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Volume 16, Issue 10

March 9, 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.

Reminder: Post-Infection and Post-Exposure Masking Recommendations

In Memo: Updated COVID-19 Recommendations and Considerations, schools were notified of the upcoming transition from school-specific recommendations to general health guidance for all Vermonters effective March 14, 2022. Some schools/SUs, in anticipation of that transition or due to 80% vaccination status have moved their campus to a mask-optional status. As schools make these transitions, please keep in mind that at this time the Vermont Department of Health continues to recommend that individuals should wear a mask through day 10 post-COVID-19 infection or if they were identified as a close contact through day 10, including at school.
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.

Request for External Organization Profiles

Audience: Non-Profit Organizations
Non-profit organizations that operate as a nonprofit in good standing in Vermont and have a minimum of five years of experience operating or delivering services to or within afterschool or summer programs in Vermont are invited to submit an external organization profile as required by federal statute under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Fully completed profiles due Friday, April 1, 2022, at 4:30 p.m. will result in inclusion on a list of organizations to be posted on the AOE’s 21st Century Community Learning Center’s page. Fill out the External Organization Profile webform to complete the very brief profile.
Contacts: Emanuel Betz at emanuel.betz@vermont.gov

Award Opportunity: Vermont Lottery Educate Innovate Initiative

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Technology Directors, Curriculum Directors, Educators, Librarians
Through a partnership with the Vermont Lottery, AOE announces the 2022 round of a competitive award program that seeks to further school education technology programs. Proposals should showcase a practical and deliberate use of technology for increasing student engagement and to support student-centered learning. This program aims to support educators from all content areas to create connections between students and curriculum content using technology. Two schools will receive awards of $15,000 each. The deadline to apply is April 4, 2022. Obtain an award application on our Education Technology webpage.
Contact: Lisa Helme at lisa.helme@vermont.gov

Peer Review Panelists Wanted

Audience: Currently Licensed Vermont Educators
The Agency of Education’s Peer Review Program needs licensed, Level II educators to serve as panelists. Panelists receive $125 per interview. The work of a panelist involves evaluating a candidate’s portfolio (approximately 2 - 4 hours) and participating in the interview process (approximately 1 - 2 hours). Interviews are online and scheduled based on your convenience. If you are interested, complete the online Small Scale Education Contract Survey by March 15, 2022. The areas of greatest need for panelists are work-based learning coordinator, art and school social worker, but anyone is welcome to submit if interested.
Contact: Ryan McCormick at Ryan.McCormick@vermont.gov

Follow Up on Early MTSS and VTmtss Needs and Networking: Vignette

Audience: Administrators, General and Special Educators, Support Staff
Join us on March 14, 2022, from 9-10:30 a.m. for an interactive Office Hour to discuss approaches for using a tiered system of supports. To help frame this discussion, we will use this vignette describing one young student’s struggles. For each paragraph of the vignette, we will have opportunities to explore how this process could vary depending on resources and standards of practice in any district as well as the different outcomes that could occur depending on decisions made. The discussion will then be expanded to consider the implications and possible responses to other situations that schools face as they identify student needs and develop supports, connections to Act 173, and the new special education rules. Questions and comments that may be useful in preparing for our conversation may be sent to Thomas.Faris@vermont.gov by March 10, 2022.
Contact: Thomas Faris at Thomas.Faris@vermont.gov

2022 Free and Reduced Eligibility Report

Audience: All
AOE Child Nutrition Programs has just released the 2022 Free and Reduced Eligibility Report. This report is used as a measure of the financial need of a community. It is based on free and reduced price meal eligibility data reported by School Food Authorities (SFAs), as of the last operating day of October. In School Year 20-21 and 21-22, meals have been free to all students, however, SFAs have continued to collect meal applications. SFAs have also carried over eligibility from prior years for students who remain enrolled if no new application was submitted by the household. Note: This report should not be confused with free and reduced eligibility data collected as part of the October 1 child count/student census/DC06 Fall ADM Official, available on the Vermont Education Dashboard. The two collections use different dates and may differ as a result.
Contact: Ailynne Adams at ailynne.adams@vermont.gov

BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute Registration is Open!

Audience: School Teams, SU/SD Leadership Teams, Families, Students, Community Stakeholders
The BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute provides opportunities for school teams of educators, caregivers/family members, students and community stakeholders to share and learn strategies for improving and strengthening the systems, data and practices within Vermont’s multi-tiered system of supports (VTmtss). The theme this year is: “Reclaiming our Passion for Education: Ensuring Safe and Nurturing Environments for our Students and Ourselves.” The Institute will be held June 27-30, 2022, in-person, at the Killington Grand Resort Hotel. Please check out the BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute website for full strand and workshop descriptions, keynotes, special activities and the link to register. We expect this event will fill up quickly, so please register early to guarantee your first choice of strand and workshop! This year’s institute is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of you and your school teams in a retreat-like experience. We acknowledge the challenges of the last couple of years and have embedded opportunities for self-reflection, experiential learning and various wellness experiences. In addition to a week of high-quality professional learning, participants will have several options to collaborate and share best practices with schools across the state. You and your school teams will find time to play, laugh and celebrate each other and the work you do every day to support your students. Contact Anne Dubie at Anne.Dubie@uvm.edu with questions. This AOE-sponsored event is funded in part through a contract and supports 16 V.S.A. §2969(c) and 16 V.S.A. §2969(d), 16 V.S.A. §2969, as enacted.
Contact: Meg Porcella at Meg.Porcella@vermont.gov

Vermont PBS: March Resources to Celebrate Women’s History Month

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Vermont Agency of Education has updated our Vermont PBS webpage for March 2022. Celebrate Women’s History Month with resources from PBS Learning Media and VPR. Other topics of interest include Holocaust remembrance collections, exploring the outdoors, middle school math and young adult literature. 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


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.

Best Practices in Secondary Math Teaching

Join other dynamic Vermont high school math educators for a week-long workshop from July 25 to July 29, 2022, at the Langevin House on Vermont Technical College’s beautiful Randolph campus. Topics will include using formative assessment effectively, crafting instructional strategies to engage students fully, sharing ideas for building a rich learning environment and utilizing performance-based assessment throughout the course. Visit the Essential Math for College & Careers webpage for more information.
Contact: Anita Long at long@vsac.org

Business/Entrepreneurship Competitions – For Secondary Students

All Vermont Secondary students in any discipline can enter the 14th Annual Business Plan/Model Canvas or Business Video Pitch contests now through May 2, 2022. Students have a chance to demonstrate independence or teamwork/collaboration, creativity, innovation, 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! Details can be found on the Student Business/Entrepreneurship 2022 Competitions flyer.
Contact: Laurel Butler at lbutler@vtsbdc.org or (802) 922-3692

Applications Open for AgroTek Innovation Academies

This new program is a free, week-long summer science opportunity at UVM for teens, offered by UVM College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and UVM Extension/4-H. Anyone currently in Grade 7-12 and with an interest in biotechnology is encouraged to apply, especially youths from groups underrepresented in agriculture and science. Two academies - "Culturing Cells for Healthier Soils" and "Shifting the Waste to Value Paradigm" - will be held concurrently on the University of Vermont (UVM) campus from June 26 to July 1, 2022, including lab time, field trips and mentoring. Participants will return to campus on August 5, 2022, for an Innovation Slam, a pitch-style competition to share outreach projects demonstrating what they learned. Applications are due by April 1, 2022. Visit the UVM Extension 4-H and Youth website to learn more and to apply.
Contact: Sarah Kleinman at sarah.kleinman@uvm.edu

