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 include 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 42

18 October 2017

3DVermont Competition Open for Registration

Audience: All
Registration for the 3DVermont Competition, 3DVermont, kicks off on Friday, October 20, 2017. This fourth annual competition combines history and technology and culminates in a day-long event where teams share their 3D created models of historic town buildings across VT. Register a team for this year’s 3D Vermont competition.
Contact: Peter Drescher at (802) 479-1169 or peter.drescher@vermont.gov

Nominations for Presidential Scholars

Audience: Students, Principals, Guidance Counselors, Academic and CTE Teachers, CTE Center Directors
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes and honors high school seniors who demonstrate outstanding scholarship.  Twenty-five outstanding students from the state of Vermont – 20 from high schools and five from CTE centers – will be selected based on recommendations and applications from participating schools.  High schools can nominate up to one female and one male, and CTE centers can nominate up to two students. In addition, this year students are able to nominate themselves (with the endorsement of a qualifying adult). Learn more about the Presidential Scholar Program in Vermont and complete the online nomination form. Only nominations submitted via the electronic system will be accepted. The deadline for nominations is November 10, 2017.
Contact for CTE Centers: Jay Ramsey, State Director for Career Technical Education, at jay.ramsey@vermont.gov
Contact for High Schools: Sigrid Olson, Personalization, and Flexible Pathways, at sigrid.olson@vermont.gov

Self-Paced Course: Developing and Applying Proficiencies

Audience: All
Want to learn more about applying proficiencies? Interested in exploring essential questions around proficiency-based education? Need to practice some of the necessary components of a proficiency-based system? Check out the Developing and Applying Proficiencies self-paced course designed by the Center for Collaborative Education.
Contact: MC Moran at mc.moran@vermont.gov

Bridge Project Newsletter - MTSS Implementation

Audience: All schools, supervisory unions, supervisory districts, and other stakeholders involved with the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP), and/or Bridge Project, the former State Personnel Development Grant
The Bridge Project Newsletter provides information and updates on the Bridge Project, which serves as a bridge between the MTSS implementation work begun during the last State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) and the next SPDG project for Vermont. The Bridge Project coordinates technical assistance, resources, professional learning, and guidelines to Supervisory Unions’ and Districts’ leadership teams to support tiered systemic approaches to initiating, implementing, and sustaining school-wide efforts consistent with Title 16 and Vermont’s Education Quality Standards.
Contact: Meg Porcella at meg.porcella@vermont.gov

Governor’s School Safety Conference

Audience: All
A message from Secretary Holcombe: “Our first responsibility is the safety of our children. Commissioner Anderson from the Department of Public Safety and I are pleased to collaborate in presenting this year's Governor’s School Safety Conference. The focus of our conference will be on how to develop personal and organizational resiliency when responding to or recovering from a critical incident at your school. Commissioner Anderson and I strongly encourage school leaders to attend this conference with their school crisis planning team members, local first responders, mental health professionals, school resource officers and local emergency management directors in an effort to enhance your schools emergency preparedness efforts.” Register for the Governor’s School Safety Conference.
Contact: Rob Evans, School Safety Liaison Officer, at revans@margolishealy.com

Prekindergarten Development Expansion Grant Application

Audience: Principals, Early Education Coordinators, and Program Directors
The Agency of Education is continuing to accept PreK Development Expansion Grant (PDEG) applications for the current 2017-2018 school year. PDEG is a federal grant that supports SU/SD/Head Start programs to provide free, full-day, high-quality PreK services to four-year-old students whose family income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. Previous and current subgrantees have used PDEG funds to compensate a licensed teacher, provide comprehensive services to eligible children and their families, update playground equipment, and expand programs from half-day to full-day.
Contact: Laura Greenwood, PDEG Program Manager, at (802) 479-1476 or laura.greenwood@vermont.gov

What If Wednesday: Lockdown and Fire Safety Responses

Audience: Superintendents, Principals and School Crisis Planning Team Members
This week's What if Wednesday will be on fire safety and lockdown responses. This school safety training is designed to stimulate a conversation about school emergency preparedness. Participants should read the summary of the “fictional” school safety incident and then answer the multiple choice question with the appropriate response action to be taken for the specific emergency.
Contact: Rob Evans, School Safety Liaison Officer, at revans@margolishealy.com

Courtesy Postings

The views, opinions, and resources shared in this section of the WFM are solely those of the original contributors. The Agency of Education does not endorse the views expressed by these contributors and reserves the right to refuse submissions. Questions related to any of these resources should be directed to the organizations, people and opportunities as shared.

Funding for FIRST Robotics Teams

New funding is available for teachers to apply to fully fund FIRST Robotics teams. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology and is viewed as an entrance ramp to engage youth in STEM education and careers. With this funding, teams can be formed and supported to compete in any of four levels including:  FIRST LEGO League Jr, FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition. Registration for this opportunity closes on October 10, 2017.  Also for more information on how to start a FIRST team, there is a workshop this Saturday, November 21, 2017 from 2 -2:45 p.m. at the Vermont Tech Jam located at the Champlain Valley Expo.
Contact: Doug Webster at doug.webster@vermont.gov

Hunger Free Vermont: School Meal Program Survey 

Audience: School Principals, Superintendents, and School Board Members
Recently, we sent you an invitation to complete a School Meal Program Survey concerning top ten things you wish to know about the school meal program. Our goal is to enable you to better understand how these complex federal programs work, so that you can address areas of concern and better oversee their operation in your schools. For those who already taken the survey, I would like to thank you for your time.  For those who haven't done it so, there is still time to fill the survey up. The survey only takes two minutes to fill.  Deadline is October 31, 2017. 

