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 11

24 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: Strong and Healthy Start

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Nurses, Athletic Directors, Coaches
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education and the Agency of Natural Resources have co-issued Spring Sports Programs for the 2020-2021 School Year (3/23).
Contact: AOE COVID-19 Response Team at aoe.support@vermont.gov

Guidance: Federal Funding

Audience: Superintendents, Business Managers
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Memo: ESSER II Application for SU/SDs (3/22), ESSER II Fiscal Guidance (3/22) and Memo: American Rescue Plan Act Overview (3/22). The AOE has also updated Federal Education Funding Planning Guidance (Updated 3/22).
Contact: Jill Briggs-Campbell at jill.briggscampbell@vermont.gov

Guidance: Independent Schools

Audience: Independent School Heads
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Memo: GEER EANS Application for Independent School (3/23).
Contact: GEER EANS Program Team at AOE.GEEREANS@vermont.gov

Guidance: Continuous Improvement Plans

Audience: Superintendents
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued Memo: FY22 Continuous Improvement Plans (3/24).
Contact: Josh Souliere at josh.souliere@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.

What-if Wednesday for March 23, 2021

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Crisis Planning Team Members
The What-if Wednesday for March 24, 2021, is designed for Superintendents, Principals and School Crisis Planning Team Members to facilitate a conversation about school emergency preparedness. Please complete the exercise and share with your faculty and staff as appropriate.
Contact: Robert Evans at revans@margolishealy.com or (802) 839-0448

Financial Literacy Professional Development

Audience: K-12 CTE, AEL, Administrators, Curriculum Directors, Teachers, Librarians, After-School Providers
The Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College, in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Education, is offering free professional development for all Vermont K-12 educators with a focus on the successful implementation of the JumpStart National Standards in K-12 Financial Personal Finance Education. These standards, adopted by the Vermont State Board of Education in 2018, allow for the teaching of personal finance in an interdisciplinary or standalone manner. This professional development opportunity, led by local and national experts, will be available both live and on-demand, with the option of educators completing the sessions at their own pace from March 3 to May 31, 2021. Educators can earn up to seven hours in professional development training; credit will also be given for partial completion. The first 400 educators to complete all training sessions will be given a $50 Amazon gift card with suggestions for grade-appropriate personal finance classroom resources. Please complete the registration to participate in this professional development opportunity. This training is made possible by a grant for the Northfield Savings Bank Foundation.
Contact: Martha Deiss at martha.deiss@vermont.gov or John Pelletier at jpelletier@champlain.edu

Elementary Master Schedule Training Reminder

Audience: Principals, Superintendents
The Vermont Agency of Education is partnering with District Management Group (DMGroup) to provide access to their elementary scheduling best practices, software and services at no charge to schools. The goal of this partnership is to help create great elementary schedules to address learning recovery, incorporate teaching and learning best practices, cost-effective use of resources, and the goals of Act 173. For elementary school principals, more information about accessing the scheduling software and registering for the upcoming virtual training opportunities can be found online. For superintendents and other district-level leadership, more information can be found online.
Contact: Meg Porcella at meg.porcella@vermont.gov

Book Study: Designing Authentic Performance Tasks and Projects

Audience: Curriculum Directors, K-12 Educators, Instructional Coaches
Join members of the Agency of Education’s Proficiency-Based Learning Team as we engage in a book study of Designing Authentic Performance Tasks and Projects, by McTighe, et. al. The goal of this peer learning community is to develop a shared understanding of the uses and benefits of performance assessment and Project-Based Learning as they relate to equity, student engagement and authentic assessment as part of a Local Comprehensive Assessment System. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the power of performance assessment and come away with practical tools and strategies for implementing performance assessment and Project-Based Learning in their practice. This professional learning opportunity is free of charge, however, participants will need to purchase the book. Sessions will take place on the following Wednesdays from 3-4:30 p.m. and it is strongly recommended that participants attend all four sessions: April 28, May 5, May 19, and May 26, 2021. Register for Book Study online to attend.
Contact: Emily Leute at emily.leute@vermont.gov

A Hands-on Tour of the Lexile and 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 and 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

Linking Health and Learning Newsletter, March 2021

Audience: Health Educators, Physical Educators, School Nurses, Guidance Counselors, Curriculum Directors, Principals, Superintendents, Higher Education
The Linking Health and Learning Newsletter – March 2021 is now posted on the Vermont Agency of Education Health and Physical Education (PE) webpages. This newsletter communicates pertinent information about AOE initiatives, Health and Physical Education, as well as professional learning events and resources to support Vermont’s health and physical educators. Please note that Human Kinetics is offering a free virtual conference for health and physical educators that runs from March 22 through April 4, 2021.
Contact: Susan Yesalonia at susan.yesalonia@vermont.gov or (802) 828-6553

Proposal Due Date Extended to March 31: Adult Education and Literacy Funding Opportunity

Audience: All Educators
The Vermont Agency of Education has extended the proposal due date for proposals from eligible organizations and entities to implement Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) activities in Vermont for a two-year grant period beginning July 1, 2021, and ending June 30, 2023. The new due date for submission of proposals is March 31, 2021. The complete grant application and resources, including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), are on the Vermont Agency of Education’s website.
Contact: Robin Castle at robin.castle@vermont.gov or (802) 828-0508

FY22 Competitive Nicotine and Other Substance Use Prevention Grant

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Counselors, SAPs, School Nurses
The Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) is pleased to announce that the FY22 competitive nicotine and other substance use prevention grant is now available and open to applicants.The grant and all its appendices, as well as some additional documents may be found on the AOE Substance Abuse Prevention webpage. It is recommended that this document be reviewed first in advance of starting the actual application, which must be completed and submitted within the Grants Management System (GMS). All Vermont supervisory unions and school districts (SU/SDs) who currently participate in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (including those who are currently receiving the tobacco use prevention grant) are eligible to apply. The question and answer period is March 22 - April 7, 2021, and all questions may be directed to the AOE Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention Coordinator Beth Keister.
Contact: Beth Keister at beth.keister@vermont.gov

Job Opportunities for Graduating Seniors: Vermont State Parks

Audience: High School Counselors and Educators
Vermont state parks have many jobs available to graduating high school seniors. As a member of the State Parks team, new hires will have the opportunity to spend their summer in a gorgeous outdoor setting and provide high quality customer service, general maintenance, groundskeeping and park office services. Perks include free state park admission, fishing licenses and free admission to Vermont attractions as well as the satisfaction of providing joyful and meaningful park experiences to Vermonters and visitors.
Contact: Rochelle Skinner at rochelle.skinner@vermont.gov or (802) 522-0841


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.

Registration Open: 16th Annual Transition and Career Conference

Please join the 16th Annual Transition and Career Planning Conference for two half-days on Thursday, April 29 and Thursday, May 13, 2021. This year’s conference, A Time for Gratitude and Appreciation, will be held via Zoom and, as a gift to fellow colleagues, there will be no registration fee to attend. The conference committee is excited to have Luis Ortega from Storytellers for Change join as the keynote speaker. The goal of this year’s conference is to provide participants with an opportunity to better understand how to prepare Vermont students and adults to launch into meaningful careers and return to learning in a post-COVID-19 world. There will also be opportunities to take advantage of some personal rejuvenation during this challenging time. The conference is structured to strengthen the transferable skills of empathy, inclusion and equity. There are many wonderful workshop offerings to choose from on day two of the conference. Visit the conference event page for full details and to register.
Contact: Cathy Printon at printon@vsac.org

2021 Vermont Literacy Conference

Registration is now open for the 2021 Vermont Literacy Conference: “JOY & URGENCY: Addressing Equity while Inspiring Learners K-12” on August 2, 3 and 4, 2021. Details about our two Keynote speakers; Corneilus Minor and Jennifer Saravello, and many expert Vermont presenters, as well as several published authors are available on the Vermont Literacy Conference website. Deepen your literacy learning this summer at this virtual conference.
Contact: Mary Grace at mailto:info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

Online Professional Development Course: Trauma-Informed Social Learning

Registration is open for Trauma-Informed Social Learning, an online professional development course on June 28-July 1, 2021, by the Stern Center for Language and Learning. This course focuses on defining, identifying and understanding children’s developmental experiences – such as early adversity or autism – that negatively impact typical social development. Our goal is to help teachers and programs protect vulnerable learners and provide the knowledge and support needed for robust instruction in social emotional learning. Registration due by June 20, 2021.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Professional Learning: Math Menu Virtual Course

Registration is open for Christian Courtemanche's course: Differentiating with Math Menu K-6 Virtual. This favorite course for math instruction will be taught virtually this year and will include not only the menu model for differentiation, reframing Tier I math instruction, but how to utilize technology as a direct tool for math instruction. June 21-24, 2021, with morning synchronous times and asynchronous work at other times and two follow-up classes 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. Oct. 15 and Nov. 4, 2021. Three SMC grad credits.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

Waking Up Gently: Using the Natural Landscape as a Post-Winter Guide for Educators

We're going to explore how educators can -- along with their students -- incorporate exploration of the rhythms of the natural world here in Vermont as a backbone for meaningful personalized learning. As the world wakes up around us, what can we learn from it about managing our own emotional and mental situations as learners? How can we use natural observation to help our students design meaningful learning opportunities outside of school? Attendees will learn and do: this is an interactive workshop designed for educators to learn abd reflect in a way that allows them to replicate the process with their students. Instructors are Courtney Mulcahy of Shelburne Farms and Emily Hoyler of the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education. Wednesday, April 7th, 3:30 p.m. EST. Register online.
Contact: Audrey Homan at events@tarrantinstitute.org.

Northeast Farm to School Institute 2021-22 Program and Shelburne Farms Changemakers

The Northeast Farm to School Institute is a unique, year-long professional learning opportunity for selected school, district or early childhood teams from New England and New York. Since 2010, the Farm to School Institute has been bringing teams together to build relationships, skills and a collaborative action plan for their school. With the support of a coach, teams spend the school year putting their plans into action and strengthening their capacity to impact classrooms, cafeterias and communities, with change that lasts. Teams are invited to apply by April 7, 2021. In addition, Shelburne Farms invites you to be a changemaker this summer. Join an online summer professional learning programs to get renewed, inspired and ready to make change. Scholarships available.
Contact: Jen Cirillo at jcirillo@shelburnefarms.org

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Email Kate Connizzo, Digital Communications and Web Manager, or call (802) 828-0048.

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Secretary Daniel M. French
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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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