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 34

26 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: Vermont Department of Health

Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Vermont Department of Health has issued PreK-12 School COVID-19 Case Actions Checklist and COVID-19 at School: Guidance for administrators, COVID-19 coordinators, and school nurses when someone with COVID-19 was at your school while infectious.
Contact: Ted Fisher at ted.fisher@vermont.gov

Guidance: Prekindergarten

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Prequalified Prekindergarten Education Program Staff
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Allowable Use of Publicly Funded Prekindergarten Education Dollars in Response to COVID-19 (8/21) and Prekindergarten Staff Qualifications and Instructional Models Impacted by COVID-19 (8/21).
Contact: Kate Rogers at kate.rogers@vermont.gov

Requesting Volunteer Assistance for School Opening

Audience: Superintendents, Independent School Heads, School Nurses, COVID Coordinators
Vermont’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) system is designed to help out across the state in emergencies on a short-term, as-available basis. They are community-based groups that supplement local emergency and public health resources with their medical and non-medical skills. SU/SDs or independent schools may be able to use some of these state volunteers, but using state-coordinated volunteers cannot be a long-term plan. Schools wanting volunteers for the opening of schools in assisting roles as screeners and COVID-19 planning should first explore all local options including parents or community members and advertising in the local newspaper, Front Porch Forum, or other social media. If a school has exhausted all of their available options and needs state volunteers to augment their plans, the school may request them through the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) at 800-347-0488. The school should provide a point of contact, specify training or orientation that will be provided, and specific short-term requirements. The SEOC will validate the requirement and query volunteers in the area and, if any are interested, put them in touch with the school to coordinate details including any background checks, fingerprinting, etc.
Contact: State Emergency Operations Center at 800-347-0488

Vermont PBS: Summer Program Schedule

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Schedule of Vermont PBS Programs for the week of Aug. 31, 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: Emily Leute at emily.leute@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.

Virtual Coffee and Conversation: Continuous Improvement Plans and Comprehensive Needs Assessment Overview and Best Practices

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, CFP/Grants Managers
The Education Quality Assurance team will be hosting the first of two virtual conversations exploring requirements and best practices for Continuous Improvement Plans and Comprehensive Needs Assessments. Session One will be held from 10-11 a.m. on Sept. 22, 2020. Register online. Each session will begin with a brief overview of the content, but will be largely dedicated to answering questions from the field. Each session will be recorded and made available on the AOE's YouTube channel after airing. You can find past recorded Coffee and Conversations and resources on the Continuous Improvement webpage.
Contact: Josh Souliere at josh.souliere@vermont.gov

Natural Themes and Project Based Learning Connections: Incorporating PBS into your Curriculum

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers, Librarians
Join Vermont PBS and Vermont Agency of Education specialists as you explore strategies for integrating PBS programming into inquiry processes of interdisciplinary and student-centered instruction. Facilitators will share ideas for determining cross-curricular concepts that align with themes of PBS programs and supplemental resources. The live webinar will take place on Sept. 2, 2020, from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. and is for parents, educators and community members looking for ways to supplement distance learning. To attend this free session email Heather Duhamel at Vermont PBS at hduhamel@vermontpbs.org.
Contacts: Emily Leute emily.leute@vermont.gov or Heather Duhamel at hduhamel@vermontpbs.org

Diversifying the Educator Workforce: A Call to Action

Audience: Superintendents, Administrators, Curriculum Directors, Educators, Community Members
A growing body of educational research demonstrates the positive impacts of teachers of color on short- and long-term academic outcomes of all students. For this reason, the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC) took this issue to task in October 2019 and commissioned a task force who authored Increasing the Racial, Ethnic, and Linguistic Diversity of the Educator Workforce. This document provides a framework for policy makers, community members and educational leaders at all levels as it illustrates the actions, or career-development phases, which our education system must take to support and uplift racially-diverse educators. Supplemental information, as well as testimonial videos, can be accessed on the Great Schools Partnership Diversifying the Educator Workforce webpage.
Contact: Jess DeCarolis at

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.

Big Picture Learning’s ImBlaze Platform Offers Virtual Internship and Regional Sharing Options

Big Picture Learning’s online platform ImBlaze, which helps school coordinators to curate various learning opportunities (e.g. internships/apprenticeships, shadow days, informational interviews, etc.), now has a virtual internship and regional sharing component (for schools that are working the same geographic region). ImBlaze helps schools authentically build their database with learners and helps schools monitor the search process, track attendance and ensure compliance. From senior challenge projects, to dual enrollment, to community service opportunities, ImBlaze helps schools organize their valuable relationships and opportunities. Please visit the ImBlaze Blog to learn more.
Contact: Beth White at beth@bigpicturelearning.org

New VT-HEC Course - Career Exploration: Engaging Teens in Their Own Career Development

Registration is open for our new Fall course in our Work-based Learning course series, Career Exploration: Engaging Teens in Their Own Career Development, instructed by Laurie Berryman, Ph.D., a Vermont high school counselor and an adjunct professor at Northern Vermont University. Ideal for work-based learning coordinators, flexible pathway coordinators, cooperative education coordinators, and anyone involved in supporting students' career development. This course provides the theory and tools needed to engage students in their own career development while helping them find meaning and relevance in their high school experience. Participants will explore the necessary steps to walk students through career planning, as well as design practical applications and new career planning ideas to help students discover a path that aligns with their interests and motivations. Participants will complete this course with an individualized curriculum or program to implement with their students. Dates: Sept. 3 and December 3, 2020, 5-7 p.m., live class stream on Zoom, the rest online. Three graduate credits through Castleton University. Learn more and register online.
Contact: Kim McKellar at kim.mckellar@vthec.org

Professional Learning: LEA Training

Registration is open for Making Legally Compliant and Student-Centered Decisions as an LEA: Serving as LEA at IEP and Evaluation Meetings - a virtual mini-series. Principals and educators serving as the LEA representative for their district will greatly benefit from this 3-part series co-facilitated by Heather T. Lynn, Attorney and Erin Maguire, EWSD Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. On Oct. 13, 20 and 27, 2020, the group will meet online from 9-10 a.m. to explore who can be an LEA Rep, legal constructs of FAPE, ChildFind and Evaluations, The IEP, relevant case law, and facilitating meetings.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

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