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 4

25 January 2017

The Vermont State Plan Public Comment Period is Open Through February 11

Audience: All
The Vermont State Plan, created in response to the federal requirements of the Every Students Succeeds Act, and within the context of the state’s goals and priorities as expressed through the Education Quality Standards and Act 77, is open for public comment. The comment window began January 11, 2017, and runs through February 11, 2017.  The plan’s efficacy depends in large part on reflecting the voices of all Vermonters. Learm more about the Vermont State Plan public comment process is available online.
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

Survey on Personalized and Proficiency-Based Learning

Audience: Principals, Assistant Principals, Curriculum Directors, Directors of Special Education, Directors of Guidance

The AOE invites district and school leaders to complete the updated/corrected survey on implementation of Act 77 and the Education Quality Standards at their respective Schools. The data collected from this survey will direct AOE’s efforts in providing effective and efficient support to schools around Vermont. This survey will close on February 1, 2017. 
Contact: Jessica DeCarolis at (802) 595-9740 or jess.decarolis@vermont.gov

E-rate Update 2017

Audience: All
The E-rate window opens up later this year, and many schools took advantage for the first time last year.  Peter Drescher, Education Technology Coordinator, will conduct a one-hour session on new aspects of E-rate for this year.  There are not a lot of changes but want to be sure we highlight a couple as they pertain to making changes to record keeping and phone services.  E-rate experts from Vermont and ENA, our broadband partner, will fill out the hour.  To join the webinar, register online and further information will be sent to you.  The webinar will be on February 6, 2017, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
Contact: Peter Drescher at peter.drescher@vermont.gov

Continuous Improvement Planning Information Sessions

Audience: Curriculum Coordinators and Principals 
Registration is now open for Continuous Improvement Planning Information Sessions to be hosted by the Agency of Education’s Education Quality Assurance Team. Sessions will take place February 13, 2017, and March 2, 2017, from 9 a.m. until noon at 219 North Main Street, Suite 402 in Room 304,  in Barre, Vermont. Topics covered will include Establishing a Culture for Improvement, Conducting a Comprehensive Needs Assessment and an Improvement Science Approach to Continuous Improvement. State principals and curriculum directors are encouraged to attend.  Learn more and register online on the AOE website.
Contact: Jesse Roy at (802) 479-1230 or jesse.roy@vermont.gov

Unpacking the New Music Standards Workshop

Audience: Music Educators
In these workshops, educators will receive an overview of how the new standards are organized and the major shifts necessary when using them. The standards will be unpacked to create a deeper understanding. Educators will be put into working groups to write unit plans using the new standards. Educators will remain connected via an on-line community. Middle school educators should self-select which session is right for them. Limit 25-30 educators per session. A workshop for elementary and middle school educators will be held February 2, 2017. A workshop for high school music educators will be held February 10, 2017. Workshops will be held at the Agency of Education offices in Barre, Vt. Register for Unpacking the New Music Standards Workshop
Contact: Emily Titterton at emily.titterton@vermont.gov

Vermont Professional Learning Network Information Session

Audience: All
Vermont Professional Learning Network is hosting a virtual, interactive information session on February 7, 2017, from 8:00 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. During the info session, we will share information and answer your questions about Collaborative Learning Groups, Vermont Stories, Self-Paced Courses, and the Digging Deep Series. Learn more and register through the Center for Collaborative Education
Contact: Meaghan Foster at vtclg@ccebos.org

Courtesy Postings

10th Annual Middle Grades Conference

The theme of this year's 10th Annual Middle Grades Conference is Flexible Pathways for Young Adolescents and stems from knowing the nature and needs of this age group and from Vermont's recent adoption of Act 77. The conference will focus on creating Personalized Learning Plans, Proficiency Based Assessments and Flexible Pathways for all middle and high school students. We invite you to immerse yourself in these three pillars of personal learning through presentations by teachers experiencing personal learning in the field. The conference will be held January 7, 2017, at the University of Vermont Davis Center.
Contact: James Nagle at jnagle2@smcvt.edu

