The 802 Ed
What's going on in Vermont's education policy and practice
Welcome back! Big News Alert: We changed email platforms. The goods look a little different but otherwise – hope you like the upgrade.
This issue covers many topics that are immediately useful like the latest on a bill that would require secondary schools in Vermont to have two student representatives on the board, a training on intergenerational trauma, and clarification that Vermont State University is “NOT” going to close its libraries. Be sure to check out what’s happening in the Job Listings for School Leaders.
New to the lingo? At the suggestion of a reader we now include a guide to common abbreviations after all the news.
- Steven Berbeco, Editor
Building Psychological Safety For Your Team. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review presents background on feeling safe as a team player, and what a school leader can do to help promote this.
Antidotes to “Activist” Board Members. School Administrator dives into the question of board subcommittees that “risk board micro-management,” and offers three factors that can help keep everyone in their lane.
New Supports for Youth Mental Health. More than a dozen supervisory unions and youth organizations received grant awards up to $200,000 from AOE to offer Youth Mental Health First Aid and other mental health resources.
Vermont State University Consolidates Further. A recent job posting suggests that several programs are coming under one roof, led by a new “Dean of the Schools of Arts and Communications & Education, Psychology, and Social Sciences.”
Student Mental Health at “Breaking Point” Families sending their kids for services out of state, long wait lists for school based services, increased suicidal ideation among youth, schools creating “even greater staffing shortages” in community mental health agencies by hiring away their staff: Superintendent Lynn Cota lays out the stark reality of a system at the breaking point in this recent testimony to the House Committee on Education. This was a popular item in last issue, so we are including it again for readers who may have missed it.
Appealing Harassment Decisions. AOE published its list of four Independent Reviewers of Harassment Determinations that complainants can use if they want to dispute a school’s assessment or believe the response was inadequate – and a quarter of the reviewers are out-of-state.
Literacy Wars Continue. Ohio is the latest state to consider legislation that promotes the Science of Reading approach to early literacy, taking an additional step of outright banning Whole Language, Balanced Literacy, and Reading Recovery.
More Than Half of Girls Feeling Hopeless or Sad. Recent results from the CDC’s national Youth Risk Behavior Survey point to a significant increase in teen girls’ reported levels of violence, sadness, and suicidal ideation in 2021, with even higher levels among those who identify as LGBT.
Public Funding for Public Schools. The Vermont teachers’ union, VSBA, VSA, and VPA have joined together as the Education Equity Alliance to advocate for legislative action that restricts public funding to public schools.
Payout for Former Teacher. Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union recently settled for just under $100,000 with a teacher who alleged racial discrimination and wrongful termination.
Legislating Student Voice. The House Committee on Education is considering H.259, which would mandate secondary schools include two student representatives “to ensure meetings of the school board are a place for 16 others, especially students, to be heard” among other duties.
Heads Up, Vermont Several states are taking innovative steps to support their students. Vermont school leaders and lawmakers should take note:
New Hampshire’s legislature is considering mental health days for students as a way to support students accessing care “without fear of negative consequences to their grades.”
High schools in Indianapolis offer students opportunities to earn “soft skills” badges in professionalism and other areas, to help them land jobs after graduation.
Alaska’s governor recently removed degree requirements for most state jobs, in an effort to fill vacant positions: “If a person can do the job, we shouldn’t be holding anyone back just because they don’t have a degree.”
School leaders in Pinellas, Florida is changing their mindset as a way of solving seemingly intractable problems with their middle schools.
School Shootings in 2023. Education Week’s tracker reports seven school shootings in 2023. “On Feb. 15, police said that a 15-year-old girl was shot and injured outside Walter P. Carter Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, Md., where there was an after-school activity taking place.” Total school shootings in 2022: 51.
As a reminder, DPS and AOE operate an anonymous school safety tip line for students, school staff, and their community: calling 1-844-SAFE4VT; texting SAFE4VT to 274637; or online at safe4vt.org. For questions about school safety training in Vermont, contact Rob Evans.
In each issue we ask a survey question to get a sense of what is on our readers’ minds. Then, the following issue, we report back on what we learned. Last issue we asked: What do you think about the bill in the legislature that moves Pre-Kindergarten (PreK) from child care programs to public schools? The responses were about twice more strongly in favor of PreK should integrate with schools than PreK should stay in child care.
This issue’s survey question: Do you think that the legislature will go a step further than proposing to restrict funding private schools with public money, and extend this to child care programs that access Act 166 funding? Please indicate your response by clicking a check mark.
✅ The focus will stay on K-12 schools
✅ Child care will be included in the final bill
✅ I’m not sure either way
Job Listings for School Leaders
Come join the team at Bennington Elementary School as our Principal, using your experience as a school leader to maximize student learning and develop positive and collaborative relationships with our school community. Our staff works together to promote a positive school climate that fosters academic success for all students! Sponsored by Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union
The Danville School is seeking a strong instructional leader as its next Secondary Principal, who will work closely with the Elementary Principal and Technical and Experiential Learning Program Director to continue a robust initiative that provides the best education to our students and support to our staff in a unique educational environment. Sponsored by Caledonia Central Supervisory Union
The Berkshire Elementary School is looking for its next Principal, a dynamic and caring PK-8 educational leader with a track record of successful school improvement. Come join a team that is innovative and forward thinking, where many of your colleagues have been recognized at the local, state, and national level for their work in education! Sponsored by Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union
The newest, most state-of-the-art school building located in a district where students speak more than a dozen languages, that’s Winooski and their board is looking for the next Superintendent. Check out the list of desired criteria developed through community input, a timeline for the recruitment process, and of course a link to apply. Sponsored by 802 Ed
The market for school staff in Vermont is fierce and it’s important to stand out when attracting quality candidates. Why get wedged in among thousands of open positions on SchoolSpring? Instead, you can Supercharge the Applicant Pool! Your opportunity can stand out in an upcoming issue of the 802 Ed, dropping into the Inbox of 1,400+ readers. Sponsored by 802 Ed
Looking for a Change? With so many open education positions, there are sometimes unusual opportunities. For example, the Association for Student Conduct Administration recently posted a remote position for Executive Director for this “preeminent professional organization for student conduct professionals.”
Update on the Education Market
We can’t quite shake the winter chill, with snow melting then coming back every few weeks. But we are past the winter solstice and with the days becoming lighter and lighter we are also seeing some rapid shifts in the education job market leading into the spring thaw.
Postings for school leaders have definitely started to pick up, especially in the past 30 days, averaging two or more positions a week opening up. Many of these are closing almost as soon as they open, with more than a quarter of principal and assistant principal positions having been filled already – check out data from the Principal’s Office.
With so much quick movement it’s advisable for schools to post their anticipated leadership positions sooner rather than later. And for those looking for a change, time to update your resume and get it out there!
The chart below tracks the number of school administrator openings in the 60 days prior to publication, presented as data points and a linear trend line. Data from AOE’s Aithent Licensing System.
Principal and Assistant Principal positions are opening up and getting filled around the state. Here is a graphic representation of the total number of positions that have opened since January (25) and the number of positions that have been filled since then (7). Data from VPA.
Share the Love
Like what you are reading? Hit the button below to send a copy to a colleague, friend, neighbor, your boss… whoever!
Colleagues on the Move
Every issue we highlight school leaders who are making a change – congratulations!
Duane Pierson, currently assistant principal at Harwood Union High School, will be co-principal at Crossett Brook Middle School this summer. He will take over from Thomas Drake.
Dana Aquadro, currently assistant principal at Bellows Fall Middle School, will be principal at Leland & Gray Union Middle and High School this summer. He will take over from Bob Thibault.
Vernita Vallez, currently primary school principal at the American Nicaraguan School in Managua, will be principal at Morristown Elementary School this summer. She will take over from Kate Torrey.
Jeanné Collins, previously superintendent of Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union, is now Executive Director of the Horace Mann League of the USA.
Burlington recently announced finalists for its next high school principal:
Tamara Parks • Coordinator of ML Programs at Essex Westford School District
Marlon Maylor • Principal at Spaulding High School
Thomas Drake • Principal at Crossett Brook Middle School
These colleagues received administrator licensure from AOE since the last issue of the 802 Ed. Data from AOE’s Aithent Licensing System.
Bryan Cupoli • Principal
Francis O’Brien • Principal
Do you know a colleague who has made a recent move? Let us know!
Grants & Opportunities
Black History Month. Clemmons Family Farm recently released “Two Bessies on Two Wheels,” an African-American history curriculum package available at no cost for grades K-5 in honor of Black History Month, featuring Bessie Coleman, the first African-American and Native American to obtain a pilot’s license, and Bessie Stringfield, the first African-American woman to ride a motorcycle across the United States. Update: Check out Rachel Mann’s story in WCAX about this curriculum!
Seat at the Table. The State Board of Education has a vacancy with the departure of Patrick Brown on February 15. Check out the board’s website for more information, including how to apply.
Early Warning Signs. AOE recently published an RFP to develop district-wide early warning and intervention systems to support students. Deadline is March 1.
Where UDL and Math Intersect. All Learners Network is offering a virtual workshop on universal accommodations and tools that math educators provide for students to demonstrate their understanding. March 6, 8:30 - 11:30am and 1 - 4pm.
Mini Grants for Child Care. The Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children has a new grants portal for child care programs to apply for state-sponsored mini grants, along with other grant opportunities.
Intergenerational Trauma Training. The Department of Mental Health and the Abenaki Nation of Missisqoui are offering a training on Indigenous Historical and Intergenerational Trauma for mental health care providers, including those based in schools. Presenters are Kheya Ganguly, Director of Trauma Prevention and Resilience Development for the Agency of Human Services and Dr. Frederick Wiseman, a citizen of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi and Coordinator of the Vermont Indigenous Heritage Center. 1pm - 4pm, February 15 and 22.
U.S. Attorney Offers School Presentations. Schools can request a 60-90 minute interactive presentation from the U.S. Attorney’s Office titled United Against Hate, where students what hate crimes laws exist and why, and how to report potential hate crimes or discrimination to law enforcement.
Upping Literacy Supports. The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) recently announced its Year of the Book grant competition, which provides $25,000 worth of literacy programs, support, author visits and new books for preK-6 public schools with further eligibility requirements. Deadline is March 1.
Autism Dream Team. The Department for Children and Families recently posted an RFP for a “highly trained interdisciplinary consultation team(s) to provide Autism consultation services” for early childhood services. Deadline is March 8.
Trauma Informed Care Training. The Free Masons of Vermont and the Grand Lodge of Vermont are offering a two-day Mental Health and Trauma Informed Care training specifically for educators, at no cost, in Burlington. Limited to 60 participants. March 14 and 15.
Preventing Targets School Violence. The U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center will present its research on averting school attacks in a presentation at the University of Vermont. March 16, 9am - 1pm.
United Way Funding for Addison County Programs. United Way of Addison County recently released a Request for Letters of Interest for education programs in Addison County, with grants up to $22,500 per year. Deadline is March 22.
Supporting Statewide PBIS. AOE published an RFP to coordinate “evidence-based practices that prevent and address challenging behaviors, and include implementing statewide PBIS.” Deadline is April 12.
In Case You Missed It
Vermont State University Will NOT Close Libraries. In a recent message to students, staff, and faculty, Chancellor Sophie Zdatny reassured the community that “Vermont State University is NOT closing its libraries.” Also, getting rid of most of the libraries’ books, Zdatny points out, is not the same as “the destruction of books in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s Germany,” and those who suggest this are indicating “a lack of historical knowledge and context.”
Flying Turtles and Galloping Ghosts. Local advocacy organizations recently filed complaints with AOE about eight school mascots that “perpetuate harm,” including stereotypes of Indigenous cultures and representations of the Klu Klux Klan.
Sister Circles and Lyft. In this National Conference on Education blog post, former Vermont Superintendent Jeanné Collins shares her reflections on breaking the glass ceiling and the challenges of supporting “ODGs,” also known as August hires.
The 802 Ed brings together the latest from Vermont's associations for principals, superintendents, and school board members, as well as state and national education agencies. We hope that you'll find something useful in each issue and welcome comments or suggestions for upcoming issues: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abbreviation list: AOE Agency of Education, CDD Child Development Division, DCF Department for Children and Families, DPS Department of Public Safety, ED U.S. Department of Education, RFP Request for Proposals, PBIS Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, VPA Vermont Principals Association, VSA Vermont Superintendents Association, VSBA Vermont School Board Association.
Special bonus for making it to the bottom: Did you know that there is a Hammer Museum in Alaska? Admission is free for kids under 12 when accompanied by an adult, which on balance is probably a good idea anyway, since it’s a hammer museum.