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 44

30 October 2019

Now Available: Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports (VTmtss) Field Guide 2019

Audience: SU/SD Leadership Teams
The VTmtss Field Guide provides expanded guidelines to support the design of a comprehensive system so that the knowledge, information and expertise already embedded in a school system can ensure equitable outcomes for all students. The updated VTmtss Framework includes expanded discussion of social and emotional learning, intentional connections to Education Quality Standards and legislative policy, and vignettes of five Vermont schools.
Contact: Tracy Watterson at tracy.watterson@vermont.gov or (802) 828-5012

Local Comprehensive Assessment System Convenings

Audience: Leadership Teams
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. The Convenings will address the knowledge, skills and practices necessary to implement strong assessment systems. Convening I will focus on the essential components of Local Comprehensive Assessment Systems. Formative and Summative Performance Assessments will be investigated in Convening II. Convening III will explore student designed assessments, while Convening IV will be an opportunity to share, review and provide feedback on materials. Please see the registration for additional information, dates and times.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at (802) 828-5896 or pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov

Hiring Personnel to Perform Health or Nursing Tasks

Audience: Superintendents, Special Education Directors, Principals, and School Nursing
Assistive Personnel (AP) can be a great support for students and teachers, but when students have personal care and health needs, the School Nurse (SN) or Associate School Nurse (ASN), (EQS, 2014, pg. 11) is responsible for directing the care and evaluating resulting student health-related outcomes (26 V.S.A. § 1572). APs must be able to demonstrate to the nurse competences in infection control, safe body mechanics (e.g. lifting, moving students with limited mobility), and safe medication and treatment administration (e.g. tube feedings, self-care skills, leg braces). Tools for directing the care and tasks of APs work (and sample job descriptions) can be found in links in the Standards of Practice: School Health Services Manual. The SN/ASN must be involved in the hiring, training, assessment and management of Assistive Personnel who provide health-related care to students.
Contact: Sharonlee Trefry at sharonlee.trefry@vermont.gov or (802) 863-7348

Help for Youth Quitting Tobacco

Audience: All
The Vermont Department of Health Tobacco Control Program is working with community partners to address the youth vaping epidemic. In the past 30 days, 13% of young Vermonters (12 – 17) used e-cigarettes (PACE study, 2019). Last week, the program shipped 20 Unhyped vaping education campaign posters. Please display the posters around the school to inform students of the risks from vaping. More information on the chemical exposure from vaping can be found at Unhypedvt.com. Help for youth quitting tobacco and vape products is available through 802Quits, online at 802quits.org or by phone at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. This is Quitting is a free text program designed by the Truth Initiative for ages 13 – 24. Youth can text in “VtVapeFree” to 88709 to enroll.
Contact: Beth Keister at beth.keister@vermont.gov

Nominations for Presidential Scholars – Updated

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. Please note: Students can nominate themselves or be nominated by their school. 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. Applications are available on the Vermont Presidential Scholars Program website (only nominations submitted via the electronic applications will be accepted). General Info: sigrid.olson@vermont.gov; Arts information: martha.deiss@vermont.gov; CTE info: doug.webster@vermont.gov.
Contact: Sigrid Olson, (802) 828-7134 or sigrid.olson@vermont.gov

Save the Date: IEP Goal Writing and Progress Monitoring Workshop

Audience: Curriculum Coordinators, Special Education Administrators, Special Educators
The Agency of Education presents a free workshop dedicated to the process of developing and monitoring IEP goals. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about setting and writing appropriate academic IEP goals, as well as how to monitor those goals using data visualization techniques. This one day workshop will be held on Nov. 14, 2019, in Killington and on Nov. 15, 2019, in Burlington. Register for IEP Goal Writing and Progress Monitoring Workshop.
Contact: Chris Kane, Special Education Programs Manager at christopher.kane@vermont.gov

VTmtss Office Hour: Nov. 6, 2019

SU/SD Leadership Teams
Register for the Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports (VTmtss) Team's Office Hour next Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, from 3-4 p.m. During this webinar, the team will be walking through the recently revised VTmtss Field Guide, connecting the Framework to other current initiatives and answering questions.
Contact: Tracy Watterson at tracy.watterson@vermont.gov or (802) 828-5012

Request for Proposals: Connecting PLPs to Curriculum & Assessment- Competitive Grant Opportunity

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Curriculum Coordinators, School Counselors, Educators, CTE Directors, AEL Providers
The Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) invites SUs/SDs to design, develop and/or implement processes, practices and/or strategies that utilize student PLPs as a tool to improve the scope and rigor of academic learning opportunities within a coordinated curriculum. The goal of this grant opportunity is to identify promising practices that increase the relevance and the usage of personalized learning plans (PLPs) in day-to-day learning experiences – both inside and outside of the classroom -- guided by a coordinated curriculum in order to scale student-centered learning. This short duration competitive grant opportunity will award six proposals of $25,000.00 each. Learn more about the Connecting PLPs to Curriculum & Assessment Grant opportunity.
Contact: Veronica Newton at (802) 828-0054 or veronica.newton@vermont.gov

