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 40

07 October 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.

Letter of Thanks from Secretary French to Vermont Educators

Audience: Vermont Educators
Please take a moment to review Sec. French's letter of thanks and congratulations to Vermont educators marking the milestone of Vermont's transition from Step II to Step III. "I believe that recognition of this milestone highlights the critical and impressive work that you and your colleagues have done during the months leading up to the start of school, and in the weeks since. Through your efforts, we have moved through the critical first few weeks of school while safeguarding the safety and health of our school communities. This is an incredible achievement and a testament to the hard work of all involved in the reopening of our schools."
Contact: Suzanne Sprague at AOE.EDInfo@vermont.gov

Guidance: A Strong and Healthy Start

Audience: Superintendents, Independent School Heads, Educators
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued FAQ: Strong and Healthy Schools Survey (10/1) and Interim Guidance: Physical Distancing and Step III (10/6). 
Contact: Ted Fisher at ted.fisher@vermont.gov

Guidance: Finance

Audience: Superintendents, Business Managers
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Vermont Agency of Education has issued Memo: CARES Act (ESSER) Application for SU/SDs - Equitable Services (10/7).
Contact: Jill Briggs-Campbell at jill.briggscampbell@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 month of 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 have shifted 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.

Updated: Educational Support Team (EST) Web Page

Audience: All Educators
The VTmtss Team has updated the Educational Support Team (EST) web page. Learn More: Educational Support Teams - A Deeper Look has been revised and two new EST-related tools have been added. Educational Support Teams (EST): Making Connections with VTmtss provides performance indicators, examples of effective practice, and gives connections to indicators in the VTmtss Driver Diagram to support implementing goals for this systemic component of Act 173. Educational Support Team (EST) Practice Profile describes a range of practices, from non-examples through effective practices and extended application. For support in the use of these new tools or to ask questions, please contact Thomas Faris.
Contact: Thomas Faris at thomas.faris@vermont.gov

2020 Educator Licenses Expire on Oct. 15, 2020

Audience: All Licensed Educators
Due to the pandemic, all educator licenses that were initially scheduled to expire this past June were extended through Oct. 15, 2020. If you have not completed the requirements for licensure renewal, please do so without delay. Details on renewing your license can be found on our website.
Contacts: Ron Ryan at ronald.ryan@vermont.gov or Patrick Halladay at patrick.halladay@vermont.gov

E-Rate Training Series: Ask the State Experts

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, E-rate Financial & Project Managers
This fall SEDTA is hosting six training sessions for school, district and library leaders to help with the application and implementation processes of the E-Rate program to maximize the available reimbursements for the 2021 funding year. The training content will focus on the requirements and expectations for the Fall E-rate cycle. Two subject matter experts will present each session with participant questions encouraged. First session starts Oct. 22, 2020. Register and find more information online.
Contact: Lisa Helme at lisa.helme@vermont.gov

Public Comment Open on 21CCLC Waiver Request

Audience: Public
This Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) announcement serves as notice to the public, Supervisory Unions and Districts, and 21st Community Learning Centers for an opportunity to comment on the AOE’s plan to pursue a waiver request from the USDOE with regard to flexible use of 21st CCLC funds. The waiver would permit 21st Century Community Learning Center funded programs, consistent with existing state guidance to provide supplemental activities to students who are not receiving instruction when school is in session. All other requirements for a 21st CCLC program will continue to apply. Please use this survey link to access further detailed information and submit any comments and feedback. Comments are due by 5 p.m. on Oct. 14, 2020.
Contact: Emanuel Betz at emanuel.betz@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.

Remote Learning Day Activities from UVM Extension 4-H

Are you looking for enrichment activities for your students on remote learning days? UVM Extension 4-H can help! Check out our offerings at 4-H Announcements. All programs are free, but registration is required. Programs are developed for certain ages but please inquire if interested. Some remote learning day activities to think about: Youth Environmental Summit, VTeen Science Exploration, 4-H World Changers, Animal Scoops, 4-H Speak Up Contest, Gardening & Nutrition and more... Plus, we have recordings from past sessions of QuaranTeen Time, Distance Learning Socials, Natural Resources Management Academy and teen science cafes that are perfect for at-home learning. View recordings on our YouTube ChannelDetailed flyers explaining the different topics and recordings can be viewed online.
Contact: Lauren Traister at lauren.traister@uvm.edu or (802) 888-4972

Vermont History Day State Contest Materials Now Available

The Vermont History Day program engages students in historical research and skills development. Vermont students in grades 5-12 are encouraged to create projects (websites, documentaries, exhibits, performances or papers) to share with judges at the state contest. Curriculum materials are available from the Vermont Historical Society. Projects can be about any topic in history (not just Vermont history) related to the annual theme of “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.” Current plans are for a hybrid state contest on Saturday, March 27, 2021, on Zoom and on Saturday, April 3, 2021, at the UVM Davis Center in Burlington, if COVID-19 regulations allow.
Contact: Victoria Hughes at victoria.hughes@vermonthistory.org or (802) 828-1413

October 2020 Financial Literacy Educator Training Conferences Cancelled to be Offered Online March/April 2021

In March 2020 all superintendents and principals were notified by the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College about free training being offered in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Education for 650 K-12 educators regarding how to successfully implement Vermont’s JumpStart National Standards in K-12 Financial Personal Finance Education (approved by the State Board of Education in 2018) in the classroom in an interdisciplinary and/or standalone manner. That training was originally scheduled to occur at six conference events across the state in October 2020. Due to COVID-19 these conferences have been cancelled. Financial literacy training for K-12 teachers will be available free via online professional development training that will be delivered in asynchronous and/or synchronous sessions offered during March and April 2021. More information will be made available to you about the specifics of these training opportunities and how to register prior to the end of the year.
Contact: John Pelletier at jpelletier@champlain.edu

Umatter for Schools: Virtual Youth Suicide Prevention Training for School Professionals

Beginning Oct. 27, 2020, this newly designed online training consists of 3-4 Zoom meetings and Moodle coursework over six weeks. The Umatter® for Schools Suicide Prevention national best practice program for suicide prevention was developed by the Center for Health and Learning. These trainings are created for Vermont middle and high schools to meet the requirements of Vermont state law. Umatter® can be adapted to other state contexts and requirements.
Contact Catherine Diduk at info@healthandlearning.org or (802) 254-6590

New Online Program: Vermont Career Connect

VSAC is pleased to announce Vermont Career Connect—a virtual career exploration program to help students think about the future, explore new possibilities and hear directly from people in a wide variety of careers about their work. Students will find a career interest survey, video links organized by career cluster, career exploration resources and a reflection activity. There will also be a live virtual event on Oct. 28, 2020, that students are invited to register for by visiting Vermont Career Connect.
Contact: Anna Telensky at telensky@vsac.org

VT-HEC is offering Professional Development Opportunities with David Melnick, LICSW

VT-HEC is partnering with NFI to offer two upcoming professional development opportunities. The Reflective Leader: A Catalyst for Change is a 3-part webinar series for leaders, beginning Oct. 15, 2020. This series focuses on the science and art of reflective practices, including the rationales, obstacles and advantages of dedicating time to examining our own actions, theories, emotions, mistakes and successes. Reflective practices provide leaders an effective way to grow professionally, meaningfully lead and support staff and faculty, and optimize the performance of our schools. Also coming up is a 2-day virtual workshop series (with graduate credit option - limited availability!) on Transforming Trauma: The School as a Healing Community, beginning Oct. 20, 2020. This series or course is open to all educators (PK-12), leaders, mental health professionals and support faculty. In this offering, participants will study the harmful effects of trauma on students and on the workforce, the premises for trauma-informed practices, and the core capacities necessary for building resilience - first for the workforce and then for students.
Contact: Julie Medose at julie.medose@vthec.org or (802) 498-3350

Professional Learning: Blended Learning and Flipped Classroom

Registration is open for Blended Learning Strategies: a 3-part virtual series. Megan Grube will be facilitating this synchronous (3:30 to 5 p.m.) and asynchronous virtual training that will focus on Lesson Planning for Blended Learning, Flipped Classroom and Hyperdocs. Dec. 2 and 16, 2020, and Jan. 6, 2021. Scale up your skillset for today's educator using strategies that will support any learning environment life throws at us.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

Registrations Open: Annual Vita-Learn Virtual Vermont Fest Conference

This year’s Vermont Fest Conference will be held online. Pre-Conference workshops are scheduled for Oct. 27, 2020, and the main conference runs from Oct. 28-31, 2020, during mostly off-school hours (1:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Wed-Fri, and 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sat). Earn professional development hours attending workshops, keynote and featured speaker sessions focused on teaching and learning in online, blended and remote-learning scenarios. For more information, please visit the VermontFest website. For group rates or other questions, please contact Jeff Mao.
Contact: Jeff Mao at director@vita-learn.org

De-colonizing Your Thanksgiving Curriculum Webinar

What is Thanksgiving? How did it evolve into the holiday we observe today? Join the UVM Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education and Shelburne Farms as we dig into primary sources, multiple perspectives and regional resources to co-construct a fuller understanding of the myths and truths of the Thanksgiving story. Together we will take a critical look at what we know, don’t know and how we teach about Thanksgiving. Expect to leave this webinar-workshop with tools, resources and activities you can adapt for your classroom. Hosted by Judy Dow, Aimee Arandia Østensen, Jeanie Phillips and Emily Hoyler. Tuesday, Oct. 20, 3 p.m. EST or Wednesday, Oct 28th 3:30 p.m. EST (duplicate sessions). Register online.
Contact: Audrey Homan at events@tarrantinstitute.org or (802) 656-2641

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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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