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 20

20 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 updated Guidance: End of School Year Gatherings and Graduations (Updated 5/18).
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 Continuity of Learning Plan Exemplars. (5/14)
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 a Distance Learning Planning and Tracking Form Template for Special Education Services (5/19 - PDF version and Word version).
Contact: Jacqui Kelleher at jacqui.kelleher@vermont.gov

Guidance: Adult Education and Literacy

Audience: Superintendents, Adult Education Programs
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Initial Graduation Guidance for Students Assessing Below High School Proficiency on NRS Assessments (5/14).
Contact: Robin Castle at robin.castle@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS Scheduling Information Week of 5/25

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
Vermont Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and the Agency of Education 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 will be aired on Friday at 1 p.m. Students can listen to the program over the air on VPR's stations or web-stream at vpr.org. On May 22, 2020, the focus will be space exploration with NASA Chief Scientist, Jim Green. Supplemental resources for each program are available at butwhykids.org and the Agency of Education VPR Continuity of Learning webpage.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov

Prom Goes #VTstrong

Audience: HS Class Advisors, Principals, Superintendents
Vermont Public Radio (VPR) is partnering with the Agency of Education and Big Heavy World to present a statewide virtual prom with DJ Craig Mitchell on Saturday, May 30, 2020, at 7 p.m. Prom Goes #VTstrong will include submitted audio messages and reflections. The broadcast recording and virtual afterparty will be hosted from Big Heavy World, a volunteer-run local music organization headquartered in Burlington. For more information or to be part of the event, please visit VPR’s Prom Goes #VTstrong webpage.
Contact: Margaret Carrera-Bly at margaret.carrera-bly@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.

FY21 BEST/Act 230 Grant Applications

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Curriculum Coordinators, SEL Professionals
Applications for FY21 BEST/Act 230 grant awards are due July 1, 2020. Please login 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 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. More information around BEST and Act 230 funds can be found on the Vermont Agency of Education website.
Contact: Laura Greenwood at laura.greenwood@vermont.gov

Vermont School Safety Initiative: Free Training Available

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Crisis Planning Team Members
Vermont’s Agency of Education and Department of Public Safety have partnered with Margolis Healy in Vermont’s School Safety Planning, Training and Exercise initiative. This initiative is to assist all of Vermont’s public, private and independent (K-12) schools with enhancing their level of school emergency preparedness. We are offering a Zoom open forum session with MH Associates Tuesday, May 26, 2020, from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. to answer questions you may have about developing your EOP. Join using this Zoom Link. From 9:30 -10 a.m. there will be a tutorial on implementing the VT EOP template for your school.
Contact: Robert L. Evans at revans@margolishealy.com or (802) 839-0448.

Reminder: Superintendent Assurance Required in Lieu of VTmtss Survey SY19-20 Data Closes June 1

Audience: Superintendents, Principals
The month of May traditionally is the annual data collection window for the VTmtss Survey, which is designed to fulfill the requirements of 16 V.S.A. § 2904. This year, due to school closures and related concerns about the viability of the data that we’d be collecting, the AOE has decided to take a different approach to meeting this requirement. Each superintendent has been asked to sign this assurance (emailed on May 1, 202), instead of completing the VTmtss Survey, for SY19-20. In the past, this has traditionally been a school-level data collection completed by a principal; we anticipate that this will be a one-time deviation from that approach, and that we will return to school-level collections next year. Superintendents are asked to complete the assurance online by June 1, 2020. If you have questions about this assurance, or about the related statutory requirement, please contact Tracy Watterson.
Contact: Tracy Watterson at tracy.watterson@vermont.gov

Educator License Expiration Dates Extended due to COVID-19

Audience: Licensed Educators
Due to action taken by the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators, the life of all educator licenses scheduled to expire on June 30, 2020, has been extended to 90 days after the end of the governor’s state of emergency declaration. Currently, that declaration runs through June 15, 2020, meaning that September 15, 2020, is the earliest that licenses will expire. Please note that professional learning must be approved by your Local or Regional Standards Board before submission for renewal. Please reach out to your L/RSB as soon as possible to ensure sufficient opportunity for them to review your professional learning. The licensing team will keep educators updated on expiration dates as we have more certainty.
Contact: Patrick Halladay at patrick.halladay@vermont.gov

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

School Librarians: Apply to Attend ALAVirtual Conference for Free

The Vermont Department of Libraries is offering the opportunity to attend the ALA Virtual Conference June 24 – 26, 2020 to Vermont public, academic and school librarians. Visit the Vermont Department of Libraries ALA Virtual guidelines page for details and application information. The application deadline is 3 p.m. on June 5, 2020. This opportunity is made possible through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Contact Joy Worland with questions.
Contact: Joy Worland at joy.worland@vermont.gov or (802) 798-2567

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Audience: All
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The Week 3 newsletter focuses on Building Emotional Literacy. 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

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.

Professional Learning: Math Menu Online

Registration is open for Christian Courtemanche's course: Differentiating with Math Menu K-6. This favorite course for math instruction will be taught virtually this year and will include not only the menu model for differentiation, reframing Tier I math instruction, but how to utilize technology as a direct tool for math instruction in a Distance Learning Environment. June 22-25, 2020, with morning synchronous times and asynchronous work at other times. There will be two follow up classes mid-fall. 3 St Mike's grad. credits.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

Online Professional Development Course: Trauma Informed Social Learning

Registration is open for Trauma Informed Social Learning, an online professional development course by the Stern Center for Language and Learning. This course focuses on defining, identifying and understanding children’s developmental experiences – such as early adversity or autism – that negatively impact typical social development. Our goal is to help teachers and programs protect vulnerable learners and provide the knowledge and support needed for robust instruction in social emotional learning. Registration is due by June 19, 2020.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

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Secretary Daniel M. French
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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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