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 49

16 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: Strong and Healthy Start

Audience: Independent School Heads
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education and the Agency of Natural Resources have issued Guidance for Sports Academies (12/10).
Contact: AOE COVID-19 Response Team at aoe.support@vermont.gov

Guidance: Assessment

Audience: Superintendents, Independent School Heads
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Memo: Preparing for 2021 Statewide Assessment (12/15).
Contact: Amanda Gorham at amanda.gorham@vermont.gov

Guidance: Continuity of Learning

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Educators
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Digital Literacy and Screen Time (12/10); Student Data Privacy and Safety Guidelines for Students and Families (12/10); Broadband Support and Resources for Families (12/15), Virtual Resource Road Map for Pivot-Ready Plans (12/15) and updated Student Data Privacy and Safety Guidelines for Educators (Updated 12/10) and Instruction in a Remote Learning Environment: Universal Principles and Recommended Practices (Updated 12/15)
Contact: Jess DeCarolis at jess.decarolis@vermont.gov

Guidance: Child Nutrition

Audience: Superintendents, Independent School Heads, Principals, Food Service Managers
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Serving Bulk Meals in SFSP and CACFP At-Risk After School Meals During COVID-19 (12/10).
Contact: Rosie Krueger at mary.krueger@vermont.gov

Guidance: Finance

Audience: Superintendents, Business Managers
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has updated CARES Act: Discussion and Considertaions for LEAs (Updated 12/15).
Contact: Jill Briggs-Campbell at jill.briggscampbell@vermont.gov

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

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Schedule of Vermont PBS Programs for the month of January 2021 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, 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.

Mathematics EdCamp

Audience: Principals, Teachers, Special Educators, Special Education Administrators, Curriculum Directors from SU/SDs participating in the SSIP
The Mathematics EdCamp focus is on designing and implementing effective facilitation of learning for students in grades 3, 4 and 5, with a spotlight on students who have an IEP and others who are struggling with mathematics. This session will be held virtually Jan. 6, 2021, from 8 a.m. to noon. For registration information contact Betty Roy at betty.roy@vermont.gov. Registration deadline is Dec. 18, 2020.
Contact: Betty Roy at betty.roy@vermont.gov

Essential Math for College and Careers (EMC2) Summer 2021 Professional Development

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Coordinators, Guidance Counselors, Math Educators
The Essential Math for College and Careers (EMC2) project is seeking educators interested in offering this course during the 2021-2022 school year. Teachers benefit by receiving a free week of summer professional development, free mentor support and electronic course materials, and by becoming part of a statewide professional learning community. Students benefit from the opportunity by strengthening their math proficiencies in preparation for postsecondary education or training. Schools will need to supply a qualified teacher and a course slot in their catalog/program of studies. Release time for the teacher over the coming year will be essential for collaborating with other teachers participating in mentoring opportunities. The Summer 2021 Professional Development course will be June 21-25, 2021, in Montpelier (in person if possible, virtual otherwise). See the VSAC website for more detailed information, summary of findings from our first pilot year and videos from two teachers involved in the course.
Contacts: Ryan Parkman at ryan.parkman@vermont.gov or Anita Long at long@vsac.org

Public Comment: State of Vermont 1% Threshold Waiver Request

Audience: Special Education Administrators, Assessment Coordinators, All
The Agency of Education is taking public comment on the State of Vermont’s 1% Threshold Waiver Request until Dec. 29, 2020. Interested parties are asked to submit comments to AOE.EDInfo@vermont.gov and include “PUBLIC COMMENT – 1% Threshold” in the subject line. The AOE will consider public comment when preparing the final waiver request for submission to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Contact: Linda Moreno at linda.moreno@vermont.gov or (802) 828-0505

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards: Deadline Extended for Vermont Middle School Students

Audience: Middle School Educators, Principals
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is the United States’ largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer service. Now in its 26th year, the program provides an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of service, and to recognize students who have distinguished themselves through community service. Top honorees earn scholarships, medallions and invitations to the program’s national recognition events. The community service work must have taken place, in part or whole, after Sept. 1, 2019. If you know of a deserving student, have them fill out this application, which needs to be certified by their school principal by email. There are four short essay responses that your student will need to complete, an activity summary, and description that includes inspiration, effort, impact and personal growth. Applicants must register for an account in order to complete the application.
Contact: Ryan Parkman at ryan.parkman@vermont.gov

Edmodo Quick Start Series

Audience: All
Edmodo, the web-based LMS and platform for the AOE’s new VTEd Learns Network communication and collaboration space, will be facilitating two quick start learning series for educators. “Setting Up Your Classroom for In-Person, Hybrid and Remote Learning Models” will focus on classroom-based learning strategies and run three consecutive Tuesdays beginning Jan. 26, 2021, through Feb. 9, 2021. "Digital Colleague Collaboration with Edmodo" will focus on peer-to-peer collaboration, including professional development and establishing and facilitating statewide professional groups. This series will run for three consecutive Thursdays from Jan. 28, 2021, through Feb. 11, 2021. All sessions will take place from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. If you would like to participate in the series and do not already have an Edmodo account, please fill out this form. By doing so, you will automatically be registered for the series. If you do already have an active Edmodo account and want to participate, or have additional questions about Edmodo, please contact Sigrid Olson.
Contact: Sigrid Olson at sigrid.olson@vermont.gov

My Life, My Quit Helps Teens Quit Vaping and Tobacco Use

Audience: High School and Middle School Educators and Administrators
The Health Department now offers My Life, My Quit, a free, confidential cessation program for teens ages 13 – 17 who vape or smoke and want help quitting. Support is available through text messages or coaching calls. Visit mylifemyquit.com for more details. A promotional campaign will launch this month on digital and social media channels. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat at mylifemyquit-vt. Campaign posters (11” X 17”, full color, laminated) are available to middle and high schools to educate teens on the available resources to help them take their lives back from nicotine addiction. Order in bundles of twos by emailing tobaccovt@vermont.gov.
Contact: Lisa Osbahr at lisa.osbahr@vermont.gov

2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)

Audience: All
The Vermont Department of Health will be postponing the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) from January 2021 to September 2021. This decision was made in part by CDC requirements around survey administration, delays in administering the national YRBS and the current impact COVID-19 is having on schools. Please contact Kristen Murray if you have questions about the 2021 YRBS. The 2019 SU reports should be available later this week on the VT YRBS webpage.
Contact: Kristen Murray at kristen.murray@vermont.gov

Transition Plan Improvement Training (Indicator 13)

Audience: High School Special Educators, Elementary and Middle Special Educators who may move up to the High School, Special Education Administrators
This training will review the ongoing questions and issues regarding the use of the new Vermont Post-Secondary Transition Plan template. This is a follow up training from the Oct. 20, 2020, Indicator 13 / Secondary Transition Training for additional AOE support. The AOE is relying on the field for fictional or drafted IEPs without any identifiable information submissions should be emailed to john.spinney@vermont.gov by Jan. 4, 2021. This process is a great way for special educators to get clarity and understanding on using the new forms in an environment conducive for learning. This session will be held virtually January 12, 2021 from 10 a.m. to noon. Please register online to receive your link to this meeting.
Contact: John Spinney at john.spinney@vermont.gov

Space Available: Project Learning Tree Places We Live Writing Workshop

Audience: Educators, Grades 9-12
Join a virtual four-session, environmental place-based writing workshop intended for educators and writers starting Jan. 13, 2021. Project Learning Tree Exploring Environmental Issues: Place We Live, Secondary Environmental Education Module is the focus, supplemented by other resources. The workshop includes an environmental justice theme as a strand running throughout the workshop. This workshop is a partnership between Vermont State Parks, Maine TREE Foundation and Plymouth State University. Register for the workshop online.
Contact: Rebecca Roy at rebecca.roy@vermont.gov or (802) 522-0780

VTPBIS Social/Emotional/Behavioral Learning Resource Update

Audience: Educators, Administrators
The VTPBIS State Team has recently updated their collection of resources for Social/Emotional/Behavioral Learning During COVID-19. Topic areas include: PBIS-Specific Resources, Family Resources, Teaching Resources, Mental Health, Professional Development Resources, and Equity Resources. Resources will continue to be updated as needed.
Contact: Sherry Schoenberg at sherry.schoenberg@uvm.edu


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.

Virtual Conference: Equitable Learning for Our Children and Youth

The Middle Grades Collaborative invites you to join us for a day of learning on Jan. 23, 2021. This free and fully online conference begins with Dr. Dena Simmons, whose work on social justice pedagogy, diversity and social emotional learning is internationally renowned. Dr. Simmons' keynote is entitled "Self-care, Healing, & Equity Responsive Practices for Educators When the World Feels Heavy." Following the keynote, we have a series of concurrent sessions that explore how middle grades teachers and their students are addressing equity, personalization, trauma-informed practice, social-emotional learning, restorative practice, social justice and much more. Register online.
Contact: James Nagle at jnagle2@smcvt.edu

VT-HEC Winter/Spring Catalog: Webinars, Virtual Workshops, Online Courses

Registration is open for VT-HEC's winter/spring semester. It is our goal to support educators and their students as we navigate through these uncertain times. We are offering full day virtual workshops, afternoon and evening webinars, and online graduate level courses. Topics include Executive Functioning, Early Childhood Ed, Equity, Remote Learning, Resilience, Well-being and more. We also have a full line up of graduate courses to gain endorsements in the areas of Special Ed, Early Ed, ECSE, Health Ed and Work Based Learning. See the entire list of offerings in the 2021 Spring Catalog.
Contact: Julie Medose at info@vthec.org or (802) 498-3350

Upcoming Scholarship Deadline

In the VSAC scholarship booklet, there are more than 120 VSAC-assisted scholarships available for Vermont residents. Students can apply through VSAC using a single application. The deadline for the 2021-2022 school year is Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.
Contact: Serena Peck at scholarships@vsac.org

Applications open for the ASK Peer Educator Program

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is recruiting interested high school students who would like to join our ASK Peer Educator Program Winter Training, scheduled to begin at the end of January 2021. This volunteer program is open to Vermont high school age students. Training will take place virtually, so this opportunity is not limited by location. If you are an adult who works with a young person who might be interested, please pass along this opportunity. Students who are interested should fill out and submit an application online. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis or until training is full.
Contact: Planned Parenthood of Northern New England at education@ppnne.org or (802) 448-9726

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

"We-Do" Writing: Maximizing Practice to Develop Independent Writers

Coming up soon: Partnerships for Literacy and Learning presents Leah Mermelstein for five online sessions: Jan. 7, Jan. 21, Feb. 11, Feb. 18, March 18, 2021 from 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. (online). Cost is $45/session or $200 for the series. With “We-Do” Writing: Maximizing Practice to Develop Independent Writers, 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

Civics Unplugged Nominations Open!

Civics Unplugged is recruiting for the 2021 Fellowship, which will take place from February-July 2021. This year's program will give over 400 high-school students the opportunity to develop the skills they need to plug into Civics Unplugged's democracy-building movement--which is already supported by champions like Senator Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, National Geographic and Blue Star Families. For more information visit the Civics Unplugged website.
Contact: Nick Delis at nick@civicsunplugged.org

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Email Kate Connizzo, Digital Communications and Web Manager, or call (802) 828-0048.

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Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
1 National Life Drive, Davis 5
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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