GDOE Provides School-Level Support for Assessments

Community Services: Technical Assistance Continuing Education Developmental Disabilities Disability Studies Early Childhood Guam Department of Education

On November 18, the Guam Department of Education (GDOE), in partnership with Guam CEDDERS, provided school-level support to aimswebPlus trainers at Juan M. Guerrero Elementary School. The training session included 10 school-level trainers and centered on how to generate data reports using the new aimswebPlus portal. AimswebPlus is the universal screener used by the GDOE to identify students who may be at-risk in reading and math. School-level trainers will use the skills gained in the session to assist their colleagues at each grade-level in generating reports. Teachers will use the data in the reports to adapt instruction and interventions in order to meet the unique needs of students in their class. The training session was facilitated by Guam CEDDERS Training Associate Josephine Cruz, and consultants Nieves Flores and June Quitugua.

Guam CEDDERS Training Associate Josephine Cruz (pointing to the laptop screen) assisted teachers in generating data reports. L-R: Lalaine Ocampo, 4th grade teacher; Josephine Cruz; Michelle DeGuzman, 1st grade teacher; and Kasaundra Penaflor, Kindergarten teacher.
Guam CEDDERS consultant Nieves Flores (standing) answered questions for teachers at Juan M. Guerrero Elementary School. Seated L-R: Joe Fernandez, 3rd grade teacher;
Mi’ami Hayes, 2nd grade teacher; Aurelia Perez, 5th grade teacher; and Marianne Gutierrez, 5th grade teacher. (Not pictured: June Quitugua,Guam CEDDERS consultant)

GDOE Administrators and Teachers Review MSAA Results

Community Services: Technical Assistance Community Services: Training Continuing Education Developmental Disabilities Disability Studies Guam Department of Education

On October 15 & 16, the Guam Department of Education (GDOE) Division of Special Education held three-hour sessions to review the results of the Spring 2019 Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) administration and to discuss implications for improving academic instruction for students with significant cognitive disabilities. These sessions entitled focused on “Spring 2019 MSAA Results and Data Interpretation,” were designed for school administrators and elementary and secondary special education teachers who served as test administrators for the Spring 2019 MSAA on-line alternate assessment system administered to students with significant cognitive disabilities requiring an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) in ELA and Mathematics for grades 3-8 and 11. Guam CEDDERS June De Leon provided technical support during the review of the state (Guam) and school summaries of Guam’s MSAA participation and performance data. In addition, each school received their individual student reports for dissemination to parents during the 1st quarter parent conferences.

The sessions also provided an opportunity to review the Spring 2019 MSAA results in relation to the curriculum, instruction, and assessment framework for improving academic instruction for students with significant cognitive disabilities requiring an AA-AAS. Additional resources were provided to support teaching ELA and Mathematics that align to the grade level content standards, which included sample templates for lesson creation that incorporated a process for identifying adaptations needed for addressing the learning needs of the students.

On October 15, Nancy Diaz (Left) Principal, P.C. Lujan Elementary, confidently presented her table team’s response during an activity related to the MSAA results. (L-R) Table team members include Nancy Diaz; Kaiana Mendiola, Special Education Teacher, UPI Elementary; Cassandra Flores, Student Teacher, P.C. Lujan Elementary; and Elizabeth Umagat, Special Education Teacher, P.C. Lujan Elementary.

GDOE Hosts “Our Pacific Journey for Improvement”

CEDDERS CORE Community Services: Technical Assistance Community Services: Training Continuing Education Developmental Disabilities Disability Studies Guam Department of Education OSEP

The island value of living in a spirit of togetherness and belonging was obvious at the Pacific State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) Collaborative, “Our Pacific Journey for Improvement,” as the six Pacific entities convened to focus on improving educational results of all students with disabilities in the Pacific. Not even the threat of a storm could dampen the spirit of community that was nurtured throughout the week-long activities. The event was held from October 7-10 at the Westin Resort Guam and from October 11-12 at the Guam Department of Education (GDOE) Main Building.

The collaborative was hosted by GDOE with support from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The six participating Pacific entities were American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Guam, Republic of Palau, and Republic of the Marshall Islands. Each entity sent teams comprised of entity-level general and special education administrators and specialists; school-level principals; general and special education teachers; coaches/mentors; and parents of students with disabilities to participate in the convening.

The convening engagement activities were facilitated by technical assistance providers from four National Centers, the Regional Educational Laboratory-Pacific (REL-Pacific), and Guam CEDDERS. The facilitators included:

•Sheryl Lazarus and Maureen Hawes from the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO);

•Cesar D’Agord with virtual support from Kathleen Pfannenstiel from the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI);

•Amy Peterson from the National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII);

•Sarah Sayko and Carol Dissen from the National Center on Improving Literacy (NCIL);

•June De Leon and Josephine Cruz from Guam CEDDERS, with support from consultants Nieves Flores and June Quitugua; and

•Christina Tydeman, Meagan Taylor, and Dale Lewis from the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Pacific.

The overall goal of the collaborative was to improve educational results of all students with disabilities in the Pacific entities by focusing on each entity’s capacity to increase the reading achievement of students with disabilities within a multi-tiered system of supports. In doing this, the resulting outcomes of the collaborative were an enhanced understanding of the following: assessment systems, infrastructure systems to sustain and scale-up, sustainable job-embedded professional development, sustainable coaching supports, and increased engagement of key stakeholders, in particular parents of students with disabilities.

The regional event was years in the making and resulted in increased collaboration and partnerships across the Pacific region. The learning and partnerships made as result of the Pacific SSIP Collaborative will surely be enduring and a hallmark of the persistent Pacific spirit.

On October 11, Guam CEDDERS Interim Director June De Leon (3rd from left front) joins the National Center and REL Pacific facilitators for a photo at GDOE. (L-R) Sheryl
Lazarus, NCEO; Carol Dissen, NCIL; Amy Peterson, NCII; June De Leon; Sarah Sayko, NCIL; Dale Lewis, REL Pacific; Christine Tydeman, REL Pacific; Maureen Hawes, NCEO;
Meagan Taylor, REL Pacific; and Cesar D’Agord, NCSI.

GDOE Takes the Lead in ASD Assessment Training

CEDDERS CORE Community Services: Technical Assistance Community Services: Training Continuing Education Developmental Disabilities Disability Studies Guam Department of Education

Guam Department of Education (GDOE), in partnership with Guam CEDDERS, University of Southern California University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (USC UCEDD), and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), prioritized building capacity of GDOE personnel to identify and assess young and school age children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Since April 2016, Irina Zamora, Psy.D., from USC-CHLA, facilitated the assessment training series for the development of GDOE Cohorts 1 & 2 comprised of 17 early intervention and special education personnel representing an interdisciplinary team of early interventionists, speech pathologists, school psychologists, social workers, and consulting resource teachers-technical assistance. The training series included on-site and off-site consultation to ensure competencies in administering, scoring, and diagnosing children with ASD using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd Edition (ADOS-2), which is considered the gold standard for observational assessment of ASD.

During school year 2018-2019, GDOE committed to developing another interdisciplinary team, or Cohort #3, to complete the ASD assessment training. With GDOE Cohorts 1 & 2 serving as coaches, Dr. Zamora facilitated the on-site and off-site consultation for Cohort #3 members with the October 1-4 on-site visit to Guam concluding the training series with the seven Cohort #3 members taking the Western Psychological Services (WPS) ADOS-2 certification examination. The individually completed examination booklets were submitted to WPS for scoring and certification.

In conjunction with Dr. Zamora’s October on-site visit to Guam, Dr. Zamora conducted technical assistance and training visits to Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Palau from September 16-28. During her visit to Guam’s neighboring islands, Dr. Zamora conducted classroom observations, home visits, and workshops for parents and staff on the identification and evidence-based strategies for children with ASD.

Through funding from the Republic of Palau (ROP) Special Education Program, Guam CEDDERS June De Leon and consultant Donna McNear conducted a two-day technical assistance visit to Pelelui Elementary in ROP on November 5 and 6. The visit supported ROP in its efforts to improve programs and services for students with visual impairments. The visit included classroom observations and training for school personnel and parents on community supports for improving educational services for students with visual impairments. The visit also included individual meetings with the parents, teachers, and principal of the students with visual impairments enrolled at Pelelui Elementary. The meetings were an opportunity to learn from the parents about priorities for their children and how the school can support their priorities.

On October 4, The GDOE ADOS-2 Cohort 3 members and their coaches posed for a picture with Dr. Irina Zamora. L-R (front): Janice Almoguera, ADOS-2 coach; Marita
Gogue, ADOS-2 coach; Pia Watson, Cohort 3; Dr. Irina Zamora, consultant; Rowena Dimla, Cohort 3; Barbara Bernardo, Cohort 3; Alma Terbio, ADOS-2 coach; Anna Perez,
ADOS-2 coach. L-R (back): Audra Mesa, Cohort 3; and Jonathan Guerrero, Cohort 3. Cohort 3 members not shown: Nadine Cepeda and Arnell Medler.

College Students Learn About GSAT Services

Community Services: Demonstration Services Continuing Education Developmental Disabilities Disability Studies Guam Systems for Assistive Technology Information Dissemination
On September 23, Leah Abelon, GSAT Center Coordinator, conducted a presentation on GSAT services and the Akudi Loan Program to students attending the University
of Guam Social Work Program. Students also toured the Assistive Technology Demo Center and the Model Home.

Behavioral Health and Disabilities Glossary Presented at NASW Guam Conference

CEDDERS CORE Continuing Education Developmental Disabilities Disability Studies Research and Evaluation
Mariles Benavente, LCSW, LPC, and former Guam CEDDERS Cultural and Linguistic Competence Coordinator, conducted a breakout session titled, “The Behavioral Health Glossary in Chamorro: a Practical Tool towards Health Literacy and Patient-Centered Care” during the recent Guam Chapter of the National Association of Social Work Conference on March 17, 2019 held at the Westin Resort Guam. The glossary was developed to promote the importance of using interpreters, translators, and language products, such as this glossary, to improve access and use of behavioral health and disabilities services by the island’s linguistically diverse population. Ms. Benavente served as the editor of the glossary which was published in 2017 by Guam CEDDERS. A copy of the Glossary was given to the over 40 participants who attended the session. For an electronic copy of the glossary, go to

UOG Students Explore Assistive Technology

Community Services: Demonstration Services Community Services: Technical Assistance Community Services: Training Developmental Disabilities Disability Studies Guam Systems for Assistive Technology Information Dissemination Self-Advocacy

Three students in assistive technology center.
A Scavenger Hunt assignment was given to the seven students enrolled in UOG’s ED443, Assistive Technology class. Their assignment was given to them to familiarize themselves with GSAT, its vast array of technology, and an opportunity for “hands-on” exploration of its lending library. The students were given multiple scenarios/circumstances in which they needed to identify a minimum of two assistive technology devices, ranging from low to high tech that would assist in providing sufficient support in those areas. In the photo above, Ann Flores, Anntonette Quiambao, and Gabriel Posadas, (L-R) came in to GSAT on November 13, 2015, to complete their scavenger hunt.
Student sitting at desk.
Gabriel Posadas, a student from the University of Guam’s UOG’s ED443- Assistive Technology class, explores features of a software program designed to help students with learning disabilities who struggle with reading and writing.

Pohnpei Teachers Receive Information About the EPICS Project

Continuing Education Disability Studies EPICS Interdisciplinary Pre-Service Preparation
Six individuals posing for photo.
Terrie Fejarang, Guam CEDDERS Associate Director, was recently in Pohnpei to share information on the EPICS Project. EPICS, which stands for “Educating Pacific Island Clinicians in Speech-Language Pathology,” is currently in the recruitment of scholars phase. Attending the meeting on August 21 were (L-R): Joysleen Daniel, Pohnpei Special Education Staff and graduate of Project Fo’na; Terrie Fejarang, Guam CEDDERS; Maureen Villagomez, Special Education Teacher; Maiulynn Gallen, Special Education Teacher; Roddy Roberts, Vision Instruction Teacher; and Carlina Henry, Special Education Coordinator.

ADA 25th Anniversary & IDEA 40th Anniversary Celebration – Short Film Schedule

Developmental Disabilities Disability Studies Guam Systems for Assistive Technology Self-Advocacy

Short Film Schedule:

Faces of Autism
A short film series that features local families sharing their stories on living with autism.

Docomo Channel 2 (Tuesdays & Thursdays at 9:00pm) May 19, May 28
Kuam TV11 (Saturdays & Sundays at 7pm) May 24, June 6, June 13 
PBS Channel 12 (Sunday at 8:00pm) May 24, May 25 (re-broadcast 6:30pm) 

Aline Yamashita, Ph.D., a senator in the 31st Guam Legislature, is a lifelong educator. She has been a University of Guam Professor, and is a former Deputy Superintendent of the Guam Department of Education. But first and foremost, she is a mother. She candidly shares her experiences and views on raising a child with autism in this video interview. “Eric” A Parent Advocate Profile” paints a raw, compelling, at times humorous, and emotionally moving story while providing some advice to families, teachers, and to the community at large.

Kuam TV11 (Saturdays & Sundays at 7pm) May 17, May 30, June 7
Docomo Channel 2 (Tuesdays & Thursdays at 9:00pm) May 21, June 2
PBS Channel 12 (Sunday at 7:00pm) May 31, June 1 (re-broadcast 6:30pm)

This is a story of Bernadette Colet, a 35 year-old athlete, artist, worker, altar server, joker, friend, and all around charmer who happens to have Down Syndrome. Told through the voice of her mother and father, “Bernadette” aims to increase public awareness about people with Down Syndrome and advocates that people with disabilities need opportunities and given a chance, just like everyone else.

Assistive Technology and Educational Success
This educational video features the use of assistive technology in the educational setting.

Guam Systems for Assistive Technology 20 Years in Assistive Technology
A video that highlights the history of the Guam System for Assistive Technology from its inception to the present.

Kuam TV11 (Saturdays & Sundays at 7pm) May 23, May 31
Docomo Channel 2:  Wednesday, May 27, 9:00pm; Friday, May 29, 9:00pm; Tuesday, June 2, 9:00pm; Thursday, June 4, 9:00pm
PBS Channel 12 (Sunday at 8:00pm) June 7, June 8 (re-broadcast 6:30pm)

Students Connect History to Current Disability Issues

Disability Studies
Students looking at screen.
John Acfalle​ (standing pointing to screen)​, student of the Historical and Contemporary Perspectives of Disability class, shares his experiences of bringing two individuals, who grew up in an institutional setting, into his family home.​ ​His video depicts the advantage and normalcy of small family settings over group home housing.​ ​John shared his experiences of camping up and down the western states with his new family members, Willie and Charlie, and the experience of Charlie meeting his sisters for the first time. Engaged in the presentation are Guam CEDDERS staff members​.​ Standing from left to right: Leilani ​Lafaele, Tia Pereda​, and Sherr​y​ Guerrero.