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 19

13 May 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 and Continuity of Learning websites. 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: End of School Year

Audience: All
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Guidance: End of School Year Gatherings and Graduations (5/8).
Contact: COVID-19 Response Team at aoe.support@vermont.gov

Guidance: Continuity of Learning 

Audience: Superintendents, Independent School Heads, Educators
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Expanded Access to Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative: Supplemental Information (5/8) and Considerations for Radio Programming and Students with Disabilities (5/8).
Contact: Jess DeCarolis at jess.decarolis@vermont.gov

Guidance: Special Education

Audience: Superintendents, Special Educators, Early Special Educators, Administrators, Business Managers
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Payment of Special Education Personnel and Contracted Services During School Closure due to COVID-19 (5/13), Early Childhood Special Education (ages 3 through 5): Indicator 7- Early Childhood Outcomes Guidance (5/11) and Memo: Initial Considerations for Compensatory Education and Extended School Year Services (5/8)
Contact: Jacqui Kelleher at jacqui.kelleher@vermont.gov

Guidance: Child Nutrition

Audience: Superintendents, Food Service Managers and Staff, Business Managers
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued School Nutrition Programs COVID-19 FAQs: Volume 4 (5/8).
Contact: Rosie Krueger at mary.krueger@vermont.gov

Guidance: 21st Century Community Learning Center

Audience: 21CCLC Staff, Administrators
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Supplemental Guidance for Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers Afterschool Programs During COVID-19: Volume 2 (5/12)
Contact: Emanuel Betz at emanuel.betz@vermont.gov

Guidance: Licensing and Student Teaching

Audience: Educator Preparation Programs, Student Teachers, Educators Seeking Licensure or Renewal
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has updated Educator Licensing COVID-19 FAQs (Updated 5/8) and COVID-19 Student Teaching / Educator Preparation Program COVID-19 FAQs (Updated 5/8).
Contact: Patrick Halladay at patrick.halladay@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS Scheduling Information Week of 5/18

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. Resources that can be printed and sent home have been identified within the schedule.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.org or Heather Duhamel at hduhamel@vermontpbs.org

Vermont Public Radio's But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids

Audience: K-6 Teachers
But Why, VPR's Podcast for Curious Kids is coming to the air-waves every Friday at 1 p.m. May 8-June 19, 2020. Students can listen to the program over the air on VPR's stations or listen to the web-stream at vpr.org. On May 15, 2020, students can write a poem to share with Poetry Guy Ted Scheu. On May 22, 2020, the focus will be space exploration from NASA Chief Scientist, Jim Green. Supplemental resources for each program are available at butwhykids.org and the Vermont AOE Vermont VPR webpage.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov

Graduate Together – Saturday May 16, 2020

Audience: All
Vermont is participating in Graduate Together, the national celebration of America’s High School Class of 2020. The broadcast will take place 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020 on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, and stream online. There are ways for students, educators and families to participate. After the broadcast Vermont will have a page with a message from Secretary French and stories from Vermont graduates.
Contact: Kate Connizzo at kate.connizzo@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.

Student Member Sought for State Board of Education

Audience: Vermont Secondary Students Graduating in 2022 or Later
The Governor’s Office is seeking a candidate to serve a two-year term on the State Board of Education as one of its two student representatives. The State Board of Education usually meets on the third Wednesday of every month and establishes policies, regulations and rules related to education in Vermont and in keeping with statutes passed by the Legislature. Candidates may apply using the Application for Gubernatorial Appointment. The deadline for applications is May 29, 2020. Questions about the State Board of Education may be directed to Maureen Gaidys (802) 828-0047 at the Agency of Education. Questions about the application or the nomination process itself can be emailed to EXE.Appointments@vermont.gov.
Contact: Maureen Gaidys at maureen.gaidys@vermont.gov

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 May 20, 2020, from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. If you would like to register to provide public comment on these two rules series, please email Suzanne Sprague at suzanne.sprague@vermont.gov. The public comment period is currently open and will close on May 27, 2020. The hearing is 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: Suzanne Sprague at suzanne.sprague@vermont.gov

Deadline 5/15 - Educational Equity Learning Provider Request for Information

Audience: Professional Learning Providers
The Agency's extended deadline for an RFI for Equity proviers is this Friday, May 15, 2020. This RFI is to collect updated information on individuals and institutions who can provide Vermont educators with professional development in areas related to educational equity and diversity. Please see the bid site for more information and RFI deadlines.
Contact: Julia Scheier at julia.scheier@vermont.gov

Into the Woods VT

Audience: Parents and Educators PreK-Grade 6
Into the Woods VT is designed to get parents and caregivers out into their yards exploring every day. This is a partnership between the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Project Learning Tree, the Vermont Woodlands Association, and the Vermont Tree Farm Program. Every Friday new easy and fun outdoor activities are posted on Facebook and Instagram. Families who share their photos and activities with us on either platform are automatically entered into our weekly prize drawings on Fridays. Learn more on Facebook or Instagram.
Rebecca Roy at rebecca.roy@vermont.gov or (802) 522-0780

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Audience: All
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The Week 2 newsletter focuses on mental health wellness. The Vermont Department of Mental Health, in collaboration with the Center for Health and Learning and the VT Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, is releasing newsletters on various mental health topics each week throughout May. Please share with families in your districts as feasible.
Contact: Laurel Omland at laurel.omland@vermont.gov

Governor's Institutes of Vermont Announces Summer 2020 Immersion Lineup

Audience: All
The Governor's Institutes of Vermont (GIV) is excited to announce details for Immersion offerings this summer. With topics spanning the Arts & Humanities and STEM fields, there is something for every passionately curious young Vermonter at GIV's 2020 Immersions. At GIV Immersions, students will join a cohort of eager young learners exploring subjects they love via guided independent and group projects and research. GIV is dedicated to being accessible for all Vermonters, including those whose financial circumstances may have changed due to COVID-19. Tuition is now "pay-what-you-can" and students will be issued a full refund if cancellations are required at a later date - so, students have nothing to lose but tons to gain by applying today. Give your students a jump on their future by telling them to apply for GIV Immersions this summer.
Contact: Barry Steyling at Barry@giv.org

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.

