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Weekly Field Memo - Volume 17, Issue 8

February 22, 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.

What If Wednesday, Volume 3, 2023

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Safety Stakeholders
The Vermont School Safety Center is pleased to announce the "What If Wednesday" - Volume 3, 2023, school safety training initiative. The “What if Wednesday” training program is designed to be shared with all school safety stakeholders and should be used to stimulate a conversation about school emergency preparedness.
Contact: Robert L. Evans at or (802) 839-0448

Jay McTighe Visits Performance Assessment Peer Learning Community

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, PreK-12 Teachers
Educational author and consultant, Jay McTighe, joined the Agency of Education’s performance assessment Peer Learning Community (PLC) on Jan. 26, 2023. The evening was full of rich dialogue as participants posed questions about designing and implementing performance assessments and listened to McTighe’s thoughtful responses. Visit the AOE’s performance assessment webpage for additional information about the PLC and watch the recording to learn more.
Contact: Emily Leute at

Request for Public Comments on Proposed Change to Vermont’s State Perkins Plan

Audience: Superintendents, CTE Directors, Principals, CTE Educators
The Vermont Agency of Education seeks public comments on proposed changes to Vermont’s State Perkins Plan. The period for public comment is from Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, through Monday, March 20, 2023, at 4:30 p.m. You can read the existing language and the proposed new language and access the public comment form on the Perkins V webpage.
Contact: Ruth Durkee at or (518) 321-6238

U.S. Secret Service Research and Recommendations on the Prevention of Targeted School Violence Presentation

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, School Safety Stakeholders
For over 20 years, the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) has conducted research on the thinking and behaviors of those who commit acts of targeted school violence, in an effort to prevent future tragedies. Key findings from this research indicate that establishing multidisciplinary behavioral threat assessment teams and encouraging the reporting of concerning behaviors are critical steps in the prevention of targeted violence. Learn more by viewing the presentation flyer.
Contact: Robert L. Evans at or (802) 839-0448

Funding Opportunity and Grant Application: Adult Education and Literacy Services

Audience: Eligible organizations to provide adult education and literacy services
Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Title II, the AOE requests applications from eligible organizations and entities to implement adult education and literacy activities in Vermont during the July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2025, grant period. Applicant workshops will be held Feb. 22, 2023, and March 10, 2023. More information and materials may be found on the AOE’s Adult Education webpage. Deadline to submit applications is April 7, 2023.
Contact: Robin Castle at or (802) 828-0508

Vermont Public: Problem-Solving for PreK-Grade 1 Students

Audience: School Teams of Educators, Caregivers/Family Members, Students, and Community Stakeholders
Meet the newest PBS KIDS friends in Work It Out Wombats! This new series stars Malik, Zadie, and Zeke—three energetic and creative marsupial siblings who live with their grandmother in her treehouse apartment complex. The playful trio will demonstrate computational thinking (CT) for preschoolers, a way of thinking that enables them to solve problems, express themselves and accomplish tasks using the practices, processes and ideas at the core of computer science. Visit the PBS KIDS website to watch and learn. Visit the Vermont Public Kids and Education page to find more recommendations for high-quality media and resource collections.
Contacts: Emily Leute at or Heather Duhamel at

Agency of Education Open Position

Audience: All
The Vermont Agency of Education has an open position that is available to both state employees and external applicants. The open position is Digital Communications Specialist - Contact: Ted Fisher 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.

Young Inventors’ Program Invention Fair

Join the Young Inventors’ Program Invention Fair on Saturday, March 11, 2023, hosted by Vermont Day School. The Invention Fair is open to all K-8 students in Vermont. Participants come up with an invention, create a poster and prototype to show their idea and present it to a team of judges. Top finishers in each age group have the opportunity to go to the Regional Invention Fair at the University of New Hampshire. All participants receive an inventor’s journal and certificate. Register by March 1, 2023, on the event webpage.
Contact: Sage Bagnato at or (802) 495-5150

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

Governor’s Institutes of Vermont Presents the Entrepreneurship 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 Entrepreneurship, happening June 25 - July 1, 2023, at Vermont Technical College. In the Entrepreneurship Institute, students bring their passion and curiosity with a dive into the creativity and innovation that goes into developing new concepts. With the guidance of proven entrepreneurs and experts, plus a network of peers, students leverage their own unique business ideas to propel our ideas into future success. Students can attend for as little as $10.
Contact: Matthew Binginot at

All Learners Network Math Professional Development: Math for All Learners

Math for All Learners is a free twelve-hour workshop offered virtually on March 16-17, 2023, from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. with a two-hour break in the middle of the day. It is also offered in person at the All Learners Network Learning Center in Burlington on April 6 and 7, 2023, from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. This workshop includes the principles of teaching for equity and the closing of achievement gaps. It is a good introduction to the other workshops offered by the All Learners Network.
Contact: TJ Jemison at

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning Presents: Three Summer Graduate Courses

Partnerships for Literacy and Learning (PLL) has three graduate virtual literacy courses available this summer: The Resilient Adolescent Reader, Teaching for Transfer: Sticky & Relevant Word Study Practices K-6, and Middle Grades Literature: Bringing Relevant Texts into our Classrooms. Details are on PLL’s professional learning webpage.
Contact: Mary Grace at or (802) 828-0521

Umatter For Schools: Suicide Prevention Awareness Training

The Umatter for Schools Suicide Prevention national best practice program for suicide prevention is supported by funding from the Vermont Department of Mental Health. This newly designed four-week course, beginning in March, consists of asynchronous, self-paced work and virtual live zoom sessions. All four modules will include content presentation in multiple formats, self-reflection through discussion, activities designed for team engagement and learning assessments at the end of each module. Register online today, at least one week before the program start date.
Contact: Karen Carreira at

Applications Now Open for Free Agriscience Summer Academies at University of Vermont

University of Vermont (UVM) Extension’s 4-H Program invites rising 8-12 graders to apply for one of three free, residential summer academies held on the UVM campus June 25-30, 2023. AgroTek Innovation exposes students to agriscience skills in one of three topics: Culturing Cells for Healthier Soils, Shifting the Waste to Value Paradigm (converting agricultural waste into value-added products) and Using Virtual Reality for More Precise Agriculture. Participants will build important relationships with undergraduate student mentors along with faculty and staff. Details, including the link to apply, can be found on the AgroTek website. Deadline to apply is April 1, 2023.
Contact: Sarah Kleinman at or (802) 651-8343 ext. 521

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation Seeks Vermont Schools Serving Grades 9-12 to Engage in a Free 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. To apply, please send a brief email to Ellen Bagnato who will arrange an info session for stakeholders at your school and provide additional details on the application process. 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

Traditional Discipline Meets Restorative Practice with Elijah Hawkes

Vermont Higher Education Collaborative brings Elijah Hawkes back to Vermont for this two-day workshop series. The series is for any K-12 staff who is interested in how restorative values can be intertwined with traditional school interventions. Outcomes will help reduce and repair harm, contributing to school cultures characterized by understanding and belonging. Participants will leave with resources and action plans for simple changes that can have a large impact in shaping their school’s culture. The workshops begin on March 22, 2023, with both an in-person or virtual option.
Contact: Julie Medose at or (802) 498-3350

Vermont Council on Reading is now the Vermont Council on Literacy - Spring Conference

Join the Vermont Council on Literacy for the in-person Spring Conference event with Ralph Fletcher, Friday, May 5, 2023. Registration is open on the Vermont Council on Literacy website. This conference is at the Sugarbush Resort in Warren. Ralph is an author of many children’s books and a teacher of writing. Ralph is a warm and personable presenter, sure to spark your interest and enthusiasm for the teaching of writing. Early bird pricing of $195 until March 5, and $225 after March 5, 2023. Don’t miss this literacy event.
Contact: Ellen A. Thompson at

Rethinking Instruction & Assessment in Proficiency-Based Classrooms

Registration is open for Rethinking Instruction & Assessment in Proficiency-Based Classrooms, which begins on March 13, 2023, through the Castleton University Center for Schools. Educators will analyze their current lesson design and delivery and redesign lessons and units in order to facilitate self-directed, proficiency-based learning experiences in classrooms. Participants will learn strategies for facilitating instruction that personalizes learning, creates more learner agency, increases engagement and results in more meaningful reflection. View the full course description and register on Castleton's Continuing Education and Graduate Courses webpage.
Contact: Tara Lidstone at or (802) 345-0092

Professional Development: Choices Matter: Complicity and Action During the Holocaust

Registration is now open for Vermont Holocaust Memorial’s Educators Workshop taking place in Woodstock, VT on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., facilitated by Echoes and Reflections. Explore the motivations of groups and individuals to better understand how one can shift from a bystander role to an upstander role. Access tools and resources that teach about the Holocaust through the lens of choices and acts of complicity, and that inspire students to seek change. Enrollment is limited. Registration deadline: March 10, 2023. For more information and to register visit the event webpage.
Contact: Debora Steinerman 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 Ted Fisher at