Despite School Closures, Students Learning Continues At Home

A Capital Region BOCES student works at a laptop computer.
In the wake of the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, our Career and Technical School students have pivoted to learning at home to continue expanding their skills.

While much of the learning is hands-on for students in our Career and Technical School, there are still things they can accomplish from home during the school closure due to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic.

For example, students in many programs, including our Game Design & Implementation and the Internet Application and Designs, are working online to earn a variety of certifications.

“My students are fortunate in that so much of our work can be done as distance learning,” said Internet Application and Design teacher Barbara Gorbaty who explained that students in the the course have a full version of Adobe CC (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.) with at-home use.

“Most of my students are currently working towards their Adobe Certified User Certifications, and they will be using our online study tools and practice tests to prepare,” she added.

Meanwhile, students in the Diesel Tech program are working on, among other things, WD-40: Cleaning, Storage, and Maintenance of Tools and Equipment certification and Valvoline: Automotive Chemicals 101 and Heating,

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration students (HVAC/R) are earning EPA 608 and OSHA-10 certifications.

Students from other programs are using the pandemic to explore medicinal history.

“Each student has been asked to write about how this pandemic compares to the ones in the movies Outbreak and Contagion, and to complete a ‘diary’ discussing their thoughts and feelings during the time we are away from school,” said a Marge Wickerham, a Two-Year Sequence of Health Careers teacher.

They are also creating instruction manuals for two tasks they need to complete as Certified Nurse Assistants (CNS).

Students in the cosmetology program are using Google classrooms to work with teachers and learn in a subject that is largely involves hands-on learning.

“The cosmetology teachers at Albany and Schoharie are working together to continue to provide quality instruction while off campus,” said Tammy Lawrence, a cosmetology teacher.

Additionally, Integrated English teacher Ken Bevan said staff was able to distribute work packets before Friday’s closure of schools. These included relevant math, science lab and English assignments, and have students gathering work samples, technical writing and CFM assignments to help boost their portfolio of skills that prospective employers’ are look for when hiring.