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Career and Technical Schools in N.H. Slowly Reopen for Small Groups

Courtesy of Dave Warrender

High school career and technical schools are slowly reopening to students studying for jobs deemed essential during the pandemic.

This week, Concord Regional Technical Center began bringing in small groups of EMT and nursing assistant students who are preparing for their licensing exams.

[We Want to Hear From You: How is Coronavirus Affecting You?]

Students were required to get parental permission to participate in the three-week program. A press release said they would be screened daily and their desks would be spaced 6 feet apart.

The pandemic cut short hundreds’ of CTE students’ internships and clinical hours. And in many cases, finishing these remotely is impossible.

At Huot Career and Technical Center in Laconia, nursing assistant students were just a few hours short of fulfilling their clinical hours when schools closed in March. The N.H. Board of Nursing allowed them to finish their hours through remote simulation with the teacher.

This week, they returned to Huot to take their LNA licensing exams. They wore PPE, maintained social distance, and were overseen by their teacher, a registered nurse.

School director Dave Warrender says he was willing to make an exception for the LNA’s because of their healthcare training.

“Unlike the vast majority of the public and other students, they know how to keep themselves safe in an infectious environment,” he says. “Would I have tried to do this with fourteen students in a different program? Probably not.”

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.

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