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 10, Issue 35

28 September 2016

Reducing Chronic Absenteeism: Every Day Counts

Audience: Pre-K-12 Administrators, Leadership Teams

This 19-minute video from REL West describes the prevalence, causes and academic consequences of chronic absenteeism in grades K-12 across the nation, and addresses promising strategies for reducing chronic absence: building school-wide cultures of good attendance, using data to identify students missing school to trigger outreach, and tiered support for students. 

Contact: Tracy Watterson, MTSS Program Manager, at tracy.watterson@vermont.gov

ServSafe Food Safety Training for School Food Service Programs

Audience: School Food Service Directors, Administrators

Child Nutrition Programs is partnering with the Vermont Foodbank to offer ServSafe Manager's Training in Barre, VT and Brattleboro, VT this fall. The trainings will be held on October 11, 2016, at the Vermont Foodbank Distribution Center in Brattleboro and on October 20, 2016, at the Vermont Agency of Education in Barre. This training costs $80 and includes the class, book and test. Participants who pass the test receive a ServSafe Manager certificate, valid for five years, which is recognized across the food service industry. We recommend this training for all school food service managers in Vermont. To register, visit the Vermont Food Bank website.

Contact: Rosie Krueger at (802) 479-1246 or mary.krueger@vermont.gov

Ready for Kindergarten! Survey (R4K!S) 2015-2016 Report

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Directors of Student Support, Kindergarten Teachers

The 2015-2016 Ready for Kindergarten! Survey Report is now available online.  The 2015-2016 R4K!S marked the deployment of the new survey instrument, changes in scoring methods, and criteria used for identification of students as “ready.” The new survey also included new and revised questions, including six in the Physical Development and Health domain. Along with its scoring and readiness identification methods, the R4K!S is based on recommendations made as a result of an independent validity review conducted by American Institutes for Research (AIR). These changes in readiness criteria resulted in a substantially greater percentage of students identified as ready in SY2016 than in previous years. 

Contact: Kate Rogers, Early Education Program Manager, at (802) 479-1454 or kate.rogers@vermont.gov

Vermont PBIS Leadership Forum

Audience: VTPBiS School Leadership Teams, VTPBiS Coordinators and school teams interested in exploring PBIS implementation

This annual leadership forum is designed to promote active contributions and peer networking around key professional learning topics associated with PBIS implementation. Also included will be a day-long introductory session on PBIS for teams exploring implementation. Rob Horner, co-director of the National PBIS Technical Assistance Center will be the keynote speaker. VTPBis annual acknowledgements will be awarded. Register online

Contact: Anne Dubie at anne.dubie@uvm.edu

Vermont School Safety Evacuation Facilitated Dialogue

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Crisis Planning Team Members

This short school safety training video is designed to foster a conversation about how your school would respond to a specific school safety incident. The video should be viewed with members of your school crisis planning team in an effort to evaluate and enhance existing school safety policies and procedures. 

Contact: Rob Evans, Margolis Healy, at revans@margolishealy.com

National Expert on Recognizing and Addressing Implicit Bias to Speak in Vermont

The Vermont School Boards Association (VSBA) and the Vermont Superintendents Association (VSA) are pleased to announce an exciting opportunity to hear from a national researcher on implicit bias, Robin Wright from the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Ms. Wright is a national leader in research into how implicit biases can unconsciously shape individuals' cognition, attitudes and even behaviors.  Ms. Wright will be delivering a keynote presentation and interactive workshops on October 21, 2016 at the VSBA/VSA Annual Conference at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont. In addition to Ms. Wright's presentations, we will explore issues related to implicit bias in Vermont schools through a student panel, a workshop on dress codes and school discipline, and a workshop on leading discussions about difference in an elementary school setting. Early registration deadline is October 10, 2016. 

Contact: Kerri Lamb at (800) 244-8722 or klamb@vtvsba.org

Jump$tart to offer Teacher Education

The Vermont Jump$tart Coalition will present their annual conference for teachers at the Davis Center at the University of Vermont on November 11, 2016. Vermont teachers from all grades are invited to attend this event and will attend three sessions from six different topic offerings, as well as hear keynote speaker Peter Bielagus, America's Financial Educator. Registration information can be found on the Jump$tart website

Contact: Dylan Giambatista at dylan.giambatista@vermont.gov

Courtesy Postings

Rowland Foundation Annual Conference

Audience: All

Registration is now open for The Rowland Foundation's annual conference at the University of Vermont on October 27, 2016. The conference theme is "Equity and Excellence...Closing the Achievement Gap in Vermont Schools." The keynote speaker Jonathan Kozol, the most widely read education writer over the last 40 years, will be followed by morning workshops and afternoon action planning sessions. For registration information and a complete list of conference workshops visit the Rowland Foundation website

