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 29

22 July 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: Finance

Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has updated Federal Education Funding Planning Guidance (Updated 7/21).
Contact: Kathy Flanagan at kathy.flanagan@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: Summer Program Schedule

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Schedule of Vermont PBS Programs for the Week of July 27, 2020, is now posted on our PBS webpage. Additionally, you will find Summer PBS Programming and Supplemental Resources that link programs and engaging activities. Finally, the How Educators Can Integrate PBS Programming and Resources into PreK-12 Instruction for Summer Programs document explains how to navigate the At-Home-Learning platform. It also offers strategies and suggestions for using PBS At-Home-Learning resources in a meaningful way throughout summer programming. Since school is out, please pass this information along to families.
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 specifically related to the COVID-19 Response.

Vermont Supervisory Union/District Portraits of a Graduate

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals
Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) staff facilitated sessions around the state to develop a Vermont Portrait of a Graduate (PoG). It can be used as a tool for guiding instructional decisions as well as reviewing and refining proficiency-based graduation requirements. Similar work has taken place in a number of Vermont SU/SDs. Since context influences the attributes of a PoG, this local work is important. The AOE would like to share these PoG examples on our Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements webpage. If your SU/SD has created a PoG, please send a link to Pat Fitzsimmons. The AOE would like to share your work.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov

Annual Education Technology Survey Now Open

Audience: Education Technology Directors, Superintendents
The Annual Education Technology Survey is required of all Vermont schools in order to collect important data about many aspects of the education technology landscape in our schools. The AOE requests that the survey be answered to the best of the ability of each school. New this year, a supervisory union or school district representative can complete data for multiple schools in one form. The survey should be completed by August 15, 2020. Follow-ups will be done in early September to complete the data set.
Contact: Greg Young at greg.young@vermont.gov

Vermont Child Nutrition Programs Summer Institute

Audience: School Food Service, Business Managers, School Nurses, Farm to School Coordinators, CACFP Sponsors
Vermont Child Nutrition Programs will be hosting a virtual Summer Institute from Aug. 10-21, 2020. We are offering 22 classes for those involved in operating the federal child nutrition programs, including the School Nutrition Programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program. Topics include food safety and modifying program operations due to COVID-19, as well as required annual training. All sessions will be free. Sessions will be recorded for those who are unable to attend live. Please visit the registration page for more information.
Contact: Ailynne Adams at ailynne.adams@vermont.gov

Project-Based Learning: A Path to Proficiency

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, Teachers
Project-Based Learning is an open-ended and student-centered approach that lends itself to quality learning in a variety of contexts. With this approach, students seek out answers to a driving question or challenge, placing them on a self-directed path of inquiry as they discover and apply key knowledge and skills to the development of a public product. Throughout these processes, students have opportunities to improve skills and demonstrate proficiency in standards. Learn more about how Project-Based Learning supports Proficiency-Based Learning, Essential Components of Project-Based Learning, and how interdisciplinary Project-Based Learning units suit blended learning environments.
Contact: Kyle Anderson at kyle.anderson@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 only include posts related to in-person training, events or meetings that affirmatively comply with current health guidance from the Vermont Department of Health, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and/or the Vermont Agency of Education.

Students May be Eligible for More VSAC Grant Money

VSAC reminds students that they can appeal their financial aid offer because of changes in their family circumstances, especially due to COVID-19 (e.g. lost job, increased medical expenses). The average appeal results in an extra $2,000 in the Vermont State Grant. For more information, call 800-882-4166 or email grants@vsac.org. There’s still time to apply for a Vermont State Grant.
Contact: Sabina Haskell at haskell@vsac.org

Announcing our New Page: 4-H at Home!

