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 4

27 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.

School Staff Surveillance Testing Weekly Summary Dashboard

Audience: Superintendents, COVID-19 Coordinators, School Nurses, School Staff
In partnership with colleagues at the Vermont Department of Health and the Agency of Digital Services, the AOE has published a School Staff COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Weekly Summary Dashboard, which shows the number of staff registered and tested each week, the results breakdown and positivity rate for each weekly testing cohort, and the registration rate for each participating district/independent school. We hope that this information will be of interest to you as we continue the school staff testing program. We sincerely thank all the district and school staff who are making this valuable public health initiative possible.
Contact: Kate Connizzo at kate.connizzo@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.

Financial Literacy Professional Development

Audience: K-12 CTE, AEL, Administrators, Curriculum Directors, Teachers, Librarians, After-School Providers
The Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College, in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Education, is offering free professional development for all Vermont K-12 educators with a focus on the successful implementation of the JumpStart National Standards in K-12 Financial Personal Finance Education. These standards, adopted by the Vermont State Board of Education in 2018, allow for the teaching of personal finance in an interdisciplinary or standalone manner. This professional development opportunity, led by local and national experts, will be available both live and on-demand, with the option of educators completing the sessions at their own pace from March 3 to May 31, 2021. Educators can earn up to seven hours in professional development training; credit will also be given for partial completion. The first 400 educators to complete all training sessions will be given a $50 Amazon gift card with suggestions for grade-appropriate personal finance classroom resources. Please complete the registration to participate in this professional development opportunity. This training is made possible by a grant for the Northfield Savings Bank Foundation.
Contact: Martha Deiss at martha.deiss@vermont.gov or John Pelletier at jpelletier@champlain.edu

Diversifying the Vermont Educator Workforce: Recordings and Resources

Audience: District and School Leaders, Educators, School Board Members, Education Stakeholders
Earlier this month, the Vermont Task Force on Diversifying the Educator Workforce completed its three-part webinar series focused on the report entitled Increasing the Racial, Ethnic and Linguistic Diversity of the Educator Workforce: A Call to Action for Leaders. Participants had the opportunity to engage in conversations regarding recruiting, hiring, supporting, promoting and retaining diverse educators, among other aspects of the framework. To view the recorded webinars and slides, or to access the resources developed in response to participant questions and feedback, visit the New England Secondary School Consortium webpage.
Contact: Jess DeCarolis at jess.decarolis@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.

Vermont High School Environmental Educators: Green Driving Education

For most high school students, including those that care about the environment and sustainability, driving is and will be a part of their lives. Green Driving America Inc. (GDA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization focused on showing drivers-to-be and new drivers the benefits in how we drive (green driving methods) and what we drive (promotion of low- and zero-emission vehicles), as well as alternatives to driving. GDA is gauging the interest of Vermont educators in participation of a 2021-22 school year project, to be funded by grantmakers. GDA’s Green Driving from the Start guest-lecturing classroom presentations will be conducted by trained college level interns via video conferencing.
Contact: Wayne Michaud at info@greendrivingamerica.org

The Sweet Spot: Scaffolding Self-Directed Learners in Virtual & Hybrid Environments

This 5-week online course will immerse you in a personalized learning environment where you’ll experience the routines and pedagogies of self-directed learning. Learn about the misconceptions of student self-direction and identify the types of routines and systems that will work best for your own learners. Explore striking a balance between structure & order and choice & flexibility. Course instructors will coach you as you design and implement strategies for scaffolding self-direction. Then you’ll have an opportunity to give and receive feedback on your implementation plan, and then put it into action. By the end of this course, you will have developed an understanding of the components of self-direction and have experienced implementing concrete strategies with your students. Begins Wednesday, Feb 3, 2021. Register online.
Contact: Emily Hoyler at courses@tarrantinstitute.org

