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Volume 14, Issue 9

March 4, 2020

COVID-19 Guidance for Schools

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Nurses, Educators
Last Friday, the Agency of Education distributed an initial memo to Vermont superintendents and independent schools with guidance on school response to COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control has also recently released guidance for schools and childcare programs and instructions for travelers returning from countries with Level 3 Travel Health Notices (currently China, Iran, Italy and South Korea). The Vermont Department of Health is asking travelers returning from those countries, as well as Japan, to reach out to them by calling (802) 863-7240. Please review this information as you plan and prepare at the school and district level. Additional guidance is pending from the AOE this week. For up-to-date information on COVID-19 response statewide call 2-1-1 or consult the Health Department’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus website.
Contact: Kate Connizzo at

COVID-19 and Use of Disinfectants in Schools

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Nurses, Educators
The Health Department is asking schools to follow general preventive guidance from CDC: Stay home if you are sick. Use and reinforce routine cough and handwashing hygiene measures to reduce the spread of infectious disease. Regarding cleaning and disinfecting: using third-party certified cleaning products, frequently clean areas that experience high traffic for both students and staff. Disinfect areas and frequently touched surfaces such as bathrooms, nurse’s offices, cafeterias, drinking fountains and door handles. Make sure that school custodial staff are trained in the proper use and handling of disinfectants. School custodial staff should be the ones using disinfectants, not teachers or students.
Contact: Sharonlee Trefry at or (802) 863-7348 or Margaret Robinson at

Science After Hours: Learning, Celebration and Networking

Audience: Science Educators, PreK-12 Science Leaders, ELOs
The Vermont Science Teachers Association will be hosting its first networking event the evening of March 13, 2020 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Come join your peers for an evening of learning from Renee Affolter, a lead facilitator and part of the Facilitator Pathway Design Team for NGSX. She will provide professional learning on How to Use Phenomena to Support Coherent Storylines. In addition, celebrate the Presidential Awardees for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, Sharron Prairie and Christine Depatie. Network with your peers while enjoying the exhibits of the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, in Burlington, VT. For more information and to register for this event, please visit the VSTA registration page.
Contact: Margaret Carrera-Bly at

Fairy Tale Stem: A PreK-2 STEM and Engineering Workshop

Audience: PreK-2 Teachers, Early Education Program Directors, PreK-12 Science Leaders
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) specifically calls for students to engage in the practices of science and engineering that will address major challenges that confront our society today and get them ready to engage in and aspire to solve societal and environmental challenges they’ll face in the future. This workshop is geared towards engaging Early Education and Lower Primary Educators in engineering design challenges, the importance of engineering in early elementary classrooms, pulling apart the NGSS engineering standards, considering ways to incorporate engineering into lessons, and learning about tools and resources that will help build a students capacity in both science and engineering. Join the Vermont Science Teachers Association (VSTA) on March 21, 2020, at The Bridge School in Middlebury, VT from 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. for this one-day workshop. For more information, please visit the VSTA registration page.
Contact: Margaret Carrera-Bly at

Suspension and Expulsion in Universal PreK: A Guide for Families Webinar

Audience: Vermont PreK Families
This webinar aims to increase awareness of what suspension and expulsion looks like in early childhood settings and your child's rights in Vermont Universal PreK public and private programs. Katie McCarthy, ECSE /IDEA Part B 619 Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Education will present in coordination with Vermont Family Network. Register for Suspension and Expulsion in Universal PreK: A Guide for Families Webinar on March 18, 2020 at 12 p.m. EDT. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Please see Vermont’s Universal PreK Professional Learning Module Series Awareness and Action: Reducing Suspension and Expulsion in Early Childhood for additional information.
Contact: Katie McCarthy at

Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements: Supervisory Union/District Websites

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Coordinators, Principals, Teachers
The Agency of Education has posted a list of supervisory union/district websites generated from the 2020 Proficiency-Based Learning/Personalized Learning Survey regarding the current status of proficiency-based graduation requirements. It provides an opportunity for educators to learn about the work related to graduation requirements that is happening around the state.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at or (802) 828-5896

English Language Arts February/March Newsletter

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Instructional Coaches, English Teachers
The February/March issue of Literary Learning, the English Language Arts (ELA) newsletter, is now available on the ELA/Literacy webpage. The webpage also contains links to previous issues as well as other important information and resources for ELA educators, including a newly compiled Grammar and Writing Resources document. Educators can subscribe to the ELA listserv to be kept informed about ELA education in Vermont.
Contact: Emily Leute at or (802) 828-6598

Registration Now Open: Mathematics EdCamp Series March Training

Audience: Principals, Teachers, Special Educators, Special Education Administrators, Curriculum Directors
The EdCamp focuses on the integration of social, emotional and academic development and inclusive pedagogy and practices for all mathematics. How do schools create the highest quality mathematics instruction that is differentiated and responsive to the needs of diverse learners? This session will be held March 23, 2020, at Eastside Restaurant, 47 Landing Street, Newport, VT 05855 and March 25, 2020, at NewsBank Conference Center, 352 Main Street, Chester, VT 05143. Register for Mathematics EdCamp Series March Training. Registration deadline is March 13, 2020.
Contact: Betty Roy at

Regional Licensing Training

Audience: Superintendents and Superintendent designees for Licensing
Back by popular demand, the Education Quality Division will be offering regional licensing training sessions for superintendents and their designees. Northeast and Winooski Valley SU/SDs on March 20, 2020, at Lake Morey; Southeast and Southwest SU/SDs on March 31, 2020, in Castleton, and Champlain Valley SU/SDs on April 3, 2020, in Colchester. Register online by March 12, 2020.
Contact: Amy Scalabrini at (802) 828-0699 or

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'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, the University of Vermont, the Vermont Agency of Education and the Vermont Virtual Learning Collaborative. You must sign up in advance with
Contact: Greg Young at (802) 828-7135 or

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’s approach to teaching CS and need strategies to fully implement the curriculum. Developed with’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, the University of Vermont, the Vermont Agency of Education and the Vermont Virtual Learning Collaborative. You must sign up in advance with
Contact: Greg Young at (802) 828-7135 or

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.

