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Weekly Field Memo - Volume 17, Issue 31

September 6, 2023

The Agency of Education created the weekly field memo to keep subscribers up-to-date with current education policy, state-wide education initiatives, and official messages from the AOE. The field memo may also include education-related items from other state agencies. The field memo is not intended to serve as a newsletter.

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.

Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports Professional Learning Providers (2023) 

Audience: Administrators 
The Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports (VTmtss) Professional Learning Providers (2023) includes organizations that provide multi-tiered system of supports professional learning in alignment with the VTmtss Framework. The Suggested Criteria and Questions When Selecting Vermont Multi-Tiered System of Supports (VTmtss) Professional Learning Providers includes the criteria used to identify the providers on this list. SU/SD/schools may use these criteria and questions when selecting professional learning providers to support expanding and improving the systemic infrastructure provided by the VTmtss Framework. 
Contact: Nancy Hellen at 

Family Engagement Networking Series

Audience: Family Engagement Personnel, Administrators    
Please join the Family Engagement Networking Series facilitated by the AOE Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports (VTmtss) Team. The first Networking Session will be held on September 13 from 1-2 p.m. The theme, Welcoming and Centering for a Year of Trust and Connection, will focus on reconnecting, thought partnering, and supporting each other in our Family Engagement work. These are informal monthly one-hour virtual sessions for family engagement colleagues to connect, hear updates, and discuss problems of practice regarding family engagement. Save the dates for future Family Engagement Networking Sessions which will be held every second Wednesday from 1-2 p.m.   
Contact: Nancy Hellen at    

Vermont Public: Free Workbooks for But Why's Northeast Nature Videos

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, Grades 3-5 Teachers
Vermont Public’s But Why team has created a series of short videos for 3rd-5th grades. In the first season, Northeast Nature, host Jane Lindholm helps kids explore the science behind what’s happening in the northeastern U.S. each month, offering educators and students an opportunity to find science in their own backyards. Additionally, the team provides teacher resources, project suggestions, and fun activity guides to take learning off the screen and into the classroom. Visit the But Why website to see descriptions of all the episodes and to request free printed copies of workbooks made in collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Education.
Contacts: Emily Leute at or Heather Duhamel at

Evidence-Based Literacy Practices

Audience: PreK-Grade 3 Educators, Curriculum Leaders, Literacy Coaches
The AOE’s English Language Arts and Literacy webpage is now the home to a collection of documents that provide information about evidence-based practices to support literacy in grades PreK-3, as recommended in the What Works Clearinghouse/IES Practice Guides. These practice guides present recommendations that were developed by a panel of literacy experts based on reviews of research, practitioner experiences, and expert opinions. Click on each evidence-based practice to learn more about the ESSA level of evidence, how to carry out the recommendation, and connections to Literacy Essential Practices
Contact: Emily Leute at

Castleton Course: Systemic Use of Data to Improve Student Learning 

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, and K-12 Teachers  
This course is being offered through Castleton and is free for Vermont educators. It is designed for teams to build a collaborative data-use culture, where teachers and administrators meet regularly and leverage a variety of assessments to improve student learning and teacher practices. The course starts on October 11 and includes three in-person sessions (October 25, 2023; January 10, 2024; and May 22, 2024) and nine two-hour virtual sessions. The option for earning three credits is available for $450. For details and registration, visit the Vermont Data Use website.  
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at

Webinar: Using Quantile Measures to Target Instruction

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, and K-12 Teachers  
A Quantile measure provides a numerical range that reflects a student’s readiness for learning various mathematical skills. This measure is based on the developmental continuum of skills taught at different grade levels. During this hour-long webinar, participants will have the opportunity to review resources that are available in the MetaMetrics Quantile Hub. National assessments that provide Quantile Measures as well as tools such as Teacher Assistance, which provides guidance and resources to differentiate instruction, will be explored. This webinar will take place from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. on both December 7, 2023 and February 7, 2024. Registration is now open.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at

Social Studies Professional Development: Ethan Allen and the American Revolution

Audience: Educators, Curriculum Directors
The Agency of Education, the Vermont 250th’s Education and Outreach Committee, and Fort Ticonderoga have collaborated to offer educators (in grades 3-12) a free webinar on Ethan Allen and the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution. This free webinar examines Allen’s life, delves into the Allen-related collections at Fort Ticonderoga, and suggests ways for educators to incorporate into their curriculum the story of Allen and its place in the American Revolution. Pre-registration is required for this free webinar on October 10, 2023, at 6:30 p.m.
Contact: Martha Deiss at

Creating Cleaner, Healthier and Safer Classrooms this School Year 

Audience: Principals and Teachers
Did you know that disinfectants are not necessary for general classroom clean-up? Disinfectants, including disinfectant wipes like Clorox or Lysol, often contain harsh chemicals and fragrances that can trigger asthma, cause eye, nose and throat irritation and may impact reproduction and development. Children should never use disinfectants, including disinfectant cleaning wipes. In fact, all disinfectant labels include the statement “Keep Out of Reach of Children.” Learn more about the health impacts of disinfectants and safer alternatives for classroom clean-up. When disinfectants are needed, be sure to choose safer disinfectants and follow all label instructions.
Contact: Michelle Thompson 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 Nichole Barnes at