A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

May, 2021
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Volume 5, Issue 28 - May 7, 2021

A Message from Associate Commissioner Elizabeth L. Bennett
Welcome to May! The Office of CCTE would like to say Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to the many teachers across the Commonwealth - and also to over 800 students who are supporting educators through the High School Senior Internship Education Program program! And to put a smile on your face, please see the SkillsUSA Signing Day clip below. Our next CCTE call will be on Monday, May 24 at 11:00am and a zoom link will be sent.


A Good Morning America spotlight was on students pursuing careers in skilled trades for National Signing Day! Nyssa Lewis and Brian Lopez Mejia of Lynn Vocational Technical Institute are aspiring carpenters and two students among hundreds of thousands across the country who are pursuing careers in the skilled trades.
About 800 high school interns participate in the state's High School Senior Internship Education Program. Interns lead activities, set up work stations for students, and learn from mentor teachers. Many thanks to the high school interns, their mentor teachers, leaders at MassHire and others who make this possible.

News & Updates
SkillsUSA National Signing Day
This week was the SkillsUSA National Signing Day for the skilled trades. See the SkillsUSA Massachusetts Members on Good Morning America video featuring Lynn Vocational Technical Institute students Nyssa Lewis and Brian Lopez Mejia, Carpentry Teacher Ken Beaudet, and SkillUSA Advisor Jason McCuish in honor of SkillsUSA National Signing Day for the skilled trades! Congratulations to Nyssa, Brian and the many other SkillsUSA National Signing Day participants. See more at

Draft Revised Plumbing Framework Approved by State Board
In March of this year, the Plumbing Framework Team presented a draft of the revised Plumbing Framework to the Board of State Examiners of Plumbers and Gas Fitters. This week, the Board of State Examiners of Plumbers and Gas Fitters unanimously voted to approve the draft Plumbing Framework, effective May 5, 2021. The additional request to the Board to consider discussions regarding a Postsecondary Chapter 74 Plumbing Program is on hold until the Board re-opens the regulations. A timeframe for this is not provided.

Thank you to the team for the hard work, tireless efforts, and tremendous contributions in creating this revised draft Plumbing Framework. On the horizon will be statewide public comment and roll-out, formal vetting, and training for all Chapter 74 licensed Plumbing teachers.

CVTE Equitable Access Grant Announced
CCTE is announcing a new CVTE Equitable Access Grant. The goal of this federally funded competitive grant program is to provide supplementary support to build school and district capacity to address issues around equity and access in CVTE programs through three priorities: analyzing data, enhancing English Learner recruitment and success, and building equitable structures. Districts with existing Chapter 74-approved secondary CVTE programs are eligible. Two rounds of funding are planned: Round 1 is due May 20, 2021, and Round 2 is due September 20, 2021. The request for proposals is available at

Expanding Access to STEM AP Courses
With funding through a federal grant program, and via a partnership with nonprofit VHS Learning, DESE is establishing the STEM Advanced Placement Access Expansion Opportunity (SAPAO), a statewide initiative designed to increase Massachusetts students’ participation in advanced coursework. SAPAO will provide eligible high schools with access to up to seven online AP® STEM courses free of charge. The highest priority has been placed on schools that traditionally have not had the capacity or resources to offer classes, and within those schools, the focus is on students who have been historically underrepresented in STEM. As seats remain in available courses for Fall 2021, beginning May 15, 2021 and through early June, these seats will be distributed to additional schools that are interested in participating. If you think SAPAO will complement your school’s existing work, please schedule a 30-minute consultation with Jennifer Gwatkin and David Baird.

Innovation Pathways News
The Innovation Pathways team is hosting open office hours next week. Join DESE and Center for Collaborative Education for Innovation Pathways virtual office hours on Monday, May 10, from 9:00-10:30am, and/or Tuesday, May 11, from 12:00-1:30pm. These will be the final open office hours available this school year! Come on your own or with your Innovation Pathways team members. The Innovation Pathways team will be available to answer your questions, trouble-shoot issues, provide new applicant support, and more. Join at any time during the time block! Register for May office hours here.

For Prospective 2021-22 designation applicants, registration for the upcoming workshop focused on supporting prospective Innovation Pathways designees applying for designation in Fall 2021, is now open. This remote session runs from 9:00-10:45 a.m. on June 2 and features a panel of pathways educators and students who can discuss their strategies for successfully visioning and planning Innovation Pathways programming. The session will also include resources, guidance, breakout conversations, and Q&A. This workshop is designed to be highly relevant and interactive, all with the ultimate goal of planning and implementing programs that lead to equitable outcomes for students. Register for the June 2 workshop here.

Career Technical Initiative Adult Training Planning Grants
CTI Adult Training Planning Grant deadline to submit is Thursday, May 13, 2021 by 5:00 PM. Please see the Request for Responses for more information.

On the Horizon
On the horizon is the spring Waitlist & Admissions Data Collection. More to come!

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
Eye protection in the shop and the workplace is achieved by wearing eyewear specifically designed to reduce the risk of exposure to chemical splashes, laser radiation and/or flying debris. Heat injuries may also occur to the eye and face when workers are exposed to high temperatures, splashes of hot materials, or hot sparks. Protect your eyes from heat when workplace operations involve these activities. How do you protect your eyes on the job? 

  • Eliminate hazards at the beginning of the day by using machine guards, work screens or other engineering controls.
  • Use proper eye protection. Know if the job requires safety glasses, safety goggles or other types of eye protection (e.g., for welding). Some operations require the use of more than one type of eye protection simultaneously.
  • Keep safety eyewear in good condition. Inspect safety eyewear before every use. Replace damaged safety eyewear.

Be 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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