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 10

17 March 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.

Guidance: Recovery

Audience: Superintendents
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has released Vermont's Education Recovery Framework and Overview (3/12) and the Education Recovery Toolkit (3/12).
Contact: AOE COVID-19 Response Team at aoe.support@vermont.gov

Guidance: Strong and Healthy Start

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Nurses, Coaches and Physical Education Teachers
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education and the Department of Health have co-issued Return-to-Play After COVID-19 Infection (3/17).
Contact: AOE COVID-19 Response Team at aoe.support@vermont.gov

Guidance: Continuity of Learning

Audience: Superintendents
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has updated T-Mobile Project 10 Million (Updated 3/16).
Contact: Lisa Helme at lisa.helme@vermont.gov

Guidance: Independent Schools

Audience: Independent School Heads
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued GEER EANS Program Overview (3/11)
Contact: GEER EANS Program Team at AOE.GEEREANS@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: NEW Teacher Planning Kit and March Distance Learning Schedule

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
In addition to the Schedule of Vermont PBS Programs for the month of March 2021, featuring weekly thematic bundles of analog, digital, and broadcast resources to support all learning models, the PBS Teacher Planning Kit for March-May is also available. This resource 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. Learn more about how to use this resource by viewing the screencast, How to Navigate PBS Teacher Planning Kits. 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.

Paraprofessional Educational Series Session 3: Pick a PT’s Brain! With Pamela Cummings and Tamara Yandow

Audience: Paraprofessionals
This session will be held on April 14, 2021, from 2-4 p.m. and will share strategies for increasing students’ engagement and participation in their classrooms and wider school environment (specials, lunchroom, playground, PE, etc) from a PT perspective. This will include topics such as positioning, mobility, classroom set-up, furniture, materials, etc. with lots of time for questions. Register for Paraprofessional Education Series Session 3 online.
Contact: Ana Kolbach at ana.kolbach@vermont.gov

Project-Based Learning Document Series

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, Teachers
Project-Based Learning is an open-ended and student-centered approach that lends itself to quality learning in a variety of contexts. With this approach, students seek out answers to a driving question or challenge, placing them on a self-directed path of inquiry as they discover and apply key knowledge and skills to the development of a public product. Throughout these processes, students have opportunities to improve skills and demonstrate proficiency in standards. The AOE has added to its Project-Based Learning document series to further support implementation of the approach. The recommended order in which to review these materials is included in the Project-Based Learning Document Sequence. The document series now includes Project-Based Learning: A Student-Centered Approach, Project-Based Learning: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Essential Components for Implementing Project-Based Learning, Project-Based Learning in Remote Learning Environments, and Assessing Project-Based Learning: An Integral Part of Local Comprehensive Assessment Systems.
Contacts: Kyle Anderson at kyle.anderson@vermont.gov or Emily Leute at emily.leute@vermont.gov

Literary Learning: Newsletter for English Language Arts in Vermont

Audience: English Teachers, Literacy Coaches
The March issue of the bi-monthly newsletter, Literary Learning, is now available to read on the Agency of Education’s English Language Arts (ELA) webpage.This issue contains articles about diversifying classroom libraries and using text sets to build vocabulary and background knowledge, as well information about some great professional learning opportunities for ELA. Be sure to subscribe to the Agency’s ELA listserv in order to stay informed about ELA in Vermont.
Contact: Emily Leute at emily.leute@vermont.gov

Grant Deadline Approaching: Vermont Lottery Education Technology Program

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Technology Directors, Curriculum Directors, Educators
Through a partnership with the Vermont Lottery, AOE announces the 2021 round of a competitive grant program that seeks to further school education technology programs. The grant aims to support educators from all content areas in helping create connections between students and curriculum content using technology. There are two grant awards of $15,000 each awarded to two Vermont schools. The deadline to apply is April 5, 2021. Obtain a grant application at Education Technology | Agency of Education (vermont.gov).
Contact: Lisa Helme at lisa.helme@vermont.gov or (802) 828-6956

A Hands-on Tour of the Lexile & Quantile Hub

Audience: Administrators, Educators, Special Educators, Coaches, Interventionists, School and State Library and Media Specialists
The Agency of Education and MetaMetrics are pleased to offer this professional learning opportunity to build the understanding of the Lexile and Quantile Hub among educators across Vermont. This presentation offers both a quick "tour" and some "hands on time" to explore the new Lexile & Quantile Hub, a "one stop shop" for Lexile and Quantile tools for students, parents, and educators. This session addresses the following topics: accessing the Hub; creating and managing your account; support, Quick Start Guides, and video tutorials; and an overview of the individual Lexile and Quantile tools. Register online to attend this live session on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, from 3-4 p.m.
Contact: Ryan Parkman at ryan.parkman@vermont.gov

