March 25, 2020
To the Lancaster County CTC Students and Families,
Career and Technology Education (CTE) institutions occupy a unique position within public education. We offer high school programming and adult curricula; intergenerational diploma programs and full, associate degree courses; and short-term industry certifications and professional licensures. We offer services to the community like non-commercial drivers licensing testing, a public restaurant, and dog grooming. We do a LOT at the LCCTC and because of that we have to get a LOT of information out to the public about the current shutdown.
There are two parts to today’s public update. The first part explains the LCCTC’s efforts in developing alternative methods of enrichment education and delivery for students. The second section briefly describes some of the issues that we are facing regarding our Adult education programs. We feel that all of the information is important to everyone and we encourage you to review it all.
Continuity of Learning
The Lancaster County Career & Technology Center is gearing up to resume instruction! We are working toward resuming classes on April 9 per the current instruction from the PA Department of Education. We are also taking steps to start offering a continuum of learning online in the event that the shutdown continues. These steps are currently focused on our high school programming and, to some degree, our intergenerational programming.
You may have heard about school districts planning for a continuity of learning in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak. This means that districts are working toward alternative methods of instruction, very often virtual methods, to deliver education within the restrictions on gathering in groups that have been placed on communities.
The LCCTC is working with other career and technology education institutions, the local intermediate unit, our faculty, and sending school districts to determine the best path toward developing our continuity of learning. Many of our programs already have robust online options for delivering the curricula to students. Our faculty will be developing virtual material for their specific programs.
We do not claim that this new system of education will faithfully reproduce the experience of going to a classroom and learning with a teacher and other students. However, there are strengths that virtual learning may provide over in-class instruction. Some students may take alternative education in stride while others may need support. We look to you, the families of our students, to work with your child and your child’s instructor to keep the channels of communication open and let us know what is working and what is not for your child.
Patience and understanding is vital whenever confronted with the new and different. Education moving forward, at least for the near future, will be new and unusual to many of us. We ask that you marshal your patience and work with your instructors and CTC staff was best you can.
We will provide more details on accessing the new model of distance learning as they are rolled out. Be assured that we will do our best to ensure that all students are able thrive in the new continuum of learning.
Adult Education Programming
You’ve undoubtedly been seeing communications come from the LCCTC regarding the current statewide shutdown of all public schools. We recognize that the few details that have been provided from the state have leaned heavily toward high school students and their programs, so we wanted to share what details we could regarding adult education.
So much of our adult programming is predicated on classes resuming and the state agencies that govern licensure and certification resuming testing. We are working with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and with all of the adult programs’ regulatory bodies to lessen the shutdown’s impact to our students’ education but we are still awaiting many answers. A few LCCTC Adult Programs including Veterinary Technology, Dental Hygiene, and Practical Nursing have moved to online instruction. Some programs include hands-on skills that are required for graduation. We will not be able to provide that needed instruction until the state allows classes to resume.
Please be assured that the LCCTC is paying close attention to the situation. Once we know when in-person classes will resume, we can then take a good look at the schedule for specific programs and make modifications based on what is in the best interest for the student.
We recognize that the stresses on families right now are exhausting. While you are helping your family cope with this crisis, we are doing the same. We will work diligently to provide your children with the best education we possibly can. We need your support and patience while we build a new type of education for our students.
Keep up the social distancing and hand washing. Maintain your effort to combat this outbreak and be safe.