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Weekly Field Memo - Volume 17, Issue 15

April 12, 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.

Memo: Response to Concerns with the Cognia Assessment

Audience: Superintendents, Independent School Heads of School, Principals Test Administrators, Test Coordinators and Curriculum Coordinators
Please read the Memo: Response to Concerns with the Cognia Assessment. This memo reinforces several important items related to the rollout of the Cognia state assessment.
Contact: Ted Fisher 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 as soon as approved.
Contact: Maureen Gaidys at

Best Practice Resources for Swatting Incidents

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Safety Stakeholders
The Vermont School Safety Center is posting some best practice documents that provide tools to consider when responding to the “swatting incidents” currently plaguing schools across the country. You can find them on the Swatting Resources for School Communities webpage.
Contact: Robert L. Evans at or (802) 839-0448

Stronger Connections Grant Application Due May 12

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Grants Managers
Vermont has received $4,833,025 under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Stronger Connections Grant Program. 95.5% of these funds will be awarded competitively to high-need SU/SDs to fund activities allowable under section 4108 – the Safe and Healthy Students section - of the Every Student Succeeds Act (see Title IV allowable uses). The Stronger Connections Grant is currently live on Grant Management System and is due May 12, 2023. Responses to the Q&A period will be published by April 14. Please see the AOE Title IV, Part A website for more information.
Contact: Beth Keister at

We the People: Civics that Empowers All Students - Grades 4-8

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Elementary/Middle School Educators
Interested educators are asked to apply for participation in year one of the Civics that Empowers All Students (CEAS) three-year collaborative study (U.S. Department of Education, Georgetown University and the Center for Civic Education) focused on increasing students’ attainment of civic standards, related literacy standards and social-emotional learning competencies. The study will evaluate the effectiveness of professional development in improving teacher and student outcomes. This collaboration will support high-quality, free, professional development beginning in August 2023 and provide resources with educator stipends. Control educators are also needed for the study. Contact Martha Deiss for an application and for more information.
Contact: Martha Deiss at

Family Engagement Networking Series

Audience: Family Engagement Personnel, Administrators    
Please join the Agency of Education for the Family Engagement Networking Series. The next Family Engagement Networking Session is April 20, 2023, from 1-2 p.m., with a focus on Family Engagement in Early Education. Amy Murphy, AOE Early Education Inclusion Coordinator, and Michele Johnson, AOE Early Education Consultant, will share resources and best practices that support building partnerships with families and explore considerations for measuring family engagement and data collection. These are virtual sessions for family engagement colleagues to connect and discuss problems of practice regarding family engagement. Save the date for the last session Thursday, May 18, 1-2 p.m.
Contact: Nancy Hellen at

Special Education Rule Changes and Specially Designed Instruction Office Hour

Audience: Special Educators, Special Education Directors, Coordinators, Superintendents
The Special Education Rule Changes and Specially Designed Instruction Office Hour on May 18, 2023, from 3-4 p.m. The office hour is intended to support questions related to specially designed instruction and the special education rule changes. Please submit any questions in advance through the question submission form.
Contact: Cassie Santo at

Early Learning Networked Improvement Community Site Visit

Audience: Principals, SU/SD Leaders
Mill River Schools invites participants to join literacy expert Dr. Sharon Walpole and the AOE Early Learning Networked Improvement Community (ELNIC) hub team at Clarendon Elementary for a site visit on May 11, 2023, from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Participants will learn about improvement cycles and the evidence-based literacy practices that PreK-3rd grade educators have been using in professional learning with ELNIC research partners. Visitors will experience how this work has significantly impacted student achievement. This visit includes time with teachers, classroom observations, free professional materials currently used to drive growth and information about how you can join the NIC. Please register to attend. Space is limited.
Contact: Lori Dolezal at

Special Education Rule Changes and Specific Learning Disabilities Office Hour

Audience: Special Educators, Special Education Directors, Coordinators, Superintendents
The Special Education Rule Changes and Specific Learning Disabilities Office Hour is on May 4, 2023, from 3-4 p.m. This office hour is intended to support questions related to specific learning disabilities and the special education rule changes. Please submit any questions in advance through the office hour submission form.
Contact: Cassie Santo at

Local Education Agency Plan FY24

Audience: Business Managers, Superintendents, Special Education Administrators
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Local Education Agency Plan (LEAP) form, to be completed and uploaded in your upcoming FY24 IDEA grant application, is now available. This required form provides assurances regarding implementation during State Fiscal Year 2024 for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. View the fillable form or the print form.
Contact: Jennifer Perry at

Civic Literacy Grant Opportunity

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Social Studies, ELA Educators, Interdisciplinary Educators
Due to continued interest, the Agency of Education has re-opened the streamlined, competitive Civic Literacy Grant for Supervisory Unions/Supervisory Districts to complement and/or amplify their existing secondary school curricula. This grant provides SU/SDs with 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. Applications will be accepted and awarded on a rolling basis until funds are expired or the closing date of April 24, 2023.
Contact: Martha Deiss at

Vermont Public: Climate Across America

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
Join us for the #ClimateAcrossAmerica campaign with WGBH and NOVA. Timed with locally produced Vermont Public content, NOVA will premiere two documentaries nationally: Weathering the Future, premiering Wednesday, April 12, and Chasing Carbon Zero, premiering Wednesday, April 26, both at 9 p.m. on PBS and streaming, on NOVA’s YouTube channel, and via the PBS App. Stay tuned for a special PBS LearningMedia collection. Vermont Public has created two digital-first stories about climate change solutions in Panton and Montpelier, Vermont. Check out But Why Weather (K-5) or Brave Little State’s feature on Climate or Fossil Fuels (Gr. 6-12) this Earth Day.
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. The open positions are: State Director of Special Education - Contact: Heather Bouchey at and Education Data Analyst II - Contact: David Kelley 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.

Connecting the Dots: Inclusion, Belonging and Wellness in Vermont’s Schools

Join us on May 18-19, 2023, for the 2023 Vermont Superintendents Association, Vermont Council of Special Education Administrators and Vermont Curriculum Leaders Association Annual Conference at the Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain. This year’s conference theme explores the connection between and implementation of initiatives designed to improve inclusion, belonging and wellness in schools. The conference includes two amazing keynote speakers and over fifteen workshop topics to explore Find out more on the conference landing page.
Contact: Chelsea Myers at

2023-2024 Governor Phil Hoff Vermont Honor Scholarship

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) is currently accepting nominations for one graduating senior from each eligible high school enrolling Vermont resident students. The deadline for submission of all required documents is Friday, April 14, 2023. The nomination form and student/nominee scholarship description can be found by visiting the VSAC Financial Aid Professionals page. Please contact the VSAC Scholarships Program with any questions.
Contact: Serena Peck at

Umatter Training of Trainers

Join the Center for Health and Learning for a Umatter Training of Trainers on May 3, 2023, at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier, Vermont. Participants engage in a full-day of training to develop their skills and confidence to bring Umatter Suicide Prevention Awareness workshops to their community or workplace. Register online on the Umatter Training of Trainers webpage no later than one week before the program start date.
Contact: Karen Carreira at

Vermont Educator Panel on Artificial Intelligence

Join Vermont elementary, middle and high school educators, along with school leadership on May 3, 2023, from 4-5 p.m., as they share their thinking about artificial intelligence (AI) and how it's impacting their practice and their school. All who register will receive a link to add questions for the panel. The event is free and will be held via Zoom. Register on the Vermont Computer Science Teacher Association's webpage.
Contact: Lucie deLaBruere at

Professional Learning: The Power of a Literate Life

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning offers this three-credit graduate course, The Power of a Literate Life, that accompanies the Vermont Literacy Conference. Attend the three-day conference and then participate in the online course. This asynchronous course runs from July 31-August 2, 2023, in-person, and then virtually until September 6. Find details on the Power of a Literate Life website.
Contact: Mary Grace at or (802) 828-0521

Vermont Council of Special Education Annual Awards

Vermont Council of Special Education Administrators (VCSEA) is seeking nominations for the annual Golden Apple Individual and Team Awards and the annual Gail Lynk Special Education Administrator Award. Please see each link for more information and to nominate by April 15, 2023: 2023 Golden Apple Award and 2023 Gail Lynk Award.
Contact: Darren McIntyre at

2023 Energy Education Summer Institute

Registration is now open for Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP)/New Hampshire Energy Education Project (NHEEP) Summer Institute. The 2023 Summer Institute encourages teachers to use play, wonder and hope as catalysts for inspiring students to make a change, and to find joy in taking action. Early Bird pricing ends on May 1, 2023.
Contact: Caitlin Huff at

Summer of Science, Coding, Teen Leader Opportunities and More

The University of Vermont Extension has a lot of free programs available to youth this summer. Check out our offerings on our 4-H Announcements webpage. Youth can explore different science pathways as part of our Summer of Science, learn about environmental issues at the Natural Resources Management Academy, become a teen leader for the Youth Environmental Summit or a science ambassador for the VTeen 4-H Science Pathways Cafes. Our current 4-H ambassadors will be hosting a Science Fun Day for younger youth in grades 3-5. Learn about all of these amazing opportunities and more.
Contact: Lauren Traister at or (802) 888-4972 ext. 402

Professional Learning: New Dates for Summer Math Course

The Champlain Valley Educator Development Center pushed the summer math course back a week to accommodate all the school snow days. The new dates for the course are now June 26-29, 2023 with remote attendance enabled. Registration and information  can be found on the Enhancing The Math Gameplan: High Impact, Low-Cost Shifts to Increase Engagement, Equity, and Understanding with Christian Courtemanche K-6 webpage. Christian Courtemanche brings his energy and expertise back for this popular course that will level-up pedagogy and create resources that will be more impactful, more accessible and more inclusive for every learner.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at or (802) 497-1642

Summer Learning Opportunities for Students

The Stern Center offers one-on-one and small group sessions this summer for students who need extra support with reading, writing, and math or social learning and communication strategies. Instructors tailor lessons to each learner’s needs and help them build academic and organizational skills. Social learning experts teach students how to manage their emotions, develop friendships, improve self-regulation, understand social cues, and communicate more effectively. Registration is open now for sessions beginning in late June. Learn more on the Summer Learning Opportunities webpage.
Contact: Kristen Lee at

Earn a Master’s Degree Online in Curriculum and Instructional Design or Special Education at Saint Michael’s College

Saint Michael's College is now offering fully online master’s degree programs in Curriculum and Instructional Design and Special Education. From the comfort of your home, you can experience the same personalization and community for which St. Mike’s is known. Join us for a webinar Thursday, April 13, 2023, at 5 p.m. to learn more about our online programs. Register on the webinar information page. Priority application deadline for fall enrollment is May 1. For more information, please visit our Master's of Education Curriculum website.
Contact: Claudine Bedell at or (802) 654-2741

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