Weekly Field Memo

The Agency of Education created the weekly field memo to keep subscribers up-to-date with current education policy, state-wide education initiatives, and official messages from the AOE. The field memo may also includes education-related items from other state agencies. And at our discretion, we may include other events or information from other organizations not directly affiliated with the AOE. The field memo is not intended to serve as a newsletter.

Volume 11, Issue 43

25 October 2017

State Board Rule 4500: Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

Audience: Administrators
The purposes of State Board Rule 4500 are to create and maintain a positive and safe learning environment in schools; promote positive behavioral interventions and supports in schools; and ensure that students are not subjected to the inappropriate use of restraint or seclusion. Annually, at or before the beginning of the academic year, each school (defined in 4500.3(10)) shall inform all school personnel, and parents of students enrolled in the school of the policies pertaining to the use of physical restraint and seclusion and the intent to emphasize the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports and its intention to avoid the use of physical restraint or seclusion to address targeted student behavior. This is also a reminder to make sure all staff receive adequate training and support for de-escalation strategies and personal safety as alternatives to the use of restraint and seclusion. Learn more about Restraint and Seclusion in Schools.
Contact: Tracy Harris at (802) 479-1421 or tracy.harris@vermont.gov

High School Smarter Balanced Assessments Changed to 9th Grade

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Curriculum Directors, District Test Administrators, Teachers
As Vermont works to implement an accountability system that better reflects the state’s education priorities as stated in Education Quality Standards, changes will need to be made at the state and local level. One such alteration is changing the high school Smarter Balanced assessments from 11th grade to 9th grade beginning in the spring of the current school year. Read the full High School Smarter Balanced Assessments memo.  This change reduces the testing burden at 11th grade, allows for student growth on the assessments to be considered, and helps schools identify students in need of additional support early in their high school careers. Learn more and read the FAQ for High School Smarter Balanced Assessments.
Contact: Michael Hock at michael.hock@vermont.gov

Visual Art Resource Sharing Day

Audience: Visual Art Teachers
Please join us for a professional learning day at the Vermont Agency of Education on Friday, November 3, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., where participants will have the opportunity to share and learn about a variety of resources from their fellow visual art teachers. Prior to the day, educators will select and upload a resource that they use in the classroom to be shared with the larger group. Time will be provided to explore and collaborate. Topics for sharing may include: curriculum, instruction, and assessment aligned with the National Core Arts Standards, performance assessment, learning targets, learning platform hacks, personalization, arts integration, proficiencies/PBGRs in the art room, transferable skills, contemporary practice, Teaching for Artistic Behavior, S.T.E.A.M, transferable skills, etc. The content of the sharing day will be participant driven. Participants will be introduced to the #VTOpen group on OER Commons, Vermont’s open educational resource site, as an option for staying connected to resources. Art teachers K-12 are welcome with an acknowledgment that any great resource can be adapted to any age group and vertical alignment of arts programs benefits all students. Register for Visual Art Resource Sharing. Space is limited to 25 participants. Depending on the popularity, a second resource-sharing day will be planned for the spring.
Contact: Emily Titterton at (802) 479-1378 or emily.titterton@vermont.gov

Music Resource Sharing Day

Audience: Music Teachers
Please join us for a professional learning day at the Vermont Agency of Education on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., where participants will have the opportunity to share and learn about a variety of resources from their fellow music teachers. Prior to the day, educators will select and upload a resource that they use in the classroom to be shared with the larger group. Time will be provided to explore and collaborate. Topics for sharing may include curriculum, instruction, and assessment aligned with the National Core Arts Standards, performance assessment, learning targets, repertoire, learning platform hacks, personalization, arts integration, proficiencies/PBGRs in the music room, transferable skills, etc. The content of the sharing day will be participant driven. Participants will be introduced to the #VTOpen group on OER Commons, Vermont’s open educational resource site, as an option for staying connected to resources. Music teachers K-12 are welcome with an acknowledgment that any great resource can be adapted to any age group and vertical alignment of arts programs benefits all students. Register for Music Resource Sharing Day. Space is limited to 25 participants. Depending on the popularity, a second resource-sharing day will be planned for the spring.
Contact: Emily Titterton at (802) 479-1378 or emily.titterton@vermont.gov

