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Heads Up!

The Department of Education has been approached by an entity that develops state based RUS grants for schools.  RUS being Rural Utility Service grants.   These grants have been used by schools to acquire distance learning equipment including cameras and equipment to be part of the Learning Network of Vermont, our videoconferencing system.   A letter was sent today (via email) directly to the principals of the schools that are qualified.  I post this here to urge you to meet with that principal and ascertain whether or not you are interested as a school in joining this state-wide effort.   (It is also a mechanism with which I urge you to make sure your principal does not miss the communication!)

At any rate... the program only applies to those schools in the list below.  If your school is not on that list, then your school is not eligible for the opportunity.   This is based on the criteria that RUS grants spell out in their eligibility requirements.

Please do not reply to this email.  Simply ask your principal if they have seen the letter (which I am posting at the bottom of this email) and then have them or you fill out the Google Form (link in the letter) to add your school to the list.   THE DEADLINE is MARCH 14th to indicate your interest.  The letter spells out the next steps.  PLEASE also make sure you coordinate with principals so we only get one contact person per school.  If you already have equipment for LNV at your school, you may still be considered.

Thanks...I think it could be a great opportunity for many.  Please consider and respond by March 14.

ALBANY COMMUNITY SCHOOL

BARTON GRADED SCHOOL

BELLOWS FREE ACADEMY (FAIRFAX)

BELLOWS FREE ACADEMY (FAIRFAX)

BELLOWS FREE ACADEMY (ST ALBANS)

BELLOWS FREE ACADEMY HS (FAIRFAX)

BENNINGTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

BERLIN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

BLACK RIVER US #39

BLUE MOUNTAIN US #21

BRATTLEBORO UHS #6

BRIGHTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

BROWNINGTON CENTRAL SCHOOL

CABOT SCHOOL

CALAIS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

CAMELS HUMP MIDDLE SCHOOL

CANAAN SCHOOLS

CHAMPLAIN VALLEY UHS #15

CHARLESTON ELEM SCHOOL

COLCHESTER HIGH SCHOOL

CONCORD GRADED/HIGH SCHOOL

COVENTRY VILLAGE SCHOOL

CRAFTSBURY SCHOOLS

DANVILLE SCHOOL

DERBY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

DOTY MEMORIAL SCHOOL

E TAYLOR HATTON SCHOOL

ENOSBURG FALLS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

ENOSBURG FALLS MIDDLE-HIGH SCHOOL

ENOSBURG FALLS MIDDLE-HIGH SCHOOL

FAIR HAVEN UHS #16

FREDERICK H TUTTLE MIDDLE SCHOOL

GLOVER COMMUNITY SCHOOL

GREEN MOUNTAIN UHS #35

HARTFORD HIGH SCHOOL

HARTFORD MEM MIDDLE SCHOOL

HARWOOD UHS #19

HARWOOD UNION MIDDLE UHS #19

HAZEN UHS #26

HOLLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

IRASBURG VILLAGE SCHOOL

ISLE LA MOTTE ELEM SCHOOL

JAY/WESTFIELD JOINT SCHOOL

KILLINGTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

LAKE REGION UHS #24

LAMOILLE UHS #18

LELAND AND GRAY UHS #34

LELAND AND GRAY UHS #34

LOWELL GRADED SCHOOL

LYNDON INSTITUTE

LYNDON TOWN SCHOOL

MILTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

MILTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

MILTON HIGH SCHOOL

MILTON MIDDLE SCHOOL

MISSISQUOI VALLEY UHS #7

MISSISQUOI VALLEY UHS #7

MT ABRAHAM UHS #28

MT ABRAHAM UHS #28

MT ANTHONY SR UHS #14

MT ANTHONY UNION MIDDLE SCHOOL

MT MANSFIELD US #17

NEWPORT CITY ELEM SCHOOLS

NEWPORT TOWN SCHOOL

NORTH COUNTRY UHS #22A

NORTH COUNTRY UNION JR HIGH #22B

ORLEANS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

OTTER VALLEY UHS #8

OTTER VALLEY UHS #8

OXBOW UHS #30

PEOPLES ACADEMY

PEOPLES ACADEMY MIDDLE SCHOOL

POULTNEY HIGH SCHOOL

PROCTOR JR/SR HIGH SCHOOL

RANDOLPH UHS #2

RIVENDELL ACADEMY

RIVERSIDE MIDDLE SCHOOL

RUMNEY MEMORIAL SCHOOL (MIDDLESEX)