All Learners Network: PreK Math Workshop

The All Learners Network: PreK Math Workshop will be held over two sessions, virtually, on Zoom. PreK Session 1 will take place on March 21, 2022, and PreK Session 2 will take place on March 22, 2022, from 4-7 p.m. This workshop is designed for teachers, special educators and math specialists who are interested in identifying and creating meaningful learning opportunities for mathematics in Preschool and PreK settings. This workshop is funded and supported by the Vermont Agency of Education and is free for participants.
Contact: TJ Jemison at communicationsdirector@alllearnersnetwork.com

Professional Learning: Beginning Teacher Cohort Virtual Series 2022-23

Registration is open for Dr. Tina Boogren: Embarking on Your First Years. This cohort meets after school from 3:15-4:45 p.m. once a month. Supporting beginning teachers is crucial for both retention and developing expertise in relation to student achievement. In these interactive virtual sessions, participants discover practical strategies to manage classrooms, increase student achievement, build strong relationships and how to tend to their own wellness and self-care needs to avoid burnout and early career attrition. Her book, "The Beginning Teacher's Field Guide: Embarking on Your First Years" is included. Save slots now.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at lauren@cvedcvt.org or (802) 497-1642

Dairy Grant Opportunity for School Meals 

New England Dairy is pleased to announce a funding opportunity from New England Dairy Farmers to eligible schools in Vermont to support food service needs related to expanding summer or school meal programs or serving new dairy menu items like smoothies or hot chocolate milk. New for 2022: schools can apply for our turn-key smoothie kit. Deadline to apply: March 31, 2022. Visit our school meals webpage for more details.
Contact: Jill Hussels at jhussels@NewEnglandDairy.com

Vermont Family Network Free Workshop: “The Vermont Assistive Technology Program: An Overview and Feature on Sensory Tools” on March 17, 2022, from 10-11 a.m. 

The Vermont Assistive Technology Program will present an overview of what assistive technology (AT) is, their core services, how to access services, and will demonstrate examples of assistive technology, free to borrow from their lending library. Presenters from VATP are: Phillip Seiler, Program Director and Quinby McLellan, AT Specialist. If you are unable to attend, please register anyway and you will receive an email with a link to the recording which you can watch on your own time. Register at The Vermont Assistive Technology Program: An Overview and Feature on Sensory Tools webpage.
Contact: Rachel Boyers at rachel.boyers@vtfn.org

Computer Science Courses For Educators at the University of Vermont

The Departments of Education and Computer Science at the University of Vermont will offer two computer science courses for educators that fulfill Vermont Agency of Education endorsement standards for Computer Science Licensure in Grades 7-12. The courses will be EDCI 380 OL2 Interactive Web Design for Educators – 3 Credits - May 23-July 1, 2022, by Robert Erickson – Robert.Erickson@uvm.edu and EDCI 380 OL3 Python Programming for Educators – 3 Credits – June 20–July 1, 2022 by Jackie Horton – Jackie.Horton@uvm.edu. For more information about the CS courses and registration requirements, please see our informational flyer: CSE Course Information.
Contact: Regina Toolin at rtoolin@uvm.edu

Collaborative Strategies for Designing a Summer Youth Employment Program Workshop

This workshop is ideal for work-based learning coordinators, school counselors, workforce development workers and others who work with youth in similar capacities. We will explore how work-based learning coordinators and workforce development partners can blend their services to develop effective summer employment programs for in school and out of school youth. Presenters include Jennifer Isham, Vermont Dept. of Labor; DJ Masi, Creative Workforce Solutions & HireAbility Vermont; Jude Mathison, JOBS program of Lamoille Restorative Center; and Jen Olson, Work-Based Learning Coordinator at Hazen Union High School. Date is April 7, 2022 3:30-5:30 p.m., virtually on Zoom. Visit the VTHEC Events Calendar webpage to learn more. 
Contact Kim McKellar at kim.mckellar@vthec.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.

Questions? Email Nichole Barnes at nichole.barnes@vermont.gov.