The agency revised a deviation memo, originally released on March 12 (see related post), directing the inspector workforce to provide further relief for part 147 schools electing to provide A&P program content to students online. Download the revised memo.
The original memo limited relief to current program enrollees, stating it should not be used for "new students." The limitation was problematic for schools that do not follow a traditional enrollment schedule, with rolling enrollments happening now or in the near future. The revised memo removes that limitation, and also adds a timeline (30 days after termination of the deviation memo) by which programs must return to "the AMTS standard curriculum" (i.e., for those schools that do not have permanent distance learning authorization, a return to classroom instruction).
Under the original memo, the agency stated that inspectors should approve absentee policy revisions and allow up to 80 hours of absence for a part 147 program. The revised memo clarifies that while missed material must be made available for content missed during the absence, make-up time is not (and never has been) required.
According to agency reports, around 40% of current part 147 schools have taken advantage of the deviation memo and requested approval to deliver content online and/or make a change to their absentee policy. Around 20% of schools have suspended operations, for at least the time being. The remaining 40% have yet to reach out to the agency with a request for online delivery, or suspension notification.
ATEC held an online webinar to educate schools on the memo and to provide resources for taking content online. Listen to the recorded version and see available resources on the COVID Issue Page.
Stay tuned for updates on everything ATEC members need to know as well as ways that you can help the council and the AMTS community.