Grants Available for Humanities Camps

The Vermont Humanities Council (VHC) offers grants for week-long summer 2017 Humanities Camps for at-risk middle school students. Two school staff design the camp curriculum around the chosen theme, using gift books for all participants provided by VHC, and lead the day camp at your school. This “immersion” experience in the humanities and creative arts can be a powerful intervention. The application deadline is March 9, 2017. 
Contact: Ali Palmer, Vermont Humanities Council, at (802)262-1352 or APalmer@vermonthumanities.org

Need Input from High School Students

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and Vermont Family Network (VFN) are conducting research to understand the needs of Vermont’s students with disabilities as part of our 2017 Needs Assessment. VFN is conducting an online survey and listening sessions as part of this process, and we would like your help in letting the students and families you work with know about this opportunity to share their experiences. The survey is short, geared toward high school students, and any student who provides an email address will be entered into a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card. Our goal is 100 responses, and we plan to close it by mid-February. After the survey is closed and analyzed, six listening sessions will be conducted with groups of students and parents/guardians. We will combine all of this information with additional research to inform the findings for the youth section of the 2017 Needs Assessment, which is scheduled to be available this summer. 
Contact: Karen Price at Karen.Price@vtfn.org

UP for Learning's new video: Act 77: Flexible Pathways

UP for Learning is pleased to announce a new video to help introduce Act 77: Flexible Pathways to your school and community. This video features six Vermont students pursuing pathway options as components of their Personalized Learning Plans.  It is intended to serve as a catalyst for dialogue. This is a product of the Communicating School Redesign initiative, a partnership between UP for Learning and the Vermont School Boards Association, in collaboration with the School Project Foundation.
Contact: Serena Franks at serena@upforlearning.com

Symposium Series: "Language: The Missing Piece of Academics"

The Stern Center for Language and Learning introduces their three-part symposium series at the Main Street Landing Film House on February 10, 2017. The first workshop of the series is entitled “Language: The Missing Piece of Academics” and will focus on language as a skill in its own right, a skill that not only supports social interaction, but one that has the potential to foreshadow problems with reading comprehension and writing long before children have mastered the basic phonics skills. Participants will learn about the structure of language, the role that language plays in reading, writing, and math, how it is assessed, and activities to promote language development. This workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. $300 for series or $125 per workshop. Register for the series online.
Contact: Caitlin Niland, Intake Coordinator for Professional Learning, at (802)878-2332 or proflearning@sterncenter.org

2017 Champlain College Young Writers Conference

High school students are cordially invited to attend a weekend of writing workshops, craft sessions, and open mic at the Champlain College Young Writers' Conference, May 26-28, 2017. Now in our 17th year, our doors are open to emerging writers who wish to share their passion for story, drama, and song with their writer brothers and sisters—and with celebrated New England authors. We offer three days of readings, improv, Moth storytelling, poetry slams, literary jazz/blues fusion, and extended friendship on the hillside campus of Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. The 2017 keynote speaker is Naomi Shihab Nye.  Apply online by February 24, 2017
Contact: Lesley Wright at (802)865-8456 or ccyw@champlain.edu

Last Chance to Register for Think Smart: Building Growth Mindsets and Metacognitive Skills K-12

This workshop will be held February 3, 2017, at the Lake Morey Inn in Fairlee, VT. Kathleen Kryza, an international consultant and educator, will share the latest cognitive research on mindsets and metacognition and what it takes to “Think Smart” in and beyond the classroom. Participants will leave with a rich toolkit of ideas for building the capacity of Vermont youth to be competent independent learners, and fully optimize personalized learning and proficiency-based strategies in the process. Learn more and register online
Contact: Serena Franks at serena@upforlearning.com

Visit the Vermont Marble Museum

The Vermont Marble Museum is a wealth of information on the marble in Vermont and the impact it had on forming our state. Currently, there are 40 buildings in Washington D.C. that were made with marble from our state, including the White House. Come and learn how marble is quarried, fabricated, and used as calcium in many of the foods we eat today.  A tour of the Museum is educational, historical, interesting, and brings our past to the present day in time. Learn more from the Vermont Marble Museum
Contact: Linda Doty, executive director of the Vermont Marble Museum, at (802) 459-2750


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Barre, VT 05641

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