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 35

02 September 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: A Strong and Healthy Start

Audience: Superintendents, Independent School Heads, Educators
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Vermont Agency of Education has issued Safety and Health Guidance FAQ 4: Child Nutrition Services (8/31), Safety and Health Guidance FAQ 5: Cloth Face Masks and PPE (8/31) and Safety and Health Guidance FAQ 6: Cleaning and Sanitation (8/31), as well as updating Fall Sports Programs for the 2020-2021 School Year (Updated 9/2) and Safety and Health Guidance FAQ 3: Instructional Practices (Updated 8/28).
Contact: Ted Fisher at ted.fisher@vermont.gov

Guidance: Special Education

Audience: Superintendents, Special Education Administrators and Educators
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Vermont Agency of Education has issued Disciplinary Considerations and the Use of Restraints and Seclusions During the 2020-2021 School Year (8/28) and Hygienic and Social Distancing Considerations Regarding COVID-19 for Students with Disabilities Returning to In-Person Education (8/27).
Contact: Jacqui Kelleher at jacqui.kelleher@vermont.gov

Guidance: Assessment

Audience: Vermont Educators and Administrators
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo the Agency of Education has issued Memo: A Strong and Healthy Start - Reopening and Assessment (9/2).
Contact: Wendy Geller at wendy.geller@vermont.gov

Guidance: Independent Schools

Audience: Approved Independent Schools
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo the Agency of Education has issued CARES Act: Considerations for Vermont's Approved Independent Schools (9/2).
Contact: Jill Briggs Campbell at jill.briggscampbell@vermont.gov

Guidance: Facilities

Audience: Superintendents, Princiapls, Facilities Managers
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo the Vermont Department of Health, Department of Environmental Conservation and Agency of Education co-issued Water Flushing Guide for School Building Owners and Facilities Managers Before Reopening for the 2020-21 School Year (8/27).
Contact: Catie Bartone at catharine.bartone@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: New Distance Learning Monthly Schedule for Fall

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Schedule of Vermont PBS Programs for the months of September and October, 2020, is now available. 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.

Vermont PBS: Teacher/Parent Survey Results

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Vermont Public Broadcasting Service (VT PBS) Teacher/Parent Survey was created in order to gain a better understanding of how the Agency of Education/VT PBS partnership could improve their efforts to provide programming and supplemental materials to educators and parents. The data from this survey is informing decisions for fall programming and scheduling. Thank you to those who contributed their thoughts.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov

August 2020: The Monthly Data READ_ME

Audience: All
The Agency of Education’s (AOE) Data Management and Analysis Division (DMAD) created the monthly READ_ME to spotlight: (1) updates and briefings on data-related topics; (2) engagement activities in the field; and, (3) scheduled work affecting education data in Vermont. Please read the August issue of the Monthly Data Read_Me to learn more about the fall 2020 data collection schedule.
Contact: James Nadeau at james.nadeau@vermont.gov

Updates to Center Based Child Care and Preschool Program Regulations

Audience: Prekindergarten Programs
The Department for Children and Families, Child Development Division has made changes to the Center Based Child Care and Preschool Program regulations that impact Public School Prekindergarten Programs. The changes included a reduction in duplication and adapts the rules for Public School Prekindergarten Programs and/or any Center Based Child Care and Preschool Program that are in a public school building. Please see the announcement on the Child Development Division blog for more information.
Contact: Heather Mattison at heather.mattison@vermont.gov

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Art Competition

Audience: All
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Wildlife Management Area (WMA) system in Vermont, the Department of Fish & Wildlife is hosting an art contest. This is a great opportunity to teach students about conservation, native wildlife, and nature-based art. It is also a great way to learn outside, even though visiting a WMA is optional. Four age groups and cash prizes, Oct. 9, 2020, deadline. For more information visit the Department of Fish & Wildlife Website.
Contact: Ariel Burgess at ariel.burgess@vermont.gov

The Governor’s Institutes of Vermont: Introducing the Advanced Leadership Immersion

Audience: All
This fall, Vermont high schoolers are invited to join the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont for an eight-month-long deep dive into leadership in all of its many forms. Tell your students to apply to the Advanced Leadership Immersion today! At GIV-ALI, standout students from all over the state will investigate the structure and systems of leadership, identify their unique talents and strengths, and explore the intersections of authority, leadership, individuality and community. The Immersion will meet online one weekend a month from October through May for classes and leader chats, plus discussion groups and social events scheduled by the students themselves. Tuition uses a “pay what you can” model, so anyone and everyone can apply without worrying about cost. Applications opened on Sept. 1, 2020, and will remain open until the program is full. Send your students to the Governor's Institutes of Vermont website for more information, and to apply now. GIV is proud to present this Immersion in partnership with UVM Extension 4-H.
Contact: Ross Cagenello at Ross@giv.org

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.

UVM 4-H to Offer Free Online Programming this Fall

The UVM Extension 4-H program is pleased to offer youth of all ages interactive and engaging virtual programming this fall. Topics include: animal and veterinary science, babysitting, gardening, civic engagement, and career exploration. Additional Programs in science, leadership and coding just for teens too. Program information and registration will be listed on the 4-H @ Home webpage. Educators can also reach out to request programming for days their students are not in the classroom. Requests will be met as capacity and scheduling allows.
Contact: Allison Smith at Allison.smith.2@uvm.edu or 802-651-8343 x509

"Rescuers in the Time of COVID-19" Student Essay Contest Deadline Extended

Vermont Holocaust Memorial's student essay contest "Rescuers in the Time of COVID-19" has extended its submission deadline to: Nov. 10, 2020. Cash prizes will be awarded to each of three winners in four grade categories. The contest calls for a timely, comparative essay discussing the need and value of up-standers in Holocaust history and present day. Please share and visit VTHM's website contest page for details
Contact: Debora Steinerman at info@holocaustmemorial-vt.org

Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Supports for Schools During COVID-19

UP for Learning and the Center for Behavioral Health Integration offer an effective youth developed digitally empathic screening tool, interventions and a meaningful implementation process for systemic change to our schools. Youth screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) is a well known evidence based practice that the Montpelier Center for Behavioral Health Integration is spearheading across Vermont in schools, youth programs, primary care centers and hospital emergency departments. UP for Learning is well known for their focus in bringing the youth voice and youth-adult partnership to the analysis of data collected, as well as the planning, implementation, evaluation and refinement of the actions each school community carries out. This collaboration brings Vermont schools funding and resources (training and tools) to support youths’ social and emotional needs through a federal grant. If interested in learning more about this initiative supported by the Agency of Education and VT Department of Mental Health, please contact Win Turner.
Contact: Win Turner at wincturner@gmail.com or (802) 233-6660

VSAC Fall Financial Aid Trainings: Financial Aid 101

Sept. 16, 2020, 9:30-10:30 a.m.(Via Zoom) Financial Aid 101. This training session is geared toward professionals who are newer to the field or want a refresher on available programs, timelines and best ways to advise students and families on financial aid for education or training after high school. Register online.
Contact: Chris Barry at barry@vsac.org or (802) 542-2283

VSAC Fall Financial Aid Trainings: Annual Financial Aid and VSAC Updates

Sept. 24, 2020, 9:30-11:00 a.m. (Via Zoom): Annual Financial Aid and VSAC Updates. This training session will provide important updates and changes to financial aid resources—including the FAFSA, grants, scholarships and other resources. We will also provide updates on key VSAC initiatives that are designed to help students, families and professionals. Register online.
Contact: Chris Barry at barry@vsac.org or (802) 542-2283

Getting to 'Y' - Registration open for 2020-2021

Getting to 'Y': Youth Bring Meaning to their Youth Risk Behavior Survey is an opportunity for middle and high school aged youth to take the lead in bringing meaning to their own data, address youth health and well-being, and connect with their peers, school and community. This year, UP for Learning has developed customized, effective remote training, learning and meeting tools for teams that cannot gather in person. New this year is support for ‘Year 2’ teams who analyzed their 2019 data during the previous year and want focused support around community engagement, facilitation skills and best practices for action planning. GTY was awarded Best Practice Designation by the Vermont Department of Health in July.
Contact: Sharon Koller at sharon@upforlearning.org or (802) 373-7594.

Teaching and Learning Online in Challenging Times - A short webinar with Annie O'Shaughnessy

VT-HEC is partnering with Annie O'Shaughnessy for this interactive 2-hour webinar on Sept. 16, 2020, 3-5 p.m. Shifting from in-person to virtual teaching can be an intimidating step. How is it possible to create meaningful, inclusive, authentic and energizing engagement online? By applying principles gleaned from trauma-informed practices, mindfulness, social and emotional learning, equity, and restorative approaches, you can create learning experiences that leverage the advantages of online training and energize and inspire both you and your students. In this webinar you will explore several different frameworks for organizing your time, experience what these frameworks feel like as a learner, and gather in small cohorts to share takeaways and insights.
Contact Julie Medose at julie.medose@vthec.org or (802) 498-3350

Teaching Literacy in the New Normal

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning presents: A new 3-credit class Teaching Literacy in the New Normal with instructor Ellen A. Thompson, Ed. D. This online class begins Sept. 14, 2020. Using the brand new text, Distance Learning Playbook, written by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Hattie, we will develop the high impact learning experiences needed to push our readers into that engaged deep thinking mode whether they are face-to-face with us or not. The text will provide much knowledge on how to increase student understanding and use of voice without eliminating the joy that real reading can bring. Participants will work with their current units of study (or new ones) to increase the learning potential for students.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

Outdoor & Place-Based Education in the Now

Wondering how to get your students outside? Curious about how outdoor education is working around Vermont? Looking to make it work in the very near future? Join the UVM Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education, Shelburne Farms, and a host of Vermont educators for this webinar on what place-based outdoor learning looks like in the time of COVID-19. Thursday, Sept. 24, 3:30 p.m. EST. Register online.
Contact: Audrey Homan at events@tarrantinstitute.org or (802) 656-2641

Subscribe Online

The field memo has time-sensitive and relevant information designed for students, teachers, and staff. The agency encourages principals, headmasters, and superintendents to share the memo with their education community. Additionally, individuals can subscribe or unsubscribe online.

Weekly Field Memo Submission Guidelines


Email Mary.Peterson@vermont.gov, Digital Communications Specialist

Contact Us

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
1 National Life Drive, Davis 5
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

Web and Document Accessibility Policy​
Public Records Requests

Phone: (802) 828-1130 | Fax: (802) 828-6430
Staff Directory | Division Phone Numbers







Connect with Us

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Instagram icon
Google+ icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon