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 13

07 April 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, Independent School Heads, Principals
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo the Agency of Education has released Use of School Facilities During Summer 2021 (4/1).
Contact: AOE COVID-19 Response Team at aoe.support@vermont.gov

Guidance: Continuity of Learning

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, IT Mangers, Ed Tech Directors
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo the Agency of Education has released Immediate Wi-Fi Hot Spot Assistance for Local Communities via Schools (4/1).
Contact: Lisa Helme at lisa.helme@vermont.gov

Vermont Forward: Roadmap to Reopening

Audience: All
On April 6, 2021, Governor Phil Scott released a reopening guide to help Vermonters and local businesses see the path for a phased return to unrestricted travel, business operations and event gatherings. The plan was developed by the Department of Health, the Department of Public Safety, and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and uses vaccination milestones to ensure a safe easing of personal restrictions and continued reopening of the state's economy. At this time, education-specific guidance remains individualized and in effect.
Contact: AOE COVID-19 Response Team at aoe.support@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: New Distance Learning Schedule Format for Spring and Summer

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Schedule of Vermont PBS Programs for the months of April and May is based on the PBS Teacher Planning Kit for March-May, which includes bundled media and materials that can be used during in-person or remote instruction, both with or without internet access. Each planning sheet for elementary and secondary education has been pulled out individually and linked to its corresponding week on the schedule with a different program highlighted weekly. Planning sheets 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 the planning kits 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 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: 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. Lots of time for questions. Register for Paraprofessional Education Series Session 3 online.
Contact: Ana Kolbach at ana.kolbach@vermont.gov

A Cornucopia of Competency-Based Education Resources from Vermont

Audience: Administrators, PreK-12 Educators
A Cornucopia of Competency-Based Education Resources from Vermont by Aurora Institutes highlights a number of Vermont Agency of Education resources that can be used by educators at all levels who are working to advance personalized, proficiency-based education. This blog post provides an overview of resources and specifically focuses on personalized learning plans, proficiency-based grading and a tool to evaluate decisions with an equity lens. A recent addition to the State and Local Assessment page, Essential Components for Ensuring Local Comprehensive Assessment Systems Are Culturally Relevant and Equitable, is also featured in the blog.
Contacts: Pat Fitzsimmons at pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov and Sigrid Olson at sigrid.olson@vermont.gov

Book Study: Designing Authentic Performance Tasks and Projects (Last Call to Register)

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

Equitable Education Systems Grant

Audience: Supervisory Unions/Districts, Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Education Leaders
The Agency of Education is providing a competitive grant opportunity for the FY22 (2021-2022 academic year) to support Supervisory Unions/Supervisory Districts (SU/SDs) in the development and implementation of policies, practices and strategies that support culturally responsive and inclusive school communities. This can include developing hiring policies, inclusive coordinated curriculum development, and outreach and community engagement or other related activities that support closing equity gaps for Vermont learners. This grant will support Vermont schools in guiding students, staff, faculty and administrators to appreciate diversity, honor multiple perspectives, respect diverse backgrounds, engage in courageous conversations, and engender civic and equity literacy. Applicants may apply for grants for up to $50,000; approved grants may be fully or partially funded. Grant applications will be reviewed by the Agency of Education after the May 7, 2021, application deadline with competitive awards being granted to SU/SDs or consortia of SU/SDs and community partners that show the greatest promise for positive change.
Contact: Jess DeCarolis at jess.decarolis@vermont.gov

School Nurse Requirements Prior to Employment and Licensing

Audience: Superintendents, Principals
Registered Nurses (RNs) must complete the online New School Nurse Orientation to practice in Vermont schools. To avoid licensure delays, RNs must complete the required orientation before beginning their Agency of Education application for transcript review. The online orientation may take up to 12 hours for some applicants. Resources for Vermont School Health Services include the Standards of Practice: School Health Services Manual and sample job descriptions for Licensed School Nurse and Associate School Nurse (p. 10). Please refer new school nurses to Kaitlyn Kodzis, State School Nurse Consultant, for the New School Nurse Orientation.
Contact: Kaitlyn Kodzis at kaitlyn.kodzis@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.

Dynamic Landscapes 2021 Conference, May 3-20 - Online

Registrations are open for the annual Dynamic Landscapes 2021 Conference hosted by Vita-Learn and Vermont School Library Association. Conference events occur Mondays through Thursdays each week. Special All School pricing available - as low as $299 for every school staff person for the entire event. Attend for free by providing a workshop session.
Contact: Jeff Mao at jeff@vita-learn.org or (207) 798-2460

Online Professional Learning Experience: CREST 2.0 - Champlain Research Experience for Secondary Teachers

We are currently recruiting grade 7-12 teachers (any subject area) for the CREST 2.0 Online Professional Learning Program from June 21 – to July 1, 2021. Teachers interested in learning about project and place-based education within the context of the Lake Champlain Basin are encouraged to apply. This program is fully funded by VSAC GEAR-UP Grant and is led by UVM scientists, STEM educators and STEM graduate students. Participation gives you access to a variety of STEM resources, project templates, and data applicable to your curriculum and teaching. Includes free registration and three graduate credits. For more information, see our website and apply online.
Contact: Regina Toolin at rtoolin@uvm.edu

