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 6

12 February 2020

WIDA Self-Paced eWorkshops for Multilingual Learner Education

Audience: Classroom and EL Teachers, Specialists, Curriculum Coordinators, Instructional Coaches, School and District Administrators
Starting in 2019-2020, the Vermont Agency of Education has partnered with WIDA Professional Learning to offer all educators in VT the opportunity to participate in six self-paced eWorkshops, developed by WIDA. These free eWorkshops cover a range of topics related to multilingual learner education and assessment, intended to give educators a choice of workshop(s) relevant to their goals. Log in at any time and from any place, as an individual or as part of a larger group or professional learning community. This is a great option for rural districts who want to participate in professional learning on instructional strategies and resources for English Learners (ELs). Participants can download and print out a certificate upon completion of each workshop. For full descriptions, see the WIDA eWorkshops Flyer and/or video on the WIDA public Self-Paced eWorkshop webpage. For info on setting up a WIDA Secure Portal Account with access to these workshops in the eLearning Center contact Jim McCobb.
Contact: Jim McCobb at (802) 828-1533 or james.mccobb@vermont.gov

The 28th Annual Kindergarten Conference: A Focus on Children Ages 4, 5 and 6

Audience: Administrators, Early Educators
Play, Well-Being, and Academic Expectations: Creating the Balance is the title for the 28th Annual Kindergarten Conference. The conference will focus on the role of play in fostering well-being, wonder and intellectual growth. Keynote speakers include Christine Hertz, a Literacy Interventionist and author, who will share strategies for making traditional academic instruction more playful and joy based. John Cohn, an IBM Fellow based at the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab in Cambridge, will address the relationship between play and creativity. The conference will take place at the Hilton in Burlington on Friday, March 13, 2020. For additional information, please see the conference flyer or go to the registration site.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at (802) 828-5896 or pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov

AOE Seeking Presenters

Audience: All
The Vermont Agency of Education is seeking qualified presenters to provide workshops, training or presentations to paraprofessionals as part of Empowered Paraprofessionals, a one-day conference in central Vermont on April 25, 2020. Presentation applications are due by March 2, 2020.
Contact: Ana Kolbach at ana.kolbach@vermont.gov or (802) 828-2569

VTmtss Office Hours - Recording Available and Save the Date

Audience: Superintendents, Principals
The VTmtss Team has posted a closed captioned recording and presentation slides of the February Office Hour, which provides an in-depth view of the AOE's Family Engagement Toolkit and Self-Assessment. Nancy Hellen offered an interview regarding best practices for family engagement and how community involvement is a vital aspect of the VTmtss Framework. Register for our March Office Hour on March 4, 2020, at 3 p.m.
Contact: Julia Scheier at julia.scheier@vermont.gov or (802) 828-5041

Computer Science (CS) Fundamentals Intro Workshop Thursday, March 19 in Stowe

Audience: Elementary Principals, Educators, Curriculum Development, Technology Integrationists, Afterschool Coordinators
The Vermont Computer Science Alliance (VCSA) is offering the CS Intro workshop, designed for elementary educators new to teaching computer science who want to explore how to begin teaching Code.org's CS Fundamentals curriculum. Over 85,000 teachers have participated in this original workshop! Join your peers and experienced facilitators to get a hands-on intro to computer science, pedagogy, overviews of the online curriculum and teacher dashboard, as well as strategies for teaching “unplugged” classroom activities. The VCSA is a partnership between Code.org, the University of Vermont, the Vermont Agency of Education and the Vermont Virtual Learning Collaborative. You must sign up in advance with Code.org.
Contact: Greg Young at (802) 828-7135 or greg.young@vermont.gov

Computer Science(CS) Fundamentals Deep Dive Workshop Friday, March 20 in Stowe

Audience: Elementary Principals, Educators, Curriculum Development, Technology Integrationists, Afterschool Coordinators
The Vermont Computer Science Alliance (VCSA) is offering the CS Deep Dive workshop, designed for elementary educators who have started teaching CS Fundamentals but want to more deeply understand Code.org’s approach to teaching CS and need strategies to fully implement the curriculum. Developed with Code.org’s professional learning values in mind, this in-person, day-long Deep Dive workshop provides teachers with a hands-on learning experience with other like-minded teachers. Teachers are given the space to work through the individual challenges in carefully crafted sessions led by experienced facilitators. The CS Intro workshop is not a prerequisite for the Deep Dive, but participants should have started teaching CS Fundamentals before attending. The VCSA is a partnership between Code.org, the University of Vermont, the Vermont Agency of Education and the Vermont Virtual Learning Collaborative. You must sign up in advance with Code.org.
Contact: Greg Young at (802) 828-7135 or greg.young@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.

