The 802 Ed
What's going on in Vermont's education policy and practice
This issue covers many topics that are immediately useful like a state-by-state review of wages for support staff and an opportunity to weigh in on civic education in Vermont. Be sure to check out the innovative approaches that other states are taking to education!
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
DEI Metrics, Easy As Apple Pi. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review suggests seven metrics to track DEI progress, which almost spell out “Apple Pie.”
“Could It Have All Gone Down Very Differently?” WCAX’s Christina Guessford launches a three-part series on Vermont schools that may or may not be environmentally unsafe, depending on federal or shifting state PCB levels.
Living Wages for Support Staff. Education Week recently reviewed an annual report of the National Education Association, highlighting that support staff in seven states make on average less than $28,000 a year. Vermont’s average salary is better than New Hampshire, but well below Alaska.
Canary in the Coal Mine? VTDigger covers the recent decision by a Burlington youth community organization to shutter its child care program, what a child care advocacy group says is a harbinger of what’s to come without significant state investments.
“Absolutely Made Up.” Seven Days’ Alison Novak takes readers through the twists and turns that connect allegations of a fabricated investigation to the eventual resignation of an experienced high school principal. Further details came out in a follow-up article in the Addison Independent.
Goodbye, Boys and Girls. WCAX reports that Essex-Westford School District is attracting national attention for changes to their health class, substituting in terms like “person who produces sperm” for “male” and similar person-first terms.
Fixing the Discipline Problem. NPR’s On Point zeroes in the difficulty of teaching in classrooms where student behavior challenges the learning environment. Not surprisingly, the conversation turns quickly to mental health. This was a popular item in last issue, so we are including it again for readers who may have missed it.
Another Reason for Danger Pay for Principals. Early morning security camera footage caught an elementary school principal from West Virginia as he opened the dumpster behind the school to find a…
Early Ed Turmoil in the Heart of Dixie. Alabama’s governor forced the state’s Secretary of Early Childhood Education to resign over training materials from NAEYC that reference LGBTQIA+ families and other “woke concepts.”
Heads Up, Vermont. Several states are taking innovative steps to support their students. Vermont school leaders and lawmakers should take note:
Alaska legislators are considering a bill that would require financial literacy as a graduation requirement.
In Colorado, non-violent offenders can now reduce their sentences significantly by completing education programs, from six month for a certificate to two years for a doctorate.
Starting next year students in Indiana must complete the FAFSA, a federal financial aid tool, a new graduation requirement meant to nudge more students toward college.
Kansas made it easier to hire out of state teachers by signing on to the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact. Vermont, meanwhile, has yet to even take the step of introducing legislation to join.
New Jersey schools will have better access to mental health services through two state agencies that are cooperating with each other, the equivalent of AOE and DCF in Vermont, introducing a new “hub and spoke” model.
School Shootings in 2023. Education Week’s tracker reports 18 school shootings in 2023. “On May 1, a 31-year-old woman was shot and injured in a school parking lot during student pickup time in Flint, Mich. Police say the shooting occurred after the victim got into a fight with another parent.” 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: Who do you predict will be the next Secretary of Education? The responses were strongly in favor of One of Vermont’s better-known education leaders, with fewer than a quarter of the responses selecting An experienced human services executive or A complete surprise.
This issue’s survey question: What are the greatest needs right now among school staff? Please indicate your response by clicking a check mark.
Job Listings For School Leaders
Assistant Principal. Come join a great team at Derby Elementary School, working together with our wonderful students and committed staff! Strong applicants will have at least five years of teaching and/or administrative experience including MTSS and Special Education. Sponsored by North Country Supervisory Union
Supercharge the Applicant Pool. 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? Your opportunity can stand out in an upcoming issue of the 802 Ed, dropping into the Inbox of 1,800+ readers. Sponsored by 802 Ed
Looking For a Change? With so many open positions in education, there are sometimes unusual opportunities. For example, the federal Bureau of Indian Education is hiring a Chief Academic Officer for the 184 elementary and secondary schools and dormitories located on 63 reservations in 23 states.
Thank the Team
Thank you to a school leader from Burlington School District and a DEI coordinator for the cups of coffee!
Like what you are reading? Want a creative way to show your support? Cover our coffee budget! Writing, editing, researching… all of that is caffeine driven. Choose this option and the extra energy will go to finding a few more updates to share.
Update on the Education Market
We have passed the midyear mark, made it through the doldrums between February and April vacations, and now the final days of the school year are within sight. The end date may be shifted for some schools because of snow days, but at least school leaders and staff can see the runway as they look to land their planes for the summer.
The education market in Vermont has also been slowing down in the past two months as school leaders, teachers, and staff sign on for another year or move into their next job. This translates into fewer job postings across the state at a rate about about seven fewer openings per day.
For those still in the market, this means less competition for applicants and potentially a much smaller candidate pool for school boards, superintendents, and principals, who may need to act fast to catch the best applicants. In many ways it’s a good time to be looking for a job as the market slows down to summer mode.
The chart below tracks the total number of openings in the 60 days prior to publication, presented as data points and no trend line this time. Data from SchoolSpring.
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 (48) since the start of the calendar year, and the number of positions that have been filled (32) since then. Data from VPA.
Pass It On
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!
Wilmer Chavarria, currently equity director at Milton Town School District, will be superintendent at Winooski School District this summer. He will take over from Sean McMannon.
Deb Beaupre, currently associate principal at Hanover High in New Hampshire, will be principal at Burlington High School this summer.
Sabrina Westdijk, currently principal at Edmunds Middle School, will be assistant principal at Burlington High School this summer.
Lissa McDonald, previously interim principal at Rick Marcotte Central School, is now principal.
Natalie Conway will be principal at Danville High School this summer. She will take over from David Schilling.
These colleagues received administrator licensure from AOE since the last issue of the 802 Ed. Data from AOE’s Aithent Licensing System.
Kenneth Cadow • Principal
Edna Flores • Principal
Albert Gregoritsch • Principal
Teri Sue Hitchcock • Principal
Andrew Lane • Principal
Steven Tullar • Principal
Casey VanDemark • Principal
Annastasia Welchoff • Principal
Do you know a colleague who has made a recent move? Let us know!
Grants & Opportunities
Student Motivation Through Purposeful Belonging. NEASC is presenting a webinar by a mental health professional and best-selling author on how to empower educators and support students. 9am - 10am. May 10.
Is Standards-Based Grading a Good Idea After All? Education Week is hosting a panel webinar on the advantages and challenges of standards-based grading, including suggestions for community buy-in when changing grading policies. 2pm - 3pm. May 11.
Media Intern For Bering Sea Research Trip. The Alaska Teen Media Institute has opened applications for an intern (18 to 24 years old) to ride along on the R/V Sikuliaq research vessel for a month, documenting the project and sharing what it’s like to live and work at sea. Deadline is May 14.
Civic Education Advisory Group. The state’s recently hired Education and Civic Engagement Coordinator is convening an advisory group to help develop K-12 resources for civic education.
Mini-Grants from McClure. The McClure Foundation is offering small grants (up to $2,500) to help youth prepare for life after high school. Speedy review of applications and no reporting requirements!
Educating Homeless Kids. AOE has published an RFP for a contractor to support students who are homeless, including high school completion, postsecondary planning, and connection to other services. Deadline is May 22.
CIS Stabilization. DCF recently posted an RFP for contracted services to support professional development, recruitment, and other supports for Children’s Integrated Services, the state’s IDEA Part C provider. Deadline is August 4.
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In Case You Missed It
Thousands in JUUL Settlement. Burlington School District announced recently that they were one of the districts across the country that reached a settlement with a vaping manufacturing company, bringing in about $42,000 to the district.
Update to First Nations Scholarship. Vermont Law and Graduate School has changed an existing scholarship program so that members of state-recognized tribes, like the Abenaki, are now eligible alongside members of federally-recognized tribes.
Hurrying Up to Slow Down. Addison Central School District sped up its national superintendent search, landed on two finalists but then one dropped out, and in the end decided to look for a one-year interim superintendent and run the search again in the fall.
The Vermont Free Lunch. Both legislative houses have voted in favor of a bill that extends universal school breakfast and lunch for another year, although it’s not clear whether the Governor will sign it into law.
Teacher Appreciation Week. USA Today lines up several national promotions that celebrate teachers from May 8 to May 12, while missing the story that teachers, stretched thin after the pandemic, may need more than a free cheeseburger.
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: email@example.com.
Abbreviation list: AOE Agency of Education, CDD Child Development Division, DAIL Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living, DCF Department for Children and Families, DPS Department of Public Safety, ED U.S. Department of Education, RFP Request for Proposals, NAEYC National Association for the Education of Young Children, NEASC New England Association of Schools and Colleges, PBIS Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, VPA Vermont Principals Association, VSA Vermont Superintendents Association, VSBA Vermont School Board Association.