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 14, Issue 14

08 April 2020

COVID-19 Updates and Guidance for Schools

This section of the Weekly Field Memo contains updates to COVID-19 guidance from the Vermont Agency of Education released since the last Weekly Field Memo. For a complete list of AOE-issued guidance, please visit our COVID-19 Guidance for Vermont Schools website. For the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on the COVID-19 response in Vermont, visit the Health Department's Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.

Memos from the Secretary

Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, Secretary French has issued Memo: Continuation of Learning; School Calendars; Attendance (Issued 3/31, updated 4/6), Memo: April Vacations and Regional School Calendars and Memo: Student and Household Information Needed for P-EBT Implementation. Secretary French and Commissioner Squirrell of the Department of Mental Health co-issued Memo: Continuity of Mental Health Services (4/8)
Contact: Miranda Scott at miranda.scott@vermont.gov

Guidance: Special Education

Audience: Superintendents, Special Education Directors, Special Education Educators
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Questions and Answers Regarding Addressing the Needs of Students with Disabilities During School Closure Due to a Novel Coronavirus Outbreak: Volume 2 (4/6).
Contact: Jacqui Kelleher at jacqui.kelleher@vermont.gov

Guidance: School Nutrition Operations

Audience: Superintendents, Independent School Heads, Food Service Managers
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued FAQ from CACFP Sponsors During COVID-19: Volume 3 (4/8).
Contact: Rosie Krueger at mary.krueger@vermont.gov

Guidance: Finance

Audience: Superintendents, Business Managers, Fiscal Staff
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has updated Agency of Education COVID-19-Related Financial Guidance (4/8) and issued Education Medicaid Billing FAQ (4/8).
Contact: Kathy Flanagan at kathy.flanagan@vermont.gov

Guidance: Continuity of Learning Plans

Audience: Superintendents, Independent School Heads
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Student Privacy During COVID-19 (4/7), Leveraging Educational Support Teams to Support Continuity of Learning (4/7), Independent Schools and Continuity of Learning Plan Requirements (4/7),  Assessment in a Remote Learning Environment: Recommended Practices (updated 4/8), Instruction in a Remote Learning Environment: Universal Principles and Recommended Practices (4/8), and State and National Assessments & College Admissions: Timelines, Schedules, and Resources (4/8)
Contact: Jess DeCarolis at jess.decarolis@vermont.gov

Guidance: Consolidated Federal Programs

Audience: Superintendents, CFP Team Leaders
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has updated Consolidated Federal Programs Guidance Related to School Closure due to COVID-19 (4/8)
Contact: Jesse Roy at jesse.roy@vermont.gov

Guidance: Homeless Children and Youth Program

Audience: Superintendents, Homeless Liaisons
Please consult Guidance for the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program During a Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (4/6)
Contact: Katy Preston at katy.preston@vermont.gov

COVID-19 Support: Vermont PBS At-Home Learning

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, K-12 Teachers
Vermont Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and the Agency of Education (AOE) are partnering to support continuity of learning for our students and school communities. This partnership provides access to free educational programming through Vermont PBS At-Home Learning. The Main channel delivers PreK through grade 8 programming that is aligned to national standards and includes interactive lessons and suggested activities. PBS Plus (WGBH) is airing standards-aligned educational programming for grades 6-12. Teachers can create unique accounts with their school email or Google account through PBS LearningMedia. Accounts are free and provide access to a range of additional features.
Contacts: Pat Fitzsimmons at pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.org or Heather Duhamel at hduhamel@vermontpbs.org

Educator License Expiration Dates Extended Due to COVID-19

Audience: Educators
The Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators adopted a waiver to extend the expiration date of all educator licenses scheduled to lapse on June 30, 2020. In a meeting on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, the Standards Board acted to extend all educator licenses until 90 days after the governor calls an end to the current State of Emergency. While the new expiration date will not be known until the State of Emergency ends, this extension will allow educators additional time to complete fingerprinting, PRAXIS exams, and certifications without their licenses expiring. A broader list of questions and responses regarding licensing can be found on the AOE COVID-19 Guidance for Vermont Schools page.
Contact: Patrick Halladay at patrick.halladay@vermont.gov

