The Indiana Office of Career and Technical Education is encouraging schools to offer technical education classes in-person to more than 200,000 students as some school districts delay reopening or switch to exclusively virtual learning.
The office says unlike many courses, technical education classes have hands-on experience requirements that can’t be replicated online. Without it, students might lose the opportunity to earn college credit or certifications. The office recommends school districts delaying in-person classes or going virtual-only make an exception for CTE, while following their “Back on Track” COVID-19 precautions.
Steve Baker, principal of Bluffton High School, said his school district is currently planning to offer all courses in person, but they may have to limit the size of some CTE classes.
“CTE programs are so valuable to our schools," he said. "Plus, it's part of our graduation pathways. So if nothing else, we may have to balance some of those things out."
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Across the state, 22 schools already reopened CTE programs so students could finish courses from last semester.