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Society of Health and Physical Educators of Vermont

SHAPE Vermont Advocacy and Legislation

Vermont ESSA Plan Released

The Vermont Agency of Education, in collaboration with roughly 2000 stakeholders statewide, has drafted a Vermont State Plan in response to the requirements of the Vermont Education Quality Standards (EQS) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  The Plan primarily describes the state’s proposed system for local-level accountability and applications for ESSA-related federal funding, with an emphasis on supporting school and Supervisory Union and District continuous improvement efforts. Read the 200+ pages here.

The Plan received approval from the US Department of Education on August 31, 2017

As Vermont works to implement an accountability system that better reflects the state’s education priorities, changes will need to be made at the state and local level. To meet these new requirements, some shifts in practice will be required of schools and SU/SDs. The most important changes requiring local-level action are in a checklist provided here.

Please note ACTION 3: Administer the new Physical Education (PE) assessment (grades to be delivered September 2017) in the 2017 – 2018 school year. Beginning: Field tested in all schools in Spring 2018, with implementation for accountability in Spring 2019.

SHAPE VT will be working with our state partners in the VT AOE and the Vermont Department of Health to provide resources including professional development, technological and assessment resources. We will post information here as it is received from the VT AOE.


A reminder from the VT AOE...School Field and Forest Trips - Reminders Needed for Classrooms About Tick Checks

Audience: Principals, Teachers, School Nurses
School personnel planning field trips, please include opportunities for students, families, and chaperones to learn how to check themselves and children for ticks. Learn why this lifelong skill is needed to keep themselves healthy using the following resources. Press release: Protect, Check, Remove;  Watch for Ticks through Thanksgiving. Web resources:  Be Tick Smart.
Contact: Sharonlee Trefry, State School Nurse Consultant, Vermont Department of Health, at (802) 863-7348 or sharonlee.trefry@vermont.gov


Advocate for ESSA Title IV Funding

The school health and physical education community celebrated a huge legislative milestone when Congress passed the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December of 2015. School health and physical education were included in federal education law for the first time, and as a result, schools will have access to significant funding and increased support for health education and physical education programs.

Funding under ESSA is beginning to be distributed to states. But in May, Congress made a drastic change in how much money states and school districts will have to work with when they passed the FY 2017 appropriations legislation. They only allocated $400 million for Title IV, Part A, Student Supports and Academic Enrichment Grants, where school health and physical education are identified as priorities for funding. This is less than 25 percent of the authorized level of $1.65 billion that was proposed in ESSA.

Remember, just because health and physical education are now eligible for federal education funding does not mean that states and school districts must spend their dollars on these subjects. States and school districts must hear from you as to why they should use some of their funds to support professional development and programmatic costs for health and physical education.

What you can do

At the federal level, contact your members of Congress to ask them to fully fund Title IV, Part A for FY 18. The low level of funding appropriated for FY 2017 is just not enough money to make a meaningful impact in schools. In addition, the President is proposing complete elimination of this funding for FY 18.

  • Use SHAPE America’s Backyard Advocacy Toolkit to meet with your members of Congress in your own backyard, when they are in their state and district offices. To learn how to use the toolkit, watch this Backyard Advocacy webinar.
  • Make sure you stay engaged with your state and school district leaders as ESSA is implemented over the next year. Use the SHAPE America  State Advocacy Toolkits to access information and resources. If lawmakers and decision-makers at all levels don’t hear from us loud and clear, it is not guaranteed that health and physical education will be a priority or receive funding support. SHAPE America is here to help you with resources and individual support. Don’t hesitate to share any victories, challenges or questions as you navigate throughout your ESSA advocacy journey. Let’s do this!  ,


Key Contacts

Dr. Susan Yesalonia, VT AOE PE HE Consultant (802) 479-1284
Jennifer Woolard, Dept of Health PA Specialist, 802-863-7393

Vermont Agency of Education

ESSA Information 
Vermont Agency of Education
Agency of Education, Physical Education  

Education Stakeholders

Chief State School Officer
Vermont Superintendents
Vermont School Principals
Vermont ASCD
Governor Phil Scott


You're the Cure and The Pulse

These AHA  websites give you the tools you need to play a crucial role in the fight against heart disease and stroke. You’ll be able to communicate with key legislators, connect with advocates near you, and stay up-to-date on the heart and stroke issues that matter most to you. Visit the Federal and State newsroom and advocacy site here.

The American Heart Association has launched an exciting campaign in Vermont to promote healthy kids’ meals and drinks in restaurants. Please join us and show your lawmakers that you support making the healthy choice the easy choice for families.

You can help by taking two minutes to complete an electronic postcard for legislators! AHA VT will print out the cards and deliver them to legislators in the statehouse during the legislative session, when they are considering this important bill.

Vermont Advocacy Tools

Be an advocate for physical activity, health and physical education in Vermont. Visit the State of Vermont Legislative page found here frequently to reach your representative or for updates on pending bills and other news of interest.


SHAPE America Advocacy Center

To further its mission of supporting healthy, creative, and active lifestyles for all Americans, SHAPE America and its associations are working to educate the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch on the following legislative priorities: Continued funding for the CDC's DASH program; PE and HE as core subjects , and PEP grant funding. Take action today!

Access state-specific resources here  to help you advocate for health and physical education in your own school and community! Resources include: fact sheets, presentations, templates, and links to key Vermont stakeholders.

Save the date... SHAPE VT Middle School Fitness Competition                                        

WHAT: A battery of fitness-based events (mile run, push up, curl up and sit & reach) with both team and individual awards given out based on performance in each of the individual events. Over 30 middle schools (350 + students) competed in the 2017 competition.                                        
WHEN: Thursday May 3, 2018   
WHERE: Norwich University      
WHY: To celebrate our middle school students fitness accomplishments and to help support SHAPE Vermont!
COST: 40.00 PER TEAM (teams of boys 5/6, girls 5/6, girls 7/8, boys 7/8)                                                   
Director: Chris Shackett, Health and PE Teacher, Hinesburg Community School       
Email  msfitnesscompvt@gmail.com        #VTMSFitComp 

Push up cadence here                        Curl up cadence here


2018 SHAPE Vermont Conference

Date: October 18th and 19th, 2018
Time: Thursday 9:00am - 4:30pm
Time: Friday 8:00am - 3:30pm
Location: Killington Grand Hotel, Killington, Vermont