Teaching Strategies GOLD Webinar

Audience: Prequalified Private Providers, Public Univeral Pre-K Teachers, Paraeducators, Administrators
In order to support Vermont's prequalified private and public Universal Pre-K Programs with the updated Teaching Strategies GOLD Birth-Grade 3 Platform, the Agency of Education will hold a town meeting style webinar on Friday, October 27, 2017 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Register for Teaching Strategies Gold Webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The content of this conversation is driven by your questions. Please fill out the questionnaire which will help plan our agenda.
Contact: Katie McCarthy, ECSE Coordinator II, at katie.mccarthy@vermont.gov

Facilitated School Safety Training Dialogue: School Nurses Role During an Emergency

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Safety Crisis Planning Team Members
This week’s school safety facilitated dialogue is designed to foster a conversation about the role a school nurse would play during an emergency at your school. This exercise is designed to familiarize participants with your school's current school crisis plans, policies, and procedures.
Contact: Rob Evans, School Safety Liaison Officer, at revans@margolishealy.com

School Field and Forest Trips - Reminders Needed for Classrooms About Tick Checks

Audience: Principals, Teachers, School Nurses
School personnel planning field trips, please include opportunities for students, families, and chaperones to learn how to check themselves and children for ticks. Learn why this lifelong skill is needed to keep themselves healthy using the following resources. Press release: Protect, Check, Remove;  Watch for Ticks through Thanksgiving. Web resources:  Be Tick Smart.
Contact: Sharonlee Trefry, State School Nurse Consultant, Vermont Department of Health, at (802) 863-7348 or sharonlee.trefry@vermont.gov

2017 School Bus Rebate Program

Audience: Facility and Transportation Directors, Maintenance Directors, Superintendents, Business Managers, School Board Chairs
School buses travel over four billion miles each year, providing the safest transportation to and from school for more than 25 million American children every day. However, diesel exhaust from these buses has a negative impact on human health, especially for children who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed. EPA is offering rebates in addition to grants to reduce harmful emissions from older, dirtier diesel vehicles. EPA designed this rebate program to encourage school bus fleet turnover so more children can ride buses with the cleanest emissions standards or buses that have been retrofitted to reduce emissions. The 2017 School Bus Rebate Program will provide over $7 million to public and private fleet owners for the replacement or retrofit of older school buses. Up to $1 million of the funding total will be available for retrofit funding requests in the selection process.  The deadline is 4 p.m. on  November 14, 2017.
Contact: The EPA's Clean Diesel Program at cleandiesel@epa.gov and type "School Bus Rebate Question" in the subject line


Courtesy Postings

New Graduate Certificate Program in Personalizing Student Learning at Saint Michael's College

Saint Michael's College is pleased to announce a new graduate program for educators, a Graduate Certificate Program in Educational Innovation, Leadership, and Technology. The program is designed to assist districts with building systems capacity for personalizing student learning. The program includes five, three-credit courses which will be delivered in a hybrid delivery model, with face-to-face sessions being held in Richmond, VT. Read a complete description of the program.
Contact: Dr. Daniel M. French, School Leadership Coordinator, at (802)654-2362 or dfrench@smcvt.edu

Understanding Trauma within a PBIS Framework Webinar

This webinar on November 2, 2017 from 9-11 a.m. will provide an overview of the impact developmental trauma has on childhood development across multiple domains including learning and cognition. Strategies for identifying and supporting children who have experienced developmental trauma at all three tiers of support will be presented. Participants will improve their understanding of how to create a learning environment that is trauma-informed. The fee is $50 per person. Register for the Understanding Trauma within a PBIS Framework Webinar.
Contact: Sherry Schoenberg at sherry.schoenberg@uvm.edu

Scholarships Available to Attend the Vermont Humanities Council Fall Conference

Apply by October 27, 2017 for a full scholarship to attend the Vermont Humanities Council’s Fall Conference on November 17-18, 2017 at the University of Vermont. This conference will explore the ways that technology has shaped culture, society, and human interaction. Vermont K-12 educators, as well as Adult Education and Literacy system educators, are eligible for these scholarships. This includes teachers as well as non-classroom instructional personnel such as curriculum coordinators or media specialists. The scholarships are made available thanks to a grant from the Bay and Paul Foundations.
Contact: Richelle Franzoni, Vermont Humanities Council, (802) 262-1355 or community@vermonthumanities.org

