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 32

12 August 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 and other COVID-19-related updates. 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: Strong and Healthy Start

Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education and Department of Health have updated Safety and Health Guidance for Reopening Schools, Fall 2020 (Updated 8/11) and the Agency of Education and the Agency of Natural Resources have issued Fall Sports Programs for the 2020-2021 School Year (8/11).
Contact: Ted Fisher at ted.fisher@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: Summer Program Schedule

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Schedule of Vermont PBS Programs for the week of Aug. 17, 2020, is now available. For the summer months, the schedule is focused on two channels, the Main and Plus+. The Vermont Agency of Education has expanded their partnership with PBS to support in-person, hybrid and remote learning models. Based on teacher feedback, resources for in-classroom and distance learning shift to a monthly overview using analog, digital, and broadcast resources. Weekly thematic bundles, with specific episodes highlighted per week by content area and age-level, are available to stream on-demand. These episodes connect to specific resources on PBS LearningMedia and PBS Parents.
Contacts: Martha Deiss at martha.deiss@vermont.gov 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.

Beyond Screentime: The Fundamentals of PBS LearningMedia Navigation Webinar

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
This live webinar will be held on Aug. 19, 2020 from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. for teachers interested in learning more about how PBS LearningMedia can enhance curriculum design and delivery. To attend this free session email Heather Duhamel at Vermont PBS hduhamel@vermontpbs.org.
Contacts: Martha Deiss at martha.deiss@vermont.gov or Heather Duhamel at hduhamel@vermontpbs.org

Identifying Instructional Coaches

Audience: Instructional Coaches, Principals, Curriculum Directors, Teachers
The Agency of Education (AOE) would like to develop a list of instructional coaches that are employed by Vermont Supervisory Unions/School Districts (SUs/SDs) for the 2020/21 school year using this form. The list will be used to solicit professional learning needs of instructional coaches in the upcoming school year. Please identify the instructional coach or coaches in your SU/SD so we can learn about their professional learning needs to plan and develop appropriate learning/networking opportunities.
Contact: Susan Yesalonia at susan.yesalonia@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.

CAPA Online: Building Community

The Center for the Advancement of Public Action (CAPA) at Bennington College is proud to offer a new series of online classes for learners at every stage—from high school seniors to retired professionals—who want to engage with the most pressing issues of our time. The purpose of these courses is to empower students with the tools to build community and take meaningful action at the local, national and international level. High school juniors and seniors in Vermont may be eligible to take up to two courses with tuition fully reimbursed through Vermont’s Dual Enrollment Program. Registration is now open.
Contact: Aila West at capa@bennington.edu

Transforming Trauma: The School as a Healing Community in the Context of COVID-19, with David Melnick

VT-HEC is offering a 2-day virtual workshop series, with a graduate credit option, looking at the unprecedented adversity students are facing due to high rates of traumatic stress, the current pandemic, social isolation and inequities. Oftentimes, our traditional methods of relationship building, discipline and instruction are falling short for these students, leaving educators strained, frustrated and self-doubting. Through a mix of lecture, dialogic learning, video and role plays, and case consultations, David Melnick will guide participants to study the harmful effects of trauma on students and on the workforce, the premises for trauma-informed practices and the core capacities necessary to successfully address post-traumatic stress. Live virtual workshop dates are Aug. 27 and 28, 2020. The 3-credit graduate course will include both workshops, plus have five additional synchronous online meetings where participants will advance and apply their learning. For more, see the online catalog of VT-HEC fall offerings.
Contact: Julie Medose at julie.medose@vthec.org or (802) 498-3350

Computer Science Curricula for Middle and High School Students

CMU CS Academy is a free, online, graphics-based computer science curriculum for middle and high school classrooms provided by Carnegie Mellon University. Three distinct curricula support beginning computer science students to those enrolled in AP Computer Science Principals. CMU CS Academy provides Professional Development for educators, resources, 24/7 online support, auto-grading and a teacher portal for monitoring of student progress, all for free. Sign up online.
Contacts: Erin Cawley at ecawley@andrew.cmu.edu

Harbor Freight Fellow Initiative for High School Seniors

With funding for learners, mentors and school-based advisors from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, Big Picture Learning is offering a fellowship program for rising seniors to apprentice with community-based mentors in traditional trades and crafts. After completing a 120-hour apprenticeship with a mentor in the trades, the Harbor Freight Fellows Initiative provides: A $1,000 scholarship to the youth, a $500 stipend to the professional tradesperson mentor, a $500 stipend to the supporting staff member (the advisor) at the referring school or organization and a $250 to allowance for tools to the Fellow. Check out our Vermont Harbor Freight Fellows Making the News: Julie Torres' (Missisquoi Senior) Blog post, A High School Learner's Revelations on Adapting Learning and Fiona Nelson's (Big Picture South Burlington Senior) Commencement Address. To nominate a senior in your school, please go to the Harbor Freight Fellowship Nomination Form.
Contact: Beth White at beth@bigpicturelearning.org

Networks for Excellence in Schools: Literacy Coaching for the New Normal

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning presents: Networks for Excellence in Schools: Literacy Coaching for the New Normal, facilitated by Gayle Moskowitz and Ellen A. Thompson. As literacy coaches, we know we can do more within our systems to help teachers support our students in this “new normal.” So the big question is, what can literacy coaches do to support teachers as they design and intentionally teach all students? Using the Networking for Excellence in Schools (NEXIS) process, we will embark on an active journey to respond to these challenges in our schools. First, using our combined experiences, we will look at the issues we are facing across our varied educational environments. We will create the means to address these inequities of both teaching and learning through adopting. These 6.5-hour online sessions from September to November will be spent learning more about how to coach digitally and in person through solving those problems that get in our way. We will plan approaches, implement our designs and study the effectiveness of our results in real time.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

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

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Secretary Daniel M. French
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