Bisita Needs Assessment Forums Held

Community Services: Technical Assistance Department of Public Health & Social Services Early Childhood Guam Early Hearing Detection & Intervention Guam Early Intervention System Project Bisita I Familia

The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services Project Bisita I Familia, in collaboration with Guam CEDDERS, began facilitating a series of focus group meetings with parents of children birth to five years and early childhood providers to pull together data and information about home visiting services for the updated Needs Assessment. First conducted in 2010, the Needs Assessment identifies communities with concentrations of defined risk factors, assesses the quality and capacity of home visiting services in the territory, and assesses the territory’s capacity for providing substance abuse treatment and counseling services.

The purpose of updating the territory-wide needs assessment is for grantees to gather more recent information on community needs and ensure that Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) programs are being implemented in areas of high need. The 2010 Needs Assessment identified the areas of Dededo, Yigo, and Mangilao as areas of high need and as such home visiting services are offered to families residing in these villages. Updates to the needs assessment will determine if home visiting services should continue and/or expand to other villages around the island.

The focus group meetings, facilitated by Early Childhood Consultants Mary Kidd and Elaine Eclavea, provided parents and early childhood providers the opportunity to examine and assess services currently being offered in the community. Parents provided feedback on the types of questions and modes of delivery to garner feedback from families receiving early childhood services. Early Childhood providers were given the opportunity to discuss current services and gaps in training, acceptance of services, and job satisfaction. The completed 2020 Needs Assessment will be submitted in September.

On February 25, Mary Kidd, Early Childhood Conusltant, facilitated a stakeholder input session with parents enrolled in Project Bisita I Familia, Guam Early Intervention System, Early Childhood Special Education Preschool, and Head Start Program at the Dededo Farmers’ Market Complex. This group of parents provided suggestions on the types of questions necessary for garnering feedback about home visiting and early childhood services on Guam.

On February 25, Mary Kidd (standing right), Early Childhood Consultant, facilitated the first focus group meeting with parents receiving services from early childhood programs at the Dededo Farmers’ Market Complex.

On February 25, Mary Kidd (standing right), Early Childhood Consultant, facilitated the first focus group meeting with parents receiving services from early childhood programs at the Dededo Farmers’ Market Complex.

Families Participate in Workshops for Improving Literacy Using Online Resources

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

Two Guam Department of Education (GDOE) State Systemic Improvement Project (SSIP) schools provided family engagement workshops for parents centered on improving literacy. The schools were M.U. Lujan Elementary and J. M. Guerrero Elementary. M.U. Lujan Elementary held their session on December 19, 2019 and J.M. Guerrero Elementary held their session on January 14. Both sessions were conducted at the respective schools. A combined total of 144 parents participated in the workshops. The workshops were focused on the online family toolkit from the National Center on Improving Literacy (NCIL). Using laptops provided by the schools, parents were given the opportunity to explore the NCIL website for parent resources and tools that can be used to support reading at home. The sessions were an extension of the Pacific SSIP Collaborative which was held on Guam in October 2019. As part of the Pacific SSIP Collaborative, Sarah Sayko, Deputy Director of NCIL, conducted a workshop for families and school personnel on October 12, 2019. The SSIP principals who attended the sessions took back the information to their school community and had their own workshops to share this valuable online resource.

On January 14, J.M. Guerrero Elementary school parent Sheena Tommey (right) and her daughter Zuemai Tommey (left) explore the NCIL website together.
On January 14, J. M. Guerrero Elementary school principal, Rose Castro (seated front right) poses with parents who attended the family engagement workshop.
On December 19, M.U. Lujan Elementary school principal Natasha Dela Cruz speaks to parents about the importance of supporting literacy at home.
On December 19, M.U. Lujan Elementary school parents explore the NCIL website for reading resources and tools.

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 Provides an Online Tool for Students with Reading Barriers

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

The Guam Department of Education (GDOE) in partnership with Guam CEDDERS held overview sessions on Nov. 25-26 at the GDOE Tiyan main office for Special Education teachers, Division personnel, and parents centered on how to use Bookshare to help students with a print disability have access to reading materials. Bookshare, a Benetech initiative, is an ebook library that contains over 770,000 titles. Bookshare makes reading easier for people with reading barriers such as dyslexia, blindness, and physical disabilities. Bookshare allows users to listen to books being read aloud, to follow along with audio and highlighted text, to read in large type, and to read in Braille. Free membership in Bookshare is available for all qualified U.S. students of any age through funds from the U.S. Department of Education.  The sessions were facilitated by Christine Jones, the Associate Director for U.S. Education for Bookshare/Benetech.

On Nov. 25, Christine Jones (standing), Bookshare/Benetech Associate Director of U.S. Education; assists Untalan Middle School Special Education teachers Beverly Chargualaf (left) and Dolores Bakker (right).
On Nov. 26, representatives from the GDOE Psych program listen to the Bookshare presentation. From L-R: Alma Terbio, Psych Evaluator; Marita Gogue, Psych Evaluator; Diella Rico, Academic Evaluator; and Maria Pia Watson, Psych Evaluator.

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.

Guam Early Learning Council Convenes First Meeting

Continuing Education Department of Public Health & Social Services Early Childhood Guam Early Intervention System Guam Launch Information Dissemination Project Kariñu

On September 4, the Guam Early Learning Council convened its first meeting under the new administration with Co-Chairperson Elaine Eclavea at the helm. New council members were provided with orientation in the development of the council and the timeline of early childhood initiatives on Guam. Early Childhood Program Administrators provided an overview of their respective programs as well as updates on services provided to families over the last eight months. Workgroup facilitators also reported on the status of the goals and activities for their focus areas as related to the Guam Early Childhood State Plan, which was last published in 2015. The next quarterly meeting will take place in December. Workgroup members spent the afternoon participating in the Karinu/Guam LAUNCH Early Childhood Evaluation Forum.

Members reviewed the progress of activities over the past year as well as data from the Wilder Survey used for Guam LAUNCH Evaluation reports and learned about the latest research in the Early Childhood field. Commitments on next steps and meeting dates were made to ensure that activities will continue.

On September 4, Guam Early Learning Council Workgroup Members posed for a photo at the end of the Karinu/Guam LAUNCH Early Childhood Evaluation Forum held at the Outrigger Guam Resort.
Elaine Eclavea (standing), Guam CEDDERS Early Childhood Consultant and Guam Early Learning Council Co-Chairperson, reviewed a new grant opportunity with council members.
Bonnie Brandt (standing), Guam CEDDERS Training Associate and Karinu/Guam LAUNCH Lead Evaluator, reviewed data from results of the Wilder Survey as workgroup participants looked on.
Members of the Guam Early Learning Council Family Engagement Workgroup
(FEW) showed their great collaborative skills as they erected a structure made from uncooked spaghetti noodles, rope, tape, and a marshmallow during the afternoon session. The FEW members built the tallest structure in the room at 20.25 inches.

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.