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Weekly Field Memo - Volume 17, Issue 17

April 27, 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.

2022-2023 Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports Survey Opens May 1, 2023

Audience: Superintendents and Principals
As required by Act 117 – VSA Title 16, § 2904 each superintendent shall annually provide a status update on the tiered system of supports in their supervisory union or district. The Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports (VTmtss) Survey captures this information at the school level each year and is therefore often delegated to principals. This year VTmtss Survey will open on May 1 and close on May 31, 2023. To preview the questions, view the PDF of the 2022-2023 VTmtss Survey. Learn more about how the survey data can be used for system improvement planning by visiting this VTmtss Survey Webinar.
Contact: Caitlin Chisholm at

Benchmark Assessment Grant Application - Round 2

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, Instructional Coaches
The second round of applications for the ARP ESSER Benchmark Assessment Grant for Vermont SU/SDs are available in the Grant Management System. This grant encourages LEAs to purchase new or expand on existing benchmark assessment system(s) for English Language Arts and Mathematics that report Lexile and Quantile measures, and/or to support staff participation in the Educator Academy for Lexile and/or Quantile Frameworks. Applications are due on May 17, 2023. Additional information about the grant can be found on the Education Recovery and Revitalization webpage under Current Funding Opportunities.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at

Case Study Review

Audience: Special Education Directors, Building Administrators, Special Education Teachers, Interventionists, General Educators
There is a second opportunity scheduled to review Mateo’s case study and discuss additional questions that have been submitted related to multilingual learners and special education processes. The second session will be on May 11, 2023, from 8-9 a.m. The case study provides a narrative that aligns with a system of support and the special education rule changes. The case study is accompanied with the corresponding paperwork to support the process from initial referral to special education eligibility and development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Register online for Case Study Review.
Contact: Cassie Santo at

Vermont Family Network and Vermont Agency of Education Three-Part Special Education Rule Changes Series

Audience: Parents, Special Education Directors, Building Administrators, Special Education Teachers
Please join the Vermont Family Network and the Vermont Agency of Education Virtual Town Hall sessions on Wednesdays May 17, May 24 and May 31, 2023, from 10-11 a.m. We will discuss the July 1, 2023, Special Education Rule changes including adverse effects, functional skills and specific learning disability eligibility. Register online for any of these sessions.
Contact: Cassie Santo at

Driver Education Policy

Audience: Public and Independent School Administrators, Driver Education Personnel
This Driver Education Policy has been developed to clarify the obligations of Vermont schools to meet the requirements of 16 V.S.A §1045-1048 and State Board of Education Rules Sections 2350-2352. The intention of the policy is to ensure that driver education is accessible to students enrolled in public or approved independent schools. It was designed with input from a variety of stakeholders to establish processes and expectations for public and approved independent school program Drivers Education implementation.
Contact: Tammy Pregent 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 8-9 a.m. This office hour is intended to support questions related to specific learning disabilities and the special education rule changes. Please submit questions in advance through the office hour 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

Vermont Public: Social Emotional Learning Supports

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
Are you looking for great social, emotional learning supports on difficult topics? Check out Sesame Street in Communities and navigate the collection using the provider or parent/caregiver toggle to find videos and/or professional development. Topics include self-care, self-regulation, grief and more. Also, look for the Vermont Public and Vermont Agency of Education’s Incorporating Sesame Street Into Your Classroom support document as you plan for enrichment ideas. For Teens, be inspired by the winners of the Young Writer’s Project contest TEENAGER. See contest highlights in the YWP digital journal The Voice. Visit the Vermont Public Kids and Education page for more recommendations.
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, Director of Data Management & Analysis - Contact: Bill Bates at and AOE Legal Services Specialist - Contact: Emily Simmons 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.

Special Education: The Trauma Lens Course

Special Education: The Trauma Lens is taught by Jessica Strolin-Goltzman and Jennifer Jorgenson, asynchronously, online, on May 22 – June 30, 2023. This graduate course is designed for in-service and pre-service professionals in education, child welfare and health/mental health. The course provides the theoretical foundation and conceptual frameworks that relate to building resilience for children, youth and families who have experienced trauma and adversity. Summer tuition is 30% less than academic-year tuition. See course details and how to register on the class webpage.
Contact: Kristen Lee at

2023-2024 Vermont Student Assistance Corporation Aspirations Program

The goal of the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) Aspirations program is to build a school’s capacity to graduate all students with a plan for their future education and career. VSAC is currently seeking Vermont schools serving grades 9-12 to engage in this free program. To apply, please send a brief email to Ellen Bagnato to arrange an information session at your school and obtain additional application process details. School selection will take place by June 2023. VSAC Aspirations partners with schools for four years and all services are provided free of charge, with funding from the Vermont Legislature.
Contact: Ellen Bagnato at

Vermont Lake Monsters to Host Educator Appreciation Night

The Vermont Lake Monsters Baseball Team is hosting an Educator Appreciation Night on Friday, May 26, 2023, at 6:35 p.m. All educators will receive two free tickets to this game by showing their ID at the box office. Please visit the Vermont Lake Monsters Promotions webpage for more information or email Cassidy Koch at to receive a flyer to share with your schools. We hope to see you at the game!
Contact: Cassidy Koch at

15th Vermont Jump$tart Conference

The Vermont Jump$tart Coalition is hosting its 15th Vermont Jump$tart Conference on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in South Burlington, Vermont. This one-day conference will host a series of sessions on financial literacy, smart financial decision-making, tips and resources to take back and share with those for whom you are a financial champion and more. More information to come, watch for updates on the coalition’s webpage.
Contact: Kit Ardell at

Vermont Energy Education Program Summer Institute

The Vermont Energy Education Program is hosting its annual Summer Institute for educators. Summer Institute is an intensive week for teachers of all grades to take time to really dive in and create or update a unit, with a focus on changing the world for the better. Educators will design or revise a unit with assistance, using best practices and incorporating project-based learning, find inspiration for new activities, use classroom equipment and talk with the staff about how it might further learning in the classroom and connect with other teachers. Early-bird pricing ends May 1, 2023.
Contact: Caitlin Huff at

Summer Learning - Middle Grades Literature: Bringing Relevant Texts into our Classrooms

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning (PLL) knows that reading is a social act and in this graduate course, we will engage with middle grade text in a social and analytical manner. We will read and analyze current, relevant texts for middle grade readers, along with The Joy of Reading from Miller and Lesene. There will be an emphasis on practical applications of book clubs, discussion protocols and familiarity with current literature. This hybrid course runs from June 28 – August 16, 2023, with six, one-hour meetings. Find details on PLL’s course webpage.
Contact: Mary Grace at or (802) 828-0521

Trauma-Informed Social Learning Course

Registration is open for the Trauma-Informed Social Learning Course, which begins June 26, 2023. This course focuses on defining, identifying and understanding children’s developmental experiences—such as early adversity or autism—that negatively impact typical social development. Our goal is to help teachers and programs protect vulnerable learners and provide the knowledge and support needed for robust instruction in social-emotional learning. Visit the course page for more info.
Contact: Julia Caminiti at

Castleton Center for Schools Summer 2023 Educator Course Registration is Now Open

Registration for Summer Castleton Center for Schools courses is now open. The growing list of offerings and course descriptions can be seen on Castleton's Continuing Education and Graduate Courses webpage. Summer learning opportunities are offered outdoors, in-person and online. Topics include self-care, classroom management, reading instruction, social emotional learning, technology integration and more.
Contact: Tara Lidstone at or (802) 345-0092

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