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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Planning To Reopen - DESE Vocational Education Guidance, Part 3

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

By now the vast majority of school districts have begun the 20-21 academic year and every reasonable precaution has been taken to ensure the safest possible environment for our students. Much of the discussion has focused on the traditional classroom setting, but how has the current COVID-19 pandemic affected Vocational schools were learning requires hands-on, in-person, group learning? The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has offered guidance for vocational technical schools and comprehensive schools offering vocational technical programs. The guidance includes appropriate safety measures to promote the safety of students, teachers, and staff. This guidance may also be used as a reference for other related programs, such as Innovation Pathways and Connecting Activities. The following highlights DESE guidance. For complete details click here.

NOTE: COVID-19 is highly transmissible. Individuals should follow these universal precautions regardless of the extent of mitigation needed:

  1. Follow healthy hygiene practices
  2. Stay at home when sick
  3. Practice social distancing 
  4. Use a cloth face covering (with some exceptions) in community settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic is continually evolving. What is true today may not be tomorrow. At this time, the evidence suggests schools have not played a significant role in COVID-19 transmission and that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19.

As always, work with your local health officials to determine a set of strategies appropriate for your community’s situation.

(See our Planning to Reopen series of blogs for more information regarding CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass DESE, and OSHA safety requirements). To review the administration's reopening guidance from the state click here. To view Governor Baker's full report click here).

Culinary Arts

Culinary arts programs should follow both the DESE reopening guidance and the Massachusetts Safety Standards and Checklist for Restaurants. In implementing these guidelines, culinary arts programs should:

  1. Limit customers. Culinary sites should only serve internal guests (e.g., staff and students) within a dine-in restaurant setting for the first two months.
  2. Setup online ordering for curbside pick-up for external customers. This will enable a broader customer base to buy food at the restaurant while limiting the number of external customers entering the building.
  3. Designate meal pick-up sites. In order to further limit interaction with customers, sites should identify a single area where meals will be picked up.
  4. Setup disinfecting stations. These should be available at the front and back of the house for students and staff.

Early Education And Care

Early education and care programs should follow both the DESE reopening guidance and the Massachusetts Child and Youth Serving Programs Reopen Approach. High school students in early childhood education and care programs may participate in practicums and cooperative education placements with the following safeguards:

  1. Sites follow guidelines issued by the Department of Early Education and Care,
  2. The high school student’s school district must be in the designated green/unshaded zone
  3. The childcare placement must be in the designated green/unshaded zone.


Cosmetology programs must abide by both the DESE reopening guidance and the Massachusetts Safety Standards and Checklist for Close Contact Personal Services. In implementing these guidelines, cosmetology programs should:

  1. Limit customers. Cosmetology sites should only serve classmates and staff for the first two months of operations and not permit external customers. Use of mannequins should be prioritized as feasible.
  2. Limit services.Haircuts and other services are permitted if the individuals are not face-to-face for extended periods of time, so long as DESE and industry safety standards are followed. These standards include wearing masks, gloves, gowns or smocks, and prescription glasses, safety glasses, or goggles.

Automotive Technology And Automotive Collision

Automotive technology and automotive collision programs must abide by both the DESE reopening guidance and the Massachusetts Reopening Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces. In implementing these guidelines, automotive technology and automotive collision programs should:

  1. Provide appointment-based services only. For services provided to external customers (i.e., the public), service should be by appointment only to limit interaction.
  2. Minimize public entry to the building. Create drop-off and pick-up procedures that do not require personal interaction, such as key drop-boxes. If customer interactions are needed, they must occur outside of the building.
  3. Consider online payment systems. If feasible and to limit interaction with customers, consider using or creating online booking systems with automotive service signature and credit card payment options.

Graphic Communications And Marketing

Graphic communications and marketing programs must abide by boththe DESE reopening guidance and the Massachusetts Reopening Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces.In implementing these guidelines, graphic communications and marketing programs should:

  1. Limit external customers. For external customers, graphic communications and marketing programs should utilize virtual operations.
  2. Provide appointment-based services only. For services provided to external customers, service should be by appointment only to limit interaction.
  3. Minimize public entry to the building. Create pick-up procedures for graphic communications and marketing products that do not require personal interaction.

It is important to note that CVTE specific guidance from the Massachusetts DESE is intended to be in place ONLY for the first two months of the school year. This is consistent with the way many CVTE programs already operate, in which the initial months of the school year are dedicated to training and preparing students for work in program settings. The Department will provide additional guidance in the coming months based on updated state guidance and COVID-19 trends.

While the administration continues to work with communities to implement best practices and protocols for reopening our schools we will continue to share with you guidance from the CDCEPAFDAMass EEAMass EECMass DESE, and OSHA and the Governor's office to follow as we prepare for the new school year.

Also, we at SERVPRO of Framingham know that not every community has access to the resources necessary to meet the strict cleaning guidelines to ensure a safe environment for our children. For those communities, we are here to help!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Disaster Remediation Teams at SERVPRO of Framingham are specialists in cleaning services and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are prepared to clean and disinfect your schools, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of "normal daily cleaning". Call SERVPRO of Framingham today for a free consultation - (508) 370-4400.

All of us here at SERVPRO of Framingham want you and your loved ones to stay safe and know that we will make it through this together! Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to keep you up-to-date and informed!

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