Returning Student Medications to Home for Use

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Nurses
During Governor Scott’s Stay Home Stay- Safe Executive Order students continue to need their daily medication and health care supplies at home. Please arrange for safe return of all medications including those for ADHD, asthma, seizures, life-threatening allergies and diabetes. Transportation of medication and supplies, e.g. controlled drugs, epinephrine, glucometers, insulin, and inhalers should follow school safety protocols. These protocols include being delivered by an adult to an adult and documenting in a school record, the counted number of pills for federally controlled medications such as Ritalin.
Contact: Sharonlee Trefry at sharonlee.trefry@vermont.gov

Other Agency of Education and State of Vermont Updates

This section of the Weekly Field Memo contains posts from the Agency of Education and other State of Vermont agencies that are not specically related to the COVID-19 Response.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Educators, Food Service Staff, Bus Drivers
April is a time that we are reminded to learn about child abuse and neglect and the roles we all play in prevention. As you deliver meals, conduct classes on-line and reach out to children and their families, you are actively providing support. As you see families, please remember that some children are now having to stay full time in situations that can be the cause of adversity. Staying home, not socializing and possible loss of income are all additional stressors. These difficulties can raise the risk for many children. Please consider refreshing your prevention skills during this time. The online Protecting Vermont’s Children: Reporting Abuse and Neglect is one way that you can do this. Knowing the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect and seeking the help of the Department for Children and Families to assess situations can prevent abuse. Please feel free to reach out to DCF for further assistance and support. You can also use the 1-800-649-5285 Child Protection Line for reporting. 
Contact: Priscilla White at priscilla.white@vermont.gov

Free Online Safety Resources for Kids, Families and Educators

Audience: Educators and Families
The following was shared with Vermont Agency of Education by Vermont mental health providers: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children provides free, online safety resources for students and community members to ensure children are safe online. The differentiated video series present digital safety lessons in a fun and appropriate manner. There are additionally tip sheets for families and educators to empower children to be safer online.
Contact: Nancy Hellen at nancy.hellen@vermont.gov

Vermont Restorative Approaches Collaborative: Our Shared Humanity

Audience: Educators, School Leaders, Consultants, School Staff, Community Partners, Families
The Vermont Restorative Approaches Collaborative invites us all to Pause, Reflect, and Connect Together every Thursday at 1 p.m. Join online for more information and to register for this free series of events. For more information, contact Lindsey Halman at lindsey@upforlearning.org or (802) 552-8240.
Contact: Meg Porcella at meg.porcella@vermont.gov

Adult Education Literacy Funding Opportunity Suspended

Audience: Organizations and entites that have demonstrated effectiveness in providing adult education and literacy services.
The WIOA Title II funding opportunity has been suspended until January of 2021 when the Vermont Agency of Education will resume a grant competition for a defined period that will begin July 1, 2021. The U.S. Department of Education is allowing states to suspend the competition for one year only “. . . under these difficult and unique circumstances related to COVID-19 . . .” The funding opportunity will be announced broadly in January.
Contact: Robin Castle at robin.castle@vermont.gov

Educational Equity and Diversity Professional Learning Providers Request for Information

Audience: Professional Learning Providers
The Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports Team has published an RFI in order to collect information on individuals and institutions who can provide Vermont educators with professional development in areas related to educational equity and diversity. The resulting list will update the current list of Equity and Diversity Professional Learning Providers. Please see the bid site for more information and RFI deadlines.
Contact: Julia Scheier at julia.scheier@vermont.gov

AOE To Hold Virtual Public Hearing on Vermont’s Policy and Procedures: Significant Disproportionality in Special Education