Contact: Chuck Scranton, executive director, at chuckscranton@gmail.com

Teacher Scholarships Available for VHC Conference "Looking at Leadership through the Humanities"

Thanks to a grant from the Bay and Paul Foundations, the Vermont Humanities Council is once again offering full scholarships to qualifying educators to attend our fall conference, to be held November 4-5, 2016 at the University of Vermont. This conference will ask what we can learn about leadership from the humanities, and features a line-up of 12 presenters exploring Indira Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Shakespeare's portrayals of leadership, and American Suffrage leaders, to name a few. Vermont K-12 educators, as well as Adult Education and Literacy System educators, are eligible for these scholarships, which cover the cost of registration, including meals, and for these residing more than 45 minutes from Burlington, the cost of lodging. 

Contact: Amy Cunningham, VHC Director of Community Programs, at (802) 262-1356 or acunningham@vermonthumanities.org

Innovate Your Reading Workshop with Beth Moore

This two-day workshop will include a demo of small group instruction in a real classroom led by Beth. A workshop for grades K-4 will be held November 14 and 15, 2016. Registration is open online. Space is limited. 

Contact: Lauren Wooden, Executive Director of the Champlain Valley Educator Development Center, at (802) 497-1642

VT Scholastic Art and Writing Awards 2017

The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center (BMAC) is proud to serve as the Vermont affiliate for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, a prestigious national program that recognizes and nurtures the creative talents of teen artists and writers. Students in grades 7-12 are eligible to submit creative work. The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2016. 

Contact: The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center at (802) 257-0124

Cybersecurity Competition Registration Open Through Oct. 5, 2016

The Cyberpatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program is a series of competitions and associated training resources sponsored by the Air Force Association. Several Vermont schools have participated and have done well in the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, in which students work as a team, simulating a small IT department, tasked with securing computers and servers from outside threats.  Champlain College is supporting the program with free training sessions and logistical support to bring the program within reach of any school, no matter how cash-strapped their budget might be.  There are three different levels, targeted toward elementary, middle and high school teams. 

Contact: Jamie Navarro at jamienavarro@usa.net

Vermont State School Nurse Association Conference

The Vermont State School Nurse Association is teaming with the Brattleboro Retreat to offer a conference addressing mental health issues on October 15, 2016. The conference is designed for school nurses but is also appropriate for guidance counselors. 

Contact: Louisa Driscoll, president, at president@vssna.org

Brattleboro Museum and Art Center Announces Three Opportunities for Students

The Brattleboro Museum  and Art Center (BMAC) is seeking submissions for its ninth annual Lego Contest and Exhibit, and a special project called Glasstastic. The museum's popular Lego Contest and Exhibit will take place at BMAC November 18-20, 2016. Submissions are due November 16, 2016. Prizes will be awarded in a number of categories and age groups. For Glasstastic, the museum invites students in grades K-6 to dream up and draw imaginary creatures, several of which will be transformed into glass sculptures by artists from all around New England. The glass sculptures and drawings will be exhibited at BMAC March 18-June18, 2017. The deadline to submit imaginary creatures to Glasstastic is December 30, 2016. 

Contact: Brattleboro Museum and Art Center at (802) 257-0124

K-8 NGSS Science Lessons Meet Digital Tools

This one day workshop with science teacher Laura Pratt and technology integrationist Lisa Barry has an online component and book. This workshop, which will be held on October 15, 2016, will focus on science and engineering practices and the science-related apps and websites that will help you teach and assess NGSS learning using technology. Register online

Contact: Lauren Wooden, Champlain Valley Educator Development Center, at (802) 497-1642 or lauren@cvedcvt.org

11th Annual Working with Youth Conference

The Working with Youth Conference  annual conference brings together anyone whose personal or professional life impacts the lives of youth in some significant way. Network and learn with more than 250 attendees at the conference on November 14, 2016 at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, VT. A broad spectrum of individuals attend including educators, social works, staff members from teen centers and out-of-school-time programs, health care professionals and numerous others. The Vermont Working with Youth Conference is an ongoing project that delivers both general and targeted learning opportunities designed to build shared vocabulary, common tools, and the depth of commitment that Vermont's youth deserve. By participating in this process together, we hope to highlight our common practice, forge tighter networks, and bring greater attention to all of us who work to improve the lives of youth aged 10-21. Registration is open until October 28, 2016. 

Contact: Bethany Pombar, Vermont Coalition of Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs, at (802) 229-9151 ext. 248

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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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