RUTLAND HIGH SCHOOL

SO ROYALTON ELEM/HIGH SCHOOL

SPAULDING UHS #41

SPAULDING UHS #41

SPRINGFIELD HIGH SCHOOL

SPRINGFIELD HIGH SCHOOL

ST ALBANS CITY SCHOOL

ST JOHNSBURY ACADEMY

ST JOHNSBURY SCHOOLS

ST JOHNSBURY SCHOOLS

SUDBURY COUNTRY SCHOOL

THETFORD ACADEMY

TROY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

TWIN VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL

TWINFIELD US #33

U32 UHS #32

UNION STREET SCHOOL

VERGENNES UHS #5

VERGENNES UHS #5

WEST RUTLAND SCHOOL

WINOOSKI HIGH SCHOOL

WINOOSKI MIDDLE SCHOOL

WOODSTOCK SR UHS #4



The LETTER sent to principals on Feb. 27:

Note: Realizing that many schools are on break this week, this notice will come around again on March 7.. There is a deadline for your involvement in this opportunity of March 14th.  If you have not responded by March 14th, it is assumed your school is not interested.  (Even if you currently have equipment, you can still take part).

Dear Principals of Rural Utility Services grant eligible schools:,

The Vermont Department of Education which oversees the Learning Network of Vermont (LNV), our state-wide K-12  videoconferencing system, is considering facilitating a Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Grant Application to support both improvements to the current LNV system and expand its reach into more schools. Through some preliminary research, it has been determined that your school could be eligible under the guidelines of the RUS Grant program. This presents an opportunity we hope you will consider.

The RUS grant is designed to support distance learning and Telemedicine initiatives and will fund equipment purchases to reach the goals above.  In order to submit a qualified application we would like to request the support of your school as a potential grantee partner;  the benefits to supporting this project may include the following:


*         Improvements to LNV's core network

o   Improved bridging services

o   Improved/expanded options for desktop video clients

o   Improved recording capabilities

*         Site specific benefits:  Each participating site may qualify for additional equipment based on their specific needs.  Examples may include:

o   Video conferencing equipment

o   Tablets/Laptops

o   Interactive Whiteboards

o   Other related classroom technologies that support distance learning

*         Staff Development Opportunities:  In addition to equipment our intention is to request additional funds to support staff development opportunities around distance learning


For your school to be a grant partner, you would need to be able to commit to the following steps:



*         Participate in a 15-30 minute conference call with the grant writer to conduct needs survey so they can better understand your specific needs as well as answer any questions you may have about the grant.

*         Provide a Match Letter: This is a reimbursement grant however it should that schools are not being asked to contribute any local funds to support this project.  In order to meet the match requirement participating schools may be able to leverage any planned IT Expenditures as an in-kind match.

*         Provide a signed Letter of Participation, signed Certifications (9 in total), and the above Match letter.



The first step in this process, is for you to indicate your interest as a school by submitting the information requested in the following online form by Wed. March 14th:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dDVrMkJnY3lNSXBQdmFjS20taU13VFE6MQ#gid=0



As a next step, assuming you would like to participate, a conference call will be scheduled with all interested school partners to conduct the needs assessment.  This needs assessment and the actual grant writing will be conducted by CBE Technologies, an entity the Vermont Department of Education is working with on this grant program.



If you have general questions about RUS grants, please contact Kris Schmitt, Grant Manager (207) 239-3012 or by email at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.  Kris works with CBE Technologies, which has a strong background with developing and obtaining these grant programs.



If you have questions about your LNV connection or the potential involved in obtaining one, contact Sigrid Lumbra at the Vermont Department of Education:  [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>



Thanks for your time and we hope you will be a part of this exciting opportunity.


Peter Drescher
Education Technology Coordinator
Vermont Department of Education
Integrated Support for Learning Division
120 State St.
Montpelier, VT  05620
Ph.: 802.828.5149
FAX: 802.828.0573
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Twitter:  VTDOE_EdTech