By ARDEN BASTIA To accommodate for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Warwick Area Career & Tech Center (WACTC) will hold a virtual open house, according to director Tim Kane. "e;Because of COVID and where we are right now, we would love to have parents come in,
To accommodate for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Warwick Area Career & Tech Center (WACTC) will hold a virtual open house, according to director Tim Kane.
“Because of COVID and where we are right now, we would love to have parents come in, but that’s not possible,” he said in an interview.
The virtual open house will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 19 from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m. The event will begin with a welcome and opening remarks from Kane, as well as career counselor Ann Hourahan and internship coordinator Eugene Kelly. The open house will feature Google Meet links for each program offered by WACTC. Each program meet will give parents and students a minimum of ten minutes to hear from faculty and staff, ask questions, and learn more about the course.
“I tried to schedule it so similar programs aren’t grouped together so parents can stick around for the program,” said Kane, who explained that students are often interested in more than one program during the open house and wants to give students and parents the chance to explore as much as possible. “The idea is for parents to ask teachers questions about the program, and teachers can explain the credentials and certifications students will graduate with.”
The open house is available to students currently in 8th grade at the WACTC feeder schools including Warwick Veterans and Winman Middle Schools, 9th graders at Pilgrim and Toll Gate High Schools, as well as surrounding communities like West Warwick.
Kane says the center was following an in-person learning model until Dec. 14th, when superintendent Philip Thornton announced all Warwick schools would distance learn until the foreseeable future. “We were fortunate that our students can get the hands-on hours they need, since so many hours are required by the state for certification.”
Kane explained that the center has a streamlined process for in-person learning during a pandemic. “We set up a system here where students enter and exit through their program rooms whenever possible. We have garage doors down on the lower levels so we’ve had those open. We’ve been blessed with good weather, for the most part, so students can work outside. We treat each program like its own pod. They eat in their classrooms, and they don’t intermingle with students from other programs.”
The WACTC reopened for four day, in-person learning on Jan. 13, and Kane is looking forward to getting students back into the classroom. “The feedback I get from the students is that they want to be in. They enjoy coming in, they like working with their hands,” he said. “It’s a place where students leave at the end of the day with a smile on their face because they enjoy doing something they like and have a passion for.”
Kane acknowledges that attendance among career and tech centers is always a concern, but is confident in the education of the Warwick Area Career and Tech Center.
“I think what we have going for us here is that we have a great relationship with Toll Gate and the customer service we’re able to provide will always put us ahead of the pack. We have strong programs with agreements with colleges. There’s not a week that goes by that employers aren’t calling us, looking for graduates to work in the field.”
The center is preparing students for the jobs of the future, said Kane. “There’s more of an interest in the trades right now. There are people making six figures, but not wearing white collars and ties, and our students recognize that.”
A full schedule of the open house and Google Meet links can be accessed at the Warwick CTC and Warwick Schools Facebook page.