Communication and Representation in Mathematics: Sharing Mathematical Thinking in Primary Grades

This two-day workshop will focus on the importance of communication and representation in mathematics, methods for supporting and encouraging young children’s communication and representation skills, and ways to support the transition from using informal language and representations to using more formal and conventional forms of mathematical representations including equations and charts. Participants will review current and relevant research on effective communication and representation in mathematics, explore the developmental stages young children move through as they communicate and represent their understandings, and investigate effective instructional methods to support growth over time. This workshop is being offered in two locations—Springfield (Holiday Inn Express) on November 2, 2017 and December 6, 2017 and Richmond (Richmond Congregational Church) on November 3, 2017 and December 8, 2017. Register for Communication and Representation in Mathematics: Sharing Mathematical Thinking in the Primary Grades
Contact: Loree Silvis at lsilvis@cornerstonemathematics.com

Visual Methods for Improving Social Understanding

This module will focus on exploring the use of Comic Strip Conversations (Gray), Social Stories (Gray) and SOCCS (Smith Myles) to enhance teaching students skills for thinking about and modifying one’s own behavior. This six-hour workshop is part of a two-part Social Cognition Learning Module that takes an in-depth look at current specific strategies and activities designed to improve interpersonal communication and self-management skills. These workshops are designed to provide additional concentrated exploration of an individual methodology associated with social and emotional learning. Recommended for classroom teachers, special education teachers, reading specialists, and content area teachers. Held at the Stern Center for Language and Learning in Williston from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m on Thursday, January 11, 2018. Register for Visual Methods for Improving Social Understanding.
Contact: Caitlin Niland, Intake Coordinator for Professional Learning, at (802) 878-2332 or proflearning@sterncenter.org

Leading the Implementation of Proficiency-Based Learning: Creating the Conditions for Success

Leading the Implementation of Proficiency-Based Learning with Andrew Jones and Gabe Hamilton on January 24, 2018 at the Hampton Inn Conference Center in Colchester, is meant to help school and district leaders support teachers with the implementation of PBL practices and will focus on seven high leverage tools and strategies that can be used to facilitate the implementation of proficiency-based systems of teaching and learning. Learn more and register for Leading the Implementation of Proficiency-Based Learning: Creating the Conditions for Success.
Contact: Champlain Valley Educator Development Center at info@cvedcvt.org

Mosaic Student Summit Facilitator Certification Training

This is the last chance to register for the Mosaic Student Summit Facilitator Certification Training starting November 3, 2017, held at the Howard Center, at 1138 Pine Street in Burlington, VT. The first day of the training will introduce the foundations of appreciative inquiry and strengths-based education in addition to the sequence and structure of a Student Summit. There will be two 90-minute coaching calls scheduled in December and January to support participants as they facilitate their own Student Summit. February 15, 2018 will be the final day, where participants share the outcome of their summits and discuss the impact the activity had on their own experience and the experience of other participants. Register online for the  Student Summit Facilitator Training.
Contact: Michelle Irish at michelle@mosaiclearningcenter.com

Flynn Center Teacher Workshop

Join David Gonzalez, a renowned storyteller, from 4-6 p.m. on November 13, 2017 at the Flynn Center in Burlington for "The Four Rivers Model of Storytelling - The Confluence Model." The Confluence Model of Storytelling was created by Gonzalez to teach his style of multi-modal performance which establishes the four distinct elements of communication-language, voice, gesture, and imagination-as independent "rivers" that flow together. Cost is $25 per participant. A professional development credit is available. Register for Flynn Center Teacher Workshop with David Gonzalez: The Four Rivers Model of Storytelling - The Confluence Model.
Contact: Lauren Genta, School Programs Coordinator, at lgenta@flynncenter.org

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Questions?

Email Haley Jones, Public Information Officer or call (802) 479-1111.

Contact Us

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Rebecca Holcombe
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641

(802) 479-1030 | aoe.edinfo@vermont.gov
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