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Weekly Field Memo - Volume 17, Issue 33

September 20, 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.

STEAM Challenge Grant Opportunity

Audience: Superintendents, Principals/School Heads, Curriculum Directors, CTE Administrators, Educations, School Librarians, SU/SD Afternoon Program Directors
AOE is offering a competitive grant to support programs providing students with a holistic STEAM experience. This short-duration, competitive grant opportunity will make awards of no more than $15,000. The intent of the grant is to promote rigorous, relevant and authentic STEAM learning experiences that encourage students to apply STEAM concepts to real-world situations. Vermont public secondary schools, including career technical education centers, are invited to organize interdisciplinary student teams to address a problem within the state. Grant applications are due October 16, 2023.
Contact: Lisa Helme,

Universal Screening for Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Needs and Strengths in Vermont Schools

Audience: Supervisory Union, School District, and Independent School Leadership
Vermont's Agency of Education and Department of Mental Health have created guidelines designed to support the work of SU/SD leadership in the screening of social, emotional, and behavioral needs and strengths. Just as with academic needs, addressing social, emotional, behavioral, mental health, and wellness needs in school is a core component of a multi-tiered system of support and needs to be specifically addressed in continuous improvement plans at the school and SU/SD level. These guidelines highlight the extensive guidance on interconnecting mental health with the Early MTSS and Vermont Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (VTmtss) Framework, and Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS).
Contact: Tracy Watterson, VTmtss Program Manager,, 802-828-5012

FY 2024 Special Education Expense Report (SEER)

Audience: Superintendents, Business Managers, Special Education Administrators
FY 2024 Special Education Expense Report (SEER) forms are now available. The Special Education Expenditure Report Instructions for FY2024 and Special Education Expenditure Report for FY2024 can be found on the AOE website.
Contact: Jennifer Perry,

Vermont Public: Young Writers Project

Audience: Curriculum Directors, Teachers
Join the Vermont Agency of Education and Vermont Public in celebrating the new resources on the Young Writers Project’s new website. Check out the news tab to find out more about Teenager: Readings and also the new teachers tab. Remember to visit the Vermont Public Kids and Education page for more recommendations for high-quality resources.
Contacts: Emily Leute, or Heather Duhamel,

Registration for 2023 Annual Vermont Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (VTPBIS) Forum

Audience: Educators, Support Staff, School Administrators, SEL Professionals, Mental Health Professionals
Registration is now open online for the 2023 Annual VTPBIS Forum. The Forum will be held on October 12, 2023 in Killington, VT. This year’s theme is “Getting Better All the Time: Transforming PBIS with Clear Purpose and Intentionality.” Join us for a day of learning and to hear from our keynote presenter, Dr. Gillian Boudreau, attend workshops of your choice, celebrate and network with colleagues, and much more. To see all workshop offerings at the Forum, please view the agenda. Please visit the professional development calendar to see other great offerings this year.
Contact: Anne Dubie at

Stanford REACH Lab Substance Use Prevention Resources

Audience: The Stanford REACH Lab has several free resources including the Tobacco Prevention Toolkit and the Cannabis Awareness and Prevention toolkit, which both include free curricula on the respective topics for elementary, middle and high school grades, and the Healthy Futures alternative-to-suspension program which now encompasses both nicotine and cannabis use.
Contact: Beth Keister,

Vermont Department of Libraries, Vermont Youth Book Awards Virtual Conference

Audience: K-12 Teachers and School Librarians
The Vermont Department of Libraries announced author keynotes for next week’s Vermont Youth Book Awards virtual conference, Thursday, September 28. The day-long conference features three two-hour sessions. Book Award committee members lead an exploration into each award nomination list, highlighting innovative and fun ways to promote and engage book award participation in schools and libraries. Registration is required for each session:

Contact: Lilly Talbert,

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,

Vermont School Safety Center

Audience: Superintendents, Principals and School Crisis Planning Stakeholders
The Vermont School Safety Center is pleased to announce a “swatting and bomb threat” training provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Office. This training provides attendees an overview of the realities of bomb threats and swatting hoaxes and includes a detailed review of statistics and current trends seen across the country. The training will also cover the characteristics of hoax calls, law enforcement best practices for assessment and response, and the decision making process for evacuation or sheltering in place. This training will take place on Tuesday, October 3 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Registration is available online. 

Contact: Robert Evans, VT School Safety Liaison Officer, or 802-839-0448.

Afterschool and Summer Learning Program

Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Curriculum Leaders, Afterschool and Summer Program Programs
With the passage of Act 78 of 2023, the Agency of Education is charged, with support from the Afterschool and Summer Learning Advisory Committee constituted by Act 78, to develop and administer an afterschool grant program to support the expansion of summer and afterschool programs throughout Vermont, with an emphasis on increasing access in underserved areas of the State. This new program is supported through an appropriation of the Education Fund and based on available cannabis revenue. The Agency has been working diligently to develop an initial pilot grant program using a portion of these funds, with a goal to release an initial competitive grant round in the latter portion of Fall 2023. If you have any questions about this legislation or the work of the Advisory Committee, please contact Johannes Haensch at or Jess DeCarolis at
Contact: Johannes Haensch,

Field Trips Available at State Parks

Audience: All PreK-Grade 12 Educators and students
Guided field trip experiences are available at state parks across Vermont now through Indigenous Peoples Day. Experienced Park Interpreters will design and deliver fun, hands-on learning experiences aligned to your curriculum on a variety of topics. Entry fees for school groups during the school year is $0.50 per person. There is no fee for educational programming.
Contact: Rebecca Roy, Interpretive Program Manager, phone: 802-522-0780

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