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Career Tech Ed Week Event Highlights Student Green Energy Work with City of Boston

On Monday, February 4, in recognition of the national Career Technical Education Month, the Boston Public Schools (BPS) held an event to launch the district’s first-ever CareerTechEd Week to highlight an increasing number of programs that provide students pathways to real-world career skills and success after graduation.

The event was held at Boston Green Academy in Brighton, where students in the Environmental Science and Technology program demonstrated their use of laser thermal imaging cameras to detect heat and water loss in buildings. The students — who conducted demonstrations around the school’s beehive that is located in the library, among other areas of the school — are partnering with the City of Boston’s Environment Department to identify energy inefficiencies at The Old State House. The historical building is owned by the City, operated by The Bostonian Society, and is planned for renovations.

The event also celebrated Boston Green Academy recently earning the 2019 Massachusetts Green Ribbon Schools Award. The award honors schools that exemplify a commitment to sustainability, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education, health and wellness, and green practices. Boston Green Academy is now the Massachusetts nominee to the U.S. Department of Education for the national round of this competition. Boston Green Academy is only the second BPS school to receive the honor in the history of the award.

“CareerTechEd Week helps us prepare BPS students for the jobs of the future while they gain valuable experience,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I'm proud the Boston Public Schools and Boston's Environment Department are working together to provide more opportunities and learning experiences for our students.”

Boston Green Academy students take part in CareerTechEd Week 2019

BPS Interim Superintendent Laura Perille and Robert LePage, assistant secretary for career education for the state Executive Office of Education, visit Boston Green Academy to kick off BPS CareerTechEd Week. 

On Tuesday, February 5, at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Roxbury, students in the Programming and Web Development program will hold an open event to showcase their work in robotics, game and website development. The school will have additional showcases and student-centered activities throughout the week that highlight its 20 Career Technical Education programs, which is the largest number for any school in the district. The programs being showcased this week include healthcare, transportation, construction, and hospitality.

BGA Ribbon Cutting

Boston Green Academy students participate in a green ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the school's recent state Chapter 74/vocational status approval for its Environmental Science and Technology program. Included in this photo are Laura Perille, BPS interim superintendent (far left); Chris Cook, City of Boston chief of environment, energy, and open space; Michelle Sylvaria, executive director of career technical education for BPS; Robert LePage, assistant secretary for career education for the state Executive Office of Education; and Boston Green Academy Headmaster Matt Holzer. 

“It’s inspiring to see our schools collaborating and developing educational programs that we know will help our students for years to come,” said Michael Loconto, Boston School Committee Chairperson. “The district has continued to expand experiential learning opportunities that provide our students with the 21st century skills needed to succeed in their careers.”

BPS has grown its total number of Career Technical Education programs by seven since 2017, for a total of 43 programs in 13 high schools. Last fall, state education officials approved Chapter 74/vocational status for three Career Technical Education programs in BPS: the Environmental Science and Technology program at Boston Green Academy, the Programming and Web Development program at Madison Park, and the Fashion Technology program at Boston Arts Academy.

“The type of real-world engagement that comes with career technical education and rigorous academics can truly bring learning alive for our students,” said BPS Interim Superintendent Laura Perille. “We hope that more students will view career technical education as a viable pathway to success that can have a positive, long-term impact on their futures.”

Thermal imaging camera is used on the beehive in the school library

Robert LePage, assistant secretary of career education, uses the thermal imaging camera on the Boston Green Academy's beehive, which is located in the library, as part of a student-centered demonstration on how the technology captures heat loss. 

The Career Technical Education fields in BPS also include visual communications, engineering, graphic design, business technology, protective services (police, fire, emergency medical services), criminal justice, and more.

“The Boston Public Schools continues to do a tremendous job in building career pathways for students and demonstrating the value of career education through real-world experience and hands-on learning in a variety of fields,” said Robert LePage, assistant secretary for career education for the state Executive Office of Education. “It’s important for our students and for our economy that we provide a variety of options for students.”

In addition to these public events, numerous in-school activities will take place for students at the schools offering Career Technical Education pathways, which include student demonstrations, guest speakers who work in the career fields students are studying, resume-writing workshops, and more.

We invite you to follow us on the BPS CareerTechEd Twitter account at @BPSCareerTechEd or attend two CareerTechEd Week events to recognize our expansion of career pathways for our students.

Visit the BPS Career Technical Education website for more information about these programs.