LUCASVILLE — The Scioto County Career and Technical Center (SCCTC) unlike the regular schools in the community, has had to do things a little different, because not only do their students need to complete their academics, and seniors need to graduate, they need to work toward obtaining their credentials in their chosen fields.
Kyle Copley, the SCCTC Superintendent, started by discussing how things in the Tech Centers are dealing with COVID-19.
“Ohio Technical Centers (OTC) Post-Secondary Directors are doing their best to comply with accreditor regulations, state processes and many other factors. The option of virtual or online instruction remains difficult (and at times impracticable) for our skilled trades and health programs, information technology classes, Public Safety and all other classes. However, customized training classes are continuing at a limited number of OTC’s,” Copley said. “All our SCCTC Post-Secondary Health and Information Technology (Information technology) Programs are using file classrooms or moodle to conduct classes online. Nursing has been using video and audio lectures. (Information technology) holds class on audio every day. The post-secondary hard trades are still on hold. We really cannot do much for them virtually, so the plan is to pick up where we left off when the closure occurred and extend the course timeframe so students can complete their program.”
Copley shared SCCTC secondary staff have begun instruction through their Google classroom lessons with high school students enrolled in academic and program classes. Numerous online resources are being provided daily for students, although it still becomes tricky for programs.
“We realize that some students may not have internet access causing difficulty in communication however, it appears we have had an overwhelming number of students currently participating in our online lessons,” Copley said. “All of our programs require hands-on training which cannot be accomplished entirely with online instruction. With this being said, our programs have been able to use online training modules for lab hours, certification and credentialing such as the Electrical Training Alliance, Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10 hour course training, Culinary ServSafe, ICEV online Standards-Aligned Curriculum for our Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security, Cosmetology Milady Online Course so students can continue on with their learning. Most of all, it’s important for the CTC to provide opportunities for our junior and senior students to continue to work toward meeting their program and academic requirements as best possible without the ability to have face to face hands-on training.”
Copley stated he has been impressed with the amount of communication that has taken place in the field of education since the closure. The local lines of communication from superintendents, principals, counselors, special needs coordinators, ESC(Educational Service Center) personnel, teachers and support staff have been outstanding.
“Our local county and city school districts have joined together to share, and problem solve more than I have seen in my 20 years in education. Although, at times, it can be information overload, it has made us all more invested in the betterment of our students. It will be interesting to see how the world of education transforms after the virus has passed. In education, there can be a tendency to continue with what works each year and now we have had to change our way of thinking about our pedagogy,” Copley said. “Teachers and administrators have had to become very creative by the day and even by the hour on avenues to provide instruction for their students. Instruction that we may have not ventured into if the pandemic hadn’t occurred. I believe we will be able to use these newfound technological resources along with our previous instructional resources to better educate our students in the future.”
CTC across the state have been staying connected through a group that keeps them posted and they can communicate with them, and a lot of them will do questions of the week, questions of the day and Copley said that they are all pretty much across the state, in the same situation, where face to face and hands-on hours and credentials cannot be met at this time, but they do have some online things that students can do to help them get their hours or a completion certificate and hours toward some credentials in their chosen field. The Ohio Nursing Board has given instructions that they can do this now and they are willing to waive requirements for our nurses completing our health programs.
“We have some things we can do, it’s not all lost, we can actually still try to accomplish our curriculums throughout the academic as well as our post-secondary, but we can still keep the students active. Seniors grades will be determined by their teacher’s online instruction and on their modules, as they complete the models, they’ll get the grade and you can record the grade so they can still get their certificates,” Copley said. “The Ohio Career Technical programs have waived some of the required hours that the students will need, so we’ll be able to award completion certificates to our high school seniors this year without the major hours required. But what will be nice, is when they leave out of there, they will still have some credentials that they can use in their career that they have chosen because they are able to get them online now.”
Copley also said that the juniors are included as well, to move forward next year as their senior year. He said that most of their credentials take place at the beginning or middle of their senior year, and the juniors should be able to pick up the credentials that they would have gotten otherwise. He said that the big thing in businesses is having those credentials. The hands-on assessments he said that they will need to make sure they get those in if they have not already done them when they get back.
Copley talked about the possibility of not being able to go back to school this year, and he said that they have a plan to work this summer to make available for them to do that.
“We are putting our best foot forward to help our students.” He said that they have 85 to 90% of their students participating online,” Copley said. “Some of our students don’t have the internet, but I think they are making the attempt to find it. Our students really want it and that’s why they are there, so I’m not shocked that our participation rate is where it’s at because I think our students really want to continue their program.”
He said, “We had upward to 40 students placed in area businesses and some of the health care have stayed and continued to be employed, others have had to be laid off due to business closures. We’re hoping when this is over, they’ll be able to join back with their employer and continue to work, most of these jobs will continue through their senior year and continue after graduation.”
Copley talked about their communication with their students, “Our instructors and this is what is really important to us have a great relationship with our students. I think most of our students look forward to coming to school and communicate with those instructors. even though it’s online, they have that value and relationship with them that they can count on. It’s one of those things, it’s a great relationship, if we didn’t have our community, it would be difficult for a lot of students.”
Copley said that everybody now is constantly thinking of ways to do it better, educate better and communicate better as our day to day instruction.
“We want to stay in our lane and stay in your group. and do what is comfortable.”
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights