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 16, Issue 1

05 January 2022

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.

Updated Isolation and Quarantine Guidance

Last week, Vermont Department of Health has updated isolation and quarantine guidance for those who test positive for COVID-19 and those who are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Schools should follow Vermont’s new guidance. It is likely the CDC will make additional updates to various recommendations in the coming week. Schools should follow the Health Department guidance.
Contact: AOE COVID-19 Response Team at AOE.COVID19Testing@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.

Disposal of Electronic Nicotine Device Systems

Audience: Principals, School Nurses, Building Management and Custodial Staff, Counselors
The Agency of Natural Resources: Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Waste Management and Prevention Division, has established and published best practices for disposing of Electronic Nicotine Device Systems (ENDS) also known as electronic vapor products (EVP) or simply “vapes.” Given the prevalence of youth vape use, it is possible that schools may find themselves in possession of EVPs due to confiscating them from students. These devices are considered hazardous waste and should be temporarily stored and then disposed of properly to avoid risk or injury to those handling them. Please review this document and share with any staff it with whom it may apply. In particular, please note the recommendations regarding bagging the devices individually and storing them in dedicated containers prior to disposing.
Contact: Beth Keister at beth.keister@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: January Resources to Welcome the New Year

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Vermont Agency of Education has updated our Vermont PBS webpage for January 2022. This month, strengthen students’ media literacy skills with activities and resources to help students think critically, communicate effectively and engage as active citizens. Other topics of interest include finding common ground through guided discussion, free learning games and podcasts, understanding race and racism and examining identity. We will continue to update 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

2021 Superintendents Assurances Survey – Reminder – Past Due

Audience: Superintendents
A friendly reminder for districts that have not yet completed the 2021 Superintendents Assurances Survey to the Agency of Education: please submit as soon as possible. The due date was Nov. 12, 2021. If you need a copy of the 2020 Survey Results, please contact Allison Keating.
Contact: Allison Keating at allison.keating@vermont.gov

January Special Education Rule Changes Topic: Adverse Effect

Audience: Principals, Superintendents, Curriculum Coordinators, Special Ed Administrators and Educators
To support the implementation of Act 173, the Special Education and Early Childhood Special Education staff will be continuing to provide ongoing professional development around the specific rule changes, what they mean for school systems, and how they will/should be supported at the state level and locally. To learn more and access the released content, please visit our Rule Changes webpage and join in the virtual meeting on Jan. 10, 2022, from 9-11:30 a.m.
Contact: Chris Kane at christopher.kane@vermont.gov

Public Comment Period: Vermont School Counseling Framework

Audience: Superintendents, Principals/CTE Directors, School Counselors, School-Based Clinicians, Work-Based Learning Coordinators, Flexible Pathways Coordinators, Special Education Administrators, General Public
The Agency of Education (AOE) and the Vermont School Counselor Association (VTSCA) are requesting public comments on the proposed “Vermont School Counseling Framework.” The framework was developed by VTSCA. Comments will be used to inform modifications to the framework which will then be considered for adoption by the AOE. Commenters are directed to this form to submit comments. The comment period is open from Dec. 15, 2021, to Jan. 15, 2022.
Contact: Jay Ramsey at jay.ramsey@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.

All Learners Network: Math for All Learners

On Jan. 19 and Jan. 20, 2022, Chris Farnham and Ashley Marlow will be facilitating the foundational workshop, Math for All Learners. These workshops are on the principles of teaching for equity and the closing of achievement gaps. They are also a good introduction to the other workshops offered by the All Learners Network. Visit the event webpage to register: Registration for Day 1Registration for Day 2.
Contact: TJ Jemison at communicationsdirector@alllearnersnetwork.com

Youth-Adult Partnership Webinar Series Starting Jan. 10, 2022

Kick-off the new year with UP for Learning as we explore the power of Youth-Adult partnership in reimagining education. With the shift in our educational landscape, it is critical that we create opportunities to meet the needs of all learners. In this 4-part webinar series, we will build understanding and support for youth and adults working together as full partners in learning and change. This series offers means to introduce, assess, create action plans and monitor changes in the school culture over time, embedding partnership into the fabric of the educational/organizational structure.
Contact: Sarah Popowicz at sarah@upforlearning.org

VSAC Counselors Available to Assist with the FAFSA

Every Friday in January, VSAC is offering one-on-one Zoom meetings to help students and families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 2022-2023 financial aid deadlines are approaching. Sign up for a free, one-hour session today.
Contact: Chris Barry at barry@vsac.org

Umatter® for Schools: Virtual Youth Suicide Prevention Training

Umatter for Schools is a 6-Week Virtual Training March 2 – April 13, 2022. This newly designed online training consists of meetings and coursework over six weeks. The Umatter® for Schools training is a national best practice program for suicide prevention and was developed by the Center for Health and Learning. The training has routinely been offered to school staff in grades 7-1; this training will also include K-6 specific content.
Contact: Catherine Diduk at info@healthandlearning.org

Annual Student Holocaust Education Competition

This school year has been challenging in so many ways. During difficult times, stories of Holocaust survivors inspire with lessons of hope and resilience. This school year, the Vermont Holocaust Memorial asks students to reflect on the following prompt using poetry, prose, art or film to answer the question: How does the story of one Holocaust survivor inspire you or give you hope in the face of today’s challenges? Cash prizes will be awarded. Visit the 2021-2022 Student Contest page for guidelines. Deadline for submissions is March 7, 2022.
Contact: Debora Steinerman at info@holocaustmemorial-vt.org

Middle Grade Conference: Equitable Learning for Young Adolescents

The 2022 Middle Grades Conference will be fully online Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The conference showcases middle grades practitioners, teacher educators and researchers who are focusing on equitable learning for young adolescents. The featured keynote will be “Unconditional Positive Regard: A Powerful Equity Stance” by Alex Shevrin Venet, author of Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education. This year’s conference is free and has been shortened to acknowledge that educators are working overtime while still in a pandemic. Please visit the conference page to register.
Contact: James Nagle at jnagle2@smcvt.edu

Patterns of Strengths and Weaknesses (PSW) in Action

The Vermont Association of School Psychologists is hosting a one-day conference on the use of Patterns of Strengths and Weaknesses (PSW) in anticipation of the special education rule changes. The conference will cover the Cattell–Horn–Carrol theory, PSW models including strengths and limitations, and how to use PSW for eligibility decisions. There are in-person and virtual registration options. The conference will be Jan. 28, 2022, from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Castleton University or with the distance learning option. You can register on the event webpage or go to the Vermont Association of School Psychologists to learn more. 
Contact: Shannon Newell at vtschoolpsych@gmail.com

Professional Learning: Orton-Gillingham Update & Refresh

Registration is open for Orton-Gillingham Update & Refresh, a professional learning workshop by the Stern Center for Language and Learning beginning on Feb. 9, 2022. This workshop is designed to review and update your knowledge of the Orton-Gillingham (OG) Approach, if you have taken an OG course, especially through the Stern Center before Summer 2020. This three-hour workshop will refresh your knowledge of the OG approach and address several important updates, such as changes to the OG lesson plan. Visit the course page to register.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at slarkspur@sterncenter.org

Professional Learning: Literacy/Reading Comprehension Virtual

Registration is open for Doug Fisher: Skill, Will, & Thrill: Making Sense of Reading Instruction, Recent Reports on Popular Programs, and Comprehensive Approaches for Student Success. This virtual session with renowned expert, Doug Fisher, is March 10, 2022, from 9 a.m.-noon. Included (and sent to participants upon registration) is his book Fisher, Frey, Law: Comprehension: The Skill, Will and Thrill of Reading. Doug proposes a new, comprehensive model of reading instruction that goes beyond teaching skills to fostering engagement and motivation. There will be time to discuss recent education reports on the efficacy of popular reading programs and a question and answer section.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

Vermont Association of Career Technical Education Directors Request for Proposal Teacher Preparation Proposal

The Vermont Association of Career Technical Education Directors (VACTED) oversees the operation of the Vermont Career and Technical Teacher Education Program. This program, in accordance with state educator licensing regulations, prepares apprentice teachers to earn their Level 1 License. VACTED is requesting proposals (RFP) to operate the Vermont Career and Technical Teacher Education Program. VACTED intends to award the contract to a qualified bidder by March 31, 2022, and for the selected party to begin running the program on July 1, 2022. Questions and to request a copy of the RFP can be sent to Jason Gingold by Jan. 28. 2022.
Contact: Jason Gingold at jgingold@bsdvt.org or 802-864-8426

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

Saint Michael’s College is offering 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 undergraduates as well as a stand-alone licensure and master’s degree program for those seeking a career change. Learning opportunities include multiple field placements, diverse opportunities to explore progressive educational practices, a rigorous course sequence and a collaborative cohort model. The program culminates in a transformative capstone experience. The MAT offers initial licensure tracks in art, elementary, middle, secondary and special education with the option of pursuing additional endorsements (such as early childhood education). For licensed teachers, the MAT offers additional endorsements in special education and English language learners (ELL). For more information, please see the Saint Michael’s College website.
Contact: Amy Saks Pavese at asakspavese@smcvt.edu or (802) 654-2826 or Claudine Bedell at cbedell@smcvt.edu or (802) 654-2741.

Two-day Mental Health & Trauma Informed Care Training

Registration ends Feb. 27, 2022, for this free training sponsored by the Masonic Grand Lodge of Vermont on March 22-23, 2022, at the Rutland Elks Lodge. 8:30 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. each day. The program is designed to help educators and leaders become more effective in recognizing and understanding mental health concerns present in their students and for supporting staff. Participants will define strategies and develop tools to use to create a climate of acceptance, understanding and change for those who are dealing with trauma and mental health concerns. Resources will be provided. Participation is limited to 40 attendees and lodging is not included. For more information or to register contact Casey Boyle-Eldridge.
Contact: Casey Boyle-Eldridge at casey@cbeeducationalservices.org

Spring Professional Development Course: Tea Gardens & Mindfulness for Educators

Enroll in the Mindfulness to Enhance Science Observation Skills (Spring Tea Project Course). This course is designed for educators who are passionate about science routines for empowerment and mindfulness routines for social, emotional learning (SEL). This course is an immersive experience of establishing a perennial herb garden from seed, as well as science mindfulness practice skills. Depart with a curriculum designed to approach these topics in the classroom through theory and practice. Adapted for PreK-8th grade with personal instruction to customize your classroom plan. Learn more about The Tea Project and visit the registration page to register.
Contact: Angie Barger at luna-root@gmail.com or (802) 595-2512

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning is Excited to Present: VTmtss Networks for Excellence in Schools (NEXIS) Offerings – Winter 2022

After a successful launch this fall with over 12 districts and 20 schools participating, our VTmtss NEXIS offerings will continue in the Winter of 2022 with both Ignite - Level 1 and Engage - Level 2 opportunities. This experience will maintain the essential qualities that are the cornerstone of our networked improvement community work such as collaborative goal setting and framing through the lens of improvement science theory, however, new and past participants can customize their experience by choosing the level of support they need. All sessions will meet virtually on Zoom from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Registration, dates and more details can be found on the VTmtss NEXIS Offerings page.
Contact: Mary Grace at info@pllvt.org or (802) 828-0521

Vermont Science Olympiad – High School Teams Wanted

The University of Vermont will be hosting the Vermont Science Olympiad on Saturday, April 2, 2022, and we are looking for teams to join us for this exciting day of science competition. Science Olympiad functions much like a sports team, requiring preparation, commitment, coaching and practice. Each school-based team is allowed to bring up to 15 students in grades 9-12 who cross-train for a variety of events in their skill set (schools may have more than one team). Please email Lauren Traister and let us know if you are interested in forming a team at your school so we can help you get started. We are hoping to increase the number of high schools that participate in this year’s Science Olympiad – so please spread the word to those who may be interested. We will be holding a virtual meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, at 3:30 p.m. for any interested schools.
Contact: Lauren Traister at Lauren.Traister@uvm.edu

For Elementary Educators: Embedding Social Emotional Learning into Daily Practice

The Vermont Education Quality Standards state that Vermont elementary schools must ensure all students have access to health curriculum and instruction. Classroom teachers and other elementary specialists (physical education, school counselors, school nurses, etc.) are often tasked to teach K-6 health without the training or content expertise in health-related topics. The Vermont Higher Education Collaborative (VT-HEC) is offering a two-part virtual workshop series on Jan. 19 and Feb. 15, 2022, with Lance Metayer that will focus on Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Teaching SEL promotes resilience, trust and safety; builds students’ skills and confidence; and increases academic performance. This series will provide educators with practical skills and information to begin immediately implementing SEL strategies within their classrooms.
Contact Julie Medose at info@vthec.org or (802) 498-3350

Language and Literacy: Foundations for Intervention

The Language and Literacy: Foundations for Intervention course is for educators seeking an introduction to the science of foundational literacy acquisition and implications for effective instruction. This course will focus on providing future special educators and interventionists with a grounding in literacy and language research and pedagogy. This course will also be applicable to administrators and general education teachers of reading. For as we will learn together, scholars of any age master the same set of skills to become fluent readers. What varies is the amount of high-quality guided practice they need to reach fluency. This 3-credit course offered through Castleton University's Center for Schools is taught by Windsor Central Supervisory Union reading specialist, Julie Brown MS Ed. Visit the course page for registration.
Contact: Emily Meloon at emeloon@wcsu.net

Register now: Planning for Change in Your School or District

Great Schools Partnership has designed a 4-part virtual series to help teams of three to seven participants envision, design for, and begin to enact the steps necessary to make specific and meaningful improvements. This is not broad strategic planning; this is a targeted movement on a specific goal each team has identified that is essential to the work of educating all students. The series runs Feb. 9, 2022, to April 6, 2022 and registration is open now. Registration deadline is Jan. 26, 2022.
Contact Reed Dyer at rdyer@greatschoolspartnership.org

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Secretary Daniel M. French
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Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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