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 37

12 October 2016

The Vermont State Plan is Being Drafted

Audience: All

After months of consultation with Vermont educators and members of the general public, the Vermont State plan is currently being drafted for federal review. In the weeks ahead, please look at the AOE website for additional proposals that will be included in the draft plan, and an updated timeline for the public comment period and anticipated plan submission date. 

Contact: Chris Case, education project manager, at (802) 479-1179 or chris.case@vermont.gov or Patrick Halladay, education project manager, at (802) 479-1712 or patrick.halladay@vermont.gov 

Collaborative Learning Groups and Education Quality Standards

Audience: Principals, Curriculum Coordinators, Instructional Coaches

Join the Collaborative Learning Groups (CLG), bringing together principals, curriculum coordinators and instructional coaches in job-alike groups providing focused opportunities for practitioners to work collaboratively in addressing the key components of Education Quality Standards (EQS) including, proficiency-based learning, instructional practices, flexible pathways, and local comprehensive assessment systems. Group meets four times throughout the year with virtual conversations in-between. The deadline to participate in the kick-off events is October 18, 2016 (for Northern locations) and October 25, 2016 (for Southern locations). Apply online. 

Contact: The Center for Collaborative Education at vtclg@ccebos.org or MC Moran at mc.moran@vermont.gov

Delayed Due Date for Digital Learning Plans

Audience: Tech Coordinators, Superintendents, Curriculum Coordinators

The Digital Learning Plan required of schools was last indicated to be due on November 15, 2016. It has been delayed and the due date postponed. The anticipated new due date in January 2017. More information will be available soon.

Contact: Peter Drescher at (802) 479-1169 or peter.drescher@vermont.gov

Moving Toward Proficiency in Text-Based Writing: Learning from Student Work

Audience: Principals, Curriculum Directors and K-12 Teachers

Looking at actual student work is a powerful lens through which to learn about what "proficiency" can look like in student text-based writing. This workshop will give educators an opportunity to look at authentic student text-based writing at a variety of grade levels. We will analyze that work through the lens of the standards - what makes the work proficient? Finally, we will look at some ways that teachers have designed instruction in their classrooms so that all students are able to write proficiently and effectively. For more information and to register, visit the Vermont Writing Collaborative website. 

Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at (802) 479-1425 or Joey Hawkins at info@vermontwritingcollaborative.org

HQT Reports for the 2015-2016 School Year

Audience: Superintendents, Educators Census Data Collection Contacts

The preliminary HQT reports for the 2015-2016 school year are available on our secure server. Usernames and passwords were emailed September 29, 2016, to the contacts who were listed in the Educator Census data collection. Please review your reports and reply to us with any changes. Replies are needed by close of business Friday, October 14, 2016. If we do not hear from you, that is your acknowledgment that the information is accurate, and it will be used for federal reporting. Please note that being endorsed in an HQT area does not automatically mean an educator is HQT. 

Contact: Beth-Ann Willey with data updates at beth-ann.willey@vermont.gov and Debi Price with HQT questions at debora.price@vermont.gov

Governor's Statewide School Safety Training Conference

Audience: School Administrators, Teachers, Counselors, School Mental Health Providers, School Crisis Planning Team Members

Secretary Holcombe (AOE) and Commissioner Flynn (DPS) are pleased to announce the Governor’s Statewide School Safety Training Conference to be held at Vermont Technical College (Randolph) on December 8, 2016. This all-day conference is for public and independent schools focused on preventing school violence by providing a comprehensive training curriculum for those individuals that will actively participate in local school, “district” or supervisory union threat assessment teams. Those attending will receive a certificate of completion from SIGMA Threat Management Associates who are national thought leaders in assessing school threat/risk-based behaviors that can potentially have a negative impact on our schools.  School administrators are strongly encouraged to take a “team” approach to this threat assessment training by sending those members within the school, district or supervisory union or school safety partners who are designated or will be designated to conduct these types of assessments. Register online.

Contact: Shelley Matz at (802) 479-1754 or shelley.matz@vermont.gov

Two Upcoming Statewide School Maker Fairs and Engineering Challenge

Audience: Students, Teachers, Parents, Principals

Tech Jam has added a School Maker Faire that will be held October 21, 2016, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Champlain Valley Expo. It's an opportunity for schools, colleges and education service providers to showcase their maker projects and maker abilities. Apply online to exhibit.  Students can compete in the University of Vermont's Engineering Challenge (TASC) and exhibit maker projects at the Aiken K-12 Maker Faire on November 19, 2016, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. All exhibiting is free and open to the public. 

Contact: Doug Webster at doug.webster@vermont.gov

31st Annual Vermont Fest

Audience: Classroom Educators, Tech Coordinators, Curriculum Coordinators

Come to the 31st Annual Vermont Fest November 3 and 4, 2016,  at the Killington Grand Hotel in Killington, Vermont. Great dialogue on relevant topics with an Education Technology bend.

Contact: Peter Drescher at (802) 479-1169 or peter.drescher@vermont.gov 

Vermont Emergency Preparedness Conference

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Safety Coordinators

Registration is now open for the Vermont Emergency Preparedness Conference, November 4 and 5, 2016 at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont. This free conference includes sessions such as, The Coming Storm - Emerging Trends in School Active Shooter Response, Heroin Threat in Vermont, Vermont Alert Overview and Demonstration and Vermont's Emergency Preparedness Exercise. For more information visit the Department of Public Safety website. 

