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Weekly Field Memo - Volume 17, Issue 10

March 8, 2023

Agency of Education, State of Vermont and Federal Updates

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

Two Student Members Sought for State Board of Education

Audience: Vermont Secondary Students
The Governor’s Office is seeking student representatives for the State Board of Education. One appointment will be for a one-year term (voting student member); the second appointment will be for a two-year term (first-year non-voting, second-year voting). Candidates may apply using the Application for Gubernatorial Appointment. Application deadline is April 28, 2023. Questions about the State Board of Education may be directed to Maureen Gaidys ( at the Agency of Education. Questions about the application or the nomination process itself can be emailed to
Contact: Maureen Gaidys at

The Vermont Kindergarten Conference: Registration is Open

Audience: Administrators and Early Educators
Come celebrate the 30th year of the Vermont Kindergarten Conference. The conference founders, Jeanne Goldhaber, Marge Lipson and Jim Squires, will share their reflections regarding the early days of the conference and where we are now. Workshops will focus on the Power of Stories through a variety of lenses including the arts, puppetry and mathematics. Jane Lindholm, the host of But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids, will be the keynote speaker. The conference will take place on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, at the Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain. Please register early so you can get your choice of workshops.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at

Youth Art Month

Audience: Visual Arts Educators, Principals, Superintendents
Join the Vermont Arts Education Association in celebrating Youth Art Month in Vermont. There will be a student art exhibit on display at the Vermont Statehouse from March 6 - 31, 2023. A reception will be held on March 31, 2023, to celebrate participating schools. A spotlight gallery will feature art educators’ work at the Vermont Council of the Arts during the month of March. For more information, please visit the Vermont Arts Educators website.
Contact: Lisa Bresler at

2024 Vermont Teacher of the Year Nominations Open

Audience: All
Did a colleague in your building distinguish 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. Nominations are open now through March 23, 2023.
Contact: Amy Scalabrini at

Registration Is Now Open for the Vermont BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute

Audience: School Teams of Educators, Caregivers/Family Members, Students, Community Stakeholders
The BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute is being held from June 26 to June 29, 2023. This year’s theme is “Nourishing our Roots: Deepening and Strengthening our Systems of Support for the Well-being of All.” The BEST/VTmtss Summer Institute provides opportunities for school teams of educators (Pre-K – Grade 12), caregivers/family members, students and community partners to share and learn strategies for improving and strengthening the systems, data, and practices within Vermont’s multi-tiered system of supports (VTmtss) to enhance the social, emotional and behavioral well-being of all. Please visit our website to register and see our offerings.
Contact: Laura Greenwood at

Vermont Portrait of a Graduate

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, Teachers
The Agency of Education recently published an updated graphic for a Vermont Portrait of a Graduate (PoG), which clarifies the expectations for college and career readiness as described in the Vermont Education Quality Standards. The PoG specifies the cognitive, personal and interpersonal skills and abilities that students should be able to demonstrate upon graduation. A Vermont PoG was developed collaboratively by over three hundred Vermont students, community members, and educators. It can be used as a tool for reviewing and refining proficiency-based graduation requirements, as well as a guide for making instructional decisions.
Contact: Emily Leute at

Assistive Technology – What Do Educators Working With Students With Disabilities Need To Know (Webinar)

Audience: Special Educators, 504 Coordinators, CTE Special Needs Coordinators
The Assistive Technology webinar will be held on March 14, 2023, from 3-4 p.m. and will delve into the considerations for assistive technology (AT) for students with disabilities. As a special educator, how do you know when the IEP team should be considering AT? What are some common signs that a student could benefit from AT? How does AT help students access their education? How does AT tie into postsecondary transition planning? These questions will be explored and discussed. Three assistive technology experts will be on hand presenting. To learn more, join this webinar.
Contact: John Spinney at

Vermont Regional School Calendars for 2023-2024

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Headmasters, Regional Technical Center Directors, Curriculum Coordinators
16 V.S.A. §1071 (e), requires that before April 1 of each year, the superintendents of schools and the headmasters of public schools not managed by school boards in an area shall meet, and by majority vote, establish a uniform calendar within that area for the following school year. The calendar must include student attendance days, vacations, holidays and the requisite five teacher in-service education days. Please send approved, regional calendars to the Agency of Education at no later than April 1, 2022, or as soon as approved.
Contact: Maureen Gaidys at

Family Engagement Networking Series

Audience: Family Engagement Personnel, Administrators
Please join the Agency of Education for a monthly Family Engagement Networking Series. The next Family Engagement Networking Session will be held on March 16, 2023, from 1-2 p.m., with a focus on Title IA Parent and Family Engagement Expectations and Opportunities. Jessie Murray, State Title I Director, will clarify the requirements of parent and family engagement for Title I programs and share some examples from the field. These are virtual sessions for family engagement colleagues to connect and discuss problems of practice regarding family engagement. Save the dates for Family Engagement Networking Sessions held every third Thursday from 1-2 p.m.
Contact: Nancy Hellen at

Vermont Public: Celebrate Women’s History Month with Children’s Literature

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
Women’s History Month pays tribute to amazing women. Join Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum’s creator Brad Meltzer for a very special read-along of his book, I am Harriet Tubman. Check out these other children's books about amazing women from PBS Parents. Visit the Vermont Public Kids and Education page to find more recommendations for high-quality media and resource collections. Also, don’t forget to visit the Education Ambassadors page to learn more about how Vermont educators are involved in our partnership.
Contacts: Emily Leute at or Heather Duhamel at

February Issue of Arts Education: Vermont’s Newsletter for Arts Educators

Audience: Visual Arts, Music, Theatre, Dance Educators
The February issue of the bi-monthly newsletter, Arts Education, is now available. This issue contains an introduction from the new Arts Specialist and articles about encouraging play and mistakes in the arts. There are also updates on Arts Assessment Pilot, Arts Education Monthly Meetups and Arts Mentor/Mentee Mini Pilot Program.
Contact: Lisa Bresler 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. The open positions are: Education Programs Coordinator I - VTmtss Team - Contact: Tracy Watterson at and Director of Education Finance - Contact: Bill Bates at
Contact: AOE Info at

Growing Works of Art Contest

Audience: Vermont Students Grades K-8
The Vermont Deptartment of Forests, Parks and Recreation is celebrating Arbor Day, a day to appreciate trees and the difference they make in our lives. We invite students to celebrate by creating a piece of art and writing. This year, the contest theme is “Branching out!” One winner from each grade (K-8) will be featured on the WCAX television show “Across the Fence” and receive a state park pass ($90 value). Entries are due March 10, 2023. For more information, visit the Growing Works of Art Contest webpage.
Contact: Rebecca Roy at or (802) 522-0780

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.

Film Screening: The Truth About Reading

The International Dyslexia Association - Northern New England Alliance and Lexia Learning invite the public to attend the first Vermont screening of the documentary The Truth About Reading on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. at Norwich University’s Mack Hall Auditorium in Northfield, VT. After the film, a speaker panel will present their experience with literacy in Vermont, featuring students, a parent, a teacher, a college professor and a literacy leader, followed by a Q&A from the audience. This free event has a limited number of seats. Visit the event webpage to obtain a ticket.
Contact: Cynthia Gardner-Morse at

Dairy Grant Opportunity for School Meals

New England Dairy is pleased to announce a funding opportunity for eligible schools in Vermont to support food service needs related to expanding summer or school meal programs or serving new dairy menu items. New for 2023: schools can apply for our turn-key bulk dispenser kit, hot chocolate milk kit and smoothie kit. Visit New England Dairy’s School Meals webpage for the application and more details. Deadline to apply is March 31, 2023.
Contact: Jill Hussels at

Professional Learning: C-3 Social Studies and Equity

Time to register for Using Inquiry-Based Teaching to Promote Justice and Combat Inequity with Dr. Kathy Swan This two-day workshop will show educators for grades 5-12 how they can pose expansive questions that promote justice and expose students to sources that demonstrate the ways in which history is framed by both oppression and resistance. Dr. Swan, the C-3 lead author, will explore how to develop a coherent and holistic approach to inquiry-based social studies. The workshop will be at the Delta Conference Center, South Burlington, on  April 18 - 19, 2023.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at or (802) 497-1642

Introduction to Orton-Gillingham: Classroom Educator Level

Registration is open for Introduction to Orton-Gillingham: Classroom Educator Level course. The Orton-Gillingham (OG) Approach is the underlying foundation of all multisensory, structured literacy instruction. This course provides an overview of the structure of the English language and how to teach it sequentially and systematically. In this five-and-a-half-day course, you will gain a basic understanding of the OG Approach and how to develop an OG lesson. You’ll learn about the reading brain and dyslexia, phonemic awareness, handwriting, syllable types, syllable division, spelling patterns and more. Visit the course page to learn more.
Contact: Julia Caminiti at

All Learners Network Math Professional Development

Main Lesson Workshop K-6 is a six-hour workshop offered on Zoom on May 3 and 4, 2023 from 4-7 p.m. Main Lesson is where all students access grade-level content by working on tasks that provide access for all students. Teachers consider why tasks may exclude students and how to take action to increase access. Participants will engage in tasks as learners and they will learn about the characteristics of rich tasks. Participants will also learn about the nuanced planning process that happens before, during and after the conclusion of the lesson.
Contact: TJ Jemison at

Volunteers Needed for Destination Imagination Tournament

Vermont Destination Imagination is looking for volunteers, 18 or older, for their annual Creative Problem-Solving Tournament on April 1, 2023, at Main St. Landing Performing Arts Center in Burlington. Appraisers will watch team presentations, give encouraging feedback and score according to specific parameters of challenges that incorporate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math), collaboration and creativity. One brief training session is required, online or in person, scheduled at your convenience. The tournament is an enjoyable and inspiring experience.
Contact: Jane Youngbaer at or (802) 272-2766

Virtual Event with Poet Richard Blanco on April 7, 2023

Register your class for a special, free, virtual event with inaugural poet Richard Blanco on Friday, April 7, 2023, at 11:30 a.m. Selected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in US history, Blanco is the first Latino, immigrant and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity characterizes his four collections of poetry. You can register once for an entire class and then project the event during class time. The students do not need to register individually. Register using our short online form.
Contact: Ryan Newswanger at

Vermont Family Network Free Workshop: Jump on Board for Success

In this workshop, Jump on Board for Success (JOBS): Supported Employment for Youth, presenters will share information about the Jump On Board for Success – JOBS Program and the statewide partnership which provides supported employment for youth ages 16-22 who have been identified as experiencing mental health challenges and have significant barriers to employment in adulthood. This presentation will be geared toward parents and families to increase awareness and understanding of the JOBS Programs.
Contact: Sienna Tuinei at

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning presents: Adolescent Literacy Partnerships NEXIS

Adolescent students often arrive at middle and high school with a complex literacy background and differentiating instruction to meet the needs of these students is essential. These seven virtual sessions begin on March 16, 2023, from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. Come as a team or literacy partners (interventionist and universal level partners) if possible. Participants will work to understand and define the necessary collaborations between intervention and universal instruction. Details are on PLL’s professional learning webpage.
Contact: Mary Grace at or (802) 828-0521

Governor’s Institutes of Vermont Presents the Global Issues and Youth Action Institute this Summer

The Governor’s Institutes of Vermont will be hosting a series of Institutes for Vermont high school students this summer, including our Institute of Global Issues and Youth Action, happening June 25 - July 4, 2023, at Landmark College. In the Global Issues Institute, students create a motivated learning community to take on political, environmental and social justice issues. Students learn how to work together and support issues they care about, mobilizing a collective will with activists from around the world to deepen hope with action. Students can attend for as little as $10.
Contact: Matthew Binginot 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