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 46

25 November 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, School Nurses, COVID-19 Coordinators, Educators
Since the last Weekly Field Memo, the Vermont Agency of Education has updated Guidance on In-Person Meetings and Gatherings in Vermont Schools (Updated 11/20) and Memo: Contact Tracing Process Update for Vermont Schools (Updated 11/23) and released Guidance for Schools Related to Limits on Multi-Household Social Gatherings (11/23)
Contact: Kate Connizzo at kate.connizzo@vermont.gov

Guidance: Continuity of Learning

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Curriculum Directors, Educators
Since the last Weekly Field Memo the Agency of Education has released Pivot-Ready Learning Models and Considerations for Vermont Schools (11/24).
Contact: Jess DeCarolis at jess.decarolis@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: New Distance Learning Monthly Schedule for December and New Teacher Planning Kit

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Schedule of Vermont PBS Programs for the month of December 2020 is now available, featuring weekly thematic bundles of analog, digital and broadcast resources to support all learning models. In addition, the PBS Teacher Planning Kit for November-January is also available, and includes bundled media and materials that can be used during in-person or remote instruction, both with or without internet access. Planning sheets for elementary and secondary education are divided into three sections: “watch,” which includes the program; “teach,” which connects activities, games, and lessons to the program; and “explore,” which provides additional resources about a specific topic or theme. For more information about the partnership between the Vermont Agency of Education and Vermont PBS (which continues to offer weekly thematic bundles of analog, digital and broadcast resources to support all learning models), visit the AOE’s Vermont PBS webpage or the Vermont PBS Distance Learning page.
Contacts: Emily Leute at emily.leute@vermont.gov or Heather Duhamel at hduhamel@vermontpbs.org

COVID-19 in Schools Data on Health Department Website

Audience: All
The Health Department has been posting data on COVID-19 in K-12 schools since mid-September. The table was recently updated in response to user feedback. The table counts people with laboratory confirmed (by PCR test) COVID-19 who were at the school, attended a school-sanctioned event, or otherwise interacted with the school community during their infectious period. The counts represent cases by school, not individual person. So, if someone interacts with multiple school communities during their infectious period, they will appear in the table multiple times. Please read more about what information is presented in the table.
Contact: COVID19.DataEntryTeam@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.

Vermont National Guard Town Hall Meeting

Audience: School Administrators, Guidance Counselors, Teachers
On Dec. 3, 2020, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Major General Gregory Knight, Vermont's Adjutant General, and Daniel French, Vermont’s Secretary of Education, will share education related opportunities that the Vermont National Guard provides to students and answer questions from the audience. Teachers, school guidance counselors, principals, and school administrators are invited to attend virtually on Facebook live.
Contact: Suzanne Sprague at suzanne.sprague@vermont.gov

Child Count Collection Now Open

Audience: Special Education Administrators, Special Education Data Personnel
The School Year 2020-2021 Child Count Collection is now open. Submitted data must be accurate as of Dec. 1, 2020, and you may submit your district or SU’s data from Dec. 1, 2020 until the end of the day on Dec. 15, 2020. You can find the collection database, reporting instructions and software instructions on the secure AOE file transfer website (for the best experience, use MS Edge browser). Please also read the Memo on Child Count Educational Environments for 5-Year-Olds in Kindergarten.
Contact: Cassidy Canzani at cassidy.canzani@vermont.gov

Creating Equitable Pathways to Ensure Civic Engagement and College and Career Readiness for All Students

Audience: Administrators, Directors, Educators, Faculty, and Staff
Creating Equitable Pathways to Ensure Civic Engagement and College and Career Readiness for All Students is the result of a regional Task Force on Flexible and Multiple Pathways led by the New England Secondary School Consortium, a consortium of New England state education agencies. The report is designed to assist and guide education stakeholders in the design and implementation of equitable learning pathways. It includes strategies to smooth implementation, questions that test for equity, and resources that provide real-world examples and promising practices that can be used as models for any education stakeholders, student to policymaker.
Contact: Greg Young at greg.young@vermont.gov

