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 38

19 October 2016

Education Quality Review Video Series

Audience: All

During summer 2016, the Agency of Education (AOE) partnered with Battelle for Kids (BFK) to produce a series of videos communicating the Education Quality Review (EQR) process. These videos capture voices from the field and testimonials from AOE staff and educators who were part of the pilot process to communicate the purpose of the EQR process and its impact on education in Vermont. Watch the videos on the AOE YouTube channel. 

Contact: Josh Souliere, assistant director of education quality reviews, at (802) 479-8660 or josh.souliere@vermont.gov

New Vermont State Plan Decisions Have Been Posted Online

Audience:  All

A set of new decisions related to the development of the Vermont State Plan were posted to the Every Student Succeeds Act page of the AOE website.  New decisions address topics related to the weighting of accountability performance measures, the adoption of the ESSA definition of a “well-rounded education”, and the status of Vermont’s educator licensing standards. Newly posted decisions are:  Accountability Decisions 9-14; CFP Decisions 6-8; Educator Quality Decisions 1-2.  See the AOE website for more details on decision topics and for full decision summaries.

Contact:  Chris Case, Education Project Manager, at (802) 479-1179, chris.case@vermont.gov; Patrick Halladay, Education Project Manager, at (802) 479-1712, patrick.halladay@vermont.gov

Save the Date: Comprehensive Assessment Recovery Effort (C.A.R.E.) Training Opportunity

Audience: Members of School-Based Education Support Teams (EST) or Targeted Teams attending as a team

Training opportunity for school members of education support teams sponsored by The Vermont Freemasons, The Vermont Agency of Education, and Vermont Department of Health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs. This training is designed to provide strategies for improved and efficient functioning of a School’s Educational Support Team or Targeted Team. The two-day workshop builds educators skills in identifying at-risk students and providing appropriate guidance. No cost to participants. Learn more about the training. To reserve space for your team e-mail Sabine at sabine.baldwin@vermont.gov with the number of anticipated slots to hold.  

North: Green Mountain Technical Center, Hyde Park, on March 20-21, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

South: River Valley Technical Center, Springfield, on March 22-23, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Contact: Sabine Baldwin at sabine.baldwin@vermont.gov

Ready for Kindergarten! Survey (R4K!S) Data Collection

Audience: Principals, Kindergarten Teachers

The 2016-17 Ready for Kindergarten! Survey (R4K!S) will begin on October 19, 2016, and end on November 30, 2016. Please forward the R4K!S link and information to your kindergarten teacher/s. The 2016-17 R4K!S marks year two that kindergarten teachers are required to rate each child’s skills as “beginning,” “practicing,” or “performing independently” on 28 items in addition to six additional questions related to health and well-being. Changes in scoring methods and criteria are now used for identification of students as “ready.” Fill out the survey online. Read the R4K!S Fast Fact Sheet.

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

Save The Date: Preschool Development Expansion Grant Webinars

Audience: School Administrators, Teachers, District Leaders and Partner Programs receiving or interested in applying for the Preschool Development Expansion Grant

Two webinars will be hosted by the Vermont Agency of Education for districts and current grantees already receiving or interested in applying for the Preschool Development Grant. This is the second year of a four-year grant. On October 26, 2016, from 2:30-3:30, the PDEG Information Webinar will provide background information on the PDEG, guidelines, and spotlight successful implementation by some Year 1 sites. On November 9, 2016, from 2:30-3:30 the PDEG Technical Assistance Q&A interactive webinar will allow participants to connect with the AOE Early Childhood staff as well as fellow partnering sites to share questions and successes. Learn more about how to join the webinars

Contact: Katie McCarthy at katie.mccarthy@vermont.gov

Establishment of a Prekindergarten Education Region

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Boards and Special Education Directors

Act 166 provides for the establishment of geographic limitations or “Prekindergarten Regions” in which a school board may choose to propose to limit the geographic area within which it will pay tuition for prekindergarten education. Applications to establish a PreK Region beginning with the 17/18 school year are due November 15, 2016.  Decisions on establishing a Pre-K Region will be made by February 15, 2017. Links to guiding documents and further information visit the AOE website. 

Contact: Kate Rogers at (802) 479-1454 or kate.rogers@vermont.gov or Katie McCarthy at (802) 479-1401 or katie.mccarthy@vermont.gov

Facilitated Dialogue for Bus Accidents

Audience: Superintendent, Principals and School Crisis Planning Team Members

This facilitated dialogue is designed to initiate a conversation about how your school would respond to a bus accident on a snowy afternoon and to familiarize your staff with your current emergency operations plans, policies and procedures. 

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

What If Wednesday

Audience: Superintendents, Principals and School Crisis Planning Team Members

The What If Wednesday school safety initiative 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. All responses are anonymous, but please click "submit" when finished. 

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

Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce $9 Million to Vermont For Innovate 'Linking Learning to Careers' Program

Audience: All

Vermont’s congressional delegation – Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), and Rep. Peter Welch (D) – on October 5, 2016 announced a nearly $9 million grant to support an innovative project to help Vermont students with disabilities in transitioning to the workforce. The grant from the U.S. Department of Education to the Vermont Agency of Human Services Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab) is for the Linking to Learning Careers Program.  These funds will support a new pilot project through the federal Disability Innovation Fund to evaluate a pioneering model to support students with disabilities in preparing for and entering the workforce.

