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 50

23 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.

Secretary French Holiday Message to Vermont Educators and School Staff

Audience: Vermont Educators and School Staff
Please take a moment to read this message of thanks to Vermont educators and schools staff from Secretary French.
Contact: Suzanne Sprague at AOE.Edinfo@vermont.gov

Guidance: Strong and Healthy Start

Audience: Independent School Heads
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has rescinded Guidance for Schools Related to Limits on Mutli-Household Social Gatherings (Rescinded 12/22) and the Agency of Education and Agency of Natural Resources have updated Winter Sports Programs for the 2020-2021 School Year: Limited Team-Based Activities (Updated 12/22).
Contact: AOE COVID-19 Response Team at aoe.support@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: 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.

Federal Guidance on Cyber Threats

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Crisis Planning Teams Members
Please review the Federal Guidance on Cyber Threats for K-12 Remote Learning Education for actions to take to protect your schools.
Contact: Robert Evans at revans@margolishealy.com or (802) 839-0448

Vermont BEST/PBIS Professional Learning Calendar Update

Audience: Educators, Administrators
The Vermont BEST/PBIS Professional Learning Calendar has been updated to reflect new offerings, dates, times and fees for the winter/spring. All events will be held virtually. If your school is interesting in exploring PBIS at the Universal, Targeted or Intensive levels, be sure to register for the orientation webinar(s) in January.
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.

Space Exploration Educator Conference

Space Center Houston is holding its 27th annual Space Exploration Educator Conference (SEEC) Feb 4-6, 2021. Their conference, this year, has transitioned to a fully virtual and immersive event and this year's theme is Perseverance Through Innovation. This virtual conference is open to all educators from all disciplines. The reduced cost this year is $99.95 (however, there are many scholarships available to make this conference free for most educators). The conference is being held virtually, but every session and tour is being recorded. In this way, all registrants will have access to every session, Space Center Houston tour, keynote address and subject matter expert presentation for one year with their paid registration.
Contact: Angela Case at seec@spacecenter.org or (281) 244-2100

Education Gifts with VT’s 529 Plan Qualify for a VT Tax Credit

VT’s 529 plan, administered by VSAC, helps families save for education after high school—including college, graduate school, training programs and apprenticeship opportunities. Studies show that children with even small amounts of education savings are three times more likely to go on to get training that prepares them for the jobs of the future. Plus, contributions made into an individual’s VHEIP account by Dec. 31, 2020, qualify for a 10% Vermont income tax credit for 2020. Families can learn about VT’s 529 savings plan & how to give a gift of education to the students in their life at vheip.org.
Contact: Sabina Haskell at haskell@vsac.org

NGSX: Virtual Becoming a Next Generation Science Teacher

This virtual professional development course is designed to engage learners in modeling and constructing explanations of complex phenomena. Participants will learn how to creatively and strategically use multiple web-based tools to help create a classroom culture in which all students are supported to go with their reasoning and build on the ideas of their classmates. Register at vinsweb.org.
Contact Hannah Gelroth at hgelroth@vinsweb.org

Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, & Assessment: a Five-Part Webinar Series with Dr. Melissa Farrall

Registration is open for this five-part webinar series with Dr. Melissa Farrall, Ph.D., a renowned expert on reading, language and assessment. Dr. Farrall will unravel the complexity of reading and writing, unpack the components of an evaluation targeting these areas, and guide practitioners in assessing literacy and providing targeted recommendations for intervention. Attend live in January or February, or receive a recording.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Introduction to Zero Suicide in Vermont: Suicide Safe Pathways to Care

Offered on three different dates by VT Suicide Prevention Center under funding from the Vermont Department of Mental Health, Suicide Safe Pathways to Care is a 75-minute webinar for all staff in health care, mental health organizations, primary care and hospitals, schools, and community settings interested in suicide prevention skills and the framework for suicide safer care. It provides basic information for all involved in a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention and prior to the adoption of advanced practices in a pathway to care.
Contact: Catherine Diduk at info@healthandlearning.org

Announcement: Vermont School Counselor Week and Awards Nomination

Vermont School Counselors Association (VTSCA) is pleased to announce that the nomination period for the Vermont School Counselor Association Professional Awards is now open. VTSCA will be accepting nominations from now until Dec. 31, 2020, for the following awards: the James F Cawley Award (School Counselor of the Year), the New School Counselor of the Year Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award. Please access the nomination form here: 2021 Nomination Form and see this form for Guidelines for Nominations.
Contact: Jill M. Everett at (802) 372-6913 or vtsca.publicrelations@gmail.com

Literacy Coaching in our Current World

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning (PLL) is excited to present Literacy Coaching in our Current World. Join other literacy coaches and 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 & 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

This January, UP Invites YOU to Reconnect, Reinvigorate and Radically Reimagine Education

At UP for Learning, we wondered: What if January 2021 could look different? What if the focus was on reconnecting with one another, reinvigorating our practice and radically reimagining the possibilities for our education system? With that question guiding us, we set out to create a month full of activities, events and resources to amplify youth voice and youth-adult partnership that will carry you through January and beyond. We hope you will join us throughout January for pop-up events and/or deeper dives in our three virtual series. We will be sharing our calendar, a week at time, chock full of resources, activities, opportunities and inspiration: RECONNECT with Advisory and the Collective Power of Community SeriesREINVIGORATE your Practice with Brain Based Practices for Remote/Hybrid Learning; REIMAGINE Your School Community with Youth Participatory Action Research.
Contact: Sarah Popowicz at sarah@upforlearning.org

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Email Mary.Peterson@vermont.gov, Digital Communications Specialist

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

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