LGBTQ+ Allyship: Creating Gender-Celebrating School Environments - Beyond the Basics

VT-HEC and Outright Vermont are partnering for this one-day workshop for educators and administrators who have already engaged in foundational learning of gender and sexual identity in youth, especially those who have begun implementing gender-affirming changes within their schools and are seeking guidance on next steps. If your school has already established gender-neutral bathrooms and/or updated other policies and practices to be inclusive of students of all genders and sexualities, it can be hard to define what to do next. Join us as we explore the difference between increasing safety at school and creating genuinely affirming and celebratory environments for students of all genders and sexualities. Participants will leave this workshop with strategies for coalition-building and shifting root causes of inequity at school. The workshop will be held at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier on March 27, 2020.
Contact: Julie Medose at or (802) 498-3350

No-cost Seats Available for Computer Science Professional Learning

Seats are available, many at no cost, for the Professional Learning Program for middle and high school teachers (summer workshops hosted in Maine). If your school is considering offering computer science,’s program is a great place to begin, and the curriculum is free. Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis, so apply early for first consideration. offers professional development for existing teachers who want to teach computer science. No prior experience necessary. More than 100,000 teachers have participated, and 98% of attendees said they would recommend it to another teacher. One-day workshops for elementary teachers are available year-round. More details available on the Code.og website.
Contact: Jennifer Fribush at

Two-day Mental Health & Trauma Informed Care Training

Registration ends March 7, 2020, 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

Youth-Adult Partnership and Arts Integration: Flynn and UP for Learning - Spring 2020

The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and UP for Learning are excited to announce a new partnership to enhance the power of arts integration at your school. This April, teams comprised of youth and adults will have a backstage pass to experience how the arts can transform the educational experience for students and teachers at your school.
Contact: Lindsey Halman at

Summer Professional Development: Social-Emotional Learning Courses

Start planning your summer now with a professional development course at the Stern Center for Language and Learning. Join us starting June 29, 2020, for “Social Cognition 1: Teaching Social Thinking to K-12 Students” to learn best practices in applying interventions and supporting the development of social understanding. If your focus is on trauma-informed practices, gain an understanding of poverty-related stress and its impact on brain function in “Supporting Children through Trauma, Poverty, and Adversity” starting July 6, 2020. Tuition support is available for qualified applicants. Registration due by June 23, 2020; graduate credit available.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at

Discovering Community Summer Institute for Educators

The Vermont Folklife Center Discovering Community Summer Institute brings together educators from across the state for a four-day intensive at Barre's Alumni Hall in August. Discovering Community provides an introduction to field work and digital storytelling for the classroom, offering hands-on experience for methods of community-based research and documentary media making. For registration, tuition or purchase order information visit our website or contact Trish Denton.
Contact: Trish Denton at (802) 388-4964 or

Summer Meals Grant Opportunity

New England Dairy announces a funding opportunity from Vermont dairy farmers to support Summer Meals expansion in Vermont. Funds are limited and will be awarded on a competitive basis. Priority will be given to Summer Meals equipment requests that start new or expand existing programs and those that have a plan to use the purchased equipment during the school year. The application deadline is April 30, 2020. For more information, visit the New England Dairy Dairy in Your School website.
Contact: Jill Hussels at

Way-to-Go! to all Who Climb Aboard March 16-20 for Ride the Bus Week

One big step to reduce your transportation carbon footprint is to ride the bus! Join schools across Vermont who will be encouraging everyone to ride the bus to school for the week of Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20, 2020. Record how many bus trips were made at your school for a chance with free ski passes from Bolton Valley Resort. Did you know that when 20 students ride the bus, 450 Grams of CO2 emissions per student mile are cut when compared to a single student in a car? The savings jump to over 650 when compared to an SUV. When you make that trip everyday during the school year, the impact of a single student is big. Record your school’s Ride the Bus Week trips by March 25, 2020, to be entered into a drawing to win ski passes for some great spring skiing. As always, points go towards your school’s overall totals in the Way-to-Go! Challenge. Feel good and improve your odds to win tons of awesome prizes at the end of the year, including Darn Tough Socks and a PowerFlower Solar Tracker for your school.
Contact: Deb Sachs at (802) 238-9807 or

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. Visit the MKVT Facebook page for more information about the contest.
Contact: Allison Smith at or (802) 651-8343 x 509

Castleton’s 4th Annual Early Childhood Educators Institute

Castleton University, in collaboration with the Vermont Early Childhood Higher Education Consortium, will be offering the 4th annual Early Childhood Educators Institute on the beautiful campus of Castleton University from July 20-July 23, 2020. The institute is for individuals providing support, services and education in the Vermont Early Childhood field. This includes early childhood educators (birth-grade 3) working in public schools, private early childhood and after-school settings, Early Head Start and Head Start professionals, early childhood special educators, developmental educators, specialized child care providers, home visitors, related service providers including speech language pathologists, and the administrators who supervise and support them. Registration will be opening soon. Please keep an eye on the Center for Schools website for registration, housing and available strand information.
Contact: Ric Reardon at or (802) 468-1234

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.

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