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 3

20 January 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

Since last week's Weekly Field Memo the Agency of Education and the Agency of Natural Resources have updated Winter Sports Programs for the 2020-2021 School Year (Updated 1/15).
Contact: AOE COVID-19 Support Team at aoe.support@vermont.gov

Guidance: Child Nutrition

Since last week's Weekly Field Memo the Agency of Education has issued Memo: Preliminary Guidance on P-EBT for School Year 2020-21 (1/19).
Contact: Rosie Krueger at mary.krueger@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: Distance Learning Monthly Schedule for February and New Teacher Planning Kit

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Schedule of Vermont PBS Programs for the month of February 2021 is now available, featuring weekly thematic bundles of analog, digital, and broadcast resources to support all learning models. In addition, the PBS Teacher Planning Kit for January-March is also available, and 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. 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.

WIDA Spring 2021 Assessment Events

Audience: EL, Content, Special, and Linguistically/Culturally Diverse Educators
Deadline: Interested applicants must complete brief Interest Survey by Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. The WIDA Consortium is currently recruiting K-12 educators interested in participating in one of four virtual Focus groups, Content Reviews, and Bias & Sensitivity Reviews which are part of the English language proficiency assessment development process. An honorarium will be provided to selected applicants. Descriptions of these events – including purpose, selection criteria, time commitment and dates – are posted to Vermont’s WIDA state webpage.
Contact: James McCobb at james.mccobb@vermont.gov

2021 Educator License Renewal Season is Open

Audience: Licensed Educators
Licensing renewals opened on Jan. 19, 2021. If your license is up for renewal this year, you should have received a memo outlining the steps needed to renew it. If you are unsure how to proceed, please contact the AOE Office of Educator Licensure. If you are unsure if your license is up for renewal, please check your status in the ALiS system. Renewing educators working in a Vermont school associated with a Local/Regional Standards Board should be in contact with their respective board.
Contact: Amy Scalabrini at AOE.licensinginfo@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.

From Part C to Part B: Building Better Transitions for Children with Complex Profiles

Transition from early intervention to preschool can be a stressful time for both families and providers. This is especially true for teams supporting children with complex profiles. This training will provide a series of connected tools and resources that can improve transition outcomes using Person-Centered Planning and Routines-Based approaches. The first day will give an overview of the approaches for building stronger transitions. The following workshops will be topic-specific, teaching participants to use the tools and strategies with their own case studies. Participants can choose to attend all of the sessions or sign up for individual workshops following the overview. More information, including dates, target office and registration information is online.
Contact: Pamela Cummings at pamela.cummings@uvm.edu

Once a Student, Now the Executive Director

The Governor’s Institutes of Vermont (GIV) welcomes Elizabeth Frascoia as its new Executive Director. This is the first time that an alumnus of the Institutes has taken this leadership role, and she is only the fifth Executive Director in GIV’s thirty-eight years. Ms. Frascoia is a professional musician and educator, and previously led the Governor's Institute on the Arts for nine years. She loves to help students find and explore their passions, and is excited to lead GIV into its innovative summer 2021 programming.
Contact: Elizabeth Frascoia at info@giv.org or (802) 865-4448

Vermont Energy Education Program Professional Learning Workshops

The Vermont Energy Education Program is offering virtual professional learning workshops at no cost to Vermont teachers. Using an energy and climate focus, these three-session workshops focus on anchoring phenomena and teaching routines that support student sense-making. 7.5 PD hours available. Learn more and register now for the February and March dates.
Contact: Laura MacLachlan at laura@veep.org

VSAC Scholarship Deadline Approaching

There are only a few weeks left until the Feb. 11, 2021 deadline. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for students to submit an application and/or the required supporting documents. Visit the VSAC Scholarships page for more information.
Contact: Serena Peck at scholarships@vsac.org

New Creativity and Innovation Course

This virtual spring 2021 course is for High School/CTE students statewide. Creative thinkers will learn how to thrive in a climate that encourages innovation – a chance for students to explore a course delivered both on-line and with virtual sessions that helps them develop and evaluate ideas for new products and services with fun experiential exercises, videos, games, guest speakers, storytelling and more - building a socially-conscious business/entrepreneurial mindset. Presented by the Vermont Small Business Development Center, the VT Virtual Learning Cooperative and Vermont Technical College. Earn .5 credits; plus 11th/12th graders have option for three college credits with dual enrollment or fast forward vouchers. Register with VtVLC or contact Kim Bovill at (802) 885-8364 or kbovill@vtvlc.org.
Contact: Laurel Butler at lbutler@vtsbdc.org

Announcing Topic for Hildene Lincoln Essay Competition 2021

Every year, Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home runs the Lincoln Essay Competition for Vermont’s 8th graders, dividing the state into four competitions. Students are invited to focus on “the unalienable rights” in the Declaration of Independence by answering this prompt: Choose one issue that you think demonstrates how our nation either is or is not honoring the ideal that all people have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Give three examples to support your position. Finally, suggest one step that could either further strengthen our course or get our nation back on track and explain why this step would be effective. First place winners receive $500, second place $400, third place $300 and up to four honorable mentions of $200 each which the judges may choose from anywhere in the state. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 26, 2021. Please consult our website to identify your contest entry region and to find a complete application packet (including important guidelines and tips).
Contact: Stephanie Hynds at stephanie@hildene.org or (802) 367-7960

Professional Learning: Courageous Conversation

Registration is open for White Racial Identity Development: A Courageous Conversation with Self. This two-hour virtual seminar facilitated by Pacific Education Group's Sonya Collie, will move participants through the Courageous Conversation Protocol from a theoretical understanding to a personal examination of their own White racial consciousness journey. Participants, as racial equity leaders, will be able to apply these learnings to their schools, communities and families. March 24, 2021, from 3 to 5 p.m. - virtual.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

Dyslexia, Dysgraphia & Assessment: a Five-Part Webinar Series with Dr. Melissa Farrall

Registration is open for this five-part webinar series with Dr. Melissa Farrall, Ph.D., a renowned expert on reading, language, and assessment. Dr. Farrall will unravel the complexity of reading and writing, unpack the components of an evaluation targeting these areas, and guide practitioners in assessing literacy and providing targeted recommendations for intervention. Attend live in January or February, or receive a recording. Visit the series webpage for dates, costs, registration and additional information.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Vermont History Day State Contest

Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the Vermont History Day state contest will now be an all-virtual contest on Saturday, April 3, 2021. See the Vermont History Day website for updated details and deadlines. The contest is open to all Vermont students in grades 5-12. Projects can be about any topic in history (not just Vermont history) related to the annual theme of “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.” Students may also want to participate in the VTDigger History Invitational which is using the same theme as a focus for student research and writing.
Contact Victoria Hughes at victoria.hughes@vermonthistory.org or (802) 828-1413

Preschool Activities from Vermont PBS

Vermont PBS, the Vermont Agency of Education and the Vermont Department of Libraries continue to work together to develop easy-to-access, localized, learning connections for home and school. Go to the Vermont PBS Distance Learning page to see new monthly kits, highlights, and recommendations, including preschool activities to pair with Vermont PBS’s live-action series Mister Chris and Friends.
Contact: Heather Duhamel at hduhamel@vermontpbs.org 

Vocabulary is Comprehension

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning presents: Vocabulary is Comprehension; a 3-credit course through St. Michael’s College. This class is asynchronous for teachers of grades 3-8 and will begin on Jan. 25, 2021. Participants will be guided by the fantastic and user friendly Vocabulary is Comprehension: Getting to the Root of Text Complexity book written by Laura Robb. Ellen A. Thompson is the instructor. See all course descriptions and registration online.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

Literacy Grants Available for Schools and Programs Serving Low-income Kids

The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) is currently accepting applications for its 2021 Community Building grant and 2021-2022 Year of the Book grant, which provides $25,000 in new books for the school and local library, (virtual) author visits, special literacy programs, and ten new books for each child. Open to schools serving low-income kids (ages 12 and under) in Vermont. Applications can be found at www.clifonline.org and are due by March 10, 2021.
Contact: Meredith Scott at meredith@clifonline.org or (802) 244-0944

Nominations for Vermont School Nurse of the Year

Do you think your school nurse is fabulous? Do you ever think I couldn't imagine our school without our school nurse? The Vermont State School Nurses' Association is now accepting nominations for school nurse of the year. For a nomination form, please email president@vssna.org and submit the emailed form with letter of recommendation to that same email address by Feb. 28, 2021.
Contact: Sophia Boyle Hall at president@vssna.org

Winter Walk and Bike to School Challenge

It's the Winter Walk and Bike to School Challenge, Feb. 1-12, 2021, sponsored by Way to Go!. Human-powered travel isn't just for warm weather. Getting to school, work and other destinations in winter doesn't have to involve a car - check out these Winter Biking Tips. Once a school coordinator or volunteer chooses an activity, simply report it to Way to Go! for a chance to win ski passes, 10 pairs of Darn Tough Socks and other incentives. Individual faculty and staff can win too. Sign up online. Schools are battling the growing carbon pollution problem by demonstrating how active/sustainable transportation habits really add up to a lot of fun and hundreds of thousands of pounds of greenhouse gas emission savings! Want personal assistance? Schedule a one-on-one consult with Local Motion. Learn how it works, upcoming winter and spring events and how to earn points on the Way to Go! website.
Contact: Deb Sachs at deb@netzerovt.org or (802) 238-9807

Building Trust with Families, Guardians, and Parents to Create a Stronger IEP Team

VT-HEC is presenting Clauda Pringle, Esq., for this webinar on Jan. 26, 2021, 3-4:30 p.m. IEP team meetings can be stressful environments for both school staff and families alike, causing interference with the team’s ability to agree on important issues that often can impact a student’s growth and success. Building a trusting and mutually respectful relationship with parents can greatly enhance the success of an IEP team. This webinar will provide educators with effective communication and trust-building skills, as well as other tools to work effectively with families of students with disabilities. Open to any and all members of IEP teams.
Contact: Julie Medose at info@vthec.org or (802) 498-3350

Professional Development Course: Tea Gardens & Mindfulness for Educators

The Tea Project: Designing, Planting and Caring for a Perennial Tea Garden, is designed for educators who are passionate about bringing nature, biology, routines for empowerment, social emotional learning and social justice into the daily classroom routine. Enroll now to learn the unique curriculum immersion of science observation skills and practices through the lens of the plant cycle and mindfulness. Learn more about The Tea Project or register online.
Contact: Angie Barger at luna-root@gmail.com or (802) 595-2512

Reimagining Education Month

UP for Learning designated January as Reimagining Education Month and created a month full of activities, events and resources to help educators answer the questions "What if the focus was on reconnecting with one another, reinvigorating our practice, and radically reimagining the possibilities for our education system?" See the online calendar of daily activities, resources and links to free virtual Pop-Up Events. Week 4 is filled with resources to help you begin (or continue) transforming education. Watch the video “Our Time”, written, composed, and performed by Vermont students to express their hope for educational change and follow up with the accompanying resource guide. We then invite youth and adults to join the Youth Advisory Council on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 from 6-7 p.m. EST for a free virtual Pop-Up event, Learning During COVID-19. Our Youth Advisory Council members will share data from their Youth Forum on Jan. 19, 2021, and their VT youth survey as a platform for discussing school transformation. Use this zoom link to attend.
Contact: Sarah Popowicz at sarah@upforleaning.org

De-Colonizing Place-Based Education

Engage with us to question and unsettle our notions of place, colonization, and identity together as we strive to decolonize our teaching practices. Together in this workshop, we’ll tease apart, examine and reconstruct what place-based education is and can be. This 1.5 hour workshop is designed for K-12 educators with some familiarity with place-based education. Your co-facilitators for this adventure into purpose and pathway will be Judy Dow of Gedakina, Marie Vea of University of Vermont, Emily Hoyler of the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education and Aimee Arandia Østensen of Shelburne Farms. Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, 3:30 p.m. EST. Register online.
Contact: Audrey Homan at events@tarrantinstitute.org

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Email Mary.Peterson@vermont.gov, Digital Communications Specialist

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Secretary Daniel M. French
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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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