English Language Arts Updates

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Instructional Coaches, English Teachers
Updates have been made to the English Language Arts (ELA) content webpage on the AOE website, including more detailed information about the Common Core Standards for ELA as well as resources about proficiency-based learning. New resources have also been added for further reading about relevant topics in the ELA field. The latest issue of the ELA Newsletter is also available. Subscribe to the ELA listserv for more detailed information.
Contact: Emily Leute at (802) 828-6598 or emily.leute@vermont.gov

VTPBIS Annual Report Released

Audience: All
The BEST Project is happy to share with you the Vermont Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (VTPBIS) Annual Report for 2018-19. Highlights of this year’s report include: more VTPBIS schools implementing at the Targeted and Intensive levels; high satisfaction rates for 32 professional learning events; high average PBIS fidelity scores with higher fidelity among VTPBIS Exemplar Schools; and fewer office discipline referrals for VTPBIS Exemplar schools than non-Exemplar schools.
Contact: Sherry Schoenberg at sherry.schoenberg@uvm.edu or (802) 656-9656

Growing Works of Art Contest

Audience: Educators and Students Grades 1-8
The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is celebrating Arbor Day, a day to appreciate trees and the difference they make in our lives. We invite students celebrate by creating a piece of tree art and writing. This year, the Growing Works of Art contest theme is “Trees are superheroes: share your tree story of why we need trees!” One winner from each grade (1-8) will be featured on the WCAX television show “Across the Fence.”

Data Analysis and Decision-making Trainings

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, Leadership Teams
In partnership with the Northeast and Islands Regional Education Laboratory, the Vermont Agency of Education is offering a full-day professional learning workshop focused on data analysis and decision-making with multiple data sources, including the Vermont Annual Snapshot on Nov. 18, 2019, in Springfield and Nov. 19, 2019, (in Colchester). This is an opportunity for SU/SDs and school teams to analyze and interpret local data, identify areas of strength and priority problems of practice, determine underlying root causes, and begin the process of selecting relevant evidence-based change ideas and related measures for improvement.
Contact: Lori Dolezal at lori.dolezal@vermont.edu


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.

Computational Thinking, Coding and CyberSecurity PD Opportunity (with Free Robot)

Whether you teach our youngest learners, teach middle school, high school or teach in a Career and Technical Center, you will find ways to prepare students with lifelong skills, from unplugged coding to coding robots with python and everything in between at Vermontfest 2019. Learn more about how to receive a free robot, new skills, and curriculum to teach computational thinking, coding, cybersecurity and more at VermontFest 2019, Nov. 14 - 15, 2019. Register by Oct. 30, 2019, for early bird pricing.
Contact: Lucie deLaBruere at ignite@vita-Learn.org

Visual Media Competition – Entrepreneurship Education

Enter the 11th annual bumper sticker, t-shirt design and/or mini video YouTube competitions for students in grades 9-12. This year’s theme "Vermont Entrepreneurs….Connecting Communities" Cash and other prizes. The deadline for entries is December 13, 2019. Awards presented at the annual 2020 Vermont Entrepreneurship Day in Montpelier on February 5, 2020 – with the Governor – speakers etc. Learn more about the 2019 Entrepreneurship Education Visual Media Competitions
Contact: Lauren Butler at lbutler@vtsbdc.org or (802) 922-3692

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

Invitation for Vermont High School Students to Participate in E-Cigarette Survey from the UVM College of Medicine and American Lung Association

A group of second-year medical students at the Larner College of Medicine is completing a public health survey. This survey will provide valuable information about teenage e-cigarette use in Vermont, identifying barriers and opportunities to help teenagers stop vaping or using e-cigarettes. Please ask your high school students if they would be interested in participating in this anonymous survey.
Contact: Dr. Jan Carney at (802) 656-8275 or jan.carney@uvm.edu

Movement Workshops with Arigun Ganbat at the Flynn

Born and raised in Mongolia and working toward her graduate degree in mental health counseling at SUNY Plattsburg, Arigun Ganbat offers Traditional Mongolian Dance (2:45-4:15 p.m.) and Therapeutic Movement on Latin Beats (1-2:30 p.m.) for movers of all levels on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, at the Flynn. In these two workshops participants (older teens and adults) explore Latin and Mongolian cultures and traditions through music and movement. $15 per workshop per participant. More information and registration online.
Contact: Sarah Caliendo at flynnarts@flynncenter.org or (802) 652-4537

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program – Nominate a Student Volunteer

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States’ largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. Honors are granted in every state and the top middle level and high school volunteer from each state will each earn a scholarship, medallion and all-expense-paid trip with a parent or guardian to Washington, D.C. for four days of recognition events. The application deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.
Contact: Heather Cestaro at (973) 802-4687 or heather.cestaro@prudential.com

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