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 38

23 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 released Change in Step Level (9/22), Driver Education Instruction During the 2020-21 School Year (9/22), Safety and Health Guidance for Vermont Schools FAQ 8: HVAC (9/22), Guidance for K-12 Science Laboratory Safety (9/17) and  Safety and Health Guidance for Vermont Schools FAQ 7: Physical Education (9/17).
Contact: Ted Fisher at ted.fisher@vermont.gov

Guidance: Prekindergarten

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Prekindergarten Education Program Teachers and Staff
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Vermont Agency of Education has issued Completing and Reporting Progress Monitoring for PreK Students in Hybrid and Remote Learning Settings (9/22).

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 of 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.

What-if Wednesday: School Emergency Preparedness

Audience: Superintendent’s, Principals and School Crisis Planning Team Members
The What-if Wednesday for September 23, 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

Indicator 13/Secondary Transition Training (Virtual)

Audience: Special Education Administrators, High School Special Educators
Indicator 13/Secondary Transition Training will be held virtually on Oct. 20, 2020, from 10 a.m.- noon. This training will provide a complete overview of Vermont’s new IEP post-secondary transition plan form and the suite of new tools designed to help special educators be in compliance with Indicator 13. Please register online for this training.
Contact: John Spinney at john.spinney@vermont.gov

2020-21 Special Ed Program Monitoring Training (Virtual)

Audience: Special Education Directors
A virtual Special Ed Program Monitoring Training will be held on Oct. 29, 2020, from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. This training session will include information on the revisions to the grants management system and required submissions for the upcoming school year. For districts listed as cyclic or selective monitoring in SY2020-2021 this training is mandatory, for districts in the SY2021-2022 cycle participation is highly encouraged. Please register online by Oct. 16, 2020 to receive your link to this meeting.
Contact: Tonya Rutkowski at tonya.rutkowski@vermont.gov

Request: Directory Information for New Principals

Audience: Superintendents
The Agency of Education is requesting the name, email address, and name of school for any new principals in your district for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. Please send the information to Glenn Bouchard at glenn.bouchard@vermont.gov by Sept. 30, 2020. We are not currently requesting assistant principals.
Contact: Glenn Bouchard at glenn.bouchard@vermont.gov

Growing Works of Art Contest

Audience: Educators and Students Grades 1-8
The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is celebrating Arbor Day, a day to appreciate trees and the difference they make in our lives. We invite students celebrate by creating a piece of tree art and writing. This year, the Growing Works of Art contest theme is “Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives: Share Your Tree Story!” One winner from each grade (1-8) will be featured on the WCAX television show “Across the Fence,” and receive a Vermont State Parks punch pass.
Contact: Rebecca Roy at (802) 522-0780 or rebecca.roy@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.

Poison Safety During a Pandemic: Guidance for School Nurses, Teachers and Daycare Providers

Poisoning risks have increased during the pandemic. These will be of concern to teachers, nurses and other staff members as they return to school under unique circumstances. The Northern New England Poison Center (NNEPC) has prepared this post to help school staff members, daycare providers and others working with children and teens safely manage the increased levels of cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing brought on by the pandemic. Feel free to share the link or the text could be cut and pasted into a school's email distribution list. Poison Safety During a Pandemic: Guidance for School Nurses, Teachers and Daycare Providers.
Contact: Gayle Brady Finkelstein at gayle.finkelstein@uvmhealth.org or (802) 338-2762

TRY for the Environment - Accepting Applications for Teen Teachers

TRY stands for Teens Reaching Youth and is an environmental leadership opportunity for students in grades 7-12. It is an environmental education program taught by teens and designed to increase environmental literacy and responsibility in younger youth. TRY for the Environment connects young people to real-world environmental problems by allowing them to be key change agents contributing to real-world solutions. New for 2020-2021: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the TRY program will be limited to two content areas - 4-H2O and Waste Solutions. Each content area will consist of three 45-minute lessons that are designed to be delivered virtually - either when students are in the classroom or at home. As in past years, teens will be required to teach the lessons to two different groups of students. We will offer the TRY teaching opportunity to teens twice - Session 1 (January - March with training in December) and Session 2 (March - May with training in February). All trainings and program delivery will be virtual. Learn more at the 4-H Announcements page.
Contact: Lauren Traister at Lauren.Traister@uvm.edu or (802) 888-4972 x 402

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning Offering New NEXIS Projects

"Intentional Teaching" starts Oct. 8, 2020, and "Literacy Coaching for Today" starts Oct. 12, 2020. Both projects are six online sessions lasting 1.5 hours each. NEXIS (Networks for Excellence in Schools) projects are designed to identify solutions to educational problems in Vermont and drive action by connecting educators from across the state. Learning and instruction improve the whole school community when networks of educators collaborate and share their expertise to solve common problems.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

Professional Development: Wilson Reading System® Level 1 Certification Program

Registration is open for the Wilson Reading System (WRS) Level 1 Certification Program, a Wilson Language Training offering presented by the Stern Center for Language and Learning. The WRS Level I Certification program prepares teachers to effectively implement WRS Steps 1-6 with students who are reading and spelling below grade level, as well as those diagnosed with a language-based learning disability, such as dyslexia. Teachers take a course that deepens their content knowledge while also participating in a supervised practicum that supports application and practice of research-based strategies. Successful completion of WRS Level I Certification makes one eligible to receive the professional credential of Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner. Spots are limited and are awarded on a first-come-first-served basis.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Responding to Individual Needs and Community Opportunities through A Strong and Healthy Start

UP for Learning and the Center for Behavioral Health Integration offer an effective youth developed digitally empathic screening tool, called SnapShot, 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.
Contact: Win Turner at wincturner@gmail.com or (802) 233-6660

VEEP Resources for Teachers and Students

The Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) has developed new resources for teachers and students that are still interactive and NGSS-aligned, but can be adapted to fit virtual, hybrid or in-class models. Teachers can connect with a VEEP Energy Teaching Partner who can provide support, guidance, virtual presentations and more for their classes. VEEP also provides free professional development, which they have adapted to a virtual platform.
Contact Anna Hamilton at anna@veep.org

Free On-Line Learning Series Hosted by Vermont Family Network

The workshops in this Online Learning Series, Persevering in the Pandemic, are for families of children, youth and young adults with disabilities or special health care needs and the professionals who serve them. For a complete list of upcoming workshops, please visit Vermont Family Network’s website.
Contact: Janice.Sabett@vtfn.org or (802) 876-5315

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Secretary Daniel M. French
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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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