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 37

22 September 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.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Available for Students Qualifying for Free and Reduced Price Meals & All Students at CEP Schools

Schools are asked to make households aware that the Emergency Broadband Benefit is available to any students who qualify for free and reduced price school meals, including all students attending Community Eligibility Provision Schools. The benefit provides up to a $50/month discount on internet service, and a one-time discount on a laptop, tablet or desktop computer. Households can provide their Free and Reduced Meals approval letter from School Year 19-20, 20-21, or 21-22 to qualify for this benefit. Because households may have misplaced their letters, or may not be aware of the benefit, schools can assist in this effort by sending this template letter to any households who qualified for free and reduced price meals in 19-20, 20-21 or 21-22. CEP schools may send a similar notice to all households. Households may continue to submit free and reduced meal applications to their schools to become eligible for this benefit throughout this school year.
Contact: Rosie Krueger at Mary.Krueger@vermont.gov

Other Agency of Education and State of Vermont Updates

Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports (VTmtss) Survey Summary 2020-2021

Audience: Superintendents and Principals
The Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports (VTmtss) Survey Summary 2020-2021 provides an analysis and evaluation of the data reported in the annual survey by 246 VT K-12 public school principals. This data will inform the Secretary of Education of the status of each school’s multi-tiered system of supports and the funding sources used to provide supports to students. In addition, this data will be used to support coherence in priority-setting and support provided within the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE).
Contact: Nancy Hellen at nancy.hellen@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: Kids and Education October Resources to Celebrate Fall

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Vermont Agency of Education and Vermont PBS have compiled Vermont PBS Kids and Education: October 2021, which includes resources for educators, organized by grade band and subject area. Visit the Vermont PBS Kids and Education page to find more online and printable resources. 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

Announcing Free Recovery Plan Implementation Support and Learning Opportunities Through SSIP

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Coordinators, Special Educators, School Administrators
The Vermont Agency of Education is excited to announce its focus of the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) to support Supervisory Union/Supervisory Districts implement Recovery Plans, improve IDEA indicators 3, 5, and 8 data points, and support best practices in math instruction. To learn more about how your Supervisory Union/Supervisory District might take advantage of these opportunities, attend an informational SSIP 21-22 launch session on October 6, 2021 from 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Join using this Zoom link.
Contact: Betty Roy at betty.roy@vermont.gov

Annual Education Technology Survey

Audience: Education Technology Directors, Superintendents
The Annual Technology Survey is required of all Vermont schools to collect important data about many aspects of the education technology landscape in our schools. The survey is now open and the deadline to respond is September 30, 2021. The AOE requests that the survey be answered to the best of the ability of each school. The survey is structured to enable a supervisory union or school district representative to complete data for multiple schools in one form. This information is used by legislators, as well as state and local policymakers and may be referenced in both state and national press with regards to Vermont’s status around education technology. Please complete the Annual Technology Survey, through a link located on the AOE Education Technology web page, by September 30, 2021.
Contact: Lisa Helme at lisa.helme@vermont.gov

The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21C) Grant Application: Second Notification

Audience: all
The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21C) Grant Application is now open for the purpose of providing high-quality afterschool and summer learning opportunities. Investments are for five years. Applications are due February 4, 2022 in the GMS system. E-Letters of Intent are due November 24, 2021. Virtual applicant trainings for teams will be held on October 13 and 19, 2021 (part 1 repeated) and October 28, 2021 (part 2) from 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. To view a paper copy of the grant application go to the AOE 21C webpage. You may also view the 21C quick eligibility checker.
Contact: Emanuel Betz, 21C State Coordinator, at Emanuel.Betz@vermont.gov 802-828-6977

Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Training from the US DOE

Audience: Superintendents, Education Technology Directors, & IT Managers
Through a partnership with the US DOE Privacy Technical Assistance Center, AOE is offering a free professional learning opportunity on data privacy and cybersecurity. Identical training seminars will be offered on October 19 and 20, 2021 to allow technical staff to attend and still provide coverage at their respective work sites. Subjects covered include advanced FERPA scenarios, best practices for vetting applications, and a facilitated data breach response exercise. Space is limited. We encourage districts to nominate up to two representatives to accommodate statewide participation. Registration is due October 1, 2021. Training to be held at the Center for Achievement in Public Service in Montpelier, VT.
Contact: Lisa Helme at lisa.helme@vermont.gov or (802) 828-6956.

