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 3

22 January 2020

What-if Wednesday: School Emergency Preparedness

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Crisis Planning Team Members
The What-if Wednesday for Jan. 22, 2020, is designed for Superintendents, Principals and School Crisis Planning Team Members to facilitate a conversation about school emergency preparedness. Please complete the exercise and share with your faculty and staff as appropriate.
Contact: Robert L. Evans at revans@margolishealy.com or (802) 839-0448

Local Comprehensive Assessment System Convening III

Audience: Leadership Teams
The Local Comprehensive Assessment System Convenings are designed to strengthen the knowledge, skills and practices of educational leaders so they can support the construction of effective assessment systems. The third in this series will focus on student-designed assessments and their relationship to the personalized learning planning process. Leadership teams are encouraged to attend. This convening will take place in Brattleboro on Feb. 12, 2020, and Montpelier on Feb. 5, 2020. Please see the convening registration for additional information.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at (802) 828-5896 or pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov

The 28th Annual Kindergarten Conference: A Focus on Children Ages 4, 5 and 6

Audience: Administrators, Early Educators
Play, Well-Being, and Academic Expectations: Creating the Balance is the title for the 28th Annual Kindergarten Conference. The conference will focus on the role of play in fostering well-being, wonder and intellectual growth. Keynote speakers include Christine Hertz, a Literacy Interventionist and author, who will share strategies for making traditional academic instruction more playful and joy-based. John Cohn, an IBM Fellow based at the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab in Cambridge, will address the relationship between play and creativity. The conference will take place at the Hilton in Burlington on Friday, March 13, 2020. For additional information, please see the conference flyer or go to the registration site.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at (802) 828-5896 or pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov

VTmtss February Office Hour

Audience: All Educators
Register for the Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports Team's Office Hour on Feb. 5, 2020, from 3-4 p.m. In this webinar, explore ways to strengthen collaboration with family and community, which is an essential element of the VTmtss Framework. We will highlight the Family Engagement Toolkit, which provides researched-based information, proven strategies and a self assessment to reflect on current practices and deepen your school system's engagement with families and the community.
Contact: Julia Scheier at julia.scheier@vermont.gov or (802) 828-5041

Vermont BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute

Audience: School Teams, Family Members, Community Stakeholders
Save the date for the BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute being held June 22 to June 25, 2020, at the Killington Grand Hotel. Registration materials will be posted online on March 5, 2020. This year’s theme is To Infinity and Beyond! Aligning Systems So All Students and Adults Thrive. The BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute provides opportunities for school teams of educators, family members and community stakeholders to share and learn strategies for improving and strengthening the systems, data and practices within Vermont’s expanded framework for enacting a multi-tiered system of supports (VTmtss). Learn about new programs, curricula, practices and activities that emphasize positive, research-based strategies to support all students. Individual or team-attended strands and workshops are intentionally designed to complement afternoon school team planning sessions for building effective action plans.
Contact: Sherry Schoenberg at sherry.schoenberg@uvm.edu or (802) 656-9656

Save the Date: 15th Annual Transition and Career Planning Conference

Audience: Educators, Counselors, Directors, Prinicpals, WBL Coordinators, Special Education Directors and Teachers
The 2020 Transition and Career Planning Conference for K-12 Professionals will take place on May 14, 2020, at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont. The conference will address highlighting the importance of practicing empathy, inclusion and equity in our work. This year’s keynote speaker, Luis Ortega, Founder and Director of Storytellers for Change, will share his personal narrative and message about the power of storytelling and story-listening to inspire action and build empathetic, inclusive and equitable communities. This year’s conference is sponsored by Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, Vermont State GEAR UP, Vermont Agency of Education, the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation, VocRehab Vermont, and the Vermont/New Hampshire Career Development Association. Registration opens March 23, 2020, on Eventbrite, please search VSAC Transition and Career Conference to register.
Contact: Cathy Printon at printon@vsac.org

Vermont Radon Poster Contest

Audience: Principals, Nurses, Science Teachers, Art Teachers, Health Teachers
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas present in soil and bedrock that enters and accumulates in buildings. It is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. The Vermont Radon Poster Contest promotes the artist’s education about radon and raises awareness among those who see their poster. This would be a great activity for a science, art or health class for students ages 9 to 14. Artwork from winning posters will be used to promote radon testing in Vermont over the coming year. The deadline for submission to the Vermont Department of Health Radon Program is May 29, 2020. Selected posters will be submitted to the National Radon Poster Contest. For details about the contest, view the contest announcement. For more information about radon, visit Radon in Your Home.
Contact: Marielle Strong at radon@vermont.gov

