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 42

16 October 2019

Local Comprehensive Assessment System Convenings

Audience: Leadership Teams
Assessment plays a central role in the assurance of equitable outcomes for all students. Excellent instruction and systemic decision-making require high-quality assessment information. When assessment systems provide comprehensive and meaningful information, then decisions about students are more likely to be accurate, students are better able to judge their own performance and set new goals, and families are more knowledgeable about how their children are doing. In order to support the development of high-quality local comprehensive assessment systems, the Agency of Education will be holding four convenings, in both northern and southern locations, that will address the knowledge, skills and practices necessary to implement strong assessment systems. Please see the registration online for additional information, dates and times.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at (802) 828-5896 or pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov

Fall 2019 Equity Literacy Grant Application

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, Teacher Leaders
The Agency of Education has engaged in multiple initiatives to develop an equity framework for education at the state level. One of those initiatives, Supporting Educational Equity (SEE), recommends that Vermont’s PK-12 educators have increased opportunities for professional learning as it relates to equity literacy. To support our schools and educators in this collective effort, the agency is providing a second round of competitive grants. These grants will support professional learning opportunities that lay the foundation for educators to develop and implement strategies to improve equity literacy in their systems and protect our most vulnerable students. Competitive awards will be granted to SU/SDs that show the greatest promise for positive change. Those that create regional partnerships will be prioritized.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov

Seeking Public Comment: ESSA Ed Flex Waiver Application Draft

Audience: All
Vermont’s Ed Flex waiver authority expired on June 30, 2019. The US Department of Education is requiring all states seeking to extend their authority to submit new applications. Please see the AOE’s draft Ed Flex Waiver application. Comments are being sought and should be addressed to: Anne Bordonaro, Division Director, Federal and Education Support Programs at anne.bordonaro@vermont.gov. Comments must be received no later than Oct. 25, 2019 at 4 p.m. to be considered.
Contact: Anne Bordonaro at anne.bordonaro@vermont.gov

What-if Wednesday: School Emergency Preparedness

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Crisis Planning Team Members
The What if Wednesday (Part 1) for Oct. 16, 2019, and What if Wednesday (Part 2) for Oct. 16, 2019, are 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 L. Evans at revans@margolishealy.com or (802) 839-0448

Equity Literacy Resources, Fall 2019

Audiences: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, Educators
There is a new Equity Literacy Resources, Fall 2019 document on the Agency of Education website that may be helpful to all educators, but especially those who are applying for the Fall 2019 Equity Literacy Grant. This document is a supplement to the Equity Literacy Resources, Spring 2019 document, and also includes relevant tools, articles, and videos that may support educators as they work to create and sustain equitable learning environments for all students.
Contact: Martha Deiss at martha.deiss@vermont.gov or (802) 828-6597

Nominations for Presidential Scholars

Audience: Students, Principals, School Counselors, Academic, Arts and CTE Teachers, CTE Center Directors
The Vermont Presidential Scholars Program recognizes students for academic success, artistic and technical excellence, community service, and leadership. Scholars are chosen in three different categories: General, the Arts and Career Technical Education. Vermont Presidential Scholars in the General and CTE categories will be invited to apply to the U.S. Presidential Scholars program. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 6, 2019. Visit the Vermont Presidential Scholars Program website for applications (only nominations submitted via the electronic applications will be accepted).
Contact: Sigrid Olson at (802) 479-1156 or sigrid.olson@vermont.gov

MTSS Networked Improvement Community Opportunity

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals
In collaboration with other AOE teams, the Education Quality Assurance Team is coordinating and facilitating a Networked Improvement Community (NIC) focused on improving secondary instruction using an MTSS framework. In this NIC, participating schools will: engage in collaborative, data-based inquiry on common problems of practice; collectively design and test evidence-based practices; share learning; and codify collective knowledge for scale.
Contact: Lori Dolezal at lori.dolezal@vermont.gov

Deadline for BEST/Act 230 Applications

Audience: Superintendents, BEST/Act 230 Coordinators, Directors of Special Education, Curriculum Coordinators, Principals, Early Education Coordinators
Applications for BEST/Act 230 funds are due Oct. 31, 2019. Late applications will not be reviewed. Additional funding is expected to be available after Oct. 31, though it will only be available to SD/SUs who have already received an initial grant award. BEST/Act 230 funds are intended for training of teachers, administrators and other personnel in the provision of education services to children who require educational supports for academics and/or behavior in each tier of the multi-tiered system of supports. BEST funds are intended for training and professional learning to support teachers, administrators and other personnel in creating equitable, rigorous learning environments for students with emotional and behavioral needs. Please log on to Grants Management System to submit an application.
Contact: Laura Greenwood at laura.greenwood@vermont.gov or (802) 828-4388

