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Weekly Field Memo - Volume 17, Issue 32

September 13, 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.

The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21C) Grant Application

Audience: General Audience
The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21C) Grant, with an estimated annual available minimum of $3,000,000, is now open for the purpose of providing comprehensive high-quality afterschool and summer learning opportunities. Investments are for five years. Virtual applicant trainings for teams will be held on October 11 (Part 1) and November 9, 2023 (Part 2) from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Letters of Intent (electronic) are due November 22, 2023. Applications are due February 2, 2024 in the GMS system. The application will become available in the GMS system on September 29, 2023. To view a paper copy of the entire grant application and materials go to the AOE 21C webpage. To get on the applicant mailing list and to register for trainings use this form. You may also view the 21C quick eligibility checker.
Contact: Emanuel Betz, 21C State Coordinator, at 802-881-4426

Ensure Your School Contacts Are Up to Date

Audience: Superintendents
Please review the Supervisory Union contact change form to ensure that the AOE has the correct people on file for the positions in your SU/SD. This helps ensure that your staff are properly notified of new information from the state. Navigate to the contact form, select your SU, and review and/or edit the information on file. 
Contact: James Nadeau,

Vermont School Safety Center

Audience: Superintendents, Principals and School Crisis Planning Stakeholders
Vermont's Agency of Education, Department of Public Safety, and the Vermont School Safety Center are pleased to present School Behavioral Threat Assessment & Management (BTAM) training designed to prevent active shooter incidents and other targeted violence in our schools and school districts. This virtual training introduces the concept of threat assessment and includes guidance and resources for forming and implementing a team in your school or district. This one-day (awareness level) course also teaches participants how to assess threats and other disturbing behavior, and take steps to reduce risk and prevent violence in our schools. Recently passed school safety legislation will require all threat assessment team members to attend this training. This remote, free training will take place September 21, October 26 and November 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration for these training opportunities can be found on the Vermont School Safety Center website.  
Contact: Robert L. Evans, VT School Safety Liaison Officer, or (802) 839-0448.

Audience: Superintendents, Principals and School Crisis Planning Stakeholders
The Vermont School Safety Center is pleased to offer a new Table Top Exercise (TTX) template designed to test and evaluate your school’s ability to response to a critical incident. The focus of this exercise is school bus safety. This exercise can be used with a large or small group of stakeholders and can take less than an hour to complete. This TTX template can be found on the VT School Safety Center’s website.
Contact: Robert L. Evans, VT School Safety Liaison Officer, or (802) 839-0448.

School Indoor Air Quality Workshop

Audience: Facilities Managers
The Center for Green Schools and the U.S. Department of Energy's Efficient and Healthy Schools Campaign, in coordination with Environmental Protection Agency, are hosting a free in-person training for K-12 school staff working to improve indoor air quality. The training will focus on developing and strengthening IAQ management plans and sharing the most up-to-date best practices for continuous IAQ monitoring. The training will be held October 18 and 19 in Washington, DC. There are a limited number of travel stipends available. The deadline to apply for a travel stipend is September 22, 2023. Complete the application to secure your spot.
Contact: Michelle Thompson at 

Webinar Launching Literacy Professional Learning Course 

Audience: Superintendents, Principals/Heads of School, General Audience
Join us for the launch of the first module of the new professional learning course, Building a Strong Foundation for Lifelong Literacy Success, on September 21 from 3 to 4 p.m. The AOE announced the launch of this asynchronous online course focused on the neuroscience of reading with six modules designed for educators of all grade-bands and content areas. The webinar will provide information about the full course and preview module one about how the brain learns to read. Registration for the professional learning course is now available online.
Contact: Emily Lesh,

Benchmark Assessment Grant Application: Round 3

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, and Instructional Coaches
The third round of applications for the ARP ESSER Benchmark Assessment Grant for Vermont LEAs is 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 October 12, 2023. Additional information, including an Addendum that clarifies priorities and contains responses to frequently asked questions, can be found on the ARP ESSER Funding Opportunities webpage.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at

Making the Most of Lexile Measures in the Classroom

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Principals, Instructional Coaches, and K-12 Educators
This one-hour webinar, Making the Most of Lexile Measures in the Classroom, will enhance your understanding of the Lexile Framework and provide an opportunity to learn how the tools on the Lexile® Hub can inform reading instruction and enhance student reading development. This webinar will provide practical insights on effectively utilizing Lexile measures to guide book selection, differentiate instruction, and more. Leave with actionable strategies and a deeper appreciation for how Lexile measures can positively impact student learning outcomes. The webinar will be offered Thursday, September 28 and Wednesday, October 18. Both sessions will take place from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. Register for the September or October session online.
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons at

The Vermont Portrait of a Graduate plus Personalized Learning Plan Overview 

Audience: Superintendents, Curriculum Directors, Principals, and K-12 Educators 
With support from the AOE, Great Schools Partnership (GSP) is continuing to share information related to the Portrait of a Graduate (PoG) development process. The GSP team is offering a series of virtual coaching sessions throughout the fall. These sessions will include discussions focused on particular topics as well as opportunities for individual coaching. The first session, The Vermont PoG and Personalized Learning Plans Overview on September 19 from 3 to 4 p.m., will provide an overview of the development process and explore ways to build connections between the PoG and students’ Personalized Learning Plans. Registration for the virtual coaching sessions is now open.  
Contact: Pat Fitzsimmons,  

Indicator 11 and IEP Timelines Training for Special Education Teachers

Audience: Special Educators, Special Education Directors
Registration for an Indicator 11 and IEP Timelines Training for Special Education Teachers is now available. Please be certain to register for this event to receive a link to the training. This training will be offered at three different times: November 2 from 8 to 9 a.m., November 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and November 13 from 2 to 3 p.m. Participants will increase their understanding of timeline requirements under IDEA, indicator 11, and forms used for initial evaluations and reevaluations.
Contact: Cassie Santo,    

Vermont K-12 Special Education Evaluation Implementation Guide Diagnostic Tool Overview

Audience: Special Education Directors, Special Educators, Special Education Evaluation Team Members
On October 28 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., a session has been scheduled to review the Vermont K-12 Special Education Evaluation Implementation Guide Diagnostic Tool. The Diagnostic Tool is designed as a companion resource for the K-12 Special Education Evaluation Implementation Guide, which outlines the components for implementing a comprehensive Evaluation Process. During this session, we will review how the Diagnostic Tool could be used as a resource to assist LEA decision makers in building and/or improving their existing Special Education Evaluation processes. Please register online for this session.
Contact: Cassie Santo,

Professional Learning Series for Early Warning Systems (EWS) 

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, CTE Directors, Data and IT Managers 
The Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) will host a professional learning series this fall to assist Supervisory Unions/Supervisory Districts (SU/SD) in developing and implementing Early Warning Systems. The first workshop will take place on Thursday, September 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at VSBIT offices in Berlin. We ask that participating SU/SDs send two representatives to attend – a lead on program/academic considerations and a lead on technology considerations. Please RSVP to secure your slot, as space is limited to the first 30 SU/SDs that respond. A makeup/virtual session will be scheduled at a date TBD for SU/SDs unable to attend. 
Contact: Ryan Parkman at 

Early Childhood Special Education Live Webinar: Early Child Outcomes

Audience: ECSE Coordinators, ECSE Educators, Special Education Coordinators
ECSE topical webinars begin this Friday, September 15, 2023 at 1 p.m. Professionals with less than five years in their position or those needing a refresher on ECSE areas will find these webinars most beneficial. An open question and answer period to clarify, offer resources, and/or dive deeper into the webinar’s topic, will follow. This month’s topic is Indicator 7: Early Child Outcomes. There is no prior registration, and all participants can join via the Microsoft Teams link on the event webpage. Certificate hours of attendance will be available upon request.
Contact: Katie McCarthy at

SEL VT - Social-emotional Learning Program Office Hours

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Curriculum Coordinators, School Counselors, and School Psychologists
Representatives from the contractor will be hosting office hours on September 20, 2023, and October 19, 2023 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. During the office hours, participants can learn more about the social-emotional learning program that is available to them at no cost. In addition, participants can learn about an available free mental health and social-emotional learning screener. Join September Office Hour or October Office Hour via Zoom.
Contact: Meg Porcella 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