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 15

15 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.

Guidance: Special Education

Audience: Superintendents, Special Education Directors, Special Education Educators
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Responding to Challenging Behaviors of School-Aged Children at Home and Childcare Settings (4/9), Supporting Learning While Social Distancing: Companion Document for Families of Children with Disabilities (4/10) and Template Communication to Families Regarding Special Education and Related Services During Continuity of Learning due to COVID-19 (4/13) and Implementing Transition Services During Remote Learning (4/14).
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 updated School Nutrition Programs COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions: Volume 3 (Updated 4/13) and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) From Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Sponsors During COVID-19 Volume 2 (Updated 4/13).
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 (Updated 4/10).
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 Learning and Engagement: Support for Families During Spring Break (4/10)
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 (4/15).
Contact: Jesse Roy at jesse.roy@vermont.gov

Guidance: Prekindergarten

Audience: Superintendents, Prequalified Prekindergaten Programs, Prekindergarten Educators
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Prekindergarten Education and Continuity of Learning (4/13).
Contact: Kate Rogers at kate.rogers@vermont.gov

COVID-19 Support: Vermont PBS Scheduling Information

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-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. 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. Each Wednesday, the Vermont PBS Week-Ahead Program Schedule will be made available to educators so they can plan for the following week. Additionally, many of the materials can be printed and sent to students at home if necessary.
Contacts: Pat Fitzsimmons at pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.org or Heather Duhamel at hduhamel@vermontpbs.org


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.

State Board of Education to Hold Virtual Public Hearing on Rules Series 1300 and 2360

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Special Education Administrators, Educators, General Public
The State Board of Education will hold a virtual public hearing on Rules Series 1300 and Rule Series 2360 on April 22, 2020, from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. following its April State Board of Education meeting. If you would like to register to provide public comment on these two rules series, please email Maureen Gaidys at Maureen.Gaidys@vermont.gov. The public comment period will open on April 17, 2020, and end on May 27, 2020. There are additional public hearings on these rules series scheduled for May 6, 2020, from 4 p.m. -7 p.m. and May 20, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. These hearings are scheduled to be virtual until Governor Scott lifts his order. Public comment related to these rule series can also be emailed to: SBE.PublicComment@vermont.gov.
Contact: Maureen Gaidys at maureen.gaidys@vermont.gov

Vermont Regional School Calendars for 2020-2021 – Reminder

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Headmasters, Regional Technical Center Directors, Curriculum Coordinators
Vermont statute, 16 V.S.A. §1071 (e), requires that superintendents of schools, regional public-school principals, and headmasters meet before April 1, 2020, and by majority vote, establish a uniform calendar within that area for the following school year. The calendar needs to include student attendance days, periods of vacation, holidays and the requisite five teacher in-service education days. Please send approved, regional calendars to Allison Keating at the Agency of Education.
Contact: Allison Keating at (802) 828-4855 or allison.keating@vermont.gov

Consolidated Federal Programs: Annual Conference is now Available as Webinar Series

Audience: CFP Team Leaders, Business Managers
In order to support LEAs in successfully completing and implementing their Consolidated Federal Programs (CFP) application for the coming fiscal year, the CFP Team is excited to present virtual information sessions. These sessions will be recorded and posted to the Agency’s YouTube channel, as we understand that some local CFP Team Leaders and business managers will not be able to attend the live presentations. LEA representatives should prioritize attending or viewing each of these sessions, as they will provide essential guidance and answers to common technical and programmatic questions. Please visit the Consolidated Federal Programs Webpage for further virtual conference information.
Contact: Jesse Roy at jesse.roy@vermont.gov

FY21 BEST/Act 230 Grant Applications

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Curriculum Coordinators, SEL Professionals
Applications for FY21 BEST/Act 230 grant awards will open April 15, 2020. Please log in to your GMS account to apply. Act 230 funds are intended for the training of teachers, administrators, and other personnel in the provision of education services to students who require educational supports for academics and/or social/emotional/behavioral. 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. More information around BEST and Act 230 funds can be found online.
Contact: Laura Greenwood at laura.greenwood@vermont.gov

Mathematics EdCamp Training - Registration Now Re-opened: Shortened Virtual Meeting

Audience: Principals, Teachers, Special Educators, Special Education Administrators, Curriculum Directors
The Mathematics EdCamp focus is on the integration of social, emotional and academic development and inclusive pedagogy and practices for all mathematics. How do schools create the highest quality mathematics instruction that is differentiated and responsive to the needs of diverse learners? This session will be held virtually May 5, 2020, from 9 – 11 a.m. or May 7, 2020, from 1 – 3 p.m. These sessions will be recorded for future access. Register for either session: Mathematics EdCamp Training. Registration deadline is April 24, 2020. You will receive a TEAMS meeting invite by email a couple of days before the training. If you do not be sure to contact Betty Roy at betty.roy@vermont.gov.
Contact: Betty Roy at betty.roy@vermont.gov

My COVID-19 Time Capsule

Graphic designer and mother, Natalie Long, decided to find a fun yet educational way to help keep her children busy. She designed "My 2020 COVID-19 Time Capsule" worksheets and has since shared them on her Facebook page, LONG Creations. The worksheets consist of 11 pages and include all kinds of activities for children, like interviewing their parents, listing their favorite foods, and writing a letter to themselves. This time capsule activity can be used to support English Language Arts, Health, and Social Studies education.
Contact: Sue Yesalonia at susan.yesalonia@vermont.gov

BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute Update

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Educators, SEL Professionals
In the wake of COVID-19, the Vermont BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute will not be taking place in its usual format on June 22-25, 2020, at Killington Grand Hotel. However, we will soon be developing the first ever online BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute to take place the same week and will have lots of choices for virtual offerings. Go to BSI Update for current details about these changes.
Contact: Laura Greenwood at laura.greenwood@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

Extended Deadline - VTmtss Professional Learning Provider Request for Information

Audience: Professional Learning Providers
The Agency of Education has extended the deadline for an RFI regarding individuals and institutions who can provide Vermont educators with professional learning in areas related to the Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports Framework (VTmtss). This will result in a resource list for Vermont school systems seeking professional learning for VTmtss. Please see the bid site for more information and updated RFI deadlines.
Contact: Julia Scheier at julia.scheier@vermont.gov or (802) 828-5041

Education and Support Will Help Teens Quit Vaping

Audience: All
The Health Department launched its fourth Unhyped youth vaping education campaign, Deception on Display, to reveal the vape industry’s deceptive marketing practices that influenced the epidemic of teen electronic vapor product use. The campaign, which runs through April 30, 2020, targets youth ages 13-18 through digital, YouTube and social media channels. To encourage and help teens quit vaping, the Department launched a new campaign to message directly to the parents of teens who vape and may be addicted to nicotine. Digital promotions through April 30 will inform parents and youth influencers of the free 802Quits cessation support available 24/7 by phone at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or online at https://802quits.org/teen-vaping. There is no better time to quit. Smoking and vaping causes harm to the lungs and can increase the chance of getting severe symptoms of COVID-19. Together we can education teens to make informed decisions and provide them the support they need to quit today. For additional information and resources, visit the Vermont Health Department website or contact Lisa Osbahr.
Contact: Lisa Osbahr at lisa.osbahr@vermont.gov

Cancelled: Child Nutrition Tri-State Conference

The Child Nutrition Tri-State Conference scheduled for May 6-7, 2020, has been postponed. The hotel has reached out to people who reserved rooms to refund their deposits. Further information about re-scheduling this conference will be sent out at a later date.
Contact: Rosie Krueger at mary.krueger@vermont.gov

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

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.

Vermont Family Network’s Puppets in Education Releases Vid­eo to Help Children Cope with the Anxiety of COVID-19

Vermont Family Network’s (VFN) Puppets in Education (PiE) program is proud to announce that a COVID-19 version of their PK–Grade 4 Anxiety program has been created, recorded and is now available online for any family needing support during this time. It provides tips and tools for parents and children to use when worry feels big. Families can watch the video together, talk about worry, and discuss what tools to use. The Anxiety program was created in conjunction with school counselors, teachers, psychiatrists, psychologists and kids, with funding from the Vermont Department of Mental Health and the National Life Group Foundation. VFN hopes that families will benefit from this information and also experience the beauty of this powerful puppetry. This “home-edition” of the program is available to watch on YouTube.
Contact: Sarah Vogelsang-Card at Sarah.Vogelsang-Card@vtfn.org

Free 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 is available for 2.5 professional development hours and is free for a limited time.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Invitation to Share Your Middle and High School Dairy Curriculum

Got dairy... education? If you work with middle/high school age students and have ever done dairy-related activities (a farm visit, taste test, classroom lessons, or something else) please take a few minutes before Monday, May 4th to visit this survey. Depending on how much you have to say about your dairy curricula, the survey should take between 5 to about 30 minutes.
Contact: Liz Kenton at liz.kenton@uvm.edu or (802) 257-7967 x308

Online Resources for Teaching Vermont History

The Vermont Historical Society has a variety of online resources related to Vermont history, including the Vermont History Explorer website for elementary school students. Additional resources include This Place in History videos, Before Your Time podcasts, teacher’s guides for the Vermont history lending kits, and articles from the Vermont History Journal.
Contact: Victoria Hughes at victoria.hughes@vermonthistory.org or (802) 828-1413

VINS At Home Learning Resources

The Vermont Institute of Natural Science is excited to offer you a variety of learning opportunities for all of your at home learners! You'll find a variety of outdoor, nature-based lessons as well as indoor options, aligned to the NGSS. Visit the VINS website for all At-Home Learning Resources where you can sort by grade level, the VINS Facebook or YouTube page for videos (some are live streamed) or Instagram for more.
Contact: Michelle Amato at mamato@vinsweb.org

Free Resource: LiFT 2.0 Digital Platform for Passion Projects and PBGR Portfolios

In response to COVID-19, LiFT 2.0 is available free to schools for virtual project-based learning and easy portfolio assessment. Easy-to-use modules facilitate flexible learner-led projects to keep students engaged and connected with their strengths. To monitor growth during the disruption, a portfolio assessment feature is also available to curate and rate student work aligned to proficiencies.
Contact: David Lipkin at info@schoolhack.io or (802) 989-3223

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Questions?

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

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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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