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 7

17 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, Music Educators
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education and the Vermont Department of Health co-issued Safety and Health Guidance for Music Education (2/17).
Contact: AOE COVID-19 Response Team at aoe.support@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: February and March Distance Learning Schedules and 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.

Vermont Proficiency-Based Grading Practices

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, Educators
The Vermont Proficiency-Based Grading Practices document provides current examples of proficiency-based grading and reporting practices in Vermont. The intent is to share resources and materials so that leaders and educators in school systems can support one another on their path to proficiency. Additionally, there are multiple national resources available that educators may find helpful.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov

Vermont BEST/VTmtss Virtual Summer Institute Save the Date

Audience: Educators, Administrators, School Teams, Family Members, Community Stakeholders
Save the date for the BEST/VTmtss Virtual Summer Institute being held June 21 to June 24, 2021. Registration materials will be posted online by March 5, 2021. This year’s theme is “Here Comes the Sun: Celebrating and Strengthening Resilience for All.” The BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute provides opportunities for school teams of educators, family members and community stakeholders to share and learn strategies for improving and strengthening the systems, data and practices within Vermont’s expanded framework for enacting a multi-tiered system of supports (VTmtss). Learn about new programs, curricula, practices and activities that emphasize positive, research-based strategies to support all students. Individual or team-attended strands and workshops are intentionally designed to complement afternoon school team planning sessions for building effective action plans. This year’s virtual Institute will provide approximately 23 contact hours. The Save the Date flyer can be found online.
Contact: Sherry Schoenberg at sherry.schoenberg@uvm.edu

Writing for Justice: A Conversation and Student Competition

Audience: K-12 CTE, AEL, Administrators, Curriculum Directors, Teachers, Librarians, After-School Providers
Bestselling author (Ghost, Long Way Down and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-written with Ibram X. Kendi) and National Ambassador for Young Reader’s Literature, Jason Reynolds, will be hosting a virtual conversation on the afternoon of Feb. 25, 2021. This event accompanies a competition for 13-19-year-olds entitled “Outside my Window”, where participants submit their crafted prose or poetry highlighting their ‘corner of the world’. Jason will record the reading of his favorite entry, and prize money will be awarded to the highest scored submissions. Entries must be submitted by March 15, 2021; further rules and guidelines can be accessed at The Decameron Project.
Contact: Jess DeCarolis at jess.decarolis@vermont.gov or Jason Broughton at jason.broughton@vermont.gov

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

Seeking Input on NAEP Data Tools Use

Audience: All
In an effort to promote the use of NAEP data tools to various audiences across Vermont, we are reaching out to seek input on your familiarity with and use of NAEP data in the work you do. The data collected in this survey will solely be used to create customized training materials for participants who would be willing to learn more about NAEP data tools. The survey will take two to three minutes.Thank you for your input.
Contact: Mabika Goma at goma.mabika@vermont.gov or (802) 828-0503

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.

Virtual College and Career Planning Events for High Schoolers in March

VSAC’s annual College & Career Pathways event, primarily intended for 10th & 11th grade students and families, will be taking place virtually this year in March. This year’s event will include videos and reflection activities for counselors to use with students, live virtual workshops for students and families, virtual tours and info sessions of Vermont colleges, universities, and short-term training programs, and weekly contests with prize drawings for student participation. VSAC is also hosting a new event for seniors who haven’t applied to college or a training program for the fall yet or did apply but need a backup plan. Learn more about Vermont Applies: 12th Grade Spring Admissions Event.
Contact: Anna Telensky at telensky@vsac.org

Professional Development: Just Words® Online Workshop

Registration is open for Just Words, an online Wilson Language Training® workshops offered by the Stern Center for Language and Learning. Just Words is a highly explicit, multisensory decoding and spelling program for students who have mild to moderate gaps in their decoding and spelling proficiency but do not require intensive intervention. The Just Words online workshop provides the practice and guidance needed to effectively begin teaching the Just Words curriculum. This online workshop occurs on Thursday, April 15, 2021. Registration is due by April 1, 2021.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

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

This 5-week online course from the UVM Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education will immerse you in a personalized learning environment where you will experience the routines and pedagogies of self-directed learning. Course instructors will coach you as you design and implement strategies for scaffolding self-direction and provide 1:1 coaching. Then you will have an opportunity to give and receive feedback on your implementation plan and implement it as an action research project. Begins Wednesday, March 3, 2021. Register online.
Contact: Emily Hoyler at courses@tarrantinstitute.org

Online Middle Grades Institute

The Middle Grades Institute will be fully online this summer - June 28-July 2, 2021. After a year of teaching during the pandemic, we recognize the opportunity to model a caring, personal and equitable learning environment that young adolescents - and their teachers - deserve. Over the course of the week, participants will continue to prepare to implement both remote and face-to-face learning environments that respond to students’ needs, particularly in light of the pandemic, so that educators are ready for when schools open in the fall. If you are interested in attending, please review this flyer, our website, and register online.
Contact: James Nagle at jnagle2@smcvt.edu

NGSX: Virtual Becoming a Next Generation Science Teacher

A virtual professional development course designed to engage learners in modeling and constructing explanations of complex phenomena. Participants will learn how to creatively and strategically use multiple web-based tools to help create a classroom culture in which all students are supported to go with their reasoning and build on the ideas of their classmates. Register at vinsweb.org.
Contact: Hannah Gelroth at hgelroth@vinsweb.org

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Secretary Daniel M. French
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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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