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Volume 16, Issue 6

February 8, 2022

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.

“How to Stop the Next School Shooter” Video

Audience: Superintendents, Principals and School Crisis Planning Team Members
The Vermont School Safety Center feels it’s prudent to again share the video How to Stop the Next School Shooter. This video is a good reminder that with hard work, good local and state collaborations, and a willingness to speak up, we really can stop these tragedies from happening.
Contact: Robert L. Evans, VT School Safety Liaison Officer, at or (802) 839-0448

Spotlights on Equity Resources

Audience: Administrators, PreK-12 Educators
Educational equity means that every student has access to the resources, opportunities and educational rigor they need at the right moment in their education, whatever their race, gender/identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, language, ability, family background or family income may be. (Adapted from CCSSO, Leading for Equity.) The Spotlights on Equity Resources webpage provides a list of considerations and resources for the purpose of supporting equity and access across content areas, emphasizing high quality and culturally sustaining learning opportunities for all students. Feedback from practitioners in the fall of 2021 was used to ensure that these resources are as meaningful and useful as possible to educators in the field. They are now available on the Agency of Education content webpages as well as the Proficiency-Based Learning webpage.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at

Updated Continuous Improvement Plan Template Now Available

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Finance Directors
The Education Quality Assurance Team is excited to release a substantially revised Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) template. This streamlined process—based on what we have learned about continuous improvement during the pandemic and developed in collaboration with the field—is now available on the AOE CIP webpage under Templates and Toolkits. We will be updating supporting documentation to reflect the new template over the course of the next couple of weeks, but the template is available for any school systems wanting to begin the development of their new plan.
Contact: Josh Souliere at

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 the AOE Education Technology webpage.
Contact: Lisa Helme at or Sigrid Olson at

Parent Information Sessions on Rule Changes

Audience: All
The Agency of Education Special Education Team will be hosting two Parent Information Sessions on Special Education Rule Changes. Please share this flyer with the parents in your districts.
Contact: Christopher Kane at

February Special Education Rule Changes Topic: Specific Learning Disability

Audience: Principals, Superintendents, Curriculum Coordinators, Special Ed Administrators and Educators
To support the implementation of Act 173, the Special Education, MTSS and Early Childhood Special Education staff will continue 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 Feb. 14, 2022, from 9-11:30 a.m.
Contact: Christopher Kane at

New Amtrak Service-Free Rail Safety Presentations to Students

Audience: All
The Vermont Agency of Transportation is launching a new Amtrak passenger rail service from Rutland to Burlington this summer. The Ethan Allen Extension will introduce the communities along the corridor, which travels through Middlebury and Vergennes, to 59 mph train speeds. VTrans assists Operation Lifesaver of Vermont, Inc. (OLVT) is a non-profit state partner of Operation Lifesaver, Inc., which provides free OLI rail safety presentations to schools and the public in general. OLVT is offering free virtual or in-person presentations to schools and would like to complete as many presentations as possible prior to the launch of the new service. OLVT’s authorized volunteers are available to conduct presentations to all students. To schedule a presentation or for questions, please contact Toni Clithero.
Contact: Toni Clithero at

Vermont Highway Safety Alliance 4th Annual Public Service Announcement Video Contest

Audience: All
The Vermont Highway Safety Alliance’s 4th Annual Public Service Announcement (PSA) Video Contest is now open for video submission. The contest, #SafeDrivesSaveLives, is open to all high school and home study students. This contest is an opportunity for students to win cash prizes for creating a public service announcement video that will encourage safe driving and discourage distracted driving. Please review the Vermont Highways Safety Alliance Public Service Contest Announcement for additional information and rules.
Contact: Tammy Pregent at

Vermont PBS: February Resources to Celebrate Black History Month

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
The Vermont Agency of Education has updated our Vermont PBS webpage for February 2022. Celebrate Black History Month with resources from PBS Parents and PBS Learning Media. Other topics of interest include social emotional learning for students and teachers, being outside, current events and climate change. Plus, check out the research report about how Molly of Denali can help teach children to use and create informational text. 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.

