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 6

10 February 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

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Athletic Directors, Coaches
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education and Agency of Natural Resources have updated Winter Sports Programs for the 2020-21 School Year (updated 2/9).
Contact: AOE COVID-19 Response Team at aoe.support@vermont.gov

Guidance: Child Nutrition

Audience: Superintendents, Business Managers
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued P-EBT Frequently Asked Questions for Schools (2/9).
Contact: Rosie Krueger at mary.krueger@vermont.gov

Guidance: Assessment

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Assessment Directors, Alternate Assessment Directors

Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has issued 2020-21 Statewide Summative Test Administration Guidance (2/9). Please note that no final decision on statewide summative testing has been made at the federal or state level. This guidance is being issued to allow LEAs to be prepared in the event that we do carry out our state testing program.
Contact: Amanda Gorham at amanda.gorham@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: February and March Distance Learning Schedules and Navigation Screencast for Teacher Planning Kits

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Schedule of Vermont PBS Programs for the months of February and March 2021 are 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. Learn more about how to use this resource by viewing the screencast, How to Navigate PBS Teacher Planning Kits. 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.

Ethnic Studies and Social Equity Working Group Study

Audience: Vermont Educators and School Staff
The Ethnic Studies and Social Equity Working Groups is launching a survey to solicit critical feedback from Vermont educators and school staff. Its purpose is to expand and enrich the Working Group’s understanding of how school personnel assess current education standards and if they perceive them to be aligned, in whole or part, with the values and vision of ethnic and social equity studies in our schools. Please share this survey widely with your friends and colleagues in the educational community. Survey data will greatly aid the Working Group in its upcoming assessment of the state’s educational standards and help it to recommend new standards where necessary.
Contact: Amanda Garces at amanda.garces@vermont.gov

Vermont Regional School Calendars for 2021-2022

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Headmasters, Regional Technical Center Directors, Curriculum Coordinators
Vermont statute, 16 V.S.A. §1071 (e), requires that superintendents of schools, regional public-school principals, and headmasters meet before April 1, 2021, and by majority vote, establish a uniform calendar within that area for the following school year. The calendar needs to include student attendance days, periods of vacation, holidays and the requisite five teacher in-service education days. Please send approved, regional calendars to Allison Keating at the Agency of Education no later than April 1, 2021.
Contact: Allison Keating at (802) 828-4855 or allison.keating@vermont.gov

Encourage Vermont High School Seniors to Complete FAFSA

Audience: High School Teachers and Administrators
The US Department of Education has informed the AOE that Vermont is experiencing a 10% decrease in FAFSA forms filed by high school seniors compared to last year at the same time, which mirrors a nationwide trend. Please join the Federal Student Aid office in encouraging high school seniors across Vermont to file the 2021-22 FAFSA form to help defray the costs of their postsecondary education. FSA provides digital resources for students and families at StudentAid.gov.
Contact: Suzanne Sprague at aoe.edinfo@vermont.gov

Funding Opportunity and Grant Application: Adult Education and Literacy Services

Audience: Eligible organizations to provide adult education and literacy services
Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Title II, the Vermont Agency of Education requests applications from eligible organizations and entities to implement Adult Education and Literacy activities in Vermont during the July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023, grant period. Applicant workshops will be held Feb. 22, 2021, and March 4, 2021. More information and materials may be found on the AOE’s Adult Education webpage. Deadline to submit applications is March 24, 2021.
Contact: Robin Castle at robin.castle@vermont.gov or (802) 828-0508

Digital Learning Day 2021 is February 25

Audience: Principals, School Librarians, Technology Integrationists, Education Technology Directors
All4Ed is a professional learning network of educators from across the country. Digital Learning Day was started ten years ago as a way of promoting the effective use of technology to close inequities and personalize instructional opportunities for students. Please consider sharing information with your ed community about the event and potential networking resources. Also, check-out the story on Winooski Schools and their 1:1 program featured on this site.
Contact: Lisa Helme at lisa.helme@vermont.gov or (802) 828-6956.