Members Sought for School Nurse Advisory Committee (SNAC)

Audience: School Nurses
The goal of SNAC is to promote evidence-informed standards of school nursing practice designed to improve health outcomes for students through the empowerment of school nurses as leaders and in collaboration with partners. SNAC aims to represent school nurses with an array of experience from throughout Vermont who work in a diverse assortment of schools. Further information about SNAC may be found in the Memorandum of Understanding: School Health Services. Interested School Nurses should contact Kaitlyn Kodzis, State School Nurse Consultant.
Contact: Kaitlyn Kodzis at kaitlyn.kodzis@vermont.gov

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.

Free Webinar: Indigenous Cultural and Informational Text Resources from Molly of Denali

Audience: PK-5 Educators
Gear up for the new school year with resources that support diverse cultural awareness and accessing informational text, available free on PBS LearningMedia. Molly of Denali, the PBS KIDS’ award-winning series, follows the adventures of curious and resourceful 10-year-old Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl who lives in the fictional village of Qyah, Alaska. Join the Vermont Agency of Education, Vermont PBS and GBH Boston for a deep dive into the Molly of Denali supplemental resources centered around teaching young children how to access and create informational text while exploring aspects of Alaska Native culture and values. Featured educator presenters will share their favorite Molly of Denali resources on PBS LearningMedia and help you integrate them easily into your existing curriculum. You will leave this webinar with very specific strategies and resources you can use immediately. Register now to attend this live webinar on Wednesday, September 29, from 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Contacts: Emily Leute at emily.leute@vermont.gov or Heather Duhamel at hduhamel@vermontpbs.org

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.

Launch/Number Sense Routines

The Launch/Number Sense Routines workshop is a full day, in-person workshop on September 28, 2021. The purpose of this workshop is to inspire participants to reimagine how they use the first five to fifteen minutes of their math block for purposeful, discussion-rich number sense routines in their classroom.
Contact: TJ Jemison at communicationsdirector@alllearnersnetwork.com

Data for Decision Making

The Data for Decision Making workshop is a full day, in-person workshop on October 1, 2021. John Tapper and Lonnie Kaufman are experienced researchers and program evaluators who have years of experience designing analysis plans for schools and districts and helping districts find action paths from the analyses they perform.
Contact: TJ Jemison at communicationsdirector@alllearnersnetwork.com

VSAC’s Fall Financial Aid Training

The annual training for high school counselors and agency professionals takes place this Thursday, September 23, 2021, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. This presentation will provide important updates and changes to financial aid resources—including the FAFSA, grants, scholarships, and other resources. Information on key VSAC initiatives that are designed to help students, families, and professionals will also be presented. Register today.
Contact: Christopher Barry at barry@vsac.org

Creativity & Innovation - Professional Development Course for Educators

The Innovation & Creativity Course for Educators will be on October 18-19, 2021 at the Lake Morey Resort. There will also be 3 hours each month for follow-ups through early May to collaborate, explore and generate ideas with like-minded educators from around the state. Join this course and come away with a new, inspiring action plan on how to incorporate innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship into your curriculum. You will earn 3 graduate credits (thru Castleton University) and/or 45 PD hours. This course is designed for 8-12 grade Secondary/CTE Educators and workforce/career professionals. 
Contact: Laurel Butler at lbutler@vtsbdc.org or (802) 922-3692