US History and Peace: An Opportunity for Middle and High School Educators

Audience: Administrators, Curriculum Directors, Educators
The Vermont Agency of Education has partnered with NewGen Peacebuilders, educators in Alabama and North Carolina, as well as the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to develop US History and Peace, a Beta set of peace education lessons and activities. US History and Peace is aligned with the C3 Standards and uses the Institute of Economics and Peace’s “8 Pillars of Peace” to develop the Inquiry Frameworks. This new content includes compelling questions and resources which are designed to support US history teachers to constructively discuss issues and opportunities through a lens of peacebuilding. Through a series of webinars, educators will receive access and training for implementing Inquiries/Peace Education units through Canvas modules that can be utilized in both remote and classroom settings. Interested educators and educational professionals are encouraged to visit the US History & Peace registration page to learn more about this professional learning opportunity and to register for the series.
Contact: Martha Deiss at martha.deiss@vermont.gov

New England Women’s Policy Conference, The Time is Now: Gender Justice, Antiracism, and Systemic Change

The 4th Biennial New England Woman's Policy Conference, The Time is Now: Gender Justice, Antiracism, and Systemic Change will occur Dec. 2-4, 2020, from 9 a.m. to noon. Utilizing an intersectional lens, conference participants will take into account inequities related to race, gender, ethnicity, class, immigrant status,\ and other social identities to address the economic security, health and wellbeing of women, their families and their communities. Workshop themes include Low-Wage & Essential Workers; Health & Healthcare; Policing Women of Color & LGBTQ Communities; and Childcare & Education. Vermont-based presenters include activist Noel Riby-Williams of Montpelier, Kiah Morris of Rights and Democracy, VT Senator-elect Kesha Ram, and Aly Richards of Let’s Grow Kids. This conference offers a special opportunity for young people, as a separate IGNITE program track features the sessions “Amplifying Young Women’s Voices” and “Young and Running”, with the goal of building a pipeline of next-generation political leaders. Find conference information and registration link online.
Contact: Lilly Talbert at lilly.talbert@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.

“We-Do” Writing: Maximizing Practice to Develop Independent Writers

Save the dates: Partnerships for Literacy and Learning presents “We-Do” Writing: Maximizing Practice to Develop Independent Writers with Leah Mermelstein for five online sessions in 2021: Jan. 7, Jan. 21, Feb. 11, Feb. 18 and March 18, 2021, 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Teaching writing in K-4 just got simpler. Using her new book, Leah Mermelstein will show us how to focus instruction on the skills that matter most, and to deliver writing sessions that provide the explicit modeling and practice students need.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

Professional Development: Wilson Reading System® Introductory Course

Registration is open for the Wilson Reading System® (WRS) Introductory Course, a professional development course from the Stern Center for Language and Learning. This online course takes place Feb. 23-25, 2021, and provides participants with an overview of the WRS 4th Edition curriculum. Participants explore the standard 10-part Wilson Lesson Plan and practice planning and delivering a lesson while receiving modeling and feedback from a Wilson Credentialed Trainer during the workshop.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Supporting Diverse Learners and Ensuring Equitable Access in Work-Based Learning Programs

Registration is open for our new Spring course in our Work-based Learning series, Supporting Diverse Learners and Ensuring Equitable Access in Work-Based Learning Programs, instructed by Rachael Potts, M.Ed., Internship and Work-based Learning Coordinator at Harwood Union High School. Ideal for Work-Based Learning Coordinators, Flexible Pathway Coordinators, Cooperative Education Coordinators, and anyone involved in supporting students' in work-based learning or similar experiences. In this course, participants will explore the process of how students grow and develop and how to design appropriate work-based learning experiences. Participants will learn to meet the needs of all students, discover ways to better prepare students who may face challenges in the workforce based on their gender or race, and identify some potential biases when working with students with disabilities. We will carefully consider strategies to increase the participation of students with disabilities in work-based learning experiences and discuss ways to coach employers and mentors in their understanding of supported employment. In addition, participants will survey data and resources in support of students facing inequity related to race, immigration status, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and other factors within the workplace. Participants will leave this course with a greater understanding of the needs of diverse students and an action plan to continue to advance equity and a climate of inclusion in Work-based learning practices. Dates: Jan. 12, Feb. 2, March 2, May 4, 2021, 4-7 p.m. Live class stream on Zoom, the rest online. 3 Graduate Credits through Castleton University.
Contact: Kim McKellar at kim.mckellar@vthec.org

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