GDOE Focuses on the Principles of Explicit and Systematic Instruction

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

As part of the Guam Department of Education’s (GDOE) State Systemic Improvement Project (SSIP), a professional development centered on the principles of explicit and systematic instruction and on improvement science was held on January 6 at The Westin Resort Guam. One-hundred thirty teachers, teacher assistants, and administrators from the four SSIP schools participated in the training. The SSIP schools are Price Elementary, Chief Brodie Memorial Elementary, Juan M. Guerrero Elementary, and M.U. Lujan Elementary. The facilitators of the training were Guam CEDDERS training associate, Josephine Cruz; and Guam CEDDERS consultant, Nieves Flores with support from SSIP teacher leaders Bianca Nguyen, Pearl Hamada, Valene Salas, Michelle DeGuzman, Gina Call, Annette Raguindin, and Ursula Umadhay and SSIP school principals Darlene Castro, Rose Castro, Natasha Dela Cruz, and Elias Taisipic.

The professional development is part of GDOE’s “Continuous Improvement Road Map for Improving Reading Achievement”. The goal of GDOE’s SSIP is to improve the reading proficiency of students by the time they reach 3rd grade. Central to achieving this goal is ensuring that effective instructional principles are being implemented. In addition, understanding the “root cause” for the current state of reading achievement within the GDOE SSIP schools is critical in promoting systemic change.

Subsequently, the professional development served as an extension of the Pacific SSIP Collaborative that was held in October 2019 and included the expertise of technical assistance providers from four National Centers and the Regional Educational Laboratory- Pacific (REL-Pacific). During the Pacific SSIP Collaborative, there were sessions on high-quality reading instruction and the use of explicit instructional elements in the delivery of reading instruction.

First-grade teachers from J.M. Guerrero Elementary review their reading data to determine the “root cause”. From (left-right): Michelle De Guzman, teacher; Josephine Cruz, Guam CEDDERS Training Associate; and Darlene Vigil, teacher.
Price Elementary kindergarten teachers review their reading data. From (left-right), Tina Aguilar, teacher; Elias Taisipic, acting principal; Krystal Castro, teacher; and Jessica Tamam, teacher.
Chief Brodie Memorial Elementary teachers discuss their reading data. From (left-right): Alan Mortera, 4th grade teacher; Celeste Lizama, 4th-grade teacher; and Eleanor Quichocho, 4th grade teacher.
Teachers from M.U. Lujan Elementary work together to determine the “5 Whys” based on their reading data. From (left-right): Zenia Duenas, ESL teacher; Cherise Charfauros, Special Education teacher; Nieves Flores, Guam CEDDERS consultant; Norma Quinene, 5th grade teacher.

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.

Guam Early Intervention System (GEIS) State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) and Professional Development Training

Community Services: Training Guam Department of Education Guam Early Intervention System

Elaine Eclavea, Guam CEDDERS Early Childhood Consultant, conducted the Guam Early Intervention System (GEIS) State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) and Professional Development Training to GEIS staff on August 16.  Service Providers and Service Coordinators participated in the full-day training which focused on the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Plans, Evidence-Based Practices, and Early Childhood Coaching.

Guam CEDDERS Early Childhood Consultant Elaine Eclavea (standing) interacts with the GEIS service coordinators and providers during the Early Childhood Coaching portion of the training.

GDOE’s Continuous Improvement Road Map for Improving Reading Achievement

Community Services: Training Continuing Education Guam Department of Education
Chief Brodie Memorial Elementary School 1st grade teachers practice administering the aimswebPlus Early Literacy measures.
Capt. H.B. Price Elementary, 1st grade teacher and aimswebPlus trainer, Leilani Mesa (standing) assists participants in using the aimswebPlus assessment system.
(L-R) First grade teachers from M.U. Lujan Elementary, Bertha Torres and Ursula Umadhay, observe fellow colleagues as they practice administering the aimwebPlus.
J.M. Guerrero kindergarten teacher and aimswebPlus trainer Kasuandra Penaflor (standing) guides participants as they practice navigating the aimswebPlus online portal.

Palau Updates State-Wide Assessment Guidelines

Community Services: Training

Guam CEDDERS Training Associate, Josephine Cruz, and Guam CEDDERS consultant June Quitugua, provided on-site working sessions with the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Palau centered on updating the guidelines for the use of state-wide and alternate assessments with students with disabilities.  The sessions were held from July 10-12 at the Special Education office in Koror, Palau. Twenty-four participants comprised of Special Education teachers, General Education teachers, principals, curriculum specialists, as well as the MOE’s Chief of the Division of Research & Evaluation, Wilhelm Rechelluul, attended the 3-day sessions.

Front L-R: Tsungiko Renguul, Special Education teacher; Jocelyn Maldangesang, Special Education Specialist; Hilda Kenzio, English Specialist; Larry Rdiall, Special Education teacher; Sarah Rubario, Special Education teacher; Yvonne Ruluked, General Education teacher; Cheryl Adachi, General Education teacher; Mayleen Ngiriou, Principal, Koror Elementary School (KES); Middle L-R: Wilhelm Rechelluul, Chief, Division of Reseach & Evaluation; Nora Renguul, Special Education Coordinator; Josephine Cruz, Guam CEDDERS Training Associate; Gwendolyn Rengiil, Special Education Specialist; Bruce Melairei, General Education teacher; Lyliza Madris, Assessment Specialist Back L-R: Wicliff Emul, Principal, GBH; Lucia Tebelual, Principal, MES; Symth Rdang, Principal, PHS; Atanacia Ubedei, KES Special Education teacher; Hadson Ngirakesau, General Education teacher; Clarinda Worswick, General Education Teacher; Hadleen Medalarak, Math Specialist. Not pictured: June Quitugua,Guam CEDDERS consultant.
Participants are hard at work reading an article. Seated, front L-R: Symth Rdang, Principal-Palau High School (PHS); Jocelyn Maldangesang, Special Education Specialist; Seated, back L-R: Hadson Ngirakesau, PHS General Education teacher; Wicliff Emul, Principal, George B. Harris Elementary School (GBH), and Virginia Kuterbis, GBH Special Education teacher.
Participants in training from L-R: Gwendolyn Rengiil, Special Education Specialist; Clarinda Worswick, GBH General Education Teacher; Tsungkiko Renguul, Meyuns Elementary School (MES) Special Education teacher; and Nora Renguul, Special Education Coordinator.

Guam and CNMI Early Childhood Providers and Parents Engage in ASD Training

Community Services: Training Early Childhood Guam Department of Education Guam Early Intervention System Guam Launch Project Bisita I Familia Project Kariñu
Dr. Giacomo Vivanti from the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, begins his session on ASD on Guam, April 22.
On April 22, Yolanda Gabriel, Assistant Superintendent, Guam Division of Special Education, gave opening remarks to set the stage for the Guam training sessions.
On April 22, GDOE School Program Consultant, Cathy Tydingco (standing), discussed supports for students and families with ASD with the Department of Public Health and Social Services, Bisita and Karinu program providers.
On April 23, Guam participants discuss “What does it look like?” in regards to the current early childhood services and supports for young children with ASD.
On April 24, Dr. Vivanti discusses with parents on Guam the research on evidence-based practices for young children with ASD in inclusive preschool programs.
On April 25, parents and family members from the CNMI listen attentively to Dr. Vivanti as he talks about the strategies and interventions provided during the parent session held on Saipan.
On April 26, CNMI, FSM, and Palau participants take a group photo with Dr. Vivanti.
On April 26, Dr. Vivanti (seated in the center) takes a group photo with representatives from CNMI, Guam CEDDERS, and the delegation from FSM and Palau who traveled to Saipan for the training. (seated L-R) Robin Palacios, CNMI Early Intervention Program Director; Kim Arnold, FSM- Pohnpei State Parent; Dr. Vivanti; Ansina Kony, FSM-Chuuk State Special Education (SpEd) Coordinator; Nora Renguul, Palau SpEd Coordinator. (standing first row L-R) Dr. Josephine Cruz, Guam CEDDERS Training Associate; Elaine Eclavea, Guam CEDDERS Consultant; Francesca Morei-Misech, Palau Parents Empowered Executive Director; Nora Pangelinan, CNMI Data Management and Compliance Program Manager; Arthur Albert, FSM National Education Assistant Secretary; Beverly Nakamura, FSM-Chuuk State SpEd Teacher; June De Leon, Guam CEDDERS Associate Director. (standing back row L-R) John Bugulrow, FSM-Yap State SpEd Coordinator; Eris Wichep, FSM-Pohnpei SpEd Related Service Specialist.

Service Providers Complete Positive Solutions for Families Training

CEDDERS CORE Community Services: Training Department of Public Health & Social Services
April 4, 2019: Vera Blaz, Guam CEDDERS Training Associate, facilitated training using the Center for Social and Emotional Foundations in Early Learning – Positive Solutions for Families Module for service providers from the Department of Public Health and Social Services Karinu and Manelu, Inc. Micronesian Resource Center One Stop Shop (MRCOSS). The modules, which were recently modified to ensure cultural appropriateness, include six sessions on how to deal with challenging behaviors with young children.

Parent Leadership Facilitates Training Meeting

Community Services: Training Guam Early Hearing Detection & Intervention
November 3, 2018: Guam’s Positive Parents Together, Inc. (GPPT) Project Fitme Coordinator Susan Dugan facilitated an “Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) training session at the Hagatna Library for parents of children identified with a hearing loss. Parents received an overview of the IFSP process.
Pictured Left to Right: Jay-Lynn Mendiola, parent; Susan Dugan, GPPT Project Fitme Project Coordinator; Evelyn Topasna, Parent Mentor; and Trisha Suzuki, Parent Mentor. Not pictured: Ashley Babauta, GPPT Project Fitme Support Staff.