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Volume 16, Issue 11

March 16, 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: School Vaccine Incentive Program

Vermont public and independent schools are eligible to earn cash for meeting vaccination thresholds. Schools must be able to certify that they have met a vaccination threshold and that student input will be sought and considered when planning the use of these otherwise unrestricted funds. The application deadline is April 1, 2022. See the program overview for more information.
Contact: AOE COVID-19 Response Team at

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.

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 on-demand with the option of educators completing the sessions at their own pace from March 28 to April 30, 2022. Educators can earn up to seven hours in professional development training and credit will also be given for partial completion. Many educators indicated that they were unable to attend this training when it was offered in 2021 due to the pandemic. In response to educator requests, we are offering this training one last time. Please complete the financial literacy class registration to participate in this professional development opportunity. This training is made possible by a grant from the Northfield Savings Bank Foundation.
Contacts: Martha Deiss at or John Pelletier at

Self-Regulated Strategy Development Study: An Opportunity to Improve Writing Outcomes in Grades 3–5

Audience: Elementary Administrators, Curriculum Directors, and Teachers
The Vermont Agency of Education is reaching out to determine the level of interest among schools for participation in the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) Study. This study is seeking elementary schools with populations of approximately 50% FRL or higher, as well as those demonstrating low/declining ELA proficiency scores, to scale key components of established evidence-based practices for teaching writing in grades three through five. The study will provide the necessary professional learning opportunities that enable teachers to improve literacy outcomes as described in Act 28 and also enhance the effectiveness of services for students who require additional support as defined in Act 173. There will be no costs incurred by schools. Each participating school will receive a stipend of $7,500. The expectation is that the funds will cover costs for stipends for teachers and substitutes, and leave excess for schools to use according to their needs. Each school will receive free books ($130 worth per teacher), free professional development (valued at $10,000 per school), and free writing scoring data (valued at $20,000 per school). This project is being conducted by Providence College, thinkSRSD and American Institutes for Research (AIR). The SRSD Study is funded by the Department of Education’s Education Innovation and Research.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at

Registration Open - 2022 Kindergarten Conference - It’s Time to Play! Nurturing Each and Every Child’s Curiosity, Learning, and Well-Being

Audience: Elementary Administrators, Curriculum Directors, and Teachers
The 2022 Kindergarten Conference will open with stories from several Vermont schools where teachers and administrators offer children ample time and meaningful opportunities to learn and grow across all domains - cognitive, emotional, social and physical - through play. Workshops will focus on areas of interest that were identified through a fall survey of early educators. In the morning, all workshops will be virtual while in the afternoon face-to-face workshops will be taking place around the state. Space is limited as a result of safety precautions due to COVID-19, so register early. The fee for educators is $100 and $60 for students. Find additional information on the kindergarten conference registration page.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at

2023 Vermont Teacher of the Year Nominations Open through March 17, 2022

Audience: All
Did a colleague in your building differentiate herself during the pandemic? Did a specific teacher make you or your child feel more connected? Is there a teacher who you think has never received acknowledgment for his innovation in the classroom? Now is your chance to celebrate that great work by nominating an educator as the Vermont Teacher of the Year. Any currently practicing, licensed teacher in Vermont is eligible for nomination. The application only takes a couple of minutes to complete, but hurry, as nominations close on March 17, 2022.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at

New Cybersecurity Resources for Districts and Schools

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Education Technology Directors, IT Managers
Concern regarding cyberattacks on school network systems is growing nationwide within the educational community. As a follow-up to the data privacy and cybersecurity workshops facilitated by AOE in October, new resources are now available. The first resource, School Cybersecurity, provides information on a framework tool developed by the National Institute of Science and Technology to assess your cybersecurity risk management and related stakeholder communications. A second resource, Cybersecurity Breach Planning Rubric, is a self-assessment tool to identify areas of strength, as well as areas requiring additional work. These resources are located on AOE’s Education Technology web page.
Contact: Lisa Helme at

AOE Seeking Public Comment on Vermont’s FFY22 IDEA Part B Application

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Special Education Administrators, Educators, General Public
The Agency of Education is seeking comments from the public on the draft FFY22 IDEA Part B Application. The grant application provides assurances that Vermont has policies and procedures in place as required by Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Further, Part B Interactive Spreadsheet provides an overview of how federal funds will be allocated for State Education Agency leadership, oversight and support, in addition to the total award sought for the State’s Local Education Agencies. Comments should be submitted to with the Subject header – IDEA Part B Public Comment. As required, the Agency of Education will be accepting public comments for 30 days from March 16 through April 16, 2022.
Contact: Jacqui Kelleher at

