Red alert at Keefe Tech: Voke school switches to remote start – News – MetroWest Daily News, Framingham, MA

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During a virtual meeting for parents on Thursday, Superintendent Jonathan Evans called himself disappointed by the change, but said it was in the best interest of students and staff.

FRAMINGHAM — Keefe Regional Technical School has walked back its reopening plan, deciding to go with a 100% remote start in the fall.

The switch is due to the city recently being classified as a “red” or high-risk community by the state. During a Thursday night virtual meeting for parents, Superintendent Jonathan Evans called himself disappointed by the change, but said it was in the best interest of students and staff.

“I want to take a moment to say to families, I know this has been a roller-coaster for you,” he said. “I know there’s a lot of nervousness and excitement, and this timing was not great for this change in Framingham’s status… I understand your frustration personally and professionally. We will be working hard to prepare and ensure all decisions we make are in the best interest of our students.”

About 800 students attend Keefe, according to its website. Students there have the option of pursuing career and technical study in addition to traditional academic classwork. The academic curriculum appeals to students interested in college preparatory, honors courses and advanced placement courses.

Meanwhile, the career and technical program component consists of a freshman exploratory year, then three years of preparation in one of the 16 career and technical areas. Beginning in grade 10, an alternating week schedule of vocational and academic instruction is introduced. Co-operative education training is available to qualifying juniors and seniors.

School officials gave a presentation Thursday on what families and students can expect come fall. The academic departments will work to form partnerships with students and families to ensure regular student engagement. There will be Google classrooms for each subject and block. When school starts, there will be an initial assessment so teachers can pinpoint skill gaps for remediation.

A tailored curriculum will be presented daily, with Zoom being used for live instruction.

The career and technical programs will be delivered through daily live lessons. Scheduled times for classes are being finalized and will be shared soon. Attendance will be taken and students will be graded for all assigned work.

The career exploratory program will also be held through virtual sessions. Students will still learn about the specific technical programs and career paths, just in an online format. The school is currently developing additional resources to help students and families understand the specific online grading expectations for Exploratory.

Co-operative education training will be an option for seniors, with restrictions on early childhood and health assisting.

Art kits will be available to pick up on scheduled dates over the next two weeks, and physical education will be held over Zoom and X Block.

Evans stressed the school still hopes to be able to switch to the hybrid model when it is deemed safe. Preparations are still underway to get ready for that shift, including the procurement of personal protective equipment gear and outfitting of hallways with directional arrows to map traffic flow in buildings.

Keefe serves Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton and Natick. Framingham is considered its anchor community.

Zane Razzaq writes about education. Reach her at 508-626-3919 or zrazzaq@wickedlocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @zanerazz.

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