We've made it easier for you to find all of our virtual programs and downloadable activities, all in one spot. And what's more - we've linked you to other great virtual or downloadable materials from other 4-H programs across the country. So, there's no excuse for boredom this summer. Rainy day? Friends away? Bookmark this link and engagement awaits.
Contact: Allison Smith at allison.smith.2@uvm.edu

Registration Open: The Futures Project Design Lab

The Futures Project Design Lab (Aug. 10-13, 2020) offers educators the opportunity to refine plans for school in the fall, using creative projects as the catalyst for joyful, relevant and engaging learning—remotely, in-school or outdoors. This professional development for teacher teams offers the opportunity to work with national leaders in project-based learning and creativity. And each team receives a remote teaching artist residency, working as a creativity coach to plan together and remotely support project implementation in the fall. Graduate credits available. Learn more and register your team at the Community Engagement Lab: Project Design Lab.
Contact: Theresa Murray-Clasen at theresa@communityengagementlab.org or (802) 595-9991

Vermont Music Educators Association Assistance Form

The COVID-19 crisis has presented numerous difficulties in our schools related to health, budget, scheduling and more. If you would like to share a concern about decisions being made in your district with the COVID-19 Advocacy Response Team or the VMEA Advocacy Task Force, please complete this short survey: VMEA Assistance Survey.
Contact: Molly Tobin at mtobin@kindomeast.org

Becoming Anti-Racist: Professional Learning Series for White Teachers

The VT-HEC has secured a block of 75 participant slots for this professional learning series hosted by our colleague, Paul Gorski, and the Equity Literacy Institute. It is designed specifically for white liberal educators who want to be engaged in transformative racial justice efforts, but who want to be sure they’re not doing so in a way that harms colleagues of color or that, in the end, is really more about antiracist optics than antiracist actions and transformations. It is being offered in collaboration with educator-scholar-activists of color who have something to say about white liberalism and how it helps to sustain racism in education. The series includes: four 75-minute interactive webinars; weekly reading suggestions including books and articles; weekly reflection-to-action prompts for individual journaling and reflection throughout August 2020; and an online space where participants can share resources and dialogue before, after, and between the weekly webinars. The series begins on Aug. 4, 2020, and will continue every Tuesday evening through Aug. 25, 2020. Cost is $75.
Contact: Julie Medose at info@vthec.org or (802) 498-3350

Professional Learning: Leading VT Schools Cohort

Registration is open for Understanding the Principalship - Cohort #7 with Jay Nichols, a yearlong 4-credit course. This opportunity for newer Vermont principals or other building leaders gives you a great opportunity to learn from a master and your cohort colleagues through monthly class meetings. You will hear from different guests such as the Secretary of Education, the Ed Finance Manager, Local Education Attorneys, veteran principals and NEA administrators, to name a few. Great resources include two books. The classes will either be in-person or virtual depending on current health recommendations. Either way, a Zoom-Room link is available if you prefer off-site access this year. If there ever was a year where you wanted to connect with role-alike peers throughout, this is it.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

Restorative Practices Training for Youth-Adult Teams

Embracing new approaches and new ways of holding positive “space” will be of even greater urgency when we return to school next month. It will be essential to infuse restorative practices’ values and principles in a proactive way to foster positive relationships and build community in our evolving learning environments. To help schools with this work, UP for Learning is now accepting registration for youth-adult teams to participate in Transforming School Culture Through Restorative Practices, a year-long learning journey that guides youth-adult partners through youth participatory action research. This experience will happen in-person, remotely, or a combination of both and can be tailored to meet the needs of your team. Regardless of the learning landscape, we can reimagine and transform education together.
Contact: Amie Conger at amie@upforlearning.org

Oral Language to Reading: 90-minute Professional Development Webinar

Join the Stern Center on August 11, 2020 for Oral Language to Reading, the 5th and final webinar in Dr. Melissa Farrall's series of 90-minute assessment webinars. Dr. Farrall will focus on the role oral language plays in the context of a comprehensive reading evaluation. We will examine how tests of oral language permit evaluators to go beyond the main idea and use the structure of language to reveal why students have challenges comprehending what they read. Participants will learn how to select tests and interpret findings as a foundation for evaluations that are evidence-based and helpful to educators. Recordings of previous webinars in the series are available. Register for 2 or more webinars and receive a discount!
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

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