Massanutten Technical Center welcomes back students with safe hands-on learning

Hutton and MTC staff helping students find their way on the first day back.
Hutton and MTC staff helping students find their way on the first day back.(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 12:38 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — On Tuesday, Massanutten Technical Center had its welcome back day part two as students returned back to class for the first time in months. In order to keep their class sizes small, MTC split its students into two groups based on last names.

The first group, which meets Monday and Thursday, already had their first day back, and the other group, which meets Tuesday and Friday, found their classes Tuesday morning.

“It’s just unbelievable, you know a lot of kids will complain sometimes how school isn’t something they really enjoy but it’s really not true,” Kevin Hutton, director of MTC, said. “The kids were just so excited to come back to school be with their peers, be with their instructors and be in a great structured environment.”

Wednesday will be used as a deep cleaning day for teachers and staff.

Many students were being dropped off by their families, but some still rode the bus provided by their school district. As a way to cut down on social interaction, students were asked to go to their classroom from exterior doors as opposed to heading through the main building which can get crowded.

In the classroom, students have been spaced out and given assigned seating to promote social distancing. Neil Tucker, an instructor for the carpentry class, decided to get a little creative over the summer with his classroom.

Tucker took old model heads from the cosmetology class and turned them into social distant mannequins. Each mannequin was put at a seat in his class so students would know not to sit there and be more spaced out.

While students will only be physically in class twice a week, Hutton said software will be given based on each student’s class so they can learn virtually at home.

He said this fall the time students spend physically in the classroom will be vital to the trade they are learning.

“It’s all about hands-on we have to capitalize on that time to make sure we get them the hands-on instruction while they’re here,” Hutton said.

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