The Champlain Research Experience for Secondary Teachers (CREST 2.0) Professional Development Program

There are a few spaces available in the CREST 2.0 online PD Program June 22 to July 2, 2020. The CREST 2.0 Program is fully funded by the VSAC GEAR UP Grant which includes FREE registration and 3 UVM graduate credits for Grade 7-12 teachers from Vermont who are interested in learning about cutting-edge research related to the Lake Champlain Basin and in developing place-based projects to be integrated into their teaching. Due to COVID-19, CREST 2.0 will be conducted online (synchronous/asynchronous) with the possibility of field trips later in the summer or fall should COVID restrictions be lifted. Please see the CREST 2.0 Flyer for more information and links to the CREST 2.0 application and survey.
Contact: Regina Toolin at Rtoolin@uvm.edu

LGBTQ+ Inclusive Sex Ed Webinar

Teaching LGBTQ+ inclusive sexual health education is challenging for many schools in the best of times! During social distancing, it can feel even more daunting. Join Andrea of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and Mara of Outright Vermont online on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for a brief webinar to connect with one another and improve skills needed to include students of all identities and orientations as sexual health education moves online. We will take a tour of the Agency of Education’s Full Spectrum: Educators’ Guide to Implementing LGBTQ+ Inclusive Sex Ed and show you a newly updated repository of LGBTQ+-inclusive sexual health education resources. Pre-registration is required.
Contact: Mara Iverson at mara@outrightvt.org or (802) 865-9677

Virtual Exchange: The Experiment in International Living

Apply by May 20, 2020: Free, Virtual Exchange: The Experiment in International Living, a program of World Learning in Brattleboro, VT, invites teens ages 14–19 in the U.S., Algeria, Iraq and Yemen to apply online to The Experiment Digital, a fully funded (free) virtual exchange summer program. Motivated Vermonters who are interested in cultural exchange should apply online by May 20, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. PST. For eight weeks (for 4 hours per week) from June 22 to August 16, 2020, students log on to an interactive platform to learn about leadership, civic engagement, and interact with their peers through videos, chats, webinars, and games. The Experiment Digital is supported by the Stevens Initiative, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government, and is administered by the Aspen Institute.
Contact: Kirby Landers at kirby.landers@experiment.org or at (802) 258-3451

Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Assessment: 90-minute Professional Development Webinars

Learning to read and write is complex. When difficulties arise, as they do for many children, effective intervention hinges on accurate, well-designed assessment. Join the Stern Center for a five-part webinar series beginning June 9, 2020, with Melissa Farrall, Ph.D, a renowned expert on reading, language, and assessment. Dr. Farrall will unravel the complexity of reading and writing, unpack the components of an evaluation targeting these areas, and guide practitioners in assessing literacy and providing targeted recommendations for intervention. Register for two or more webinars and receive a discount. 
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning: Start with Joy

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning presents: Start with Joy: Designing Literacy Learning for Student Success and Happiness Now and for the Future Grades K-8. This event had previously been postponed, but now Katie Cunningham will be presenting online two afternoons on May 19 and May 21, 2020, from 2 - 5 p.m. each day. As teachers navigate and transcend one of our nation's most challenging times, intentionally designing for student happiness is more important than ever. Because we cannot gather together in person, the cost has been reduced to $150, to make the opportunity to learn with Katie even more accessible.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

Power 2 Summit: Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together - May 15, 2020

UP for Learning invites youth and adults from VT schools to attend our 6th Annual Power 2 Virtual Summit on May 15, 2020, from 9 a.m.-noon. In our current learning environment, it is more important than ever to experience and highlight the impact of youth voice and youth-adult partnership in education. The Summit will focus on themes of Connecting, Sharing and Inspiring and the power of youth voice and youth-adult partnership in learning and decision-making. There will be sharing sessions, a virtual dance party, and a whole lot more. Information about this exciting virtual event and Zoom registration can be found online.
Contact: Harry Frank at harry@upforlearning.org

Professional Learning: Math Mindset Online Workshop

Registration is open for Mindset Matters in the Math Classroom - a 3 day virtual workshop with 2-credit option. June 23, 24 and 25, 2020, with interactive video component. This 3-day online workshop will explore the impact of both teacher and student mindset on the math classroom through a series of synchronous and asynchronous activities. All participants will receive a copy of Jo Boaler's Mathematical Mindsets: Unleashing students' potential through creative math, inspiring messages and innovative learning. Instructor: Karen Lehning, Math Specialist. Syllabus available on registration page.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

Relationships at the Center, Now More Than Ever

The VPA has partnered with UVM's Justin Garwood to offer this online live webinar on May 28, 2020, from 10 a.m. to noon. All educators are invited to join. Justin will offer the research behind why relationships are so crucial, explore methods for building relationships online, highlight strategies for returning to in-person learning, and offer strategies to reduce teacher burnout. Great for paraeducators, counselors, teachers and administrators as well. Read more and register online.
Contact: Mike McRaith at mmcraith@vpaonline.org

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