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 15, Issue 1

06 January 2021

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.

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.

Strategies to Strengthen Local Assessment Systems

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, Instructional Coaches
This webinar, Strategies to Strengthen Local Assessment Systems, hosted by Aurora Institutes describes a series of professional convenings in Vermont to support educators seeking to create high-quality local systems of assessments and address expectations within Act 173 for enhancing the effectiveness, availability and equity of services provided to all students. The related report can serve as a resource for educational leaders who are working to improve assessment systems, including formative, summative and student-designed performance assessments. Register for the webinar online. It will take place on Jan. 14, 2021 at 3 p.m.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov

IDEA Cyclic Monitoring Training Video

Audience: Special Education Directors, Superintendents
Cyclic monitoring activities related to the IDEA B Grant awarded to school districts will be conducted through the Agency’s Grants Management System. This training video reviews all aspects of the cyclic monitoring process, from upload to submission. Additional resources can be found on the AOE website.
Contact: Simona Kragh at simona.kragh@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.

Vermont PBS Distance Learning Resource Wishlist Survey

Vermont PBS, the Vermont Agency of Education and the Vermont Department of Libraries continue to work together to develop easy to access, localized, learning connections for home and school. Please complete this quick Vermont PBS Distance Learning Resource Wishlist Survey to inform project goals for 2021. Survey participants will be entered into a drawing to win a $75.00 gift card to a local Vermont bookstore (Drawing January 15, 2021).
Contact: Heather Duhamel at hduhamel@vermontpbs.org

Jan. 25, 26, and 28 Online Info Sessions for TAP's 8-month Path to Licensure at Champlain College

Champlain College's Teacher Apprenticeship Program supports career changers and those already working in the education field to earn a Level I Vermont teaching license for $12,000. We will hold our next info sessions online during the week of Jan. 25, 2021. Visit champlain.edu/tap to RSVP and to access the TAP application and FAQ's. A new cohort will begin in August 2021 with seminars, followed by full-time student teaching through the fall 2021 semester.
Contact: Caitlin Hollister at chollister@champlain.edu or (802) 383-6657

Professional Learning: Self Care with Tina Boogren

Registration is open for Take Time for You: Self-Care for Educators Workshop with Dr. Tina H. Boogren. This virtual and interactive conference is a great way for you and your staff to utilize a research-based framework for self-care. Tina Boogren (Marzano) presentations have inspired and energized educators across the country and is a Vermont favorite. She is the author of 180 days of Self-Care for Busy Educators and Take Time for You. Explore specific, easy-to-implement strategies and recommendations related to each level of Maslow's hierarchy to put into place immediately. You will leave feeling refreshed and empowered. Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, from 3 to 4:15 p.m.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning Spring Semester Courses

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning presents two courses for the spring semester. 1) The Many Faces of Literacy Instruction for three St. Michael’s College credits for teachers of grades K-12. This is an asynchronous course beginning Feb. 1, 2021. 2) Vocabulary Is Comprehension is another 3-credit course through St. Michael’s College. This one is also asynchronous for teachers of grades 3-8 and will begin on Jan. 25, 2021. Both classes are taught by Ellen Thompson Ed.D., Literacy Consultant.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

Umatter Suicide Prevention Awareness Overview Webinar

Offered on three different dates by VT Suicide Prevention Center under funding from the Vermont Department of Mental Health, this 75-minute webinar is not a training on assessment tools and is specifically designed for those who may not have any experience with talking about suicide and those who would like a refresher on this content. The information presented is focused on how to begin the process of becoming a gatekeeper and build upon resiliency resources in your community and workplace.
Contact Catherine Diduk at info@healthandlearning.org

Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and 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

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

Who's Outside? Building an Anti-Racist Bookshelf (Workshop)

Join the UVM Tarrant Institute's resident librarian Jeanie Phillips and Shelburne Farms place-based educator and professional learning facilitator Aimee Arandia Østensen as we explore how justice and equity show up (or don't) on our classroom bookshelves. We strive for a vision in which all children have meaningful connections to the natural world, but what does our book collection say about who is part of this vision and in what role? Together we'll explore the intentional and unintentional messages about representation, stereotypes and belonging that our bookshelves communicate. Leave with tools and strategies to audit your own bookshelves. Jeanie Phillips, of the UVM Tarrant Institute Jeanie Phillips will join Aimee Arandia Østensen from Shelburne Farms, as hosts. Tuesday, Jan.19, 2021, 4 p.m. EST. Register online.
Contact: Audrey Homan at events@tarrantinstitute.org

Vermont Freemasons CARE Training

Vermont Freemasons are again sponsoring training for Vermont educators. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year's training will be online only. The training is planned for Tuesday, March 23, 2021. This training is provided by Stecher and Associates in cooperation with the National Masonic Foundation for Children. The one day online training is designed to help educators become more effective in recognizing and understanding mental health concerns present in their students. Participants will explore how learning is impacted for children who have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences, trauma and toxic stress. More information is available at masonicmodel.org and thomstecher.com. To register email Paul Mosher, Masonic Grand Lodge of Vermont.
Contact: Paul Mosher at mosher.paul25@gmail.com

Vermont Holocaust Memorial Offers Student Thesis Assistance

Are your students looking for a thesis, Grad Challenge, or other endeavor needed to complete requirements for graduation? How about exploring not only the ‘What’, but also the 'Who', ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of the Holocaust? Of the 11 million killed, six million were Jews, with over one and one half million of them children - with the same hopes and dreams students have today. The Vermont Holocaust Memorial (VTHM) stands ready to assist those who would like to explore the horror that took the lives of so many, including people their age. A variety of resources, recommended reading and family stories of survival, as well as one-on-one contact with children of survivors, is available through VTHM’s website: www.holocaustmemorial-vt.org
Contact: Debora Steinerman at info@holocaustmemorial-vt.org

New VT-HEC Course - Supporting Diverse Learners and Ensuring Equitable Access in Work-Based Learning Programs

Registration is open for our new Spring course in our Work-based Learning series, Supporting Diverse Learners and Ensuring Equitable Access in Work-Based Learning Programs, instructed by Rachael Potts, M.Ed., Internship and Work-based Learning Coordinator at Harwood Union High School. Ideal for Work-Based Learning Coordinators, Flexible Pathway Coordinators, Cooperative Education Coordinators, and anyone involved in supporting students' in work-based learning or similar experiences. In this course, participants will explore the process of how students grow and develop and how to design appropriate work-based learning experiences. Participants will learn to meet the needs of all students, discover ways to better prepare students who may face challenges in the workforce based on their gender or race, and identify some potential biases when working with students with disabilities. We will carefully consider strategies to increase the participation of students with disabilities in work-based learning experiences and discuss ways to coach employers and mentors in their understanding of supported employment. In addition, participants will survey data and resources in support of students facing inequity related to race, immigration status, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and other factors within the workplace. Participants will leave this course with a greater understanding of the needs of diverse students and an action plan to continue to advance equity and a climate of inclusion in Work-based learning practices. Dates: Jan. 12, Feb. 2, March 2 and May 4, 2021, 4-7 p.m. live class stream on Zoom, the rest online. Three Graduate Credits through Castleton University.
Contact: Kim McKellar at kim.mckellar@vthec.org

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Secretary Daniel M. French
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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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