Graduate Course: "Leadership in Literacy…What Every Administrator Needs to Know to Help All Learners and Teachers Be Successful in Literacy"

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning presents this graduate class for Elementary Building Leaders, which is designed to take a broad look at literacy instruction across an elementary school. We will explore the types of experiences all children need if they are to be successful in their literacy achievement. School-level leaders will come away from this course with solid knowledge of what to look for within the literacy instruction of individual classrooms and across multiple grade levels. A focus of the work will be to better understand the attributes of schools that are successful in strong literacy attainment goals. This 2-credit class through Saint Michaels is 5+ online modules from March 2 through May 20, 2022. Registration and more details can be found on the Professional Learning Courses page.
Contact: Mary Grace at or (802) 828-0521

VSAC-Assisted Scholarships Deadline is Here

The deadline for students to apply for VSAC-assisted scholarships is this Friday, Feb. 11, 2022. Remember: all applications and required documents must be postmarked or received at VSAC by midnight on Feb. 11, 2022. The quickest way to submit required documents is for a student or high school to upload the document through their respective MyVSAC account. Visit the VSAC Scholarships page for more information.
Contact: Serena Peck at

The Mindful Anti-Racist Cohort for White Educators

The second cohort for The Mindful Anti-Racist Cohort for White Educators, led by Annie O'Shaughnessy, will be a summer/fall cohort with 5 summer sessions from 6-7:30 p.m.(recorded for vacationers) and September-December, once a month (Thursdays), from 3:15-4:45 p.m. Using holistic restorative approaches to build a brave space and apply mindfulness principles and practices, the cohort will cultivate the courage, discernment and vulnerability needed to 'dare greatly' to use our power and privilege to speak out, educate and lead in this country's journey towards racial justice and equity. There will be 9 sessions - 15 recertification hours.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at or (802) 497-1642

Professional Learning: Orton-Gillingham: Focus on Level II

Registration is open for Orton-Gillingham: Focus on Level II, offered on March 22, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This professional learning workshop is offered through the Stern Center for Language and Learning. This workshop is designed for Orton-Gillingham (OG) teachers with a basic understanding of the OG lesson plan and scope and sequence whose students are advancing in Level II of the OG Scope and Sequence. Visit the course page to register. Grant funding is available.
Contact: SJ Larkspur at

Does Your District Have A Plan For When You Are Hit By Ransomware?

On Feb. 23, 2022, at the Davis Center on the University of Vermont campus, Vita-Learn is hosting a Chief Technology Officer Clinic that will focus on Cybersecurity including how schools secure data (student, teacher, staff and institutional), networks, clients and establish suporting policies. Districts are encouraged to send teams of IT staff, not just their Chief Technology Officer. For more information and to register, please visit the Vita-Learn website.
Contact: Jeff Mao at or (207) 798-2460

Two-day Mental Health and Trauma Informed Care Training

Registration ends Feb. 27, 2022, for this free training sponsored by the Masonic Grand Lodge of Vermont on March 22 and 23, 2022. The training will be at the Rutland Elks Lodge from 8:30 a.m.– 4 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

Umatter® for Schools: Virtual Youth Suicide Prevention Training

Umatter for Schools: March 2 – April 13, 2022, is a newly designed online training that consists of virtual 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 7-12 and this training will also include K-6 specific content. Schools are encouraged to send teams with a minimum of two people consisting of a guidance counselor, nurse, health educator, mental health provider and/or administrator.
Contact Catherine Diduk at

Video on Youth Vaping by Burlington ParentIN & Pediatric Pulmonologist at University of Vermont's Children's Hospital

ParentIN, a program of the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community, partnered with Pediatric Pulmonologist Dr. L.E. Faricy to create this short video which explains the harm and increased risks of youth use, and offers ways to help a child you care about who is using vaping products. This short video could be used in district or school-wide e-newsletters, with any lesson plans about vaping or to facilitate dialogue about the vaping epidemic at public meetings.
Contact: Evan Litwin at

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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