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 47

02 December 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: Finance

Audience: Superintendents, Independent School Heads, Business Managers
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has updated Equitable Services to Independent Schools Under ESSER: FAQ (12/1).
Contact: Kathy Flanagan at kathy.flanagan@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.

Peer Review Panelists Wanted

Audience: Licensed, Level II Educators
The AOE’s Peer Review Program needs licensed, level II educators to serve as panelists. Areas of greatest need: CTE, Online Teaching Specialist, Dance, Early Childhood Special Education, Early Childhood Education, PE, Health, Intensive Special Education and WBL Coordinator. Panelists receive $125 per interview. The work of a panelist involves evaluating a candidate’s portfolio (2-4 hours) and participating in the interview process (1-2 hours). Interviews are online and scheduled based on your convenience. Interested educators please complete the online Small Scale Education Contract Survey by Dec. 15, 2020.
Contact: Andrew Prowten at andrew.prowten@vermont.gov

Senator Sanders Annual State of the Union Essay Contest

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, High School Teachers
Senator Sanders has launched his eleventh annual State of the Union Essay Contest. The contest asks Vermont students to describe the most pressing issues facing our country and what they would do to solve them. They essay is 250-500 words and judged by a volunteer panel of teachers. The students’ political views will not affect how the essays are judged. Essays can be submitted online. The deadline for submitting essays in Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.
Contact: Katarina Lisaius at katarina_lisaius@sanders.senate.gov or (802) 734-5373

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


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.

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. Session 2 applications are due no later than Jan. 15, 2021. Learn more at the 4-H Announcements page.
Contact: Lauren Traister at Lauren.Traister@uvm.edu or (802) 888-4972 x 402

Professional Learning: Perennial Tea Gardens for Mindfulness in PreK -8th Grade

The Tea Project is continuing its work to provide the knowledge and skills needed to empower teachers and youth to grow perennial tea gardens in schools with a focus on the end product of tea drinking mindfulness classroom routines which meet NGSS and SEL standards. Join us for this spring course. VSAC Advancement Grants available to cover the cost of the course for qualifying candidates. The Tea Project is for educators to employ empowerment opportunities for students in the classroom and on the land. Wild botanical identification, nature immersion, germination, garden building, soil tending, mindfulness practices, and attention and care for cultivating a living ecosystem in the garden which mimics the natural cycle of the seasons in nature. This semester-long course kicks off on Feb. 8, 2021, with an online cohort which meets weekly on Mondays from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and includes personal coursework in establishing a classroom garden from seed to soil. Materials are included, graduate credit optional through Castleton University. An additional week-long garden and forest immersion residency in July in central Vermont is included in dual course enrollment. Part 1: Mindfulness in the Daily Cup of Tea, Fall 2021 is the additional course to round out the dual course perspective.
Contact: Angie Barger at luna-root@gmail.com or (802) 595-2512

Literacy Coaching in Our Current World

Please save the dates: Partnerships for Literacy and Learning is excited to present Literacy Coaching in Our Current World. Join other literacy coaches/specialists to answer the question: What can literacy coaches do to support teachers with creating equitable and intentional learning opportunities for all students during these times. Presenters: Ellen A. Thompson and Gayle Moskowitz online: Feb. 1, March 22, April 5 and April 26, 2021, 3:30 - 4:45 p.m.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

Professional Development: Fundations® K-3

Registration is open for Fundations Levels K-3, Wilson Language Training® workshops, offered by the Stern Center for Language and Learning. Fundations’ research-based approach and extensive program materials allow K-3 teachers to present a carefully structured reading and spelling curriculum using multisensory techniques. These four online workshops provide a practical application of reading research that will prepare teachers to teach Fundations Levels K-3 in Tiers 1 and 2. Level K is presented on Jan. 28, 2021; Level 1 on Feb. 17, 2021; Level 2 on Feb. 19, 2021; and Level 3 on March 9, 2021. Registration due two weeks before each workshop.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Differentiating Remote Instruction with Mastery Learning

Register Now for Differentiating Remote Instruction with Mastery Learning, Feb. 4, 2021, 9 a.m. to noon, presented by Dr. Thomas R. Guskey. Sponsored by VPA & VCSEA. The virtual presentation will include small group activities and Q & A sessions. The objectives are: 1. Learn about Mastery Learning strategies in online instructional settings and how these strategies can help teachers improve student learning at all grade levels; 2. Explore strategies for implementing Mastery Learning in different subject areas and at all grade levels; and 3. Review guidelines for follow-up and support for teachers implementing Mastery Learning in a virtual setting and for informing parents.
Contact: Mike McRaith at mmcraith@vpaonline.org

Playlists & Other Strategies for Supporting Independent Learners (Webinar)

Middle level educators Andrea Gratton and Kyle Chadburn engage learners via choice-based playlists and workshop models as ways to make the most of in-person and remote learning. They will share their hybrid schedule and templates for building self-paced playlists and hyperdocs. But more to the point, they'll share their strategies for using these tools to motivate independent learners. Participants will leave with a ready-to-go kit of design plans and resources for creating playlists and helping your students use them to guide their learning in remote environments. This online workshop is part of the 2020-2021 UVM Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education Professional Learning Series. Attendees will receive 1.5 re-certification hours.
Contact: Susan Hennessey at events@tarrantinstitute.org or (802) 656-2641

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Secretary Daniel M. French
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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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