Contact: David Carle, press contact, at (202) 224-3693

Courtesy Postings

Essex Westford Education Community Unified Union District Superintendent Vacancy

The Essex Westford Education Community Unified Union District (EWECUUSD) Board of Directors is accepting applications through November 4, 2016 for the position of Superintendent of Schools. Current superintendents Judy DeNova (CCSU) and Mark Andrews (Essex Town SD) have announced they will not seek the position which becomes effective July 1, 2017. Applications are being processed through School Spring

Contact: Brian O'Regan, search consultant, at boregan11@gmail.com

Collaboration, Inclusion and Co-Teaching

As schools move to Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, teachers are seeking strategies to support all learners. This course will delve into collaborative teaching through co-teaching strategies currently used to provide effective collaboration for instruction and interventions for all students by a pair of teachers. We will explore collaboration, universal design for learning, scaffolding instruction, and consultation. Learn more and to register online with the Learning Collaborative.

The Vermont Creative Learning Forum

The Vermont Creative Learning Forum to advance the understanding and practice of the ways in which schools can use creative engagement as a catalyst to accelerate personalized and proficiency-based learning initiatives will take place November 15-16, 2016 at the Woodstock Inn. Fully engage in dialogue and problem-solving with colleagues and national thought-leaders who share your passions, questions and challenges about how personalized learning can work best. Helping us through this learning journey will be leaders in creative engagement, master teaching artists, and educators from across Vermont who bring their work as case studies to use as spring boards for our explorations. Register online.

Contact: Beth White, partnerships manager, at beth@communityengagementlab.org

Youth Environmental Summit - Registration Deadline Extended

We want students to come and engage in this annual conference. It's a day where students learn from each other, network with environmental professionals, engage in action-inspiring workshops and exhibits and more. YES is for students in grades 7-12 and will take place on November 2, 2016, at the Barre Civic Center. The registration deadline has been extended to give schools a few more days to organize students to attend this event. Please contact Lauren Traister if you are planning on attending but need more time to get registration materials collected. The new deadline to register is October 21, 2016. Register online.

Contact: Lauren Traister, 4-H Teen & Leadership Program Coordinator, at (802) 888-4972 ext. 402 or lauren.traister@uvm.edu

Vermont Council of Special Education Administrators - Winter Conference

This conference offers two sessions for various audiences on December 1 and 2, 2016 at the Sheraton Inn and Conference Center in Burlington.  For more information and to register, visit the VCSEA website

  • Session 1: December 1, 2016, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., "Federal and State Legislation: Why This is Important to You"
  • Session 2: December 2, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., "Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching as a Key to Prevention and Intervention"

Contact: Jo-Anne Unruh, executive director, at junruh@vcsea.net

Umatter for Schools Youth Suicide Prevention Training for School Professionals

The two-day Umatter for Schools Youth Suicide Prevention taking place on October 20 and 21, 2016 is designed so that you can prepare your school community to respond to the mental health needs of students and prevent suicide. Once adults know suicidal warning signs and how to help, they will be ready to teach suicide prevention lessons using the Lifelines curriculum, an evidence-based program of four lessons appropriate for middle and high school students. The session will be 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day in Rutland, Vermont. The training is $145 for both days. Learn more and register online

Contact: Catherine Diduk, training/event coordinator at the Center for Health and Learning, at (802) 254-6590 or catherine@healthandlearning.org

TRY For The Environment - Teen Teachers Wanted

TRY stands for Teens Reaching Youth and is an environmental leadership opportunity for youth in grades 7-12.  It is a teen-led environmental education program with an embedded service learning component designed to teach environmental literacy and responsibility to younger youth. TRY for the Environment includes four program areas - renewable energy, waste solutions, food systems and forests and trees - to connect young people to real-world environmental problems in which they can be key change agents helping to create real-world solutions.  More information is available online.  Applications are due no later than November 15, 2016. 

Contact: Lauren Traister, 4-H Teen & Leadership Program Coordinator, at (802) 888-4972 ext. 402 or lauren.traister@uvm.edu

Call and Response: Addressing Racism in the Classroom

Jeh Kulu West African Dance and Drum Theater hosts its fifth annual professional development event for educators for kindergarten through college November 4, 2016, at North End Studios in Burlington. Teachers of all subjects and guidance counselors are welcome. Through guest speakers, group discussion, reflective writing and a hands-on percussion workshop, participants will collaboratively explore the components of racism and how it relates to and manifests in the classroom. Register online

Contact: Kimberly Caterino at africalovedance@gmail.com

Subscribe Online

The field memo has time-sensitive and relevant information designed for students, teachers, and staff. The agency encourages principals, headmasters, and superintendents to share the memo with their education community. Additionally, individuals can subscribe or unsubscribe online.

Weekly Field Memo Submission Guidelines


Email Ted Fisher, Communications and Web Manager, or call (802) 479-1170.

Contact Us

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641

Web and Document Accessibility Policy​
Public Records Requests

(802) 479-1030 | aoe.edinfo@vermont.gov
Staff Directory | Division Phone Numbers

Connect with Us

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Instagram icon
Google+ icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon