A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

December, 2020
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Volume 5, Issue 11 - December 4, 2020

A Message from Associate Commissioner Elizabeth L. Bennett
This week we welcome December and possibly some snow over the weekend! Our next CCTE call will be on Monday December 7 at 11:00am and a zoom link will be sent. Looking forward to checking in.


News & Updates
OPTIC Content Fellows Application Now Open
DESE is convening a group of educators with expertise in culturally responsive practice to establish benchmark scores and exemplars of written feedback for teaching videos on the OPTIC professional learning platform (Online Platform for Teaching and Informed Calibration). OPTIC uses video-based observations to engage educators in collaborative discussions to calibrate on perceptions of great teaching. As content experts and skilled practitioners in culturally responsive practice, OPTIC Content Fellows will provide MA educators with important reference points as they engage in ongoing reflection and discussion about great teaching. Content Fellows will also support the development of a ‘look-for’ tool focused on observable elements of culturally responsive, anti-racist teaching. Fellows will receive a $2,000 stipend for their work. To apply, nominate an educator, or learn more, visit the application by Monday, December 28, 2020. Contact with any questions.
InSPIRED Fellowship Application Now Open
The Department is now accepting applications for the third cohort of InSPIRED Fellows. This opportunity is for current educators with close connections to their school communities and the ability to help current and prospective educational leaders understand the impact of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and multiracial educators on PK-12 students. Fellows will receive a $2,000 stipend for successful completion of projects. To learn more information or apply, visit the InSPIRED Fellows application by December 14, 2020. Please contact with any questions.

New Perkins Planning Grant Posted
The FY21 452A Competitive Planning Grant RFP has been posted. With the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) in Correctional Institutions (Planning Grant), DESE seeks to fund FY2021 competitive federal funded planning grants to facilitate collaboration between correctional institutions; community corrections; career and technical education providers; and local area employers in planning the design or redesign of career and technical education programs to include both distance learning and transition support services that are informed by evidence-based practices in re-entry. Good proposals could make a world of difference in the lives of justice involved individuals in the years ahead. Prisons, CHCs, juvenile facilities, vocational schools or community colleges could apply directly if they wish to the take the lead on this innovative opportunity. Please see the link for deadlines and details. 

Introducing MassWIN: the Massachusetts Work Immersion Network
As a complement to existing initiatives, DESE and the Executive Office of Education are partnering with the Northeastern University Network for Experiential Teaching and Learning (NeXT) to provide technology-enabled, technically-supported student work-based learning experiences (internships/capstones/co-ops). DESE is seeking educator participants from designated Innovation Pathways in Healthcare and Social Assistance and from approved Chapter 74 programs in Program and Web Development and Information Support Services & Networking for a pilot. This pilot will run from January 15, 2021 through April 30, 2021 and will entail an asynchronous (1-credit) professional development course kick-off session and Practera training. Please join us this Friday, December 4, 2020 from 12:30 to 1:30 for a webinar to learn more about this opportunity.
Changes to CVTE Programs
CVTE programs are complex. Districts considering program closures, programmatic changes or moving program spaces should notify the Office for CCTE. For Chapter 74 program closures, please consult the Chapter74 Manual for VTE Programs. For other programmatic changes to CVTE programs, the district receiving the Perkins grant should email an outline of the proposed change(s) to the district's liaison in CCTE. The liaison will review and respond via email with a determination of acceptance or non-acceptance of the changes.

FAQ: Changes to Regulations and Practices for CNA Training Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic 
The Massachusetts Healthcare Collaborative compiled this FAQ to assist CNA Training providers to access guidance about changes to curriculum and certification requirements in response to COVID-19. The regulatory guidance has been issued by Governor Baker, the Department of Public Health (DPH), and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). This document is not a product developed by these regulatory agencies and does not provide official guidance. This is a reference document that provides a one-stop source for programs to find the guidance, polices and waivers issued by the agencies over the last several months. The guidance provided here is up to date as of November 2020. If you need additional information please contact the agency that provided the guidance directly. Email addresses and phone numbers are included in the body of this document and in the links to the guidance language. 

This document is intended as a reference document and does not constitute official policy.  The document draws from guidance issued by the Department of Public Health, the Commonwealth’s Reopening Plan, Governor Charlie Baker and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as of November 2020. 

The Safety Stop
Continuing the DESE/MAVA safety collaboration, the December session of The Safety Stop will cover Respiratory Protection. Hosted by CCTE’s Safety Specialist, David Edmonds, December’s guest will be Marvin Lewiton, Industrial Hygiene Supervisor of the OSHA Consultation Program at the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS). Martin is a primary safety instructor for DLS, with a number of accreditations and specializations, including Respiratory Protection. This Safety Stop session will take place on Thursday, December 10, 2020, 9-10:00am. To register, see this link.

Recruiting Subject Matter Experts for VTE Frameworks Project
During Phase 3 of this project, eight vocational technical agricultural programs will be revised, along with Strands 1, 4, 5, and 6. There will be twelve statewide teams formed to complete these VTE frameworks revisions. Due to the scope of work, Phase 3 has been divided into two components, Phase 3A and Phase 3B. Recruitment for Phase 3A Subject Matter Experts (SME) ends on December 7, 2020. Access the SME Application for Phase 3A by clicking the link: SME 3A Application Form

Achieving Equity in Work-based Learning Programs
High-quality work-based learning opportunities can be used to advance equity and economic opportunity, according to a new report from Brookings, which ACTE contributed to. The researchers suggested three key elements for work-based learning programs:

  • Positive relationships with adults that support growth and development.
  • Social capital that provides information and contacts regarding employment.
  • Work experiences that offer opportunities for hands-on learning and expose young people to new environments and expectations.
Five Part Webinar Series on Pre-Employment Transition Services
These webinars are designed for those working with students with disabilities, and may be more generally applicable as well. For more information, see the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) website

You are invited to the 5 part Webinar series on Pre-Employment Transition Services hosted by The Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) and The National Transition Technical Assistance Center (NTACT). This series of pre-recorded webinars highlights the five required pre-employment transition services. Each of the five webinars include curricula/activities, state spotlights, examples of expected outcomes and ways to identify student progress, tips for successful service delivery, and additional supports and resources that may be used to provide these services for students with disabilities. The webinars are hosted by The Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC), and The National Transition Technical Assistance Center (NTACT). 

Closed Captioning will stream during each of the pre-recorded webinars. A copy of the transcript is also available upon request. Presentation materials are available for download once registered. To register and view this recorded webinar, please visit the following link(s) to each webinar:

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 
Shop safety is an ongoing process that continuously reviews shop operations and setup. Today we are going to look at signage.

Safety signage is intended to be immediately recognizable.  This means that placement and design play a critical role. Emergency signage needs to be visible across a fully equipped and fully populated shop.  OSHA does not dictate the height of signage because there are so many shop variables. Many shops have found seven feet to be a height that works, but you must make that determination by standing in your shop and conducting a 360-degree review and being sure you can see the signage. You need signage for Exits (which have specific rules), Fire Extinguishers, Emergency Stops, Eyewash Stations, etc. Signage should be on white 9"x12" stock with either black or red lettering.  It is not a decoration, so keep it simple.  Routinely review the placement of signage to ensure that it is still doing its job.

Stay safe!
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Office for College, Career and Technical Education
Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, All rights reserved.

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