Big Picture Learning Leadership Conference

Audience: All 
We invite any school and district leader passionate about student-centered learning and education-reform to attend the 2017 Big Picture Learning Leadership Conference – to learn directly from the experiences and wisdom of Big Picture Learning staff and network leaders. December 5-7, 2017 leaders will come together where it all began, The Met School in Providence, RI. At once, we will both look back and look forward, searching for new ways to put our students at the center and keep our practice on the edge. 

Bridge Building STEM Competition – and Crushing

Audience: All Middle and Secondary Students, Teachers, Principals, Guidance, Curriculum Coordinators
In advance of the Bridge Building STEM Competition Vermont Technical College – Randolph Center Campus, teams of students create Popsicle stick built bridges. Judging is based on aesthetics, originality of design, presentation, ultimate load carrying capacity, and predicted failure point. There is no cost to enter, complimentary lunch and t-shirts - plus scholarship funds offered to top performers. Model bridges promote the study and application of physics and engineering and help students develop “hands-on” skills while having fun.  The High School/Career Tech students event will be on Friday, March 23, 2018 and the  Middle School students will be on Thursday, April 12, 2018 . 
Contact: John Diebold at jdiebold@vtc.vsc.edu

State of Inclusion Conference

Please join Michelle Gates, Senior Vice President, and Lisa DeNatale, retiring President and CEO of Special Olympics Vermont, along with Sue Minter, incoming President and CEO, at the 2017 State of Inclusion Conference, November 10, 2017 at the Taconic Hotel in Manchester, VT. Learn how together we are building inclusive schools and communities across Vermont. With a focus on building partnerships for lifelong transitions, educators, athletic directors, administrators, and representatives from the Vermont Agency of Education will learn about and share the many connections between organizations throughout Vermont that support inclusion and transitions for individuals with disabilities through every stage of their lives. There is also a separate Youth Leadership track for Middle and High school students. Invite your developing youth leaders to engage in hands-on exercises, build action plans, and practice using their voices to share their stories.
Contact: Michelle Gates at mgates@vtso.org

A Model for Managing Anxiety and Improving Self Regulation

This module will focus on managing anxiety and improving self-regulation using techniques for increasing self-awareness and modifying one’s own behaviors. This 6-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, December 7, 2017. 
Contact: Caitlin Niland, Intake Coordinator for Professional Learning, at (802) 878-2332 or proflearning@sterncenter.org

VSAC Fall Training

Audience: High School Counselors and Agency Professionals
Attention high school counselors and agency professionals: We’ve moved up VSAC’s annual fall training to November 1 and 2, 2017 to align with the earlier FAFSA and Vermont grant application dates. The morning training will focus on state and federal updates; new initiatives that VSAC is either leading or participating in; and the latest on the FAFSA, Vermont grant application, and the Unified Scholarship Application. Register today for training opportunities in Springfield or Winooski. 

Designing and Using Learning Scales that Create Competence

What is a learning scale? How is it different than a rubric? What are the smartest ways for teachers and students use them? In this VT-HEC WORKshop, we will refine our understanding of the design features of learning scales and why they matter so much to students and teachers in a proficiency-based system committed to making learning more personally meaningful. Whether you’re new to learning scales or someone who’s been at this for a while, this WORKshop will make sure you’ve got the inspiration, resources, and guidance (and time!) you need to begin drafting and refining learning scales that will make a difference for you and your learners. VT-HEC is offering this workshop November 14, 2017 in Killington or January 12, 2018 in Burlington.
Contact: Julie Medose at (802) 498-3350 or julie.medose@vthec.org

Building Growth Mindsets and Metacognitive Skills K-12

Personalized learning and implementing proficiency-based systems require that students employ more independent learning strategies than ever before. Please join Dr. Kathleen Kryza on November 16, 2017 for the Think Smart interactive one-day seminar sharing research-based strategies for building mindsets and self-regulation skills to prepare students for school and for life. 

Vermont Rhythm of Life: Drumming Sensory-Friendly Workshops for Families

VSA Vermont and the Flynn Center present a fun, free and inclusive drumming workshop for families with a child or adult on the autism spectrum. Classes use sensory-friendly drums and percussion instruments and relaxed expectations. No experience necessary. Pre-registration is encouraged so you aren't disappointed should the class fill up. There are two workshops to be held on Sundays, October 29, 2017 and November 12, 2017 from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. 
Contact: kredniss@flynncenter.org

The Restorative Classroom: Using Circles and Restorative Communication to Improve Learning

The Restorative Classroom, presented by Annie O'Shaughnessy, M.Ed, on December 6, 2017 at the Hampton Inn Conference Center, Colchester, is an experiential and informative workshop that will focus on the concepts, practices, and techniques to begin building a stronger learning community right away. The workshop includes a resource binder.
Contact: info@cvedcvt.org

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