#802 Phones Down! Heads Up! PSA Contest

Audience: Driver Education, Health and Film Teachers, Volunteer Club Leaders
The Vermont Highway Safety Alliance is sponsoring the third annual Public Safety Announcement (PSA) award contest designed to change driving habits for Vermont high school students. The contest is open from Jan. 15 to April 15, 2020, and the award ceremony is May 15, 2020, at the Vermont State House, where cash awards and certificates will be distributed. This is a chance for students to use their creativity to engage peers on the dangers of distracted driving by producing a 25-second video on the topic of using their phones. The PSAs will be distributed to media outlets.
Contact: Evelyn McFarlane at evelyn.mcfarlane@vermont.gov

Special Education General Supervision and Monitoring System Public Comment

Audience: All, Special Education Administrators
Stakeholder input is being sought for the revised special education general supervision and monitoring system to be fully implemented beginning July 1, 2020. All comments are collected using a standard response form. Response forms should be sent to AOE.SpecialEd@vermont.gov. In addition to posting for public comment on the AOE website, the agency held multiple stakeholder meetings from September - December 2019. Notices for these meetings were published in the Agency’s weekly field memo. The Agency of Education is inviting public comment from Dec. 16, 2019, until Feb. 1, 2020.
Contact: Tonya Rutkowski at AOE.SpecialEd@vermont.gov or leave a message at (802) 828-1256

School Emergency Preparedness Federal Grant Opportunity

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Crisis Planning Team Members
The Bureau of Justice Assistance is conducting a pre-application webinar for the STOP School Violence Grant Program on Jan. 29, 2020 from 1 to 2 p.m. These grants can be used for: implementing training and school threat assessments and/or intervention teams to identify school violence risks among students; technological solutions to enable students, teachers, faculty, and community members to anonymously identify threats of school violence; and other school safety strategies that assist in preventing violence. Please note the Agency of Education, Department of Public Safety, and the VT School Safety Center have recently received funding for statewide training and implementation for Behavioral Threat Assessment Teams and funding to develop and implement a statewide school safety anonymous Tip Line.
Contact: Robert L. Evans at revans@margolishealy.com or (802) 839-0448

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. 

VTeen 4-H Science Pathways Cafes

The next VTeen 4-H Science Pathways Cafe will be Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. This cafe will focus on remote sensing and our presenter Jarlath O'Neill-Dunne is the Director of Vermont's Spatial Analysis Laboratory. Participants will get hands-on experience with cutting-edge drones used in his lab. Learn more and sign up today. Cafes are always FREE, planned and run by teen for teens.
Contact: Lauren.Traister@uvm.edu with questions or call (802) 888-4972 x402

Professional Learning: SBAC Interims & New Lexile/Quantile Hub

Registration is open for Practical Tools for Teachers: Leveraging SBAC Interims and the New Lexile & Quantile Hub. New! This one-day workshop facilitated by Sarah Birgé for Grades 3-12 educators, coaches and curriculum directors will have immediate application to your own classes and school system.Learn how to administer the Interim Assessment blocks, use them in instruction, interpret data and access resources for instruction. Learn how to use the Lexile & Quantile Hub, and identify applications to your own work. We will emphasize looking at data, connecting needs to resources, and having collaborative discussions about highly-specific instructional next steps. Hampton Event Center, Colchester on April 16, 2020.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at auren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

Start With Joy: Designing Literacy Learning for Student Success and Happiness, Gr K-8

Coming Soon: Start With Joy: Designing Literacy Learning for Student Success and Happiness, Gr K-8 with Katie Egan Cunningham. Presented by Partnerships for Literacy and Learning. In this day-long workshop, participants will be introduced to a social-emotional framework that bridges literacy learning with strategies for student happiness. Feb. 7, 2020, at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier.
Contact: Mary Grace at (802) 828-0521

Two Flynn Student Matinees in April Have Subsidized Tickets Available

Two April Flynn Student Matinees have subsidized seats available to educators thanks to generous support from the community. On April 7, 2020, at noon, "Penguins," a unique and engaging, non-verbal theater and dance production based on a true story reported by the New York Times is about love and the ever-evolving meaning of family (grades preK-3). On April 13, 2020, at noon, Bay Area Children's Theater brings the hilarious new musical, "Llama Llama Live," based on the beloved, award-winning books by Vermont author Anna Dewdney (grades preK-2). More tickets, show info, and how these performances integrate with units of study and state teaching standards visit the Flynn Center website.
Contact: Kat Redniss at kredniss@flynncenter.org or (802) 652-4571

New Tool to Track Education and Training Progress

Advance Vermont has launched a new interactive data dashboard to measure progress toward Vermont’s postsecondary attainment goal, illuminate equity-related gaps, and prompt action to increase Vermont’s postsecondary attainment rate. The dashboard includes 26 indicators of postsecondary success in the areas of postsecondary readiness, aspiration, affordability, enrollment, completion and career readiness. It explains why each indicator is important and, where possible, disaggregates data by region and identity to allow for a deeper dive.
Contact: Tom Cheney at cheney@vsac.org or (802) 542-2217

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