Contact: Rob Evans at revans@margolishealy.com

New School Safety Website

Audience: All

In an effort to enhance the level of emergency preparedness in schools across the state, Vermont's Department of Public Safety and Agency of Education have collaborated to support the Vermont School Safety Center. The Center will provide strategic and operational guidance to Vermont's School Crisis Planning Team and will serve as a vehicle for sharing regional and national school safety best practices with Vermont's school safety partners. In an effort to consolidate school safety planning, training and best practice resources, the newly designed Vermont School Safety Center website will serve as a single point of reference for all Vermont's school safety resources. We encourage all schools to utilize this website for all school safety planning, training and exercise needs. 

Contact: Rob Evans at revans@margolishealy.com

New School Safety Survey

Vermont's Department of Public Safety and Agency of Education have collaborated to design and deliver this School Safety Survey in an effort to better understand the level of emergency preparedness in Vermont's K-12 public schools and to gather feedback for future school safety planning, training and exercise needs. The survey will only be available for two weeks, October 10, 2016 - October 24, 2016. 

Contact: Rob Evans at revans@margolishealy.com 

Fall for FAFSA Scholarship Opportunity

Audience: All

File your FAFSA in October! Big changes to the FAFSA make it easier and faster to find out how much you can afford before you choose your school. For every Vermonter who completes the FAFSA by October 31, 2016, there's an opportunity to win a special October FAFSA scholarship if the student attends one of these Vermont schools: Castleton University, Champlain College, Community College of Vermont, Johnson State College, Lyndon State College, Saint Michael's College, Sterling College, University of Vermont or Vermont Technical College. Contact the Financial Aid Office at the college for location and time details. At VSAC, walk-in assistance will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. VSAC will also have financial aid counselors available for after-hours assistance Oct. 18-20, 2016 from 5-8 p.m., by calling toll-free: 800-642-3177. 

Contact: Vermont Student Assistance Corporation at info@vsac.org

Opportunity for Technical Assistance

Audience: All

The Vermont Agency of Education is partnering with the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) to provide technical assistance to six LEAs looking to improve transportation services for students experiencing homelessness. Our goal is to generate more affordable, flexible and efficient options for transporting students experiencing homelessness to their school of origin. This work will begin in November 2016 and be completed by June 2017. VEIC will work directly with LEAs to perform local needs and resource assessments. Through these assessments, VEIC will develop transportation services plans and provide LEAs with implementation guidance. The homeless liaisons in each LEA will serve as the primary point of contact. Applications are due by 5 p.m. EST November 4, 2016. 

Contact: Justine Sears at (802) 540-7833 orjsears@veic.org

Courtesy Postings

Art Cernosia, Esq. - Nationally Recognized Education Law Expert

Don't miss your only chance to see and hear Art Cernosia in Vermont this year. Rarely will you be able to hear so much about where the legal winds are blowing and how they affect leaders, teachers and students in Vermont. Art's presentations are known for their comprehensive review of education-related legal issues and court decisions and his practical perspective on how they affect Vermont schools. Please join us at the "Special Education Law Update and Review" on November 4, 2016, at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier, Vermont. 

Contact: Julie Medose at (802) 498-3350 or julie.medose@vthec.org

Vermont History Day State Contest Materials Now Available

Do you want to engage your students in historical research and skills development? Students in grades 5-12 are encouraged to create projects for the Vermont History Day Contest in April. Curriculum materials are now available from the Vermont Historical Society. Projects can be about any topic in history (not just Vermont history) related to the annual theme of "Taking a Stand in History." Learn more at the educator workshop on October 18 in Montpelier. Register online. 

Contact: Victoria Hughes, Education Coordinator at the Vermont Historical Society, at (802) 828-1413 or victoria.hughes@vermonthistory.org

Our Time

It's time for students to speak out about school redesign. Especially in Vermont, where new laws call for redesigned education, it's essential for young people to be part of the conversation and part of the process as schools change. That engagement is the promise of "Our Time," a song written, composed and performed by Vermont students to express their hope for change that will make a difference to them, their communities, and the greater world they will soon enter. Tools and resources regarding student voice, personal learning plans and communicating school redesign are available on the Up For Learning website

Contact: Serena Franks, operations manager and event coordinator, at (802) 793-8591 or serena@upforlearning.com

Fifth Annual College Symposium - Cannabis on Campus

Participants at this symposium will hear about the latest research on cannabis and its subtle and not so subtle impacts on academics and health, see what cannabis looks like at the ground level and walk away with tools for engaging faculty in these issues and strategies for implementing campus-level interventions. The symposium will be held on October 14, 2016 at Lyndon State College. A registration fee of $35 includes breakfast and lunch. For more information and to register visit the Health and Learning website. 

Contact: Catherine Diduk, training and event coordinator, at (802) 254-6590 or catherine@healthandlearning.org

Teaching Essay and Argument in Writing Workshop (Grades 4-8) With Beth Moore

This one day workshop on January 12, 2017, will focus on essay and argumentative writing that inspires kids to write passionately about topics that matter to them. Packed with practical classroom-ready strategies for a range of essay types. Registration is open on the Champlain Valley Educator Development Center website.

Contact: Lauren Wooden, executive director, at (802) 497-1642 or lauren@cvedcvt.org

Literacy as Life: Disciplinary Literacy and Performance Assessment Design

This three graduate credit course will be held January 19, 2017 - May 4, 2017, with instructor Alysia Backman, Vermont Adolescent Literacy Consultant. This course for middle and high school content teachers will build knowledge of creating curriculum-embedded performance assessments based on proficiency-based graduation requirements (PBGRS) and standards for many disciplines. Register on the Champlain Valley Educator Development Center website. 

Contact: Lauren Wooden, executive director, at (802) 497-1642 or lauren@cvedcvt.org

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Barre, VT 05641

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