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 51

20 December 2017

Request for Teacher Participants: Supporting Educational Equity

Audience: Teachers
As a part of implementing Vermont’s new accountability and continuous improvement systems, we want to ensure that our education systems are prepared to have authentic discussions about educational equity.  To further this goal, the AOE would like to collaborate with teachers to identify how better practices and systems serving historically marginalized students can be better supported statewide. This conversation will begin through two work sessions, tentatively scheduled for February and April 2018.  The goal of the sessions will be to identify high priority local-level needs related to supporting educational equity, with project content and outcomes being shaped by participating teachers. To register for this project, please complete a brief survey. Deadline is January 15, 2018.
Contact: Chris Case, Education Project Manager, at 802-479-1179, or chris.case@vermont.gov

Special Education Official Rules Guidelines

Audience: Special Education Administrators, Special Educators, Superintendents, Principals
While updating the Agency of Education’s website, the Agency discovered a number of differences between the version of Special Education rules it has been using for training (rules with the pink cover) and the official version that was filed with the Secretary of State in 2013. On August 21, 2017, guidance was issued to clarify the differences. The Special Education Official Rules Guidelines is a document that has been created to provide clarity to the original guidance issued.
Contact: Cindy Moran, State Director of Special Education, at cindy.moran@vermont.gov

Vermont’s Statewide Physical Education Assessment

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Curriculum Coordinators, Directors of Special Education, Physical Educators, and Special Educators
The Vermont Agency of Education has updated the FitnessGram FAQ with new information about the statewide physical education assessment that will be piloted in the spring of 2018. Per IDEA and 504 regulations, Vermont is developing FitnessGram Companion assessments for all students to be piloted in the spring of 2018.
Contact: For content assessment content and related classroom practice, contact Susan Yesalonia, Physical Education Specialist, at susan.yesalonia@vermont.gov; For test administration and school accountability, contact Gabriel McGann, Statewide Assessment Coordinator, at gabriel.mcgann@vermont.gov; For the FG Companion Assessments, contact Linda Moreno, Assessment Coordinator for Special Populations, at linda.moreno@vermont.gov.

Digging Deep Expert Series Spring 2017 

Audience: All
Vermont Professional Learning Network (VTPLN) is hosting two educational experts this spring. Andrew Hargreaves is an internationally-acclaimed education scholar with a focus on professional practice and teacher leadership for change that will bring his expertise to Vermont to show how educators can best work together to leverage engagement and success for both students and teachers. Learn more and register for the Andrew Hargreaves Series. Allison Zmuda brings more than 17 years of experience as an education consultant specializing in student-centered learning. She will give participants a clear overview of just what personalized learning is and how to adopt the dispositions necessary to make the most of this powerful framework. Learn more and register for the Allison Zmuda Series. Each two-day expert workshop is $200 per person with breakfast, lunch and complimentary copies of the authors' most recent book. 
Contact: Michael Brownstein at vtclg@ccebos.org

Pre-Employment Transition Services

Audience: Special Educators, Teachers, Principals
Important message regarding Pre-Employment Transitional Services (Pre-ETS) for students with blind or visual impairments. The Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) offers Pre-ETS for students with blind or visual impairments. DBVI’s work is focused on helping students on IEP’s and 504’s explore different career paths and opportunities. Students benefit from a variety of services: one on one career counseling; development of resumes, cover letters, and interview skills; finding and applying for jobs, internships, and work-based learning; the LEAP Summer Program and work readiness retreats; and assistance in college exploration. If any of these activities would benefit your student, please use the contact information below. DBVI will set up a meeting with a regional counselor to discuss options. Please do not hesitate to contact DBVI if you have questions. Students must meet eligibility requirements of DBVI to participate in these services.
Contact: Fred Jones, Director of the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, at (802) 828-0608 or fred.jones@vermont.gov

Growing Works of Art Contest

Audience: Vermont Students in Grades 1-8
The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is celebrating Arbor Day, a day to plant, nurture and appreciate trees and the difference they make in our lives. To help spread the word about Arbor Day, we are inviting students to actively participate in the celebration by creating a piece of tree art. This year, the Growing Works of Art contest theme is Share a Tree Story: How a tree has helped you GROW. Celebrate the connections we share with trees by helping your students create a work of art that showcases fond memories enjoyed because of the trees in our lives. Students will write a short story (1-3 paragraphs) capturing their fond memory of their chosen tree, and create art illustrating the beauty of their favorite tree. Eight students (one per grade) will have their artwork professionally printed and developed into a poster that will be distributed to schools across Vermont. Winning entries will be featured online, and receive: A Vermont State Parks punch pass ($30 value), plus, be featured on WCAX’s “Across the Fence” television show. Submission deadline is March 16, 2018. 
Contact: Rebecca Roy at rebecca.roy@vermont.gov

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.

Calvin Writing Contest

The Calvin Writing Contest invites students age 13-19 to write a speech (800 words or fewer) they’d give as president to correct a current civil rights issue, using references from Calvin Coolidge’s life and work. Learn more and view resources for the Calvin Writing Contest. Speeches are due May 11, 2018. First Prize will win $1500, and the runner-up will win $500.
Contact: Diane Kemble at (802) 672-3389 or education@calvin-coolidge.org

Hildene Lincoln Essay Competition 2018

Every year, Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home runs the Lincoln Essay Competition for 8th graders throughout Vermont.  First place winners receive $1000, second place $750, third place $500, and honorable mentions $250. The deadline for submissions is Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, 2018. This year’s topic: Describe a current or recent event in which the actions of the participant(s) may be viewed as patriotic by some and as unpatriotic by others. Discuss the differing points of view.  What is your position and why? Complete the Hildene Lincoln Essay application packets (including guidelines and tips).
Contact: Stephanie at stephanie@hildene.org

Children's Literacy Foundation Year of the Book Application

The Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF) grant application is now open. The CLiF grant funds books for libraries, classrooms and homes, author visits, teacher projects and three special school-wide activities to be chosen by the school. There is flexibility to design your year to suit your school/community needs. Learn more and apply for the Children's Literacy Foundation grant.
Contact: Meredith Scott, CLiF Program Director, at meredith@clifonline.org

Free Sensory-Friendly Drumming 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. There are two workshops to be held from 1-2 p.m. on Sundays, February 11, 2018 and March 25, 2018. Classes are free. Learn more and register for Sensory-Friendly Drumming for Families.
Contact: Sarah at flynnarts@flynncenter.org

Video-Supported Professional Learning: How Do I Set That Up?

This one-day workshop series, facilitated by Mike Berry, will be held at the Hampton Inn Event Center on January 31, 2018. K12 Administrators/Educational Leaders/Coaches will gain confidence in selecting video tools and strategies to use as you video yourself in facilitation mode, coaching, teacher and team videography that will support professional learning.  Learn how to set up the camera, where to focus, how GPS tracking can support that, editing and annotative options. Register for the Video Supported Professional Learning workshop.
Contact: Champlain Valley Educator Development Center at info@cvedcvt.org

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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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