Nominations Open for School Nurse of the Year

The Vermont State School Nurses' Association is now accepting nominations for school nurse of the year. Please submit a nomination letter describing what makes your school nurse super and why they should be honored as school nurse of the year to president@vssna.org by Friday, March 6, 2020.
Contact: Sophia Boyle Hall at president@vssna.org

Register for Beyond Bullying: Creating a Culture of Respect in Learning Communities - A Conference for Middle-Level Student Teams

Registration is open for the 8th Annual VAMLE Beyond Bullying Conference. The theme continues to be “Creating a Culture of Respect in Learning Communities.” The conference serves middle level school teams of four students and one educator. The Vermont Association for Middle Level Education (VAMLE) sponsors this conference, which focuses on student leadership. There are 12 workshops offered on topics that provide strategies for prevention of bullying, including: Inclusion Through Youth Activation; Racial Equity -What Can Schools Do; Ally-ship for LGBTQ+ Youth; Prevention of Hazing and Harassment in Athletics; Building Empathy Through Shared Story, and Bias in Film-making and Story-telling. Many of the workshops are co-facilitated by middle and high school students. We have had over 40 school teams attend from across Vermont. March 11, 2020 at Champlain College (snow date, March 13, 2020).
Contact: Sue Gee at director@vamle.org or (802) 522-7180

Video Contest Celebrates Month of the Military Child

Military Kids Vermont (MKVT) and University of Vermont Extension 4-H have teamed up to sponsor a video contest for young people, ages 5-18. The theme of the contest, which is open to both military and civilian youths, is "Military Kids Can”. Military youths are encouraged to share what it means to be a child of a military service member. Others may focus on what they would like military kids to know about the importance of their families' service to the country.
Contact: Allison Smith at allison.smith.2@uvm.edu or (802) 651-8343 x509

Joys and Challenges of Brilliance: Helping Your Gifted Child Shine

The Talent Development Institute, in collaboration with Davis Studio and Community School, and Vermont Commons School, will offer our third annual Joys and Challenges of Brilliance: Helping Your Gifted Child Shine! It will be held at Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, on Saturday, March 28, 2020, 12:45-5 p.m. There will be activities for kids (Creature Creations or Imaginary Lands) while parents attend educational sessions and network with other parents and professionals. Adult sessions will focus this year on anxiety issues in our gifted youth. Cost is very reasonable.
Contact: Lucy Bogue at lucy@tdivermont.org

PLL presents: Building Equity Through Powerful Literacy Instruction with Kathleen Brinegar

All are welcome to spend March 13, 2020, with Vermont's own Dr. Kathleen Brinegar, a national expert on research relating to equity and culturally responsive practices in literacy. This work has great implications for students of marginalized identities including but not limited to those with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, LGBTQ youth, and those living in poverty. Dr. Brinegar will help unpack our biases, our curricular planning processes and our minds to support all students. For more information and to register visit Partnerships for Literacy and Learning - Equity
Contact: Mary Grace at (802) 828-0521 or mkgrace@pllvt.org

VTC Bridge Building (STEM) Competitions – and Crushing!

Enter the VTC Bridge Building Competition for High School/Career Tech and Middle School Students. In advance of the event competitions, teams of students create Popsicle stick bridges, which will be judged based on aesthetics, originality of design, presentation, ultimate load carrying capacity and predicted failure point. There is no cost to enter, complimentary lunch and t-shirts - plus scholarship funds offered to top performers. High School/CTE Centers - March 20, 2020 and Middle School - April 2, 2020. Held at the Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center Campus.
Contact: John Diebold at jdiebold@vtc.vsc.edu

Teacher Workshop with Actors from the London Stage

Join the Actors from the London Stage, one of the most established Shakespeare theater companies in the world, on Tuesday, Feb. 18, from 4-6 p.m. for a workshop exploring the Bard's dramatic themes, as well as performance techniques to bring the words to life. "The work we did with the visiting artists provided many exercises to use with any age. The fact that we put them to use together and truly embodied them was powerful" (Alana Phinney, Independent Teaching Artist). Workshop fee is $20/participant; fee support & PD credit available; register on the Flynn Center website.
Contact: Lauren Genta at lgenta@flynncenter.org or (802) 652-4508

Professional Development: Trauma Informed Social Learning

Registration is open for Trauma Informed Social Learning, a professional development course/workshop by the Stern Center for Language and Learning. This course aims to help teachers and leaders develop a trauma- and autism-informed practice for teaching social emotional learning in schools. Participants will integrate emerging findings from psychology and brain research showing the impacts of autism and trauma on learning and behavior. Participants will apply their knowledge by implementing methods and strategies taught in the class with their students, reflecting on the process, and delivering a class presentation.Registration due by Monday, Feb. 17, 2020.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Two-day Mental Health & Trauma Informed Care Training

Registration is now open for this FREE Training sponsored by the Masonic Grand Lodge of Vermont on March 24 and 25, 2020, at the Rutland Elks Lodge. 8:30 a.m.– 3:30 p.m. each day. The program is designed to help educators become more effective in recognizing and understanding mental health concerns present in their students. Participants will define strategies and develop tools to use to create a climate of acceptance, understanding and change for students who are dealing with trauma and mental health concerns. Lodging is not included. Holiday Inn group rate of $89 a night under VT C.A.R.E. For more information or to register contact Casey Boyle-Eldridge
Contact: Casey Boyle-Eldridge at casey@cbeeducationalservices.org

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