Civic Education Grant Opportunity

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, High School Principals, High School Teachers
The Agency of Education is offering a competitive grant opportunity to allow SUs/SDs the opportunity to complement the regular high school curriculum by providing students an innovative course of instruction on the history and principles of U.S. constitutional democracy through the Center for Civic Education’s We the People program. We the People allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and have opportunities to evaluate, take and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues as they ‘testify’ in simulated Congressional hearings. The intent of this grant is to provide Vermont students with an engaging civic education opportunity which allows for authentic performance assessment, has an evidence base to show enhanced student civic dispositions, and shares with the community a Vermont focus on civic education.
Contact: Martha Deiss at martha.deiss@vermont.gov or (802) 828-6597

Request for Proposals: Personalized Learning Competitive Grant Opportunities

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, CTE Directors, AEL Providers, Curriculum Coordinators, School Counselors, Teachers
The AOE is seeking to support SU/SDs in developing, strengthening and implementing Personalized Learning Processes and Practices. These grant funds are one-time short duration funds for FY20. Grants are focused on 1) Creating Regional PLP Processes and Partnerships and 2) Connecting PLPs to Curriculum and Assessment. Learn more about the grant opportunities.
Contact: Veronica Newton at (802) 828-0054 or veronica.newton@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.

Oct 17 Open House for TAP's 8-month Path to Licensure at Champlain College

Champlain College's Teacher Apprenticeship Program supports career changers and those already working in the education field to earn a Level I Vermont teaching license for $12,000. We will hold our next info session on Thursday, Oct. 17 from 6 - 7 p.m. at 175 Lakeside Ave, Burlington. Visit the Teacher Apprenticeship Program website to RSVP and to access the TAP application and FAQ's. A new cohort will begin in December 2019 with seminars, followed by full-time student teaching through the spring 2020 semester.
Contact: Caitlin Hollister at chollister@champlain.edu or (802) 383-6657

Vermont Alliance for the Social Studies Annual Conference

The Vermont Alliance for the Social Studies Annual Conference is coming up. The conference, being held at the Burlington Hilton on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, will feature Kenneth C. Davis as the keynote speaker and a breakout presenter. Davis, author of Don't Know Much About History and many other titles, will be on hand to sign books. Registration available online.
Contact: Curtis Hier at chier@svuvt.org

Professional Learning: Strategies for Engaging Students in Purposeful Classroom Discussions (grades 3-8)

VT-HEC is offering a one-day workshop with Kathy Christy, Let's Talk About It!, on Nov. 21, 2019, at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier. In this workshop, participants will learn how to use various protocols with students that will foster discussions in the classroom, improve purposeful talk, and put students in the driver’s seat for leading discussions and engaging their peers. Attendees will also share, develop and practice these protocols so both teachers and students can do this important work with more depth and confidence. Register for Let's Talk About It!
Contact: Julie Medose julie.medose@vthec.org or (802) 498-3350

Professional Development Webinars: Literacy Champions Symposium

Learn how we can grow strong readers and writers with two pre-recorded webinars from the Stern Center for Language and Learning’s Literacy Champions symposium. Join Louisa Moats, Ed.D. and Nancy Mather, Ph.D. as they unpack decades of research: Dr. Moats busts myths about reading and discusses the state of literacy education; Dr. Mather focuses on effective interventions for students struggling with reading, spelling and written language. Each webinar costs $40 and is available for 2.5 professional development hours.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at swhite@sterncenter.org

Castleton University Center for Schools: More Fall Courses Starting in the Coming Weeks

The Castleton Center for Schools has a wide variety of courses starting in the coming weeks. Topics include: Classroom management, diversity, leadership, project-based learning, self-care and more. Review course descriptions and/or register online.
Contact: Tara Lidstone at tara.lidstone@castleton.edu or (802) 345-0092

Dog Bite Prevention Program

The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association recently introduced a free program geared to elementary school-aged children to teach them how to interact safely around dogs in order to avoid bites. Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured. Vermont veterinarians have volunteered to present this PowerPoint program at elementary schools. For information on the program and how schools can be involved, please visit the VVMA website.
Contact: Linda Waite-Simpson at (802) 878-6888 or linda@vtvets.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

Join the Movement: Real Kids Wear Pink of Vermont

Nearly every child knows someone who has been impacted by breast cancer. The American Cancer Society is empowering youth in all Vermont communities to get involved and make a difference during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Kids can fight back against this disease by wearing PINK on National Real Kids Wear Pink Day on Oct. 25, 2019. Additionally, students are encouraged to develop their philanthropic leadership skills by working with teachers to incorporate this initiative into their Personalized Learning Plans.
Contact: Calli Willette at calli.willette@cancer.org or (802) 872-6306

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