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Special Education Administrators, Educators, General Public
The Agency of Education (AOE) is hosting a Public Hearing on the Policy and Procedures: Significant Disproportionality in Special Education. The AOE is proposing a policy and a description of methodology concerning the requirements in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) with respect to significant disproportionality. Under 34 C.F.R. 300.646 and 300.647, states must annually collect and examine data to see if significant disproportionality is occurring within the state and at the Local Education Agency (LEA) level. The IDEA regulations also expand the ways that districts must use funds to provide Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS) to students to address the identified disproportionality and to alleviate barriers to students’ access to curriculum and appropriate supports. The public has the opportunity to participate in two virtual Public Hearing sessions – April 20, 2020, from 11 a.m.-noon or 4:30-5:30 p.m. Please see Public Posting Significant Disproportionality Hearing for call in details. Further, comments should be submitted to AOE.SpecialEd@vermont.gov with the Subject header – Significant Disproportionality. In addition to the public hearing, the AOE will be accepting public comments for 30 days from April 8, 2020, through May 8, 2020.
Contact: Jacqui Kelleher at jacqui.kelleher@vermont.gov

AOE Seeking Public Comment on Vermont’s FFY2020 IDEA Part B Application

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Special Education Administrators, Educators, General Public
The Agency of Education is seeking comments from the public on the draft FFY20 IDEA Part B Application. The grant application provides assurances that Vermont has policies and procedures in place as required by Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Further, Part B Interactive Spreadsheet provides an overview of how federal funds will be allocated for State Education Agency leadership, oversight, and support, in addition to the total award sought for the State’s Local Education Agencies. Comments should be submitted to AOE.SpecialEd@vermont.gov with the Subject header – IDEA Part B Public Comment. As required, the Agency of Education will be accepting public comments for 30 days from March 13, 2020, through April 13, 2020. The deadline date has been extended to April 20, 2020.
Contact: Jacqui Kelleher at jacqui.kelleher@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. Please refer to the Weekly Field Memo submission guidelines for additional information.

Until further notice, the Courtesy Posts will not include posts related to in-person training, events or meetings. This is to support social distancing strategies recommended by the Vermont Department of Health.

At-Home Lessons from the Vermont Energy Education Program

Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) and New Hampshire Energy Education Project (NHEEP) have created lessons for teachers and parents to use with their students from home. The home-learning lessons are geared toward each different age group K-12, and include activities students can do at home. Teachers can download the lessons for their use. There is also the possibility of connecting virtually with one of our educators, whether to remotely present content to students, answer student questions by e-mail or to provide support to teachers in use of their materials. Finally, VEEP and NHEEP will be offering online NGSS Toolkit trainings starting in mid-April. Teachers can register for the training online.
Contact: Cara Robechek at cara.robechek@veep.org

COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Grant

GENYOUth is offering a COVID-19 emergency school nutrition grant. The grant is up to $3,000 per school and can be used for equipment and staff stipends.
Contact: Jill Hussels at jhussels@newenglanddairy.com

VSAC College and Career Planning Workshops Now Available Online

VSAC’s College and Career Pathways and Managing College Costs workshops are recorded and now available for anyone to access. Each presentation also includes resources to guide students and families. If you are interested in scheduling a session for students and parents to ask any follow up questions from the presentation videos, please email Anna Telensky or call (802) 542-2229 to arrange a time.
Contact: Anna Telensky at telensky@vsac.org

Online Professional Development from the Stern Center for Language and Learning

Join the Stern Center online this spring for professional development available from the comfort of your own home. Teachers looking to increase their students’ literacy skills can choose from a variety of online, self-paced courses and webinars. Choices include 2.5-hour presentations by Louisa Moats and Nancy Mather, 6-hour Orton-Gillingham webinars, Building Blocks online for early educators, and the 40-hour graduate level Comprehensive Reading course. Special discounts are available for most offerings.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Power2 Summit: Youth and Adults Transforming Learning Together

The Power2 Summit: Youth and Adults Transforming Learning Together is going forward online. The Power2 Summit will provide the opportunity for youth and adults to share stories, build community and expand skills and knowledge. Our goal is for everyone to see, hear, and feel the power of youth voice and youth-adult partnership in learning and decision making, and learn about tools and strategies that can be used in our homes, communities, schools and organizations to make learning meaningful. Please join us on Friday May 15th, 2020, from 9 a.m.-noon. There is no charge. Registration is online. If you are interested in facilitating a Sharing Session please contact Harry Frank at UP for Learning
Contact: Harry Frank at harry@upforlearning.org or (802) 989-4913

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

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