Lesson Plans on Water Quality in Lake Champlain 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 middle and high school Saving Our Waters documentary, which includes lesson plans that focus on water quality in Lake Champlain.
Contact: Heather Duhamel at hduhamel@vermontpbs.org

12th Annual 2021 Vermont Entrepreneurship Day - Free Virtual Zoom Event

For HS/CTE students/educators – The morning of Feb. 10, 2021, join in the fun and hear from enterprising Vermont entrepreneurs as they tell their stories and offer tips on how you too can be successful no matter what your end game plan. Learn how to create your own personal brand, how to make yourself stand out and much more. Cash prizes will be awarded to winners of the visual media competition. This year’s theme is “Inspiring Vermont Entrepreneurs to ReFocus – ReImagine – ReEngineer – We’ve Got You Covered”. Watch a short video about event and sign up online.
Contact: Laurel Butler at lbutler@vtsbdc.org or (802) 922-3692

Free Virtual Training from the Vermont Consortium for Adoption and Guardianship – Creating an Adoption Sensitive School

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Educators
This 2-hour training helps increase children’s ability to access learning when, due to early trauma and/or normative adoption/guardianship developmental issues, they experience challenges in school. Staff who have participated in the past report that the training was valuable, helped them better understand the needs of students who were adopted, and provided information they could put into practice. To schedule a training for your school please contact Catherine Harris. For more information and resources check out the Consortium website.
Contact: Catherine Harris at vtadoption@vermont.gov or (802) 241-0901

LGBTQ+ Inclusive Sex Ed Webinar

Teaching LGBTQ+-inclusive sexual health education is challenging for many schools - practices evolve quickly and previously-developed lessons can become outdated. Join Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and Outright Vermont online for this two-part series. The goal: to improve skills needed to include students of all identities and orientations in sexual health education - whether online or in-person. Pre-registration is required. Part One, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, 3:30-4:30 p.m.: We will review the Agency of Education’s Full Spectrum: Educators’ Guide to Implementing LGBTQ+ Inclusive Sex Ed and discuss current (and forthcoming) resources. Part Two, Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 3:30-4:30 p.m.: We will use the Guide to review existing lesson plans and practices, working together to demonstrate how the principles work in practice. It is strongly recommended that participants attend both Part One and Part Two live as scheduled. In limited situations if requested, we will make a recording of Part One available for folks who would like to attend Part Two but are not able to attend Part One.
Contact: Mara at mara@outrightvt.org or (802) 865-9677

4-H Teen Time: New Programs Added Just for Teens

Vermont 4-H has two exciting new virtual programs to offer teens! The first is called Designing Your Future. This is a three-session career exploration for youth in grades 7-12 led by Careers CLiC. Session 1: Identifying Your Career Interests (Feb. 3, 2021); Session 2: Showcasing Essential Skills (Feb. 10, 2021); Session 3: Navigating Your Own Career Path (Feb. 17, 2021). Each session will meet from noon - 1 p.m. This program is free but registration is required. The other program is for youth in grades 9-12. Vermont 4-H is offering a full scholarship ($325) to eight Vermont teens to participate in the 2021 National 4-H Conference. National 4-H Conference is the pinnacle experience in 4-H Civic Engagement, providing the opportunity for young people to connect, learn, engage, lead, and impact their communities, their nation and their world. At the conference, participants prepare and present briefings on important societal topics to federal officials in Washington, D.C. Youth also have the opportunity to engage in personal development experiences that increase their knowledge, resources and skills while discussing topics affecting youth. Participants not only learn while at the conference: you will be empowered to create positive social change in your communities and have the opportunity to practice and apply your skills in a real-world setting. Applications are due no later than Feb. 10, 2021. Learn more at the 4-H Announcements page.
Contact: Lauren Traister at Lauren.Traister@uvm.edu or (802) 888-4972 x 402

