Career and technology centers prepare to safely administer hands-on learning

Back to School with Eyewitness News

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Career and technology centers are in session and just like high schools, many of them are doing hybrid learning.

We’re now in a time where people are trying to keep hands-off but the centers are doing everything they can to get students back in the classroom. School bus drivers are making stops at career and technology centers across the region including in Lackawanna County.

“The students that have come have been very, very eager to get back to school and get back to normal and to see their friends and to see their instructors and do what they love to do,” said Thomas Baileys, administrative director of the Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County.

In order to do all that, more than 850 students have to follow social distancing guidelines as soon as they step off the bus. Once they enter the facility, their temperatures are taken by a camera using thermal technology. Anyone above 100.3 degrees is sent home. Throughout the school, signs remind students to wash their hands, wear masks and keep at least six feet apart.

“We put up six foot rulers that allow our students to not only know six feet but to actually see what it looks like and also learn about measurements while they’re walking down the halls in our building,” said Baileys.

They may be counties apart, but Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center is doing things very similar. Just like Lackawanna, Susquehanna’s hybrid learning has half of its students Monday and Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the center is closed.

“We’re going to do a deep cleaning of the school and then on Thursday and Friday we are back open again,” said Gary Fenton, assistant executive director of the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center.

Days with in-person learning are being used for hands-on learning while virtual is more book learning for dozens of career paths. Fenton says instructors filmed lessons and demonstrations to assist in the ability to master a trade from home during this time of COVID.

“We’re taking everything we can possibly take and you know help get rid of this situation,” said Fenton.

Instructors at both centers are trying to get students to complete hands-on work while they’re in school. As we all know, the future is uncertain.

Ten percent of students at the Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County have chosen to stay 100% online.

Lackawanna and Susquehanna started the fall marking period last week on Thursday.

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