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 45

16 November 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.

American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter Town Halls on COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

The AAP Vermont Chapter is inviting Vermont families to join them for a conversation about COVID-19 vaccines for children from 7-8 p.m. via Zoom. The sessions are being led by pediatricians practicing throughout the state. Please share this information with your school communities as appropriate. Check the AAP-VT website for dates when a pediatrician in your area is presenting.
Contact: AOE COVID-19 Response Team at AOE.vaccine@vermont.gov

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.

Growing Works of Art Contest

Audience: Vermont Students Grades K-8
The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is celebrating Arbor Day, a day to appreciate trees and the difference they make in our lives. We invite students to celebrate by creating a piece of tree art and writing. This year, the Growing Works of Art contest theme is “Share your TREE-mendous Story!” One winner from each grade (K-8) will be featured on the WCAX television show “Across the Fence,” and receive a Vermont State Park pass. Deadline to enter is March 11, 2022. For more information, visit the contest page.
Contact: Rebecca Roy at rebecca.roy@vermont.gov or 802-522-0780

VTmtss Professional Learning Providers List Update

Audience: Professional Learning Providers
The Vermont Agency of Education is collecting information on individuals and institutions not on the 2020 providers list who can provide Vermont educators with professional learning specializing in the VTmtss Framework to update its current providers’ list. Please submit your information using this form. The AOE will evaluate the submissions to update the 2020 menu of professional development providers. This menu is available to the state’s educators, updated annually, and used as a resource when planning their professional development activities. Submissions will be accepted until Nov. 29, 2021.
Contact: Nancy Hellen at Nancy.Hellen@vermont.gov

Public Comment Sought for Proposed Amendments to State Board of Education Rule Series 7000

Audience: All
The State Board of Education is seeking public comment on the proposed amendments to Rule Series 7000 (Recognized Accrediting Agencies & Relationship with Other Entities). Public comment will be taken at a public hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, starting at 4 p.m. The details for this virtual hearing are: Microsoft Teams meeting link, Call in number: +1 (802) 828-7667; Phone Conference ID: 990 049 488#. There will also be a physical public space available at the Agency of Education, 1 National Life Drive, Davis 5, Room 513, Montpelier, VT 05620-2501. Additionally, public comments can be submitted in writing to SBE.PublicComment@vermont.gov. The public comment period closes on Dec. 10, 2021.
Contact: Donna Russo-Savage at Donna.RussoSavage@vermont.gov

Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Training Resources

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, CTE Directors, Education Technology Directors, IT Managers
In October, the Agency of Education facilitated a US DOE Privacy Technical Assistance Center training in Vermont on data privacy and cybersecurity. The AOE's Education Technology webpage includes the slide decks from that training, along with other resources, to support SU/SDs and schools in their efforts to prevent, protect from, mitigate the effects of, respond to and recover from cyber threats. To learn more, visit the AOE’s Education Technology webpage, Cybersecurity Resources.
Contact: Lisa Helme at lisa.helme@vermont.gov

Nominations for Presidential Scholars (General Category) – Deadline Extended to Nov. 19, 2021

Audience: Students, Principals, Guidance Counselors, Academic Teachers
The Vermont Presidential Scholars Program recognizes students for academic success, artistic and technical excellence, community service, and leadership. Outstanding students are selected based on nominations from teachers and administrators. Students may also nominate themselves and those selected will be invited to apply to the U.S. Presidential Scholars program. The deadline for nominations has been extended and all nominations must be received by end of day on Nov. 19, 2021. Only nominations submitted via electronic applications will be accepted.
Contact: Ryan Parkman at ryan.parkman@vermont.gov

Professional Learning – Project-Based Teaching: A Professional Learning Community

Audience: Administrators, Curriculum Directors, Instructional Coaches, PreK-12 Teachers
Project-Based Teaching (PBT) is a professional learning program developed by the Agency of Education aimed at supporting school-based teams of teachers with self-directed peer learning communities (PLCs) as they implement Project-Based Learning (PjBL) into their practice. PBT participants include teams of teachers led by a fellow Teacher Leader, who has attended Foundations of PjBL Cohorts A or B or similar PjBL professional learning. PBT happens in three phases: a Teacher Leader Seminar, the Foundations of Project-Based Learning series and self-directed PLCs. More information on PBT can be found online. If interested in participating in PBT, educators should assemble a team of colleagues and identify a Teacher Leader to attend the Teacher Leader Seminar. Teacher Leaders should also plan to attend the Foundations of Project-Based Learning PL series with their teams. Individuals who are not on a team are welcome to register and participate in the Foundations series. Please complete this form to register as a Teacher Leader, team member or individual attending Foundations.
Contact: Kyle Anderson at kyle.anderson@vermont.gov

Linking Health & Learning Newsletter, November 2021

Audience: Health Educators, Physical Educators, School Nurses, Guidance Counselors, Curriculum Directors, Principals, Superintendents, Higher Education
The Linking Health & Learning Newsletter: November 2021 is now posted on the Vermont Agency of Education Health and Physical Education (PE) webpages. This newsletter communicates pertinent state and national news about Health and Physical Education, as well as professional learning events and resources to support Vermont’s health and physical educators.
Contact: Susan Yesalonia at susan.yesalonia@vermont.gov or (802) 828-6553

Teaching Elementary Health Education: An Overview of Comprehensive Health Education in Vermont

Audience: Elementary Educators, Physical Educators, School Nurses, Guidance Counselors, Curriculum Directors, Principals
The Vermont Higher Education Collaborative is hosting Teaching Elementary Health Education: A Series for Classroom Educators and Specialists. Session I of the series, An Overview of Comprehensive Health Education in Vermont, is being presented by Susan Yesalonia, the Health and Physical Education Specialist at the Vermont Agency of Education. It will take place on Dec. 2, 2021, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. This session will introduce the rules, statutes and standards that define Comprehensive Health Education in Vermont. Discussion will focus on priority health content areas, skills-based health instruction and the use of integrated instruction to support planning and delivery of effective health education. Session I is live webinar that is being offered free to Vermont educators; registration is required.
Contact: Susan Yesalonia at susan.yesalonia@vermont.gov or (802) 828-6553

Delayed-Release: Ready for Kindergarten! Survey 2021-2022

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Kindergarten Teachers
The 2021-2022 Ready for Kindergarten! Survey (R4K!S) anticipated release date is Dec. 1, 2021. The delayed-release is due to continuing challenges with COVID-19 that school districts, administrators, teachers, students and families are facing. In-person attendance has been interrupted due to COVID-19 for a high percentage of kindergarten students. This delayed-release will provide kindergarten teachers extra time to learn more about their students' learning as well as their health and social/emotional wellness. As in previous years, kindergarten teachers will have a six-week window to complete and submit the R4K!S for each student enrolled in their kindergarten class. Anticipated deadline for R4K!S submission is Friday, Jan. 21, 2022.
Contact: Kate Rogers at kate.rogers@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: November Resources to Celebrate Winter and National Native American Heritage Month

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Vermont Agency of Education has updated our Vermont PBS webpage for November. This month, celebrate National Native American Heritage Month with resources about Abenaki history and culture. Other topics of interest include Poetry Out Loud, jazz, the human genome and more. We will be updating this webpage monthly, so check back often to find new featured resources related to monthly themes and organized by grade band and subject area. Also, visit the Vermont PBS Kids and Education page to find more online and printable resources. To share resources and network with colleagues, join the Vermont PBS Educational Resources group on Edmodo. Activate your Edmodo account and join the VTED Learns community by filling out this form.
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.

Professional Education: Deeper Learning Course

Registration is open for Inquiry Into Deeper Learning at the Upper Valley Educators Institute. Deeper learning describes approaches to teaching and learning that seek to make learning both personally and cognitively engaging, with the goal of fostering in-depth understanding while increasing relevance, authenticity, engagement and intellectual rigor for students. In this 2-3 credit course, educators will create and teach a backwards-designed, project-based unit with an explicit focus on deeper learning of content and skills important to students. Begins in January of 2022.
Contact: Kristen Downey at kristendowney@uvei.org or (603) 678-4888

Preparations for the VSAC Senior Survey Class of 2022 Are Currently Underway

The VSAC Senior Survey will be administered in the spring of 2022. All Vermont’s public high schools and career and technical education centers are strongly encouraged to participate in the online survey which collects vital information about students’ postsecondary plans and aspirations. HS Principals: Be on the lookout for an invitation to participate in the Class of 2022 Senior Survey.
Contact: Robert Walsh at walsh@vsac.org

Middle School Liquid Lounge With Fran Huntoon

The All Learners Network: Middle School Liquid Lounge With Fran Huntoon will be on Dec. 13, 2021, from 5-7 p.m. We will talk about and share strategies to help leverage students’ work with models as a way to make connections to the mathematics of a situation. So models, why the tape diagram and double number line? Come find out. Snacks and beverages will be provided for this event—21+.
Contact: TJ Jemison at communicationsdirector@alllearnersnetwork.com

Specialized Instruction Part 2

The All Learners Network: Specialized Instruction Part 2 course will be on Jan. 7, 2022, from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. This 6-hour workshop provides participants with an overview of techniques for supporting struggling learners with specialized math instruction. This is geared for Special Educators and math interventionists, however all educators are welcome.
Contact: TJ Jemison at communicationsdirector@alllearnersnetwork.com

Professional Development: Wilson Reading System® Introductory Course

Registration is open for Wilson Reading System® Introductory Course, which begins Feb. 8, 2022, a professional development workshop by the Stern Center for Language and Learning. Participants learn about reading research, dyslexia, appropriate student identification and placement, program implementation, progress monitoring, scheduling, and creating a successful learning environment. Visit our registration page for more information.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

DMSchedules For Elementary School Feedback

District Management Group is seeking feedback from school staff utilizing the DMSchedules elementary school master schedule software. Please complete this short survey to make your voices heard. Not enrolled in DMSchedules? Visit our webpage to find out more.
Contact: Richard Viard at rviard@dmgroupK12.com or (617) 453-2181

Professional Learning: UDL Teacher Team Training

The Champlain Valley Educator Development Center is offering additional slots for the series, The UDL Approach: Design & Deliver: Planning & Teaching Using Universal Design for Learning with Loui Lord Nelson, Ph.D. This abridged version of the two-year series includes access to missed resources from session one, the first book study, all the rest of the virtual presentations, book study with book and an in-person session on  May 10, 2022. This is a fabulous resource for teams implementing Universal Design for Learning. Registration open for one month.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

Vermont Energy Education Program

Vermont teachers, as you plan for next semester, are you balancing several responsibilities all while striving to make your classrooms engaging and fun? Our VEEP educators are here to make your life just a little bit easier. Sign up for a teaching partnership to access a variety of exciting curricula (focused on energy, climate and the environment), hands-on equipment kits, NGSS trainings, PD opportunities, action project support and much more. Thanks to our funding partners, our support is available no-cost or low-cost to teachers and schools. Visit the VEEP webpage to find out more.
Contact: Maria Smith or Maria@veep.org

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Secretary Daniel M. French
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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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