Vermont Holocaust Memorial Offers Student Thesis Assistance

Are your students looking for a thesis, Grad Challenge, or other endeavor needed to complete requirements for graduation? How about exploring not only the ‘What’, but also the "Who", ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of the Holocaust. Of the 11 million killed, six million were Jews, with over one and one half million of them children - with the same hopes and dreams students have today. The Vermont Holocaust Memorial (VTHM) stands ready to assist those who would like to explore the horror that took the lives of so many, including people their age. A variety of resources, recommended reading and family stories of survival, as well as one-on-one contact with children of survivors, is available through VTHM’s website: www.holocaustmemorial-vt.org.
Contact: Debora Steinerman info@holocaustmemorial-vt.org

Professional Learning: LEA Reps for 504 Plans

Registration is open for What You Need to Know if you are a Section 504 LEA Representative This 90-minute virtual training with attorney Heather T. Lynn and Director of Equity & Inclusion Erin Maguire will focus on the requirements of the LEA representative for a student with a 504 plan. This will include: child find requirements, referrals, evaluations, planning and team, and appeals and OCR Complaints. March 10, 2021, 1:30 - 3 p.m.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

Professional Development: Comprehensive Reading and Writing Evaluations Course

Registration is open for Under the Hood: Comprehensive Reading and Writing Evaluations, a professional development course by the Stern Center for Language and Learning beginning March 2, 2021. This interactive course is designed for anyone who wishes to learn more about reading and writing evaluations. The course will focus on issues related to the assessment of reading, spelling and writing including early identification, the diagnoses of dyslexia and dysgraphia, and the communication of test results to parents and other educators. Participants will learn the language of assessment, how to explain basic concepts of measurement at team meetings and how to develop their own evaluation template for use on a practice case study. Course applications due by Feb. 16, 2021.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Earn a Teaching License or Additional Endorsement and Master's Degree in One Year

Saint Michael’s College offers a competitively-priced Master of Arts in Teaching program that provides both one- and two-year options. It is designed as a fifth-year initial licensure option for graduating seniors, and a stand-alone licensure and master’s degree program for those seeking a career change. Learning experiences include multiple field placements, diverse opportunities to explore progressive educational practices, a rigorous course sequence, a collaborative cohort model and a personalized culminating project. The MAT offers initial licensure tracks in art, elementary, middle, secondary and special education, and for licensed teachers, additional endorsements in special education and English language learners (ELL). Classes for our next cohort begin on May 24, 2021, and the priority application deadline is Feb. 1, 2021. For more information, please see the Saint Michael’s College website or to join us for an online MAT Information Session on Jan. 27, 2021, from 4:45-5:45 p.m.
Contact: Amy Saks Pavese at asakspavese@smcvt.edu or (802) 654-2826

The Many Faces of Literacy Instruction

Looking for a Graduate Class? Partnerships for Literacy and Learning presents: The Many Faces of Literacy Instruction, a 3-credit course through St. Michael’s College. This class is asynchronous for teachers of grades K-12 and will begin on Feb. 1, 2021. Using the text, Distance Learning Playbook, written by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Hattie, you will develop the high impact learning experiences needed to push your readers into that engaged deep thinking mode whether they are face-to-face with us or not. Ellen A. Thompson is the instructor. See complete list of PLL courses and register online.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

VMI Now Accepting Applications

The Vermont Mathematics Initiative (VMI) Master’s program is now accepting applications for the 2021 Cohort scheduled to start during summer 2021 in the Burlington area. Through VMI coursework, classroom applications, mentoring by VMI staff and leadership training, teachers in the VMI will earn SNHU’s Master of Education (M.Ed) degree in Educator Practices with a concentration in Mathematics Teaching. The program will kick off with two, week-long courses taking place from July 12-16 and July 19-23, 2021. Information about the Master’s Program, including an application, can be found at www.vmimathematics.com. Applications are due by March 8, 2021.
Contact: Judi Laird at judi@vmimathematics.com

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