Rule Change: New Tools, Materials, Resources in Response to Needs Assessment

Audience: Administrators, General and Special Educators, Support Staff
Please join the AOE Special Education Team on March 28, 2022, from 9-10:30 a.m. for an interactive Office Hour. We will be reviewing and/or forecasting changes made to guidance materials based on the feedback we have received through the Office Hour sessions and survey results. Questions and comments that may be useful in preparing for our conversation may be sent to Chris Kane.
Contact: Chris Kane at

41st Annual Vermont Congressional Art Competition

Audience: All
U.S. Congressman Peter Welch is pleased to announce the 41st Annual Vermont Congressional Art Competition for high school students. Due to COVID-19, this year’s competition and awards ceremony will be virtual. The winning artwork from Vermont, along with winning entries from all participating districts across the country, will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol. A selection of Vermont student artwork will also be exhibited in a virtual gallery. Information about the competition and how to submit artwork is available on Congressman Welch’s website. The submission deadline is Sunday, April 17, 2022.
Contact: Rebecca Ellis at or (802) 318-3035

Outstanding Teachers’ Day

Audience: All
Vermont’s 41st Annual Outstanding Teachers' Day event will take place on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at 4:30 p.m. The University of Vermont’s (UVM) College of Education and Social Services, together with Vermont’s supervisory unions and school districts, the Vermont Agency of Education and the Vermont National Education Association, will join to honor the accomplishments of our state’s outstanding educators. Secretary French will also introduce and recognize the 2022 Vermont Teacher of the Year at this event. UVM will host this virtual event and a live stream link will be available on the Outstanding Teachers’ Day web page.
Contact: Patrick Halladay at or Doug Gilman at

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 or Heather Duhamel at

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.

Vermont Family Network 2022 Conference

The Vermont Family Network's 2002 Conference, titled “Wrightslaw Special Education and Advocacy”, will be on April 18, 2022, from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. This year, Pete Wright, Esq. from Wrightslaw will present on “Special Education Law and Advocacy.” This full-day training program is designed to meet the needs of parents, educators, health care providers, advocates and attorneys. It will focus on Special Education Law, Rights and Responsibilities, Tests amd Measurements to Measure Progress and Regression, SMART Individual Education Plans (IEPs), and Introduction to Tactics and Strategies for Effective Advocacy. Please visit the 2022 Annual Conference page for more details including a full agenda and link to register.
Contact: Rachel Boyers at

Teen Science Cafes Return to In-Person

Starting on Saturday, March 19, 2022, the University of Vermont Extension will be, once again, offering in-person Teen Science Cafes. Teen Science Cafés are informal, interactive programs that promote exploration, curiosity and life-long learning about current and cutting-edge ideas in science and technology. Teens engage in lively discussion and hands-on learning with experts. The cafes are free and organized by teens for teens and are open to youth in grades 7-12. Check out our Spring Schedule! Note: We will also continue to offer virtual cafes. All virtual sessions are recorded for asynchronous at-home learning. You can view recordings on our YouTube channel.
Contact: Lauren Traister at or 802-888-4972 x 402

It's Written in the Stars - Astronomy Institute

This summer, give your high school student the chance to explore the stars, tell them to apply to the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont's Astronomy Institute! At this week-long residential program, students will combine art, math and physics to conduct hands-on research into the mysteries of space. They’ll use Vermont’s most powerful telescopes and the guidance of nationally recognized scientists to discover how to turn their passion for astronomy into a career - and have fun doing it. Applications are open until April 3, 2022, and tuition starts at just $20. Students can learn more and apply today on the Astronomy Institute webpage.
Contact: Zoe Sheppard at

Child Care Business Administration Course (3 Credits)

Vermont Higher Education Collaborative, in partnership with Let's Grow Kids, is offering this hands-on, 3-credit course (undergraduate or graduate level), designed for professionals interested in early child care administration, as well as current and seasoned administrators seeking additional program management training. It will be delivered through four, day-long sessions, plus additional individual online work. Each session is designed to help early childhood providers develop skills, knowledge, resources and tools for effective legal and financial program management. Participants will use their own child care programs to apply what they are learning in this course to develop a business plan, network with other directors, gather resources, examine business strategies and develop techniques to improve business performance. The Childcare Business Administration course begins on March 22, 2022, with the first synchronous session on March 29, 2022. Financial support is available.
Contact: Julie Medose at or 802-498-3350

