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Volume 16, Issue 49

December 7, 2022

Agency of Education, State of Vermont and Federal Updates

This section of the Weekly Field Memo contains posts from the Agency of Education, other State of Vermont agencies, federal agencies or Vermont's congressional delegation.

Family Engagement Council

Audience: Parents and Guardians of Students in PreK-12 Grades
Last week, the Agency of Education announced the creation of a Family Engagement Council to provide a voice for Vermont's parents and families in the development of state education policy. The group will focus on envisioning a 21st Century education system and discuss how our education system can support the future success of our students and our state. The deadline to apply is Dec. 18, 2022. To learn more about the Family Engagement Council, and where to apply, go to the Family Engagement Council Press Release.
Contact: Ted Fisher at

Benchmark Assessment Grant Application

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, Instructional Coaches
The application for the ARP ESSER Benchmark Assessment Grant for Vermont LEAs is now available in the Grant Management System. Completed applications for this competitive grant are due Jan. 17, 2023. Funds can be used to purchase a new benchmark assessment system(s) that includes Lexile and Quantile measures, extend the grade levels assessed in the current benchmark assessment system that provides Lexile and Quantile measures throughout K-8, with the possibility of including high school, and/or fund participation in the Educator Academy for Lexile and/or Quantile Frameworks. In order to qualify for this competitive grant opportunity, the SY22-23 Universal Screener, Interim, or Benchmark Census needs to be completed by Jan. 17, 2023. The purpose of this survey is to gather information on the type(s) of assessments SU/SDs are using to measure growth for English language arts, math and Next Generation Science Standards throughout the school year.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at

Updated Vaping Prevention Curriculum: You and Me, Together Vape-Free

Audience: Nurses, Health Educators, SAPs, Counselors, Curriculum Directors
Stanford University has launched their updated vaping prevention curriculum, "You and Me, Together Vape-Free", which includes six lessons, with both a middle and high school version and a forthcoming elementary school version. They are conducting a study of this curriculum and Vermont schools may participate for the fall of 2023. Educators will be trained on how to teach the curriculum (a roughly 1.5 hour training) and there are financial incentives for participating schools. You can learn more about this YouthViews study by visiting Stanford University's YouthViews webpage, contacting Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher at and/or scheduling a Calendly call.
Contact: Beth Keister at

Civic Literacy Grant Opportunity

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Social Studies, ELA and/or Interdisciplinary Educators
The Agency of Education is offering a competitive Civic Literacy Grant opportunity to Supervisory Unions/Supervisory Districts (SU/SDs) to complement and/or amplify their existing secondary school curricula. This grant will support SU/SDs in offering an innovative learning opportunity to their students on the history and principles of U.S. constitutional democracy as evidenced through voting. Successful applicants will receive funds for the purchase of the book "Our Unfinished March" by former United States Attorney General Eric Holder, and to support student participation in an event at The Flynn Center for Arts on May 16, 2023, where they will hear from and talk with Mr. Holder. This opportunity highlights the importance of literacy within the social studies and beyond, and connected literacies such as civic, media, ethical and equity literacy as it engages students in contemporary texts to build contextual knowledge. The AOE will provide supplemental learning materials aligned to the College, Career and Civic Life (C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards) to support this learning opportunity. Educators/curriculum directors/superintendents can access a complimentary digital review copy of the book, "Our Unfinished March", from the publisher by contacting Cheryl Westberg at Penguin Random House at 
Contact: Martha Deiss at

Family Engagement Networking Series

Audience: Family Engagement Personnel, Administrators
Please join the Agency of Education’s Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports Team for a monthly Family Engagement Networking Series. The next Family Engagement Networking Session will be held on Dec. 15, 2022, from 1-2 p.m. Engaging and Supporting Families for the Upcoming Winter Break will be the focus. These are informal monthly, one-hour virtual sessions for family engagement colleagues to connect, hear updates and discuss problems of practice regarding family engagement. Save the dates for future Family Engagement Networking Sessions which will be held every third Thursday from 1-2 p.m. 
Contact: Nancy Hellen at 

Literacy Survey Reminder for Superintendents

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Coordinators
Thank you to the many SU/SDs who have already participated in the Survey to Understand District Level Needs and Supports to Improve Literacy Outcomes. This serves as a brief reminder for superintendents to review the survey memo and complete the survey by Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. Your response will help AOE understand literacy needs across Vermont and how we can best provide coordinated support and leadership to improve literacy outcomes for all learners.
Contact: Jess DeCarolis at