School Counselor Statewide Survey

Audience: School Counselors
The Vermont Agency of Education wants to hear from you! We invite all school counselors to participate in this survey. We are interested in hearing your perspectives on a broad range of topics. Survey results will help the Agency prioritize policies and activities that improve the landscape for school counseling across the state. Access the survey online. Further instructions are provided in the survey. It will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and will remain open through Feb. 20, 2021.
Contact: Jay Ramsey at jay.ramsey@vermont.gov

An Introduction to the Lexile Framework for Reading

Audience: Administrators, ELA/Literacy Educators, Special Educators, Literacy Coaches and Interventionists, School and State Library and Media Specialists
The Agency of Education and MetaMetrics are pleased to offer this professional learning opportunity to build the understanding of Lexile measures among educators across Vermont. This introductory session helps lay the foundation for use of Lexile measures at the classroom level, including addressing the following questions: What is the Lexile Framework for Reading? What are Lexile measures for students and for text? Where do you find the measures? What are the benefits of using the Lexile Framework for Reading? Where are Lexile tools and resources available and how do you use them to guide instruction? Register online to attend this live session on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, from 3-4 p.m.
Contact: Emily Leute at emily.leute@vermont.gov

An Introduction to the Quantile Framework for Mathematics

Audience: Administrators, Math Educators, Special Educators, Math Coaches and Interventionists
The Agency of Education and MetaMetrics are pleased to offer this professional learning opportunity to build the understanding of Quantile measures among educators across Vermont. This introductory session helps lay the foundation for use of Quantile measures at the classroom level, including addressing the following questions: What is the Quantile Framework for Mathematics? What are Quantile measures for students as well as state learning standards? Where do you find the measures? What are the benefits of using the Quantile Framework for Mathematics? Where are Quantile tools and resources available and how do you use them to guide instruction? Register online to attend this live session on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, from 3-4 p.m.
Contact: Ryan Parkman at ryan.parkman@vermont.gov

A Hands-on Tour of the Lexile and Quantile Hub

Audience: Administrators, Educators, Special Educators, Coaches, Interventionists, School and State Library and Media Specialists
The Agency of Education and MetaMetrics are pleased to offer this professional learning opportunity to build the understanding of the Lexile and Quantile Hub among educators across Vermont. This presentation offers both a quick "tour" and some "hands on time" to explore the new Lexile & Quantile Hub, a "one stop shop" for Lexile and Quantile tools for students, parents and educators. This session addresses the following topics: accessing the Hub; creating and managing your account; support, Quick Start Guides, and video tutorials; and an overview of the individual Lexile and Quantile tools. Register online to attend this live session on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, from 3-4 p.m.
Contact: Ryan Parkman at ryan.parkman@vermont.gov

But I’m Not a Reading Teacher! Why Do I Need to Know About the Lexile Framework?

Audience: Administrators, Educators, Special Educators, Coaches, Interventionists, School and State Library and Media Specialists
Designed for classroom teachers outside of English Language Arts, this session explores the Lexile Framework and how its measures can impact the teaching and learning of subject matter content across the curriculum and within each discipline. The structure and specific questions that will be addressed are as follows: What are Lexile measures for students and what are Lexile measures for text? What are the benefits of using the Lexile Framework for Reading to teach subject matter content? Where can you find Lexile tools and resources and how can they help guide instruction? Register online to attend this live session on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, from 3-3:30 p.m.
Contact: Emily Leute at emily.leute@vermont.gov

Financial Literacy Webpage Update

Audience: K-12 CTE, AEL, Administrators, Curriculum Directors, Teachers, Librarians, After-School Providers
The Agency of Education’s (AOE) Financial Literacy webpage has been updated to include the work of a Professional Learning Community created through a partnership with the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College and the AOE. This work includes K-8 and 9-12 grade-banded proficiency-based graduation requirements (PBGRs) and indicators, tools, and resources. Free professional development supporting this work will be available for all Vermont K-12 educators beginning in March. Also included on the webpage are AOE-developed K-12 PBGRs which highlight a “Spotlight on Equity” to provide a list of considerations for the purpose of providing an equity literate and socially conscious lens to the teaching and learning of personal finance. This Spotlight, supported by resources, also serves to recognize the historic economic exclusion and marginalization of minority groups and communities.
Contact: Martha Deiss at martha.deiss@vermont.gov

Growing Works of Art Contest

Audience: Administrators and Teachers for Grades 1-8
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 celebrate by creating a piece of tree art and writing. This year, the Growing Works of Art contest theme is “Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives: Share Your Tree Story!” One winner from each grade (1-8) will be featured on the WCAX television show “Across the Fence,” and receive a Vermont State Parks punch pass. Deadline to enter is March 12, 2021.
Contact: Rebecca Roy at (802) 522-0780 or rebecca.roy@vermont.gov

