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 43

28 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.

Guidance: A Strong and Healthy Start

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Educators, School Nurses, COVID-19 Coordinators
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Vermont Agency of Education and the Vermont Department of Health have updated Safety and Health Guidance for Reopening Vermont Schools, Fall 2020 (10/23). Please note that all Safety and Health FAQ will be revised to align with this update before Nov. 16, 2020.
Contact: Ted Fisher at ted.fisher@vermont.gov

Guidance: Continuity of Learning

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Educators, Technology Directors
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Vermont Agency of Education has issued Technology Considerations for Remote Learning (10/27), Supplemental Virtual Learning Resources (10/27) and VTEd Learns Project Update Oct. 27: Account Creation for Educators.
Contact: Jess DeCarolis at jess.decarolis@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: New Distance Learning Monthly Schedule for November

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Schedule of Vermont PBS Programs for the month of November 2020 is now available, featuring brand new Incorporating PBS documents as well as PBS Teacher Planning Kits. 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

Video: How Contact Tracing Slows the Spread of COVID-19

Audience: All
Please help the Health Department spread the word about the new video, "How Contact Tracing Slows the Spread of COVID-19." The brief video (1 minute, 42 seconds) is to help educate people about how contact tracing works, why it’s an important tool to slow the spread of COVID-19, and to encourage people to answer the call if they are called by a contact tracer. The video can be helpful for people of all ages. Now that schools have opened up, the Health Department wants to make sure families are familiar with this concept and process, in the event they become a case of COVID-19, or are identified as a close contact to a case. The video also explains that calls from a contract tracer always come from a live person, are never a computer-generated voice or robot, and we never ask about financial information. It also shows the phone number that will show up if you get a call.
Contact: Shari Levine at shari.levine@vermont.gov

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: Superintendents, Principals and School Crisis Planning Team Members
The What-if Wednesday for Oct. 28, 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

Nominations for Presidential Scholars

Audience: Students, Principals, Guidance Counselors, Academic, Arts and CTE Teachers, CTE Center Directors 
The Vermont Presidential Scholars Program recognizes students for academic success, artistic and technical excellence, community service, and leadership. Scholars are chosen in three different categories: General (for high school seniors), the Arts (for grades 10 – 12), and Career Technical Education (for high school seniors currently enrolled in a state-approved CTE program). Outstanding students are selected based on nominations from teachers and administrators. Students in some categories may also nominate themselves, and those selected in the General and CTE categories will be invited to apply to the U.S. Presidential Scholars program. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 13, 2020. Only nominations submitted via the electronic applications will be accepted.
Contact: Ryan Parkman at ryan.parkman@vermont.gov

Diversifying the Vermont Educator Workforce

Audience: District and School Leaders, Educators, School Board Members
A volunteer task force focused on diversifying the educator workforce in Vermont has developed a webinar series supporting the recently released New England Secondary School Consortium report entitled Increasing the Racial, Ethnic and Linguistic Diversity of the Educator Workforce: A Call to Action for Leaders. This three-part webinar series, co-hosted by the Great Schools Partnership, commences in November with a discussion on the framework’s Guiding Principles, upon which the recommendations were constructed. In December and January, topics such as addressing systemic barriers, as well as the recruitment, retention and support of diverse educators will be discussed. Registration and more detailed information can be accessed on the NESSC website.
Contact: Jess DeCarolis at jess.decarolis@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.

Youth Environmental Summit - Take a Sneak Peek (Grades 6-12)

Thinking about signing your class up for the Youth Environmental Summit but aren't quite sure how this will work in Flipgrid? Then take a sneak peek - watch a short video showing you the Flipgrid site and explaining how it works. Learn more and register at 4-H Announcements. This year's Summit will run for three weeks with a kick-off on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, and stay open until Nov. 20, 2020. This will allow youth to attend when it works with their schedule - perfect for remote learning days! Open to all youth in grades 6-12; the Summit is free but registration is required to gain access.
Contact: Lauren Traister at Lauren.Traister@uvm.edu

Free Educator Discussion Sessions about Democracy

Vermont Humanities is sharing resources from its “Democracy 20/20” Fall Conference that you may find useful in your work, including a series of free facilitated educator discussions with historian Alan Berolzheimer. The first of the sessions exclusively for teachers takes place at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, and focuses on women’s suffrage. Register for the free session online.
Contact: Tess Taylor at ttaylor@vermonthumanities.org

Application period announced for The Rowland Foundation Fellowships

The Rowland Foundation has announced that the application period is now open for one of its unique fellowships for 2021. The Foundation awards up to a $100,000 grant to teachers who have submitted a successful application. We believe that visionary teachers working in partnership with their principals on an initiative that will positively affect a school's culture and climate can have a lasting impact. To date we have awarded such fellowships to over 80 Vermont teachers. The application deadline is Dec. 31, 2020. For more details and for complete application information go to the Rowland Foundation website.
Contact: Marge Malko at margemalko@gmail.com or (908) 963-9132

VEEP Virtual Youth Energy Fair

The Vermont Energy Education Program invites Middle and High School learners interested in discovering more about what different energy professionals do in their work to the first VEEP Virtual Youth Energy Fair on Nov. 12, 2020. Students will also have the opportunity to consult with the professionals about an energy project they want to embark on in their school or community. The virtual Fair will have both a morning and afternoon session to accommodate different schedules. Learn more and register online.
Contact: Mariah Keagy at mariah@veep.org

Professional Learning: Curriculum

Registration is open for Shrink the Curriculum: Prioritizing What We Teach and Assess. This two half-day VIRTUAL workshop, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., is facilitated by Andrew Jones, Ed.D. Dates: Jan. 13 and 27, 2021. There is simply too much to teach within any given academic year. The constraints of the current pandemic are also making it a challenge to fit in everything we once could. This workshop focuses on the concept of a 'guaranteed and viable curriculum' and how to prioritize what we teach, with the recognition that we have to let go of some of our content.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

The Power of Youth-Adult Partnership in Reimagining Education: 3-Part Webinar Series

With the shift in our educational landscape, now, more than ever, it is critical that we create opportunities to meet the needs of all learners. UP for Learning invites you to join us for a 3-part webinar series tol build understanding and support for youth and adults working together as full partners in learning and change. This series is for schools/organizations desiring to take the next step in shifting their student-teacher paradigm to one of partnership. This series offers means to introduce, assess, create action plans and monitor changes in the school culture over time, embedding partnership into the fabric of the educational/organizational structure. Sore information about the series on the online flier and register online.
Contact: Lindsey Halman lindsey@upforlearning.org

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