Vermont Public: December Resources to Celebrate Persons with Disabilities and Enjoy Family Trips

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
Celebrate International Persons with Disabilities Day with resources from the Vermont Agency of Education and Vermont Public Partnership, including books that celebrate Disability Pride Month, Sesame Street in Communities and amazing resources for inclusive education from the STEM Innovation for Inclusion in Early Education Center (STEMIE). For co-viewing with students in grades PreK-2, access digital and downloadable content for family celebrations and trips. For number fun in grades K-3, check out Incorporating Odd Squad into Your Classroom, Odd Squad Resources and Episode-Specific Activities, Incorporating Peg + Cat into Your Classroom and Pet + Cat Resources with Episode-Specific Activities. Or, spend time with STEM heroes using Incorporating Hero Elementary into Your Classroom, Hero Elementary Resources with Episode-Specific Activities and the PBSLM Hero Elementary Collection. For older students, check out Becoming Helen Keller Collection (American Sign Language available). For a local connection, But Why has created standards-aligned learning guides to complement recent episodes. Visit the Vermont Public Kids and Education page for more information.
Contacts: Emily Leute at or Heather Duhamel at

Agency of Education Open Positions

Audience: All
The Vermont Agency of Education has open positions that are available to both state employees and external applicants. Positions are Director of Education Finance - Contact: Bill Bates at, Early Education Programs Manager - Contact:  Chris Case at and State Director of Special Education - Contact: Chris Case at
Contact: AOE Info 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.

All Learners Network Math Professional Development

5-8 Math Intervention is a six-hour workshop offered virtually, on Zoom, on Dec. 13, 2022, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. This workshop is an engaging virtual learning experience aimed at 5-8 intervention. This workshop provides a complete process for assessing intervention need and providing services, templates for using the High Leverage Concepts (HLCs) and HLC Progressions to get at core content and guide intervention goals, and a variety of student-friendly, effective activities for intervention at each grade level.
Contact: TJ Jemison at

Transformative Language Learning in the Spanish Classroom

Klett World Languages (KWL) provides the highest quality language materials in Spanish. KWL creates content that helps students build authentic communicative competence and become global citizens. All materials are authentic, accessible and user-friendly. Materials follow a communicative approach with project-based learning that is student-centered and American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages aligned. We highly recommend our series such as Mapas and Reporteros. For a free demo/sample of any of our materials, please reach out to or schedule a meeting with our Northeast Spanish Program Consultant, Kristi O’Connor.
Contact: Kristi O’Connor at or (708) 689-0409 x116

Designing Backwards for Deeper Learning - Virtual Course

Inspire students to think deeply, make long-lasting connections and be self-directed learners. When teachers intentionally plan curricular lessons and units with the end in mind, student understanding transfers to new situations and the world around them. Building from Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe’s Understanding by Design approach to backward planning, participants in this course will design a meaningful and aligned unit to implement in their own classroom. Apply online on the Designing Backwards for Deeper Learning webpage. The course will take place from Jan. 22 to April 4, 2023.
Contact: Devin Schrock at

Innovating School Transportation Webinar

Register for the Innovating School Transportation webinar on Jan. 23, 2023, from 3-4:30 p.m. to learn about opportunities to innovate school transportation systems to improve equity, student health and environmental impact. The webinar will share opportunities for increasing equity through coordination with transit providers to add public transit options for students and staff. It will also discuss options for electrifying school bus fleets, including Vermont examples, and information about grant programs and assistance. Hosted by: Energy Action Network, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, Vermont Energy Education Program, Vermont Clean Cities Coalition and Vermont Agency of Transportation.
Contact: Cara Robechek at

Register Now for Castleton University Center for Schools’ Spring 2023 Educator Courses

Register now for Spring 2023 continuing education courses. Course content, schedules and formats are specifically designed to support practicing PreK to 12 educators. There are many new courses on the spring schedule, as well as a number of repeat courses that are back by request. The majority are fully online in synchronous and asynchronous environments and have start dates in Jan., Feb., March and April 2023. The spring list and course descriptions can be viewed on Castleton's Continuing Education and Graduate Courses webpage. More offerings will be added in the coming weeks and months.
Contact: Tara Lidstone at or (802) 345-0092

New Fundations Launch Workshops Starting in January

For teachers who are using Fundations or are planning to implement the program in the future, the Stern Center is offering a new schedule of Wilson Language Training workshops starting in Jan. 2023. 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. Fundations is a multisensory and systematic phonics, spelling and handwriting program that benefits all K–3 students.
Contact: Julia Caminiti at

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 Ted Fisher at