The Governor's Institutes of Vermont is Going Virtual

Audience: High School Administrators and Educators
This summer, give your students the opportunity to meet new friends, pursue their passions and discover career opportunities at The Governor’s Institutes of Vermont’s online summer Immersions. At GIV, young learners will take part in interactive workshops and research, learn from expert mentors, and cut loose with virtual social events and game nights - all alongside a network of peers and professionals invested in their success. Tuition is “pay-what-you-can,” so it’s affordable for all Vermont families. Plus, GIV’s tech support team is at the ready to help out with any internet or device issues they might be worried about.
Contact Elizabeth Frascoia at info@giv.org or (802) 865-4448

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 Folklife Center Virtual Coffee Hours in February

For all educators, school partners and supporters, this academic year continues to present new challenges and opportunities. We at the Vermont Folklife Center want to check-in and be available to hear how classroom learning is going for you. Join us for a break with coffee, tea or your beverage of choice and hear how we have adapted our K-12 outreach during COVID-19 times. We will share tips about creating digital media activities for young people, including a student-to-student interview project that we are piloting this spring. Meetings are from 4-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10 and Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. Register for free on the Vermont Folklife Center website.
Contact: Mary Wesley at mwesley@vermontfolklifecenter.org

Free Workshop - Increasing Access, Opportunity, and Equity for All Learners: A Community-Based Approach to Dual Enrollment

February 25, 2021, at 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Join us to learn about the Dual Enrollment Program and its purpose and connection to student-centered learning; participation rates of student groups in Dual Enrollment; state strategies for increasing participation rates of students with disabilities; and how stakeholders can be partners in improving participation rates. Presenter: Jess DeCarolis, Vermont Agency of Education – Student Pathways, Division Director. Register for this workshop online or for a complete list of upcoming workshops, please visit Vermont Family Network’s website.
Contact: Rachel Boyers at rachel.boyers@vtfn.org

16th Annual Transition and Career Conference – Committee Seeking Requests for Proposals

The Transition and Career Planning Conference brings together a mix of education and vocational professionals from all over the region. We welcome proposals for 75-minute workshops that relate to student, clien, and educator-inspired coaching, teaching and learning. The goal of this year’s conference is to provide participants with an opportunity to better understand how to prepare Vermont students and adults to launch into meaningful careers. The conference is structured to strengthen the transferable skills of empathy, inclusion and equity. Additionally, we would like to offer sessions that allow participants to practice their own wellness and health needs.
Contact: Cathy Printon at printon@vsac.org

Vermont Literacy Conference

Save the Dates: Partnerships for Literacy and Learning is very excited for this year’s Vermont Literacy Conference with two Keynotes: Corneilus Minor and Jennifer Saravello. Save the dates of Aug. 2, 3 and 4, 2021, for this virtual conference with these renowned presenters and much more! Urgency and Joy: Addressing Equity While Inspiring Learners is the overarching theme and all the details will be available at the end of February.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

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

Way to Go! Registration Still Open for a Chance to Win

Get your bike, boots or shoes on! It doesn't need to be warm to get outside and be active. Many schools know how important this is to students’ health and wellbeing. This challenge is designed to motivate you and your students to get outside, play and earn points to win at the same time. Staff: Simply record your walk, bike ride or run or fun in the snow on the Go! VT smartphone app at least two trips to be entered to win prizes (all gift cards can be used online). For school events, simply pledge to participate your school activity. Need ideas? Find a starting list for remote Winter Walk/Bike events.
Contact: Debra Sachs at deb@netzerovt.org

Building Toilet-Learning Savvy Classrooms – by the Vermont Continence Project

Wednesday, March 17, 2021, from 1-2:30 p.m. This workshop will teach practical strategies for anyone supporting students to identify, plan for and address toileting concerns within the general education curriculum. Team attendance is encouraged, not required. Register online.
Contact: Chayah Lichtig at chayah.lichtig@uvm.edu

Change Lives. Encourage. Nurture. Teach. Inspire.

Earn your Master's degree in Special Education focused on supporting the needs of children with disabilities and their families. UVM's nationally accredited program offers licensure (K through age 21) and non-licensure pathways that meet the needs of experienced and aspiring professionals. Courses are offered in the evenings to accommodate your schedule. Each pathway offers graduate tuition scholarship opportunities and community-based internships supported by our nationally recognized faculty and local professionals. We also offer an Accelerated Master's Pathway (AMP) for current UVM students. Please join us at an upcoming virtual open house session on February 22 or March 5, 2021, to learn more about the program with our faculty and staff. You can also email special.education@uvm.edu or visit go.uvm.edu/specialed-masters.
Contact: Roman Vogel at rgvogel@uvm.edu

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Secretary Daniel M. French
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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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