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 25

30 June 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.

Norm Etkind to Lead AOE School Facilities Improvement Project

Audience: Superintendents, Business Managers, Facilities Managers
The AOE is pleased to announce that it will be contracting with Norm Etkind to coordinate its School Facilities Improvement Project (SFIP). Mr. Etkind was the director of the School Energy Management Program at the Vermont Superintendents Association, and has extensive experience working directly with Vermont school districts on facilities issues. As Coordinator of the SFIP, Mr. Etkind will be able to hit the ground running on this important work, and will be a tremendous help to both school districts and the AOE in making progress on the quality and safety of our school facilities, a prerequisite for ensuring all students have access to high quality educational opportunities. Read the full announcement.
Contact: Suzanne Sprague at aoe.edinfo@vermont.gov

Guidance: Federal Funding

Audience: Superintendents, Business Managers, Facilities Managers
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo the Agency of Education has released School Construction with Federal Funds Guidance (6/28) and published the Education Recovery: School Construction webpage
Contact: AOE Federal Construction Team at aoe.federalconstruction@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: Kids and Education July Resources

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Vermont Agency of Education and Vermont PBS have compiled Vermont PBS Kids and Education: July 2021. This resource is based on the PBS Kids Summer of Possibilities, which provides children with opportunities to play and learn through hands-on activities, games and tips that support literacy, math, science and life skills. Visit the new Vermont PBS Kids and Education page to find more online and printable resources for summer learning. For more information about the partnership between the Vermont Agency of Education and Vermont PBS, visit the AOE’s Vermont PBS webpage.
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.

AOE Providing Youth Mental Health First Aid Training for School Staff

Audience: School Staff who Interact with Students
There are many indicators that the pandemic has significantly exacerbated mental health issues among young people in VT. To assist LEAs with meeting students’ mental health needs as part of the Education Recovery process, the Agency of Education (AOE) has contracted with the Vermont provider of Youth and Teen Mental Health First Aid Training, a federal SAMSHA recommended school mental health strategy. Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) teaches participants (who can be any members of a school’s staff who interact with students) how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in students. The training gives adults who work with youth the skills they need to reach out and provide initial support to adolescents (ages 12-18) who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care. To encourage and facilitate their participation, the AOE has provided resources to enable schools to access these trainings at no cost this summer and fall.
Contact: Anne Bordonaro at anne.bordonaro@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.

Join us for the SJA Summer Educational Symposium

St. Johnsbury Academy is hosting a new summer initiative from July 25-28, 2021: the SJA Summer Educational Symposium. The event will feature Howard Gardner (Father of Multiple Intelligence Theory); Wendy Fischman and Richard Weissbourd (from Harvard Project Zero); Jessica Lahey (New York Times best-selling author); and other experts from around the country. The Symposium will give educational leaders the opportunity to work with their peers to reimagine the nature and quality of students’ learning and to bridge the distances that have opened between teacher and teacher, teacher and student, and student and student as they begin to move on from the pandemic. More information is available on the SJA Summer Educational Symposium website.
Contact: Steve Jolliffe at stjolliffe@stjacademy.org or (802) 745-7498

Award Nominations Sought

The Society for Health and Physical Educators of Vermont (SHAPE VT) recognizes the best health and physical educators in our state. Our 2021 award winners will be honored at our October conference. The deadline for award nominations is midnight, July 31, 2021. Descriptions of all awards as well as the online nomination platform is available on the SHAPE VT website.
Contact: Lisa Pleban at lisa.pleban@castleton.edu

Grant Available: ParentPowered Equity Grant for Family Engagement

Funding is now available for districts, Head Starts and educational organizations serving children ages 0-9 to provide the evidence-based Ready4K family engagement program. The grant can be applied toward whole child, trauma-informed, or personalized learning programs. Programs include family engagement data, family surveys and annual reports. The implementation process is facilitated by dedicated ParentPowered support staff. Grants are awarded on a rolling basis, so early applications are encouraged. The streamlined grant application is available on the Ready4K website.
Contact: Mary Westervelt at mary@parentpowered.com

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning Summer Graduate Courses

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning is offering two summer graduate courses. The Power of a Literate Life is a 2-credit course and Reading Instruction: A Vital Balancing Act, K-8 is a 3-credit course. Information on both of these asynchronous courses is available on the Professional Learning Courses page on the Partnerships for Literacy and Learning website.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

Re/Think Program Launch

Re/Think is a a research-based laboratory for overcoming crisis fatigue and default thinking. This opportunity matches school leaders with seasoned executive coaches who specialize in helping leaders navigate uncertainty and lead transformational change. Cohorts start in July and September.
Contact: Jordan Calderara at jordan@vitalleadershipcoaching.com

Peer Coaching: Supporting Evidence-Based Literacy Practices in Schools

Registration is open for Peer Coaching: Supporting Evidence-Based Literacy Practices in Schools, a professional development course by the Stern Center for Language and Learning. This online course is designed for school practitioners and coaches who have advanced knowledge of structured literacy and would like to learn strategies to increase implementation of these practices in their schools. This course establishes a cohort of Peer Coaches across districts to learn, discuss and implement evidence-based practices in coaching, literacy and data-based decision-making. This course begins on August 30, 2021. See complete course listing for more information.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Health Equity Strategies for LGBTQ+ Youth

Health Equity Strategies for LGBTQ+ Youth is a three-part series this September. Participants will gain insight into the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ youth in Vermont, expand their knowledge, skills and resources for supporting youth, and explore substance use prevention strategies to improve health outcomes in this marginalized population. This interactive series will feature engaging discussions and concrete action planning. Participants will have the opportunity to put their learning into their unique community context, creating meaningful connections between their current work and the best practices for supporting LGBTQ+ youth.
Contact Catherine Diduk at info@healthandlearning.org

Engage Youth with Data and Community

Getting to ‘Y’: Youth Bring Meaning to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey puts Youth Risk Behavior Survey data in the hands of middle and high school age youth, providing them with skills and opportunities to analyze local data, to explore root causes and develop solution ideas to address concerns, and engage with their community to improve youth health, well-being and connection. School or community-based teams can examine local 2019 YRBS data (or other custom data source) while returning teams can expand their community outreach and action with training and coaching from UP for Learning. For more information or to register, contact Sharon Koller.
Contact: Sharon Koller at sharon@upforlearning.org or (802) 373-7594

Think Like an Ethnographer this Summer

Join Vermont Folklife Center staff August 2-13, 2021, to learn how to think like an ethnographer. This hybrid online course is grounded in ethnography: an approach and set of methods for understanding and representing human experience. The course content will present strategies and teach skills for community-based learning and inquiry that center on ethical and collaborative engagement. It includes an introduction to digital media making, with a critical lens on documentary work and the ethics of representation. Three graduate credits through Castleton University are available on request.
Contact: Mary Wesley at mwesley@vermontfolklifecenter.org

PhD Science K–2 curriculum available as a free OER from Great Minds

PhD Science® from Great Minds has released their K–2 science curriculum as an open educational resource (OER) and freely available as downloadable PDFs to VT educators. PhD Science is an authentic, phenomenon-based curriculum that is hands-on as students drive the learning through observation, questioning, modeling, investigating and participating in science discourse. The curriculum is designed to be inclusive in its approach, and draws cross-curricular connections to literacy, math, history and geography, with trade texts and fine art embedded in every module to create additional access points to the topic of study.
Contact: Stephanie Saporito at stephanie.saporito@greatminds.org


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Secretary Daniel M. French
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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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