A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

February, 2021
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Volume 5, Issue 21 - February 26, 2021

A Message from Associate Commissioner Elizabeth L. Bennett
As we wind down CTE month, we bring you news from around the Department, prepare for a VTE Advisory Council meeting and highlight a FAFSA flier from Design and Visual Communications students. Thank you for all you do for our students. Our next CCTE call will be on Monday, March 8 at 11:00am and a zoom link will be sent.


Thank you to Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School Design and Visual Communications students and their teacher Brian Trainor for creative FAFSA fliers! This is an excerpt. 

Updates & Reminders
STEM AP Access Expansion Opportunity Consultation Sessions
DESE and VHS Learning recently hosted two information sessions regarding the STEM AP Access Expansion Opportunity (SAPAO). Importantly, the newly-launched program site features a FAQ list to address questions raised by attendees in these group meetings and by schools who have engaged in consultations with DESE. David Baird and Jennifer Gwatkin are available to meet with you to discuss SAPAO and how we at DESE can best support your school community. Please use this Calendly link to schedule a consultation.

After Dark Application Window Closes March 12
The application window for the next round of Chapter 74 Partnership Program ("After Dark") approvals closes on Friday, March 12, 2021 at 5:00 PM. The “After Dark” approval process recognizes innovative Career Vocational Technical Education pathways with an altered delivery schedule through the partnership of a student's enrolled district and a district with established Chapter 74 programs. For more information, see the DESE After Dark webpage or contact Larry DeSalvatore at

Emergency Licensure
Based on recent feedback received from some districts and educators and the ongoing impact of the coronavirus, DESE has extended the validity of the emergency license from June 30, 2021 to June 30, 2022. This license helps aspiring educators looking to join the profession, people who hold a license in one category (teacher, administrator, specialist teacher, or professional support personnel) who have been prevented by COVID-19 from qualifying for a license in another category, and school districts looking to bring on new hires. The emergency license is available to apply for in the Educator Licensure and Renewal (ELAR) system. Adjustments will be made in ELAR to reflect the new expiration date, and the Office of Educator Licensure will continue to accept applications for the Emergency license up to 180 days following the end of the state of emergency or June 30, 2022, whichever is earlier.

CVTE Graduate Follow-up
The CVTE Graduate Follow-up is used to calculate and report on a Perkins V Core Indicator:  Postsecondary Placement (3S1) as part of the accountability system for federally funded Perkins programs. To submit graduate follow-up results, districts use the CVTE Grad Follow-up Results application in the Security Portal. Access is managed locally: the district's Directory Administrator may assign to a district staff person the security role "CVTE Grad Follow-up Results". This district staff person can then enter and submit (or ‘certify') the data. Results are due by the last Friday in March. For more about the Grad Follow-up, see Instructions or contact your liaison.

Vocational Technical Education Advisory Council to Meet
The VTE Council advises the Board and the Commissioner on matters related to Career/Vocational Technical Education across the Commonwealth. The focus for this year will include equitable access to CVTE pathways, Department monitoring and support systems and processes for CVTE programs, and program quality and alignment to business and industry. The next meeting of the VTE Advisory Council will be Monday, March 1, 2021 from 3:30pm–5:30pm. For additional information and to register go to this link

CTE Month Fun Fact
Coordination between secondary and postsecondary education programs has been and remains an important component of Perkins programs, which include Chapter 74-approved vocational technical education programs. Secondary and postsecondary programs are linked through programs of study; this may include coordination through articulation agreements, early college high school programs, dual or concurrent enrollment program opportunities, or other credit transfer agreements that provide postsecondary credit or advanced standing. For more, see Perkins V Size, Scope & Quality.

News from Around the Department:
Guidebook of Culturally Diverse Artists & Artworks 
Located on the new DESE Arts webpage, the Guidebook of Culturally Diverse Artists & Artworks (download) promotes culturally responsive teaching in the arts by featuring artists and artworks that reflect the racial backgrounds of students of color. The guidebook is designed to highlight art made by people with racial identities that historically have been and continue to be marginalized. The guide offers a variety of case studies that educators can choose to adopt or reference as part of their curriculum.

Moving to College Housing Scholarship
DESE is partnering with the Department of Higher Education, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Governor’s Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth to offer college housing scholarships for homeless students. The new Moving to College Housing Scholarship, funded by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, will provide year-round, on-campus housing, as well as a meal plan funded by campuses. Applicants must be accepted and plan to register at either a participating community college or a state university; those attending a community college would live at the nearest participating state university campus and commute to classes and/or take classes online. School counselors and McKinney-Vento liaisons are encouraged to help students complete the application, which opens on Monday, March 1.

Upcoming LearnLaunch Building Blocks Workshop
Sustaining a Strong Educator Workforce (new!) will focus on three elements: defining the challenges, creating a productive work environment, and implementing effective staffing structures. This workshop, the first in a series, will focus on the first two elements. The workshop will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2; and 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 4.  Register here and explore the Prepare, Support, and Collaborate with Educators Building Block tool.

Share-a-thon on Assessment Strategies
The Department’s Center for Instructional Support will host a share-a-thon on formative and summative assessment strategies from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 16. This will be an opportunity for teachers of all grade levels and subject areas to learn and share strategies, resources, and best practices for remote/hybrid teaching, with a particular focus on assessing understanding in order to inform instruction. Participants will also have the chance to join content-alike colleagues for a broader discussion of strategies within their discipline. Participants are encouraged to come ready to share their resources and ideas! Registration is open online.

Kaleidoscope PD Opportunities
The Department’s Kaleidoscope Collective for Learning is pleased to repeat three professional learning opportunities this spring: Designing for Equity (Wednesday, March 24 or Tuesday, June 8), Transforming Instruction through the Lens of Authentic Work (Thursday, April 15), and Engaging Students as Complex Thinkers (Tuesday, May 18). Each 90-minute session will also explore instructional practices that use authentic work to build and sustain student engagement in remote, hybrid, and in-person learning. Educators will engage with colleagues from across the Commonwealth to strategize how to apply these practices in their own classrooms. Registration is now open and will close on a rolling basis for each session. Please click HERE to learn about each session and to find the registration links.

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 
Thank you for all who attended The Safety Stop on Thursday. Participants heard from Chris Faucher of Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School about Hot Work Certification. Hot work is any work process that involves heat, spark, or flame that is capable of starting fires or explosions. Examples include, but are not limited to, welding, cutting, grinding, soldering, heat treating, hot riveting, torch applied roofing, abrasive blasting, and powder driven fasteners. The full Hot Work training allows students and staff to acquire the Industry Recognized Credential necessary to perform this work. For more on this webinar and on The Safety Stop, please email
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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