Umatter Suicide Prevention Awareness Training of Trainers

Suicide is preventable and one of the first steps is to create awareness. Umatter Suicide Prevention Awareness Training of Trainers will help you become equipped to facilitate Umatter Suicide Awareness workshops in your community or place of work. You will gain the skills, knowledge, confidence and materials to bring suicide prevention awareness to your community. You will help others identify signs and symptoms of suicide, risk and protective factors, when and how to refer for more help, and how to access resources. The training involves a 90-minute webinar on April 15, 2022, and a full-day, face-to-face training on May 4, 2022, in Montpelier, Vermont.
Contact: Catherine Diduk at

Champlain Research Experience for Secondary Teachers (CREST) Professional Development Program

CREST is a week-long professional development program from June 27-June 30, 2022, for grade 7-12 teachers conducted at the University of Vermont’s (UVM) Ecosystem Labs and aboard UVM’s new research vessel. Teachers will engage in place-based research about Lake Champlain led by scientists, STEM educators and graduate students. Teachers will gain access to STEM resources, project templates and data applicable to your curriculum and will create place-based projects that integrate diversity and equity principles and proficiencies. Apply online and complete the survey by March 25, 2022, by visiting the CREST 3.0 Application and CREST 3.0 Survey.
Contact: Regina Toolin

Professional Learning: Summer English Language Learners (ELL) Equity Workshop

Registration is open for Classroom Design Supporting Students' Cultural Backgrounds: Co-Planning for Informed ELL Instruction in K-12 Classrooms. This 2-day workshop on August 8-9, 2022, at the Hampton Conference Center in Colchester, will incorporate Andrea Honigsfeld's lessons around Collaboration and Co-Teaching, designed for classroom and ELL teachers alike. The focus is on accommodating the needs of ELL students while considering their cultural backgrounds and other important factors for creating culturally-sensitive classroom environments. Facilitated by Kayla Johnson, Marina Brzostoski and Christine Sealey, EWSD ELL Teachers. More info online on the workshop webpage.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at or (802) 497-1642

All Learners Network: Math Talk Podcast

In the latest All Learners Network Math Talk podcast, Dr. John Tapper and TJ Jemison talk to author Sue O'Connell about the connection between math and children's literature. Listen to any of the 13 episodes for Season 2.
Contact: TJ Jemison at

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning is Excited to Present: An Educational Support Team WORKshop

One of the most essential tools used in the implementation of Vermont Multi-tiered System of Support (VTmtss) is the Educational Support Team (EST) referral form. EST forms not only facilitate the referral process but also provide helpful guidance to educators seeking support for their students. Participants can come with forms that are in various stages of development ranging from in progress to fully developed. In addition, it is important to note this is a WORKshop focused on leveraging the collaboration of many districts' hard work, experience and perspectives, so be prepared to roll up your sleeves! There is no one correct form, but we will all work together with the aim of creating the best fitting form and process for your schools. Prepare to go in-depth on the reasons why we make these forms (to support VTmtss) and for who (our students)! Registration and more details can be found on the EST WORKshop page.
Contact: Mary Grace at or (802) 828-0521

Professional Learning: Fundations® Workshops

Registration is open for Fundations® Workshops, offered this spring. These professional learning courses are offered through the Stern Center for Language and Learning. Fundations is a multisensory and systematic phonics, spelling and handwriting program that benefits all K-3 students. It makes learning to read fun while building a foundation for lifelong literacy. Each Fundations level-specific launch workshop provides the practice and guidance you need to effectively begin teaching the Fundations curriculum. Sign up to attend the workshop that corresponds to the program level you’ll be implementing in your school. Visit the Fundations course page to register. Visit the grant funding application for information on available grant funding.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at

Student Business/Entrepreneurship 2022 Competitions – For All Vermont Secondary Students

For the Student Business/Entrepreneurship 2022 Competitions, students will prepare a business model canvas plan and executive summary or business video pitch up to 5 minutes (MP4 or YouTube) and excutive summary of a product(s) and/or service(s). Open enrollment now through May 2, 2022 (submission deadline). There will be cash prizes. For explanations, rubrics and guidelines visit the Student Business/Entrepreneurship 2022 Competitions webpage.
Contact: Laurel Butler at or (802) 922-3692

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