Free Webinar – VSAC Shows You How: All About VT’s 529 Education Savings Plan

September is National College Savings Month—a great time to learn about how to start saving for future college or training, and why it is so important. Join VSAC for the webinar, Saving for college or training with 529 Plans: VSAC Shows You How, that will also be simulcast to VSAC's Facebook page, on September 28, 2021 from 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Contacts: Emily Stetson, stetson@vsac.org or Kristi Rocheleau, rocheleau@vsac.org

VSAC’s Fall Financial Aid Training

The annual training for high school counselors and agency professionals takes place this Thursday, September 23, 2021 from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. This presentation will provide important updates and changes to financial aid resources—including the FAFSA, grants, scholarships, and other resources. Information on key VSAC initiatives that are designed to help students, families, and professionals will also be presented. Register today.
Contact: Christopher Barry at barry@vsac.org

Professional Development: Fundations® Virtual Workshops

Registration is open for Fundations® Levels K-3 beginning September 28, 2021. These professional development workshops are offered by the Stern Center for Language and Learning. Fundations® research-based approach and extensive program materials allow K-3 teachers to present a carefully structured reading and spelling curriculum using multisensory techniques. 
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Developing Literacy Expertise in our Schools - PLL Coaching Forums

Join Partnerships for Literacy and Learning for: “Developing Literacy Expertise in our Schools.” Coaches play a vital role in increasing teachers’ knowledge and expertise. They can work to support, teach and increase teachers’ understanding of literacy instruction during the actual teaching of literacy. Our sessions together will be spent learning more about how to coach, through our current work, to solve our own identified areas of practice. We will plan approaches, implement our designs and study the effectiveness of our results in real time. To learn more about this series of 4 meetings (1 in person, 3 virtual) please visit our webpage.
Contact: info@pllvt.org or Mary Grace at 802.828.0521

10th Annual Vermont College Symposium (Virtual)

The 10th Annual Vermont College Symposium will be offered on three consecutive Tuesdays: October 5, 12 and 19, 2021, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Keynote speakers and panelists will offer presentations on Exploring the Science of the Positive Framework, Building a Culture of Recovery and Decolonizing Substance Misuse and Addiction. Those who should attend this symposium include: Campus faculty & staff as well as community partners including community coalitions & prevention professionals working with youth & young adults.
Contact Catherine Diduk at info@healthandlearning.org

Umatter® Suicide Prevention Awareness and Practice

Umatter® Suicide Prevention Awareness and Practice is an interactive, 60-minute virtual workshop. Umatter® is a national best practice program for suicide prevention. The message behind Umatter® is “you matter because you may need help, and you matter because you may be in a position to help.” Through presentation and experiential learning with a time for you to practice a three step process, you will learn why suicide prevention is important, what the risk and protective factors for suicide are, how to recognize a warning sign, what to say and do, and how to get help. Resources for ongoing help and support will be provided.
Contact Catherine Diduk at info@healthandlearning.org

Teens Reaching Youth (TRY) for the Environment - Teen Teachers Wanted!

TRY stands for Teens Reaching Youth and is an environmental education program taught by teens (grades 7-12) and designed to increase environmental literacy and responsibility in younger youth (grades K-4). TRY for the Environment includes four program areas to connect young people to real-world environmental problems allowing them to be key change agents contributing to real-world solutions. The program areas include: renewable energy, waste solutions, food systems, and water. Review the program flyer, Teen Teacher position description and Adult Mentor position description to see if you might be interested in the TRY program. If you are interested in applying for this program, then follow the Application Directions and apply no later than November 8, 2021.
Contact: Lauren Traister at Lauren.Traister@uvm.edu or 802-888-4972 x 402.

VTeen Leadership Weekend - Registration Now Open

VTeen Leadership Weekend (November 19-21, 2021) is a fun-filled weekend developing important skills and traits that will help youth stretch and improve their leadership, communication, problem solving, teamwork and other transferable skills to take back and use in their club work, school and community. Open to youth in grades 7-12. Learn more and register by October 22, 2021.
Contact: Lauren Traister at Lauren.Traister@uvm.edu or 802-888-4972 x 402.

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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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