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 38

18 September 2019

School Safety Grant Application Reopened

Audience: Superintendents, Principals and School Crisis Planning Team Members
The Vermont Department of Public Safety has reopened the Request for Proposals (RFP) for School Safety and Security Grants. The deadline for applications is 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. Applications can be submitted to DPS.SchoolSafety@vermont.gov. These funds are intended to help strengthen existing school security systems or school infrastructure or purchase new school security systems or technology that will enhance school safety. Grants of up to $25,000 per school may be awarded. All grants require a 25% match of funds.
Contact: Sunni Eriksen at sunni.eriksen@vermont.gov

Lead in School Drinking Water Testing Schedule

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Facilities Managers
The Vermont Department of Health has updated the schedule of sampling and sample pick-up dates for schools to have their water tested for lead under Act 66 of 2019. You can access the testing schedule online on the Vermont Department of Health website. Superintendents (public schools) and heads of school (independent schools) will receive an email from the Health Department when they have been scheduled. For more information, visit Lead Testing in Drinking Water: What Schools Need to Do, or dial 2-1-1 or (802) 652-4636.
Contact: Michelle Thompson at leadschool@vermont.gov

What-if Wednesday: School Emergency Preparedness

Audience: Superintendents, Principals and School Crisis Planning Team Members
The What-if Wednesday for Sept. 18, 2019, is designed for Superintendents, Principals and School Crisis Planning Team Members to facilitate a conversation about school emergency preparedness. Please complete the exercise and share with your faculty and staff as appropriate.
Contact: Robert Evans at revans@margolishealy.com or (802) 839-0448

VSTA Science for All Learners Conference

Audience: K-12 Teachers, Special Educators, CTE Educators and Leaders, Principals, Curriculum Directors, Higher Ed
On Oct. 24, 2019, the Vermont Science Teachers Association (VSTA) will be hosting its annual science conference from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT. This year’s keynote speaker will be Sarah Michaels, from Clark University. Be part of the action as science educators from around the state dive into science equity within the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and learn how to engage diverse student populations with engineering, coding, personalized assessments and more. To register for this year’s event, please visit the VSTA’s website.
Contact: Margaret Carrera-Bly at Margaret.carrera-bly@vermont.gov

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Application-Second Notification

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. Key information will be presented and there will be time after 1 p.m. for team planning and individual assistance. 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

Adverse Effect Documentation Required for 2019

Audience: Special Education Administrators
Please remember that on or before Dec. 15, 2019, each special education administrator is required to submit signed documentation that all special educators in their supervisory union have been trained in the area of adverse effect. If you do not have any new special education staff, please complete the form with this notation on the first line. Submissions are used in special education monitoring activities and should be sent to AOE.SpecialEd@vermont.gov. Criteria, training and resources for determining an adverse effect can be found on the special education resources page.
Contact: Tonya Rutkowsi at (802) 479-1245

2019–2020 Health and Physical Education Professional Learning Communities

Audience: Health and Physical Educators, Curriculum Coordinators, Principals
The Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) is inviting Health and Physical Education teachers from Vermont schools to participate in the Vermont Council of Health and Physical Educators (VCHPE) professional learning communities for the 2019-2020 school year. This year the AOE will facilitate two three-session professional learning communities (PLCs), one in central Vermont and the other in Rutland. The central Vermont sessions will focus on writing skills-based performance assessments for health education. The Rutland sessions will focus on writing skills-based performance assessments for physical education. For each group, sessions will be used as a sequence to 1. Develop and implement a summative skills-based performance assessment, 2. Share and reflect on assessment results, and 3. Create a shared collection of skills-based performance assessments. Register for the Health Education meetings. Register for the Physical Education meetings.
Contact: Susan Yesalonia at susan.yesalonia@vermont.gov

Fall 2019 Federal Food Service Equipment Grant Announcement

We are now accepting applications for Fall 2019 Federal Food Service Equipment Grants. Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30, 2019. Please note that there are a number of changes to this round of equipment grants. For this round, the allowable dollar value of the requested equipment has been lowered from $5,000 to $1,000. In addition, SFAs may submit applications for sites with free and reduced percentages below 50% and for sites that have received a previous federal equipment grant, although those applications will be funded only after all other applications have been funded.
Contact: Cheryl Rogers at cheryl.rogers@vermont.gov

Save the Date: Monthly VTmtss Office Hours

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Other Administrative Staff
The Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports (VTmtss) team will be holding monthly Office Hours the first Wednesday of the month from 3-4 p.m. Register for the first webinar on Oct. 2, 2019, to learn more about the VTmtss Survey Summary. This presentation will offer an overview of the data reported by all Vermont K-12 (294) public school principals and how the VTmtss team can provide further support for expanding your school’s VTmtss Framework.
Contact: Nancy Hellen at nancy.hellen@vermont.gov or (802) 479-1399

Flexible Pathways Implementation Tool Kit

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, CTE Directors, School Counselors, Advisors, Educators
The AOE has developed the Flexible Pathways Implementation Kit to support SUs/SDs in developing, improving upon and communicating Flexible Pathway opportunities that are effective, equitable, compliant and safe. Over 100 educators and stakeholders from the field contributed to the development of this technical assistance. Additional resources, including examples of completed flexible pathways profiles, will be available soon.
Contact: Veronica Newton at (802) 479-1408 or veronica.newton@vermont.gov

