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 19

19 May 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: End of Year Teacher Planning Kit and Resources for Spring and Summer Learning

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
PBS has released the End of Year Teacher Planning Kit, the final teacher planning kit of the series. This kit includes resources and lessons teachers can use with students at all grade levels through the end of the school year as well as free professional learning opportunities and activities to engage families in learning over the summer. Also, check out the newly formatted schedule of Vermont PBS programs for the months of April and May, as well as some online and printable resources for spring and summer learning. The Summer of Possibilities provides children with opportunities to play and learn through hands-on activities, games, and tips that support literacy, math, science, and life skills. Both the Summer Learning Collection and the Science of Summer invite students in grades 6-12 to learn while exploring everyday summer activities. 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.

What-if Wednesday for May 19, 2021

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Crisis Planning Team Members
The What-if Wednesday for May 19, 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 L. Evans at revans@margolishealy.com or (802) 839-0448

2020-2021 Vermont Multi-Tiered System of Supports (VTmtss) Survey Closes May 31, 2021

Audience: Superintendents, Principals
Please complete the online survey before the May 31, 2021 deadline. The link to the survey was sent to superintendents and principals on April 30, 2021. Please note that due to the pandemic, superintendents offered an Assurance in place of the VTmtss Survey for the 2019-2020 school year. Past VTmtss Survey Summary Reports are available on the VTmtss webpage. As required by Act 117 – VSA Title 16, Section 2904, each superintendent shall annually provide to the Vermont Secretary of Education the status of the tiered system of supports in each school in the supervisory union or school district.
Contact: Nancy Hellen at nancy.hellen@vermont.gov

Federal School Violence Prevention Funding Opportunities

Audience: Superintendent’s, Principals and School Crisis Planning Team Members
Federal School Violence Prevention Funding Opportunities are now available to improve security at schools and on school grounds. More information found here: School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP) | COPS OFFICE (usdoj.gov) Funding available for: 1. Coordination with law enforcement, 2. Training for local law enforcement officers to prevent student violence against others and self; 3. Metal detectors, locks, lighting and other deterrent measures; and 4. Technology for expedited notification of local law enforcement during an emergency
Contact: Robert L. Evans at revans@margolishealy.com or (802) 839-0448

But Why? Receives a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award

Audience: Administrators, Elementary Educators
VPR’s podcast for curious kids, But Why?, was recently awarded a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for their broadcasts last spring. VPR broadcast live, interactive educational programs for elementary school students on Fridays at 1 p.m. from May 8 through June 19, 2020. The programs covered a wide range of topics related to natural science, poetry, space, history and civics. Students were invited to call or write in with their questions during each show, which were answered by expert guests. The series was developed at the urging of the Vermont Agency of Education to help children and their caregivers finish the academic year from home, after schools were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The recorded programs, along with supplemental resources, are still available on the VPR Agency of Education Continuity of Learning webpage.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov

SPP-APR Indicator Target Stakeholder Input Opens and New Webpage

Audience: All
Vermont Agency of Education State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR) Target Setting process includes stakeholder involvement in setting the SPP targets. Public Input for the State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Review Target Setting Proposals is open from May 15 until Nov. 15, 2021. For more information, please visit Target Setting for the State Performance Plan Annual Performance Review.
Contact: Ana Kolbach at ana.kolbach@vermont.gov

Special Funding Opportunity and Grant Application: Adult Education and Literacy Services

Audience: Organizations and entities that have demonstrated effectiveness in providing adult education and literacy services
Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Title II, the Vermont Agency of Education requests applications from eligible organizations and entities to implement Adult Education and Literacy activities during the July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023, grant period. Recently awarded applicants to serve ten counties are: Central Vermont Adult Basic Education (Lamoille, Orange and Washington) and Vermont Adult Learning (Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, Rutland, Windham and Windsor). Applications will be accepted to serve the four remaining counties of Bennington, Caledonia, Essex and Orleans. Deadline: June 23, 2021. More information and application materials available on the Agency of Education website.
Contact: Robin Castle at robin.castle@vermont.gov or (802) 828-0508

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Audience: All
The Vermont Department of Mental Health is releasing newsletters on various mental health topics each week throughout May. The Week Two Newsletter focuses on the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+ communities’ mental health. The Week Three Newsletter focuses on adult mental health, self-care and hope. You can find all May 2021 newsletters on the Department of Mental Health website. Please share broadly.
Contact: Laurel Omland at laurel.omland@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 the Vermont Forward Plan.

Middle Grades Institute

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. The focus for this summer’s Institute will be creating equitable learning recovery plans and implementation for schools for fall 2021. The Institute provides educators time to collaborate and plan to address learners’ needs in relation to equity, trauma-informed practice and social-emotional learning. Graduate credit and middle grades endorsement credit available. The Institute will beheld June 28 - July 2, 2021, with optional work time with consultation available July 6-July 8, 2021. 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

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 Summer training. 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 are requested by June 4, 2021.
Contact: Planned Parenthood of Northern New England at education@ppnne.org or (802) 448-9726

Rowland Foundation 10th Annual Conference

The Rowland Foundation's 10th Annual Conference will take place in person at the University of Vermont on Oct. 27, 2021 with keynote speaker Carla Shalaby, the author of Troublemakers. The conference theme is Teaching Love and Learning Freedom: Practicing Community in the Classroom and workshops will include sessions on racial equity, restorative practice and strategies for school redesign. The Rowland Conference brings together teachers, students and administrators from around Vermont who share a commitment to learner agency, innovation and the democratic mission of public school. Register your school or district team(s) to save 20% on the registration cost. Schools do not need to pay or indicate team members until September. Early bird registration closes on June 30, 2021.
Contact: Marge Malko at margemalko@gmail.com or (908) 963-9132

Umatter Suicide Prevention Awareness Overview Webinar

On June 9, 2021, offered 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

Curriculum Leadership Academy

Professional Learning: Curriculum Leadership Academy: Leading a Learning Organization. This cohort (with an optional 3 graduate credits) of current and aspiring curriculum leaders and teacher leaders is designed to support curriculum professionals in various aspects of this work, from developing a continuous improvement plan to building dynamic environments for students. Led by two curriculum directors, Megan Grube and Violet Nichols, this cohort runs from Oct. 22, 2021, to May 20, 2022, and includes the book: Deep Learning: Engage the World Change the World by Michael Fullan, Joanne Quinn and Joanne McEachen. Guests speakers will be part of the 5 day-long classes.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

Assessment Over Coffee: A Five-Part Webinar Series with Melissa Farrall

Registration is open for Assessment Over Coffee: A Five-Part Webinar Series with Melissa Farrall, offered by the Stern Center for Language and Learning. This webinar series is designed to add a little assessment excitement to your summer. Tune in to learn about why reading is so important, and why it is so hard for many students to become skilled readers and writers. Learn about the tools that literacy professionals use to identify dyslexia and dysgraphia, and how a comprehensive evaluation can be instrumental to providing effective, evidence-based instruction. Webinars run from 9-11 a.m. on Wednesdays from June 30 to July 28, 2021. Discounts available.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Exciting Summer Course Offerings at Saint Michael’s College

Registration is now open for summer courses. Take advantage of the 25% summer tuition discount for professional development or toward a degree. Classes begin mid-May and are filling quickly. Innovative and diverse offerings in a variety of formats (in-person, remote, and hybrid) such as GED 571 Antiracism: Theory and Praxis; GED 502 Creating an Equity-Focused, Healing Centered Classroom and School; GED 526 Beyond Mindfulness: Supporting the Inner Lives of Educators and Students; GED 510 Becoming a Literacy Leader; and many others! SMC offers M.Ed. and post-master’s programs in five concentrations, a certificate in Holistic Restorative Education, a MATESOL program, and additional endorsements in Principal, Director of Curriculum, Director of Special Education, Reading Specialist and ELL. Through our one-year Master of Arts in Teaching program, earn a master’s degree and licensure or a master’s and an additional endorsement. Classes for the MAT begin on May 24, 2021. Apply soon as space is limited. For more information, please see the Saint Michael’s College website
Contact: Amy Saks Pavese at asakspavese@smcvt.edu or (802) 654-2826

Partnership for Literacy and Learning

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning is working with PreK-12 schools and districts across the state on literacy improvement at the classroom and system level. If your school or district is considering focused efforts in supporting student success in reading, writing and critical thinking and is looking for ways to support those priorities, we can help. This is What We Do and these are some of our current or previous Partner Schools.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org

Free In-person, Hands-on Fun Summer Programs for Youth

UVM Extension's 4-H Teen & Leadership Program is offering free, in-person programs this summer for youth entering grades 7-12 in the Fall. Our popular Summer of Science is back with a cool line-up of interesting science topics. Workshops on herpetology, microbiology, virology, plant science, rocketry, geology and more are being offered, including a bonus workshop on bees for youth entering grades 2-6. We also are hosting our Natural Resources Management Academy for teens interested in the environment who are ready to explore, in depth, their passion for Vermont's natural resources. Registration is now open. Learn about these and other youth opportunities at the 4-H Announcements page.
Contact: Lauren Traister at Lauren.Traister@uvm.edu or (802) 888-4972 x 402

Summer Offerings from All Learners

All Learners Network is gearing up for a summer of professional development and learning. In Burlington, VT - June 21 – 23, 2021: Specialized Instruction and Intervention in Math; June 28 - July 1, 2021: ALN Coaches Academy July 7 – 9, 2021: Middle School Institute. In Newport, VT - August 9 – 11, 2021: Supporting Ambitious Teaching Changes.
Contact: TJ Jemison at info@alllearnersnetwork.com

Subscribe Online

The field memo has time-sensitive and relevant information designed for students, teachers, and staff. The agency encourages principals, headmasters, and superintendents to share the memo with their education community. Additionally, individuals can subscribe or unsubscribe online.

Weekly Field Memo Submission Guidelines


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

Contact Us

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
1 National Life Drive, Davis 5
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

Web and Document Accessibility Policy​
Public Records Requests

Phone: (802) 828-1130 | Fax: (802) 828-6430
Staff Directory | Division Phone Numbers







Connect with Us

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Instagram icon
Google+ icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon