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 9

10 March 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: Recovery

Audience: Superintendents
Since last week's Weekly Field Memo, the Agency of Education has released Education Recovery Toolkit: Recovery Team Composition (3/4).
Contact: AOE COVID-19 Response Team at aoe.support@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: NEW Teacher Planning Kit and March Distance Learning Schedule

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
In addition to the Schedule of Vermont PBS Programs for the month of March 2021, featuring weekly thematic bundles of analog, digital, and broadcast resources to support all learning models, the PBS Teacher Planning Kit for March-May is also available. This resource 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.

Deadline Appraoching: Grant Opportunity for 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. Deadline to submit applications is March 24, 2021. More information may be found on the Adult Education and Literacy webpage.
Contact: Robin Castle at robin.castle@vermont.gov or (802) 828-0508

What-if Wednesday for March 3, 2021

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Crisis Planning Team Members
The What-if Wednesday for March 3, 2021 is designed for Superintendents, Principals and School Crisis Planning Team Members to facilitate a conversation about school emergency preparedness. Please complete the exercise and share with your faculty and staff as appropriate.
Contact: Robert L. Evans revans@margolishealy.com or (802) 839-0448

Professional Learning - Making the Shift: Foundations of Project-Based Learning (Afternoon Section)

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Instructional Coaches, PreK-12 Teachers
A second section of Making the Shift: Foundations of Project-Based Learning will be offered on Thursday afternoons. This is an introductory-level professional learning opportunity to support educators in developing the knowledge, skills and tools needed to begin shifting their instruction to a Project-Based Learning approach. Participants will take a deep dive into essential elements and phases of Project-Based Learning. Along the way, they will identify components of their current instructional practice that can be integrated into a Project-Based Learning unit. They will also learn new strategies and develop new tools to support authenticity and student-centered learning across contexts. Over a series of five two-hour sessions, participants will collaborate to write a Project-Based Learning plan by adapting a current lesson or unit to align with essential elements and phases of the approach. Participants who attend all sessions and complete a unit plan with accompanying materials will receive an attendance certificate for fifteen hours. There is no cost to participate in the sessions. Registration forms can be found online.
Contact: Kyle Anderson at kyle.anderson@vermont.gov

Save the Date: The 28th Annual Kindergarten Conference - A Focus on Children Ages 4, 5, & 6

Audience: Principals, Curriculum Directors, Teachers
The Kindergarten Conference Planning Committee is thrilled to bring Dr. Peter Gray to Vermont, a native son of Cabot schools and internationally-recognized play expert, to share his research as well as research from across the globe on the critical role of play in children’s lives. His message is particularly relevant during these days in which we find ourselves faced with the necessity of recognizing and addressing children’s holistic well-being as central to their intellectual engagement and school success. Two-hour workshops will follow the keynote and focus on play within the classroom setting, mathematics, outdoor learning, storytelling, problems solving, and media literacy. The conference will take place virtually on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, from 9 a.m. until noon. For more information, please refer to the Save the Date flyer.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov

Book Study: Designing Authentic Performance Tasks and Projects

Audience: Curriculum Directors, K-12 Educators, Instructional Coaches
Join members of the Agency of Education’s Proficiency-Based Learning Team as we engage in a book study of Designing Authentic Performance Tasks and Projects, by McTighe, et. al. The goal of this peer learning community is to develop a shared understanding of the uses and benefits of performance assessment and Project-Based Learning as they relate to equity, student engagement and authentic assessment as part of a Local Comprehensive Assessment System. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the power of performance assessment and come away with practical tools and strategies for implementing performance assessment and Project-Based Learning in their practice. This professional learning opportunity is free of charge, however, participants will need to purchase the book. Sessions will take place on the following Wednesdays from 3 - 4:30 p.m. and it is strongly recommended that participants attend all four sessions: April 28, May 5, May 19 and May 26, 2021. Register for Book Study online to attend.
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

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

Registration Open for 2021 Virtual BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute

Audience: School Teams of Educators, Administrators, Support Staff, Family Members, Community Members
Registration is now open for the 2021 Virtual BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute: Here Comes the Sun: Celebrating and Strengthening Resilience for All! This year’s Summer Institute will take place virtually from June 21-24, 2021 and will provide approximately 23 direct contact hours. We are pleased to offer live online keynote presentations, strands, and workshops that emphasize positive, research-based strategies to support all students. Individual or team-attended strands are intentionally designed to complement afternoon team action planning. Individuals must register as part of a school or SU/SD team. The registration fee is $250 per person.
Contact: Anne Dubie at anne.dubie@uvm.edu

VTmtss Workshop at Carnegie Foundation's April Summit

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Leadership teams
The Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports (VTmtss) Team will be offering a pre-recorded session at the Carnegie Foundation's Summit in April, focusing on how The VTmtss Framework Tools can support school continuous improvement planning and address inequities. Please note the group registration rate and that LEAs may be able to use Title I, Title II or Title IV funds to pay for conference attendance if activities clearly support the statutory intents of the funds and are aligned to local assessed needs.
Contact: Julia Scheier at julia.scheier@vermont.gov

All Learners Leadership Seminar

Audience: PreK-12 Administrators, Mathematics Coaches and Teacher Leaders
In this two-session seminar, Heidi Whipple and John Tapper will share strategies for leaders, drawn from research and experience, to help support all learners to be successful with mathematics. Session 1 will be held on April 7, 2021, from 4-6 p.m. and will focus on the variety of systems that schools use to either encourage or impede equity in mathematics learning. Heidi and John will explore the fundamental principles of the All Learners Network (ALN) that are aimed at closing achievement gaps. Session 2 will be held on April 14, 2021, from 4-6 p.m. and will engage participants in discussions about the variety of pathways administrators use to implement key components of math teaching and learning to support every learner. Register for this free seminar.
Contact Ryan Parkman at ryan.parkman@vermont.gov

Job Openings For Weatherization Workers: Help Spread the Word

Audience: Guidance Counselors
Our weatherization partners are hiring crew members across the state. These entry level, full-time positions offer a good starting wage, excellent benefits, opportunities for advancement, training and more. High school graduates, women, minorities, veterans and persons from diverse cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply. If you’d like someone to visit your school — in person or remotely — to talk about careers in weatherization, please reach out to Geoff Wilcox, Administrator of the State’s Weatherization Assistance Program.
Contact: Geoff Wilcox at geoff.wilcox@vermont.gov or (802) 279-7964

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.

Applications Now Open: Entrepreneurship: Creativity & Innovation – Governor’s Institutes of VT (GIV)

This summer, June 28 - July 2, 2021, help spark your students’ entrepreneurial spirit: tell them to bring their passion and curiosity to GIV’s virtual Entrepreneurship: Creativity & Innovation Immersion. At this one week online deep dive into the creativity and innovation that goes into developing new products and services, students will have the guidance of proven entrepreneurial experts, a chance to interact with Vermont Small Business Development Center Business Advisors, community leaders, plus a network of peers to propel them forward in brainstorming, evaluating and acting on their ideas, planting the seeds for their own network for future success - and having fun all the while. Tuition is “pay-what-you-can", so Vermont families can apply without worrying about money and 11th/12th graders can choose to earn three (transferrable) college credits using their Vermont Dual Enrollment Vouchers.
Contact: Laurel Butler at lbutler@vtsbdc.org or (802) 922-3692

2021 – Business/Entrepreneurship Competitions – Open in All Disciplines

All Vermont Secondary students are eligible to enter the 13th Annual Business Plan/Model Canvas or Business Video Pitch contests now through May 12, 2021. Students have an opportunity to demonstrate independence or team work/collaboration, creativity, innovation, determination, problem solving and communication skills to take their idea from inception to a business model plan or business video pitch. The experience of competing in these contests can be awe-inspiring on a student’s resume, application for employment or post-secondary education. It can easily set a student head and shoulders above their peers, plus the top entries earn cash prizes.
Contact: Laurel Butler at lbutler@vtsbdc.org

"Kids Creating Change for a Better Tomorrow" Poetry Contest

Each year, April is set aside as a military child appreciation month, officially known as Month of the Military Child, to recognize military kids for their sacrifice and bravery on the home front. To show appreciation and celebrate the power of youth, Military Kids Vermont invites you to participate in the “Kids Creating Change For a Better Tomorrow” Poetry Contest. All poetry must incorporate how youth can help change the future. Open to all youth, no military affiliation required. Deadline to participate is April 2, 2021.
Contact: Allison Smith at Allison.smith.2@uvm.edu