Annual Reporting and Asthma Management

Audience: School Administrators and School Nurses
The Annual School Nurse Report due Jan. 1, 2020, requires data to be submitted to the Vermont Asthma Program using the standardized required language. That can be found in the  Standards of Practice: School Health Services manual. Students who have asthma should have a current asthma action plan (AAP) (or appropriate form signed by medical provider and guardian) on file in school (16 V.S.A. § 1387). AAP forms are available in triplicate through the Offices of Local Health or downloadable here. School Nursing assessments of the need for an AAP and care coordination of students with chronic health conditions helps students be present and ready for learning.
Contact: Sharonlee Trefry at sharonlee.trefry@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.

Puppets in Education: 2019-2020 Grant and Sponsor Funded Presentations

Give your students the opportunity to learn from the puppets! Children’s Mental Health: Eight schools anywhere statewide, free, funded by the Vermont Department of Mental Health. Blindness/ Visual Impairment: Two schools anywhere statewide where there is a student who is blind or visually impaired, $400/day, funded by The Gibney Family Foundation. Franklin County: One school, free, funded by 100 Women Who Care. Four schools, free, funded by Bokan Ford. Anxiety Pilot Program: Four schools to pilot new PiE Anxiety Program for grades PreK-4, free, funded by Vermont Department of Mental Health and National Life Program. Submit a letter stating need for program. Presentations available Jan.– May 2020. To schedule a program contact Karen Sharpwolf.
Contact: Karen Sharpwolf at (800) 800-4005 x225 or karen.sharpwolf@vtfn.org

Umatter for Youth and Young Adults

The Center for Health and Learning is offering Umatter for Youth and Young Adults (YYA) beginning with a kickoff event on Nov. 14, 2019. This is a youth leadership and engagement initiative that fosters healthy community cultures for youth that promote mental health and resiliency. The program includes a full day of interactive training with peers statewide, design and implementation of a Community Action Project (CAP) in a school or a community organization, and presentation of CAP at the local or state level.
Contact Catherine Diduk at info@healthandlearning.org or (802) 254-6590

Teen Science, Environment and Leadership Programs this Fall

UVM Extension 4-H Teen & Leadership Program has a several programs available to Vermont youth this Fall - and many are free. Learn more about each online: VTeen 4-H Science Pathway Cafes, Youth Environmental Summit, TRY for the Environment and VTeen Leadership Weekend.
Contact: Lauren Traister at lauren.traister@uvm.edu or (802) 888-4972 x402

The Key Connection: Knowledge, Thinking, Reading, and Writing

Writing proficiently is all about clearly expressing understanding about content that matters. This conference 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 Development: Social Emotional Learning Workshops

Registration is open for two professional development workshops on social-emotional learning at the Stern Center for Language and Learning this December. Take an in-depth look at current strategies and activities designed to improve interpersonal communication and self-management skills. “A Model for Managing Anxiety and Improving Self-Regulation” focuses on managing anxiety and improving self-regulation using techniques for increasing self-awareness and modifying one’s own behaviors. “Visual Methods for Improving Social Understanding” focuses on exploring the use of Comic Strip Conversations (Gray), Social Stories (Gray), and SOCCS (Smith Myles) to enhance students’ skills for perspective taking.
Contact: SJ White at swhite@sterncenter.org

Space Available: Vermont Jump$tart Fall 2019 Conference

The Vermont Jump$tart Financial Literacy Coalition is holding its 14th Annual Educators Conference for teachers in Killington, VT on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. This year’s conference has a dynamic agenda of presentations that will appeal to anyone committed to the financial wellbeing of Vermont youth. The cost of the conference is $45 and participants will earn seven credits of continuing education/professional development.
Contact: Kit Ardell at (802) 658-2673 or vtjumpstart@comcast.net

Special Education Legal Update with Art Cernosia

VT-HEC is excited to bring Art Cernosia back to Vermont for his Special Education Legal Update on Nov. 8, 2019, at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier. This workshop will provide a review and analysis of recent legal developments in special education law, both nationally and in Vermont. New judicial decisions will be covered, along with policy and practice implications for Vermont educators. Register online.
Contact: Julie Medose at julie.medose@vthec.org or (802) 738-2447

Fall Registration Is Open: Castleton Center for Schools Courses

The Castleton Center for Schools is offering close to 50 fall graduate courses for practicing educators. These courses cover a wide variety of topics and are offered online, in a blended format, and in-person at locations throughout Vermont. Review course descriptions and register online.
Contact: Tara Lidstone at tara.lidstone@castleton.edu or (802) 345-0092

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 Kate Connizzo, Digital Communications and Web Manager, or call (802) 828-0048.

Contact Us

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
1 National Life Drive, Davis 5
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

Web and Document Accessibility Policy​
Public Records Requests

Phone: (802) 828-1130 | Fax: (802) 828-6430
Staff Directory | Division Phone Numbers







Connect with Us

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