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Moving Forward

While teachers across Long Island were working to teach academics remotely, CTE instructors at the Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology were demonstrating oil changes, hair treatments, and sushi-making through Zoom.


Courses such as Computer Technology and Repair, Art, Design, and Visual Communications, and Professional Photography transitioned to distance learning with relative ease. However, for classes that require specialized equipment, tools, and work procedures, teachers used instructional videos and computer software to familiarize students with tools and work procedures.


First-year construction trades students finished the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-hour training online, while second-year programs completed the OSHA 30-hour course, which is required in New York City to work on construction sites and allows students to enter a competitive job market.


A senior in the Aviation/Private Pilot Training Program earned his private pilot’s license by completing his required flight hours while distance learning. Pupils enrolled in the Marine/Motorsports Technology Program worked on motorcycles in their living rooms to get work-based learning credits, and, students in Culinary Arts, Animal Science, and Early Childhood Education created videos to showcase their skills.


“There’s no doubt that this lockdown made things harder,” said Rob Van Brunt, program administrator for Career and Technical Education at Eastern Suffolk BOCES. “However, our teachers went above and beyond and made sure our students excelled despite everything going on.


Only four of the Academy’s 32 programs were unable to finish the year without having earned a license or certification due to cancellations as a result of the pandemic. While appearance-enhancement students completed their coursework virtually, the state canceled board licensing exams. Similarly, Health Science students couldn’t complete their clinical rotations, as medical centers limited visitors.


“We hope that as the state keeps reopening, we can get our students the hours they need to earn the licenses they worked all year for,” said Van Brunt.


For more information about CTE through ESBOCES and the Academy, please contact Rob Van Brunt at


A student stands beside his plane

Justin Chirco, Center Moriches UFSD, stands beside the plane he used to complete the mandatory flight hours needed to earn his private pilot’s license while remote learning.


 A student on camera is taking pictures of her cutting tomatoes

Several students created YouTube videos to showcase their skills. Above, Yakelin Velasquez-Lopez, Riverhead CSD, prepares avocado chips and salsa fresca for an assignment.


A picture of milk being poured into a cup of coffee

Professional Photography and Digital Imaging students practice their food photography skills.

 A picture of a student working on a motorcycle in his driveway

Cameron Caltabiano, Sachem CSD, works on a motorcycle in his home as part of the Marine-Motorsports Program.