Global Citizenship: Engage Virtual Student Conference for Grades 7-12

Go Global VT is excited to present Global Citizenship: Engage April 7 and 8, 2021. This action focused virtual conference for students and teachers in grades 7-12 is designed with the complexities of teaching and learning during a pandemic in mind. With a mix of pre-recorded presentations and live workshops, this free-to-attend virtual conference has something for every learner and every schedule. Whether exploring Action Civics in a workshop with the Youth Lobby, or watching a presentation from Ramiro Davaro-Comas at Dripped on the Road, Global Citizenship: Engage is sure to inspire a sense of wonder at the world and push participants to recognize the potential they hold to be a changemaker. To learn more and register, visit Go Global online.
Contact: Megan Fariel at connect@goglobalvt.org

Chinese Language Learning Opportunity in Summer/Fall 2021

SPIRAL International of Burlington is excited to offer an introductory Chinese language program for Summer 2021. This online language course is perfect for summer programming for schools. Programs are designed for beginners, but students with some prior Chinese language skills can be accommodated as well. The Have Fun with Chinese program is twelve 40-minute classes and is intended as an enrichment course or after-school program. SPIRAL International also offers full-semester, credit-bearing Chinese language and culture classes for schools wanting to add to their world language offerings.
Contact: Sydney at programs@spiralinternational.org

Free Virtual Keynote: STEM Education in Our New World with Dr. Ainissa Ramirez

In this free virtual professional development event hosted by Vermont Afterschool, Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, a scientist and author and self-proclaimed "Science Evangelist," will explore how to re-engage young people with STEM in this brave new world. She will share why all citizens need to know STEM, and highlight the key STEM skills that citizens of the 21st century will need. She will also discuss her path in science and reflect on potential new practices in STEM education for the future. All are welcome including STEM enthusiasts, educators from all walks of life, out-of-school time professionals, and anyone interested in helping our youth learn the skills they need for the future. Thursday, March 25, 2021 from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pre-register for the event online.
Contact: Nicole Miller at info@vermontafterschool.org or (802) 448-3464.

Professional Development: Fundations® K-3

Registration is open for Fundations Levels K-3, Wilson Language Training® workshops 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. These four online workshops provide a practical application of reading research that will prepare teachers to teach Fundations Levels K-3 in Tiers 1 and 2. Level K is presented on March 3, 2021; Level 1 on April 7, 2021; Level 2 on April 27, 2021; and Level 3 on May 7, 2021. Registration due 1-2 weeks before each workshop.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Partner with UP for Learning on Recovery

Trying to figure out what education recovery will look like at your school next year? UP for Learning is poised to partner with your recovery team as you navigate the four Phases outlined in the Agency of Education’s Recovery Guidance plan in order “to mitigate the impact of this pandemic on the academic, social, and emotional well-being of our students.” UP will partner with you to center youth voice and youth-adult partnership to the planning work following the steps of Youth Participatory Action Research process. If you are interested in embarking on a partnership to move forward, please contact Lindsey Halman.
Contact: Lindsey Halman at lindsey@upforlearning.org or (802) 598-3445

2021 Vermont Literacy Conference

Registration is now open for the 2021 Vermont Literacy Conference August 2, 3 and 4, 2021. Details about our two Keynote speakers; Corneilus Minor & Jennifer Saravello, the ten strands and the seven Hot Topics are available on the conference website. This promises to be a provocative conference for teachers and administrators alike. The theme JOY AND URGENCY: Addressing Equity while Inspiring Learners K-12 will be pertinent as we prepare for the 2021-22 school year.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

Umatter Suicide Prevention Awareness Overview Webinar

On April 14, 2021, offered by Vermont Suicide Prevention Center under funding from the Vermont Department of Mental Health, this 75-minute webinar is not a training on assessment tools and is specifically designed for those who may not have any experience with talking about suicide and those who would like a refresher on this content.The information presented is focused on how to begin the process of becoming a gatekeeper and build upon resiliency resources in your community and workplace.
Contact: Catherine Diduk at info@healthandlearning.org

Subscribe Online

The field memo has time-sensitive and relevant information designed for students, teachers, and staff. The agency encourages principals, headmasters, and superintendents to share the memo with their education community. Additionally, individuals can subscribe or unsubscribe online.

Weekly Field Memo Submission Guidelines


Email Mary.Peterson@vermont.gov, Digital Communications Specialist

Contact Us

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
1 National Life Drive, Davis 5
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

Web and Document Accessibility Policy​
Public Records Requests

Phone: (802) 828-1130 | Fax: (802) 828-6430
Staff Directory | Division Phone Numbers







Connect with Us

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Instagram icon
Google+ icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon