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Weekly Field Memo - Volume 17, Issue 20

May 17, 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.

United States Secret Service’s Video: Averting Targeted School Violence

Audience: Superintendents, Principals and School Safety Stakeholders
The Vermont School Safety Center is pleased to share the United States Secret Service’s video: Averting Targeted School Violence. This sixteen-minute video provides research and data on best practices to avert targeted school violence in the future. We encourage school leaders to share this with their teams and share broadly as you feel appropriate after viewing. The video can be found on the Vermont School Safety Center’s website.
Contact: Robert L. Evans at or (802) 839-0448

FBI’s Report on Active Shooter Incidents in 2022

Audience: Superintendents, Principals and School Safety Stakeholders
The Vermont School Safety Center is pleased to share the FBI’s report on Active Shooter Incidents in 2022. This document reviews the data associated with each of these incidents and provides analysis and incident summaries. The report can be found on the Vermont School Safety Center’s website.
Contact: Robert L. Evans at or (802) 839-0448

Behavioral Threat Assessment Training

Audience: Superintendents, Principals and School Safety Stakeholders
The Vermont School Safety Center is pleased to announce a free Behavioral Threat Assessment training designed to prevent active shooter incidents and other targeted violence in our schools and communities. This eight-hour, remote training is scheduled for May 24, 2023, and is highly recommended for all those who are involved in the behavioral threat assessment process in schools and school districts. Register on the Zoom registration page.
Contact: Robert L. Evans at or (802) 839-0448

New Resources for Special Education Rule Changes

Audience: Special Education Directors, Building Administrators, Special Education Teachers, Interventionists, General Educators
Recordings of office hours, webinars, accompanying slide decks and additional resources related to the special education rule changes have been uploaded to the Special Education Rule Changes website under March 2023. These resources include: a recording of the March 18, 2023 office hour, a webinar to support general educators with special education rule changes and a webinar to support Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS) funds.
Contact: Cassie Santo at

Levels of Evidence and Research-Based Practices Guidance Document

Audience: Special Education Directors, Building Administrators, Special Education Teachers, Interventionists, General Educators
The Levels of Evidence and Research-Based Practices guidance document can be utilized to support teams in considering the strength of evidence for particular practices being used in instruction and intervention and to clarify the expectations related to research-based practices and special education eligibility.
Contact: Cassie Santo at

Vermont Public: Engaging Parents in the Summer of Possibilities

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
Join the Vermont Agency of Education and Vermont Public as we celebrate the summer of possibilities with PBS Kids! Looking for ways to engage parents in summer fun? Check out the article Ways to Nurture Interests That Inspire Their Passion. Remember to visit the Agency of Education’s Family Engagement webpage for more resources for parent, family, and community engagement. Visit the Vermont Public Kids and Education page for more recommendations for high-quality resources.
Contacts: Emily Leute at or Heather Duhamel at

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Audience: School Administrators, School Healthcare Providers
The Vermont Department of Mental Health is releasing newsletters on various mental health topics each week throughout May. The Week 1 newsletter contains eating disorder awareness in youth, Abenaki recognition and heritage week and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. The Week 2 newsletter focuses on suicide prevention work in Vermont. Please share with staff, community partners and families in your districts as feasible.
Contact: Marianna Donnally at

Registration now for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind Provider Education Seminar

Audience: School Administrators, Special Education Personnel, Speech Language Pathologists, Audiologists, Communication Facilitators, any educational interpreter who works with school age children who are D/HH/DB
The Vermont Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind (D/HH/DB) Council will host “Assessing the Quality of D/HH/DB Programs: How do we know if our programs are good enough?” on Friday, July 14, 2023, 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. The registration deadline is July 14, 2023. Providers and Teams serving the D/HH/DB community are encouraged to learn about the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) Guidelines (2018) and the tools available that can assist providers in ensuring service delivery that is consistent with current best practices. See the full agenda.
Contact: Linda Hazard at

Winners of the Youth Book Awards

Audience: All
The Vermont Department of Libraries recently announced the winners of the Vermont Youth Book Awards. I Eat Poop. A Dung Beetle Story by Mark Pett won the Red Clover Book Award (K-4th grade). Alone by Megan E. Freeman won the Vermont Golden Dome Book Award (grades 5-8). In a three-way tie, The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky, Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir and Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao won the Green Mountain Book Award (grades 9-12). Read the youth book award press release.
Contact: Lilly Talbert 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.

Vermont Educator Discount for Landmark College Summer Institute

The Landmark College Summer Institute will be from June 26-28, 2023, in Putney, Vermont. Learn practical strategies—anchored in research and more than 35 years of Landmark College expertise in teaching students with learning disabilities, ADHD, autism and executive function challenges. Keynote speaker Jennifer Cook on “Love on the Human Spectrum”, author of the Asperkids series and Autism in Heels. Plus sessions on Executive Function, Distress Tolerance Planning, Ungrading: Rethinking and Redesigning Assessment, Classroom Accommodations for Students with Language Deficits and more. Please use this registration link to ensure that you receive the discount for Vermont educators.
Contact: Leslie Brodeur at

Assessment Week Seminar Series

Registration is open for the June 26–29, 2023, Assessment Week, a convenient four-day series of live virtual seminars that will deepen your knowledge of assessment and help you gain a better understanding of the fundamentals of testing. Join nationally recognized assessment expert, Dr. Melissa Farrall, for a series of case-study investigations that will serve as a vehicle for learning about assessing student strengths and weaknesses, determining interventions, linking assessment data to instruction and building effective strategies to support all students. Visit the Stern Center’s Assessment Week page to sign up for the course and grant funding.
Contact: Julia Caminiti at

Vermont Family Network Free Workshop: Building and Empowering Ourselves Through the Youth Advocacy Council

Come join us on May 25, 2023, from 1-2 p.m. for Vermont Family Network's “Building and Empowering Ourselves Through the Youth Advocacy Council”. Learn about the Youth Advocacy Council, the leadership and advocacy opportunities it helps create for youth and young adults with disabilities in Vermont. This webinar will cover the history of the council since it was formed in 2018, membership opportunities for youth and young adults ages 15-25 and an overview of the work the council does each year.
Contact: Sienna Tuinei at

Trauma-Informed Special Education Research

The Trauma-Informed Special Education Research is a brief, online study that is focused on trauma-informed practices for special education teachers (K-12) across the US who work with students with autism, intellectual disability or developmental delay. There is a confidential, brief online survey (less than 30 minutes) and teachers who participate can enter to win one of five $50 gift cards through mid-June. Access the Trauma-Informed Special Education Practices survey.
Contact: Sarah Rhyne at

Professional Learning: New K-12 Guidance Cohort

The new School Counselor Collaborative Cohort is open. Rachel Luks Petraska and Patti Tomashot facilitate this course which offers crucial strategies to navigate the first years of being a Vermont School Counselor. Participants will gain proven instructional and self-care practices and will create a plan for implementation of the VT School Counseling Framework. This (optional) three graduate credit course will be taught either in-person, virtually or hybrid as needed. October - May 2, 2024. The book and lunches are included.
Contact: Lauren Wooden at or (802) 497-1642

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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