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 13, Issue 36

04 September 2019

Overview of Special Education Funding Changes under Act 173

Audience: Superintendents, Business Managers, Principals, Special Education Administrators
At the end of the 2019 legislative session, language was added to the appropriations bill (2019, Act 72, Sec. E.502.2) to delay by one year the effective dates of Sec. 5 of Act 173, which governs the shift to the census block model. This change means that the census block implementation will not take place this fall, as originally written in Act 173. The Agency has produced Overview of Special Education Funding Changes, a chart outlining changes to the Special Education funding system of Act 173 by fiscal year to help SUs/SDs understand the timeline for changes over the next five years.
Contact: Brad James at brad.james@vermont.gov

21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Application

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Grant Application is open for the purpose of purpose of providing high-quality afterschool and summer learning opportunities. Applications are due Feb. 4, 2020, in the GMS system. Applicant workshops for teams will be held on Oct 9 and 15, 2019, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. To view a paper copy of the grant application and associated resources go to the AOE 21C webpage.
Contact: Emanuel Betz at Emanuel.Betz@vermont.gov or (802) 479-1396

K-5 Educator’s Computer Science Fundamentals Workshop from Code.org

Audience: Elementary Principals, Educators, Curriculum Development, Technology Integrationists, Afterschool Coordinators
In an effort to strengthen Computer Science skills at the Elementary level and take students beyond an “Hour of Code”, the Vermont Computer Science Alliance is offering four regional workshops this fall to learn how to implement the Code.org Computer Science Fundamentals curriculum. This is a free, one-day, standards-aligned, research-based curriculum, developed by Code.org and focused on engaging young minds in problem solving and inquiry. To accommodate busy elementary educators, the workshops are structured on Saturdays. The Vermont Computer Science Alliance is a partnership between Code.org, the University of Vermont, Vermont Agency of Education, and the Vermont Virtual Learning Collaborative. Click on the link to sign up for a workshop near you. All workshops will run from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., with coffee and lunch provided. Sept 21, 2019 – Springfield; Oct 5, 2019 – Bennington; Oct 5, 2019 – St Johnsbury; or Oct 19 - Burlington.
Contact: Greg Young at (802) 479-1448 or greg.young@vermont.gov

Annual Core Teams Transition Conference

Audience: High School Special Educators, Guidance Counselors, Principals, Voc Rehab Staff, Developmental Services Staff
Annual Core Teams Transition Conference will be held on October 15, 2019, at Killington Grand Hotel, from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. with registration open at 8:30 a.m. This interagency-supported conference is a professional development day dedicated to improving the transition to life after high school for students with disabilities. The goals of this conference are: identify strengths and challenges of local systems and processes, identify and create a plan to reduce barriers, develop and share new transition resources and materials to use with students, learn about best practices, tools, resources, etc., to improve one’s individual work, understand the advantages of working as a team and how best to collaborate, create and solidify local plans to build, strengthen, and sustain their Core Transition Team, gain knowledge about future transition-related activities and other transition resources, determine how best to involve families and engage students, understand the eligibility, application, and intake process and the funding and outcome expectations for each organization. This is a free event with lunch included. Register for Annual Core Teams Transition Conference online.
Contact: John Spinney at john.spinney@vermont.gov

Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements Access Plan

Audience: Superintendents, Special Educators, General Education Teachers, Guidance Counselors, Principals, Curriculum Coordinators
As we near the 2020 goal for students graduating with personalized learning plans (PLPs) in a proficiency-based system, all public schools serving secondary students should have proficiency-based graduation requirements (PBGRs) and PLPs in place for the 19/20 school year. In anticipation of this goal, we’ve long known we need a system to replace the Multi-year Plan (also referred to as the alternate credit accrual plan). The PBGR Access Plan was created with input from stakeholders across the state and will replace the Multi-year Plan, which was based around credits/Carnegie units. The PBGR Access Plan will embrace the same spirit of accessibility that the Multi-year Plan embraced. The challenge for teachers will be to implement the PBGR Access Plan to make the graduation requirements accessible for students who are not able to access the PBGRs without some type of accommodation or modification to the PBGR Performance Indicators. A sample of a PBGR Access Plan for “Kevin” from the AOE Case Study Project and a blank template of the PBGR Access Plan that educators and teams can use for students who need help accessing the graduation requirements are available online. The Multi-year Plan will no longer be used as of the start of this school year. VT AOE is going to be updating the rule around Multi-year Plans in the supplemental rules pertinent to special education (2120.8.2.1(c)Multi-year Plans). At this time AOE is assessing what level of professional learning and/or technical assistance is needed to roll out this initiative. The AOE will be holding a 1-hour online Office Hour to collect feedback, concerns and needs on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Contact: John Spinney at AOE.SpecialEd@vermont.gov

School Nursing Services: Supervision of LPN & School Personnel

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Nurses
Nursing services provided by License Practical Nurses (LPN) and unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) who provide these services, e.g., student health record management, medication administration, first aid, must be supervised by the Registered Nurse (RN) who is a Licensed School Nurse/Associate School Nurse (LSN/ASN) (EQS, 2018, pg. 171-177). The LSN/ASN needs time to assess and develop protocols, implement training, and supervise school employees who carryout nursing services. LPN and UAPs practice under the direction of an RN (26 V.S.A. § 1572). Supervision of nursing services is part of the LSN/ASN's responsibility in partnership with the school administration (EQS, pg. 11). Resources are available online to assist the LSN/ASN and school administration in providing safe school health services, e.g., FAQ Supervision, Delegation, Medication Training. Nurses new to School Nursing will need additional time to for this work. Retention of School Nursing services helps students be ready for learning.
Contact: Sharonlee Trefry at sharonlee.trefry@vermont.gov or (802) 863-7348

Adolescent Hearing Screening for 2019

Audience: School Nurses, School Administration
Vermont’s requirements for hearing screening in schools now include adolescents in grades 7, 9 and 12 as well as adding 6 and 8kHz (high frequency sounds) to the screening for these grades. This is in compliance with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Bright Futures Guidelines (4th Ed., 2017) and 16 V.S.A. § 1422. Please find the complete recommendations in the Standards of Practice: School Health Services Manual, Screening Section #26. Screening students in these older grades should be phased in as resources allow. If you do not currently have an audiometer in your school(s), please collaborate with other schools, and school nurses for access to equipment (this is a common practice). Additional community partners that may loan equipment include Head Start Programs, local pediatric offices or audiologists. Some audiometers may not have 6,000 and 8,000 Hz but this should not prevent the provision of standard hearing screenings to these grades. Please upgrade equipment when you are able.
Contact: Sharonlee Trefry at sharonlee.trefry@vermont.gov

Rule 4500 Mandated Report Form

Audience: Superintendents, Directors of Special Education, Principals, Directors of Independent Schools
The Vermont Agency of Education has released a new mandated report form, designed to be more user-friendly. All reports of restraint and seclusion which rise to the level of reporting to the agency must be submitted on this form. Supervisory Unions/Districts will be given until Oct. 1, 2019, to acclimate to using the new form. After that point, reports submitted on any other forms will be returned for resubmission.
Contact: Tracy Harris at tracy.harris@vermont.gov

Rule 4500 Guidelines, Part I: Seclusion in Vermont Schools

Audience: Superintendents, Directors of Special Education, Principals, Directors of Independent Schools
Seclusion of students in Vermont schools is prohibited except under certain conditions. A set of guidelines, along with some frequently asked questions have been developed to support Vermont educators in better understanding Vermont State Board of Education Rule 4500: The Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Vermont Schools. The use of seclusion was selected as the first in this series of guidelines to be distributed based on recent trends in the data collected by the Vermont Agency of Education. Those guidelines (which include frequently asked questions) along with an introductory memo may be accessed online.
Contact: Tracy Harris at tracy.harris@vermont.gov


Courtesy Posts

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.

College and Career Event Toolkit and Funding Opportunity

Advance Vermont and VSAC have partnered to develop a Vermont-focused College and Career Event Planning Toolkit, a guide to planning these events, including checklists, tips, templates and resources. Through generous support from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded to schools, government and non-profit organizations across Vermont to support innovative college and career events in their communities. To access the toolkit and apply for the grant, visit the Advance Vermont Website. The deadline for applications is Sept. 30, 2019.
Contact: Kirstin Boehm at boehm@vsac.org

The Key Connection: Knowledge, Thinking, Reading and Writing

Writing proficiently is all about clearly expressing understanding about content that matters. The Key Connection: Knowledge, Thinking, Reading and Writing is designed to give K-12 educators the tools and approaches they need to integrate reading, content and writing in order to help all students become proficient writers. Over the three days, participants will become deeply familiar with curriculum- and standards-based benchmarks in all three types of writing. Using hands on exploration of well-tested tools and materials, participants will learn the key principles of Writing for Understanding that will make it possible for them to begin to either design their own instruction, or to thoughtfully use published curriculum materials. Participants will leave with a solid understanding of proficiency; multiple uses for the writing benchmarks; a copy of Writing for Understanding; and practical, transferable instructional strategies for planning and teaching writing at all content and grade levels so that all students can write effectively and proficiently.
Contact: Joey Hawkins at info@vermontwritingcollaborative.org

Professional Learning: Deeper Learning

Registration is open for Rethinking Classroom Instruction to Promote "Deeper Learning". This is a 2-part series Oct. 17 and Nov. 11, 2019 for Grades 7-12 educators, principals and curriculum leaders. Andrew Jones and Jen Stainton will lead this workshop focused on what makes a Deeper Learning culture, dive into case studies and develop action steps for building a model of schools that better support student engagement. Hampton Event Center, Colchester, VT. Includes the book, "In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School."
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

VPA's Equity Summit IV: Building a Culture of Equity

On Oct. 8, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Jay Peak the Vermont Principals' Association will host its fourth Equity Summit. These are powerful, day-long, facilitated conversations about equity, inequity, bias and change in education. Students, school leaders, educators, community partners and others are welcome to register online.
Contact: Linda Wheatley at lwheatley@vpaonline.org or (802) 535-8383

Literacy Champions Symposium with Louisa Moats and Nancy Mather

Registration is open for the Stern Center for Language and Learning’s Literacy Champions Symposium on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. Spend the day with literacy champions as we unpack decades of research and learn how we can grow strong readers and writers. Louisa Moats, Ed.D., kicks off the day busting myths about reading, discussing the state of literacy education and showing us how spelling and reading are interconnected. Nancy Mather, Ph.D., will spend the afternoon focusing on effective interventions for children who struggle with reading, spelling and written language. Registration due by Sept. 12, 2019.
Contact: SJ White at swhite@sterncenter.org

CyberPatriot Program - Information Session and training Day for Participating Schools

Champlain College and the Green Mountain Chapter of the Air Force Association are contacting schools that are participating or may be interested in starting a CyberPatriot Team for this year's program and competition. A training day is being held for students that are participating in the program on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019,  from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Champlain College. For schools interested in participating, there will be a 10:30 a.m. information session, both in person and via teleconference (Dial in: (571) 299-4320, Part Code 43328751). Those participating in person will be able to interact with current coaches and students involved in the training. Please RSVP below. 
Contact: Jamie Navarro at jamienavarro@usa.net or (802) 324-9349

Umatter for Schools: Youth Suicide Prevention Training for School Professionals

The Center for Health and Learning is offering Umatter for Schools, a national best practice program for suicide prevention, with two full days of training on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2, 2019, in Montpelier, Vermont, as well as post-training consultation and support. This training was created for Vermont middle and high schools to meet the requirements of Vermont state law. New this year: information for elementary schools, including age-appropriate ways of talking with children about death and suicide, school protocols for suicide prevention, and curriculum recommendations.
Contact Catherine Diduk at info@healthandlearning.org or (802) 254-6590

SEL Professional Development - Space Available

What challenges impact girls in schools? Things like: lack of confidence, attendance/discipline issues, conflict with others and struggles with social media. Ruling Our eXperiences(ROX), is a co-curricular, evidence-based small group program delivered by professionals that is designed to address the unique social-emotional learning needs of girls in grades 5-12. U-32 is hosting a ROX Facilitator Licensure training Oct. 23-25, 2019 for school counselors, social workers or educators. This professional development experience will provide the knowledge, skills and materials necessary to implement the 20-lesson ROX program. $550 fee includes three days of training and lunch.
Contact: Lisa LaPlante at llaplante@u32.org

School Breakfast Grant Opportunity

The dairy farm families of New England are providing funding for Vermont schools to start up or expand school breakfast after the bell. Funds must be spent on programs that offer breakfast through a non-traditional service model, such as breakfast in the classroom or grab-n-go breakfast. Visit the New England Dairy and Food Council website for more details and to complete a grant application. The deadline to apply is Oct. 11, 2019.
Contact: Jill Hussels at jhussels@newenglanddairy.com

Work-Based Learning: Providing Effective Opportunities Course Starts Oct. 5, 2019

Registration is open for the Fall 2019 course, Work-Based Learning: Providing Effective Opportunities for Students, Schools and Businesses, taught by Rich Tulikangas (Director of Vermont’s Linking Learning to Careers (LLC) project), beginning Oct. 5, 2019, at CVMC, Berlin VT. Visit the VT-HEC website for program and course details.
Contact: Kim McKellar at kim.mckellar@vthec.org

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