VTmtss Workshop at BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Leadership Teams
The VTmtss Team will be offering a one-hour workshop at the BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute in June to introduce a PreK-12 Networked Improvement Community (NIC) with a focus on Educational Support Teams (EST). We will provide an overview of the three-year NIC, our role as Hub facilitators, and how this NIC will serve as a statewide lab for developing shared practices and testing EST models. LEAs may be able to use Title I, Title II or Title IV funds to pay for conference attendance if activities clearly support the statutory intents of the funds and are aligned to local assessed needs.
Contact: Julia Scheier at julia.scheier@vermont.gov

AOE Seeking Public Comment on Vermont’s FFY2020 IDEA Part B Application

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Special Education Administrators, Educators, General Public
The Agency of Education is seeking comments from the public on the draft FFY21 IDEA Part B Application. The grant application provides assurances that Vermont has policies and procedures in place as required by Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Further, Part B Interactive Spreadsheet provides an overview of how federal funds will be allocated for State Education Agency leadership, oversight, and support, in addition to the total award sought for the State’s Local Education Agencies. Comments should be submitted to AOE.SpecialEd@vermont.gov with the Subject header – IDEA Part B Public Comment. As required, the Agency of Education will be accepting public comments for 30 days from March 16, 2021, through April 16, 2021.
Contact: Jacqui Kelleher at jacqui.kelleher@vermont.gov

NAEP 2021 School Survey

Audience: Principals, District Test Administrators
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NAEP 2021 student assessment has been postponed and will take place in 2022. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is conducting the NAEP 2021 School Survey to gather important contextual information on student learning opportunities and experiences during times of school closures, remote instruction and hybrid instruction. In Vermont, the survey was deployed on Feb. 18, 2021. The Vermont Agency of Education encourages full participation and has issued related guidance available on our National Assessment webpage.
Contact: Mabika Goma at goma.mabika@vermont.gov

Free Help Offered for Schools to Learn About, Manage, and Reduce Waste

Audience: Principals, Food Service Staff, Custodians, Educators
Is your school struggling with increased waste due to the pandemic? For example, with increased single-use items for food service, do you need help reminding the school community what is recyclable and how to better manage food scraps? Would custodians and food service staff like help troubleshooting how to reduce waste or set up more efficient waste sorting systems? Would teachers benefit from engaging waste-related curriculum, resources or online help from experts? The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and Solid Waste Management Entities around the State would like to assist schools. Find local solid waste help at Department of Environmental Conservation Website.
Contact: Anne Bijur at 802-522-5783 or anne.bijur@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.

Remind Students to Apply for the Vermont Grant Today

Remind students to apply for the Vermont Grant today. If they haven't completed their Vermont Grant application or FAFSA, now's the time. The Vermont Grant application should take five minutes or less to complete. Don't let Vermont students leave money on the table. Students apply through their MyVSAC account.
Contact: Miranda Roth at grants@vsac.org

Vermont Congressional Art Competition

The Congressional Art Competition for high school students is now accepting submissions. High School Art Teachers are encouraged to submit artwork and release forms on behalf of their students. Only one entry per student is allowed. There is no limit on the number of entries per high school. Information about the May 10, 2021, virtual ceremony, virtual gallery, eligibility and submission guidelines are available on Congressman Welch’s website.
Contact Rebecca Ellis at Rebecca.Ellis@mail.house.gov

CCV and Up for Learning Series on Tools for Resilience

This school year, everyone in education—teachers, school staff, students, parents, all—has experienced unprecedented stress and disconnection. We have also demonstrated incredible flexibility, creativity and resilience. Join CCV and UP for Learning in a four-part series of virtual events focused on Tools for Resilience. Educators may register for one, two, three or all four events; find complete descriptions of each event in the registration link. This workshop series is provided at no cost to educators through CCV’s partnership with VSAC/GEAR-Up and participants can expect care packages in the mail at the conclusion of the series.
Contact: Sarah Popowicz at sarah@upforlearning.org

Vermont Student Anti-Racism Network Survey

The Vermont Student Anti-Racism Network is a group consisting of students from the around the state who are all working towards equity and promoting anti-racism in our K-12 schools. The group would like to learn more about what schools are doing for diversity education and also spread the word about their ‘book project.’ The students would appreciate hearing from Vermont educators. If interested in learning more about this project, please take the time to fill out the brief Survey Form.
Contact: Addie Letzner at amlentzner@gmail.com

Vermont Early Literacy Assessment Summit

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning presents: Vermont’s Early Literacy Assessment Summit on April 8, 2021, with Marjorie Lipson, Sheila Valencia and Karen Wixson from 3 - 4 p.m. With this panel of national experts we will explore critical issues surrounding the development of a comprehensive and balanced assessment system K-3. Literacy assessment can and should guide our decision making at the school and district levels. Participants will hear from the panelists and have opportunities to ask questions and learn from each other during this 60-minute online session. It is only $10 to register for this event.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

Professional Development: Orton-Gillingham Robust Vocabulary

Registration is open for Orton-Gillingham: Robust Vocabulary, an online professional development workshop by the Stern Center for Language and Learning on Friday, April 16, 2021. This workshop will teach OG practitioners how to develop a word list to heighten vocabulary instruction within an OG scope and sequence. Participants will learn how to select appropriate vocabulary, reinforce morphology, and create engaging activities that review and expand students' lexicon. Previous OG coursework is required to enroll. Registration due by April 14, 2021.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Funding Opportunity from New England Dairy

New England Dairy is pleased to announce a funding opportunity from New England Dairy Farmers to Vermont schools to support food service needs related to expanding school meal programs or serving new dairy menu items with current or new school meals programs. Visit the New England Dairy website for details. The deadline to apply is April 23, 2021.
Contact: Jill Hussels at jhussels@newenglanddairy.com

Middle Grades Institute

June 28 - July 2, 2021, with optional work time with consultation and facilitation available July 6-July 8, 2021: This summer’s fully online Institute prepares individuals, teams and schools to continue to create learning environments that respond to students’ needs, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Educators will set meaningful goals for themselves and their school community; Design a pathway to achieve those goals; Engage in team time, facilitated workshops, small group discussions, one-on-one consultations, self-paced modules and consultations with students; Collaborate in deep and thoughtful work with other dedicated educators; Plan to address learners’ needs in relation to equity, antiracism education, personalization, trauma-informed practice, social-emotional learning, social justice and more. MGI is committed to a humane work and learning environment. The balance between synchronous and asynchronous may be adjusted during the week in response to conditions and need. If you are interested in attending, please review this flyer, the Middle Grades Collaborative website, and register online.
Contact: James Nagle at jnagle2@smcvt.edu

Castleton’s 5th Annual Early Childhood Educators Institute

Castleton University will be offering the 5th annual Early Childhood Educators Institute this summer on July 20, 22, 27 and 29, 2021. Due to continued concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the institute will, again, be offered in a completely online format. This includes Zoom webinar access to all keynotes/plenary sessions and Zoom video access to all of the strands offered at the institute. We are also planning a few “lunch dialogues” and “bonus sessions” where participants can gain additional knowledge about critical aspects in early childhood and engage in discussions with experts in the field. The institute is designed for individuals providing support, services and education in the Vermont Early Childhood field, including, but not limited to, early childhood educators (birth-grade 3) working in public schools, private early childhood personnel and those in after-school settings; Early Head Start and Head Start professionals; early childhood special educators, developmental educators, specialized child care providers, home visitors and related service providers including speech language pathologists; and the administrators who supervise and support them. For more information on dates, times, pricing and the daily schedule, please visit us at the institute website or email ecinstitute@castleton.edu. Registration for this affordable and accessible institute will be opening soon.
Contact: Ric Reardon at richard.reardon@castleton.edu or (802) 468-1234

Free Conference: Vermont Family Network 2021 Annual Conference

Please join the VFN 2021 Annual Conference, held over two days on Thursday, April 8, 2021 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and Friday, April 9, 2021, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. This year’s event is free of charge and will be held online over Zoom. The goal is to bring inspiring speakers and practical information to families of children and youth with special health needs or disabilities and the professionals who serve them. This year’s theme is “Imagine, Inspire, Innovate” and features two Keynote speakers. On day one, Rachel Callander will join from Australia to speak about her experience with her daughter in “Life, Love and Awesomeness: The Impact and Implications of Language” and on day two, Karen Gaffney will share her story as a person with Down Syndrome in “Today is a Journey of Hope!” There will be six workshops on topics including: a special 2-hour workshop on using the “Charting the Life Course” tool, Resiliency and Self-care, Transition to Adulthood from both the young adult and parent perspectives, navigating Care Conferences, and Anxiety/Worry with the VFN Puppets in Education program. There will also be an opportunity for parents to chat over lunch. For a full schedule of events, keynote/workshop descriptions and to register please visit the VFN Annual Conference page.
Contact: Rachel Boyers at rachel.boyers@vtfn.org

Virtual Spring VRC Conference

The Vermont Council on Reading is excited to be bringing Linda Rief to a two-session virtual Spring VRC conference. The topic is "Ignite Curiosity and Instill Confidence in Writers." We'll be meeting with Linda on April 27 and 29, 2021, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Linda will focus on the writing process: the framework and management of a writing workshop, as well as helping students find ideas for writing while offering them a variety of choices. Linda is an instructor in the University of New Hampshire's Summer Literacy Institute and a national and international presenter on issues of adolescent literacy. To register go to the VRC website.
Contact Rebecca Cardone at rccardone@comcast.net

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