Professional Learning: Classroom Teachers and their Role in Special Education

Registration is open for Special Education for Classroom Teachers: What You Need to Know, facilitated by Erin Maguire, EWSD, Dir. of Equity and Inclusion and Meagan Roy, CVSD Dir. of Student Support Services. This virtual one-hour training will discuss the critical role that classroom teachers play delivering first instruction to all of your students. You will understand the tenets of universal design, the basic special education requirements critical to your role and about the recent special education rule changes that impact your work. May 13, 2021, 3:15 - 4:15 p.m.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

Space Available: Flynn Online Capoeira Class for Teens and Adults

Join Fabio Pereira Nascimento, aka Professor Fua, in this three-week, online class focused on movement and culture on Wednesdays from April 14 to 28, 2021, from 6 to 7:30 pm. Capoeira, invented by Brazilian slaves, is a complex amalgamation of fighting, dancing, singing, social skills and ritual; it is considered one of the largest black resistance movements. Class is pay-what-you-can ($0 is accepted). For info and to register visit the Flynn Center website.
Contact: Sarah Caliendo at registrar@flynnvt.org or (781) 718-8185

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

Fostering Anti-Racist Classrooms Professional Development

The Center for Community & Social Justice at Champlain College is offering credit-bearing professional development for all Vermont PreK-12 educators. The Summer Institute for Educators: Fostering Anti-Racist Classrooms will be offered online from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.m, June 21 through June 25, 2021. This professional development opportunity will be led by local and national experts who will provide attendees with actionable suggestions for creating inclusive classrooms and classroom resources. More information about the Institute can be found at the Summer Institute for Educators: Fostering Anti-Racist Classrooms website. To register, or for additional information, please contact Jean-Marie Severance.
Contact: Jean-Marie Severance at severance@champlain.edu

2021 Business/Entrepreneurship Competitions Open in All Disciplines

All Vermont secondary students are eligible to enter the 13th Annual Business Plan/Model Canvas or Business Video Pitch contests now through May 12, 2021. Students have an opportunity to demonstrate independence or team work/collaboration, creativity, innovation, determination, problem solving and communication skills to take their idea from inception to a business model plan or business video pitch. The experience of competing in these contests can be awe-inspiring on a student’s resume, application for employment or post-secondary education. It can easily set a student head and shoulders above their peers, plus the top entries earn cash prizes.
Contact Laurel Butler at lbutler@vtsbdc.org

Providing Effective Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Students, Schools and Businesses

This summer, VT-HEC will be offering the foundational course in our Work-Based Learning Program, "Providing Effective Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Students, Schools and Businesses" taught by Rich Tulikangas, Director of Vermont’s Linking Learning to Careers (LLC) project. Ideal for those who are new to WBL, looking for more WBL tools and resources, or pursuing the WBL endorsement. Also appropriate for anyone responsible for student learning outside the school walls (ie community-based learning coordinators, coop coordinators, flex pathway coordinators). This course will provide a thorough overview of labor and safety laws and practices, sales and marketing, career development strategies, and effective systems for organizing, monitoring and evaluating student learning opportunities with businesses and community partners. 6/29-8/3 with three live-stream meetings (6/29, 7/13 and 7/27, 4-7pm) and the remainder online. For more details, visit the VT-HEC website.
Contact: Kim McKellar at kim.mckellar@vthec.org

Regional Work-Based Learning Cooperatives

For work-based learning coordinators, flexible pathway coordinators, and those who are responsible for their school’s work-based and community-based learning experiences, join VT-HEC for "Regional Work-Based Learning Cooperatives: Creating Better Opportunities Together". During this 1.5 hour workshop, three work-based learning coordinators from Central Vermont will share how and why they forged a collaborative. They will describe their strategies for sharing resources, co-coordinating student events, and creating virtual career exploration sessions with local professionals. Learn about and consider all the benefits a regional collaborative can have for you and your students. Share and brainstorm with other participants in facilitated breakout rooms. May 6, 2021, 3:30-5 p.m.
Contact: Kim McKellar at kim.mckellar@vthec.org

Forest and Garden Educator Residency Now Open

Limited spots are open for this PreK-8th professional development immersion in botany, wild crafting and plant literacy for the nature based classroom, July 26-31, 2021 in central Vermont. Can you integrate the plants living near your outdoor classroom into the daily tea, snack and experiential play and curricula based on the qualities these plants offer? Educators passionate about empowering students in a constructivist, mindfulness-based, exploratory, nature-immersion journey are encouraged to register now. VSAC Grants available to qualifying Vermont residents. Learn more and register online.
Contact: Angie Barger at angie5lunaroot@gmail.com or (802) 595-2512

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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
1 National Life Drive, Davis 5
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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