative Line item. $4M was allocated in the FY’21 budget. These grants will transform vocational high schools into Career Technical Institutes, running three shifts per day to expand enrollment of high school students and adults. Congratulations to these eight schools! See the press release for more. 

Updates & Reminders
Innovation Pathways
The next Innovation Pathways event is coming up! Join us on Thursday, February 25 for the Program Spotlight webinar: Approaches to Staffing Innovation Pathways programs. Join a panel of colleagues from Innovation Pathways schools as they share their staffing strategies, along with important considerations and lessons learned along the way. Guest presenters will provide a short presentation on their Innovation Pathways staffing methods and current strategies, followed by an open Q&A. If you have not already, register for the Program Spotlight here. In addition, registration is now open for the final Innovation Pathways workshop of the 2020-21 school year, Charting a Course in Innovation Pathways: A Student-Driven Approach to Future Planning. More information and registration can be found here.

It's CTE Month! 
February is CTE Month! We invite districts to celebrate CTE, an education that directly prepares students for high-wage, high-demand careers. See resources at ACTE for ideas! 

CTE Month Fun Fact:
Many school districts with Chapter 74 secondary programs also offer Chapter 74 postsecondary programs. Among these, postsecondary Practical Nursing is offered in the most schools: this year, in twelve districts. For more on districts offering postsecondary Chapter 74 programs, see the Massachusetts Pathways map. In the upper left, under What Program/Pathway?, select 'All Postsecondary Programs' for a full list of these programs. 

MassCyberCenter has released a Call for Proposals (CFP) to solicit applications for institutions wishing to host a 2022 (traditional) summer camp and newly added pre- and post-camp outreach. Additionally, the GenCyber Program Office will host several public webinars throughout February and March to present information about the new CFP. To register for the webinars or apply under this CFP, visit If you have questions, please reach out to and

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 
The topic for the next The Safety Stop will be Hot Work, on Thursday, February 25, 2021, with Chris Faucher of Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School. Chris is a teacher and Vocational Director. He also manages this Hot Work program, which has certified more than 1,000 students and 150 teachers in Hot Work. He has worked closely with the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services on this program. His presentation will explore the history of the topic, the current certification processes in place, and where we go from here. Since January 2015, anyone conducting welding, cutting or other 'hot work' in Massachusetts has been required to have a permit from the local fire department (contact your local fire department for the permit application form). The full Hot Work training allows students and staff to acquire the Industry Recognized Credential necessary to perform this work. The Safety Stop presentation will be an introduction to the topic.
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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