ROP Works on Improving Services for Students with Visual Impairments

Community Services: Technical Assistance Continuing Education

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 November 5, Guam CEDDERS consultant Donna McNear (standing) expressed the importance of collaboration for improving programs and services at Pelelui Elementary school.

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.

CNMI Early Intervention Engages in Professional Development

Community Services: Technical Assistance Early Childhood
On August 28 & 29, Elaine Eclavea (standing), Guam CEDDERS Early Childhood Consultant along with Keith Villaluna (not pictured), Guam CEDDERS Data Specialist facilitated professional development trainings for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Public School System IDEA Part C, Early Intervention Program staff in Saipan. The trainings focused on the CNMI Early Intervention Coaching Procedures called the LATTE, the Tiers of Intervention (TOI), and the Child Outcome Summary (COS) and Early Childhood Outcomes (ECO) data.

Guam EHDI Met with GPPT on Future Training Activities

Community Services: Technical Assistance Guam Early Hearing Detection & Intervention
On August 2, Guam’s Positive Parents Together (GPPT) Board President Ann Marie Cruz (left) and GPPT Parent Mentor Evelyn Topasna (right) met with Marie Wusstig (center), Guam CEDDERS Training Associate, to discuss the facilitation of training opportunities for families to develop their self-advocacy skills, the recruitment of potential deaf mentors, planning for The CARE Project Family Retreat, and social activities for families of children identified with a hearing loss.

Assistive Technology and Accessibility Training at DISID

Community Services: Technical Assistance Continuing Education Developmental Disabilities Guam Systems for Assistive Technology
June 10, 2019: GSAT Center Coordinator Leah Abelon conducted training on the usage of a TDD/TTY, a telecommunication device for the Deaf, and creating accessible documents. Training participants included staff from the Guam Department of Integrated Services for Individuals with Disabilities (DISID) Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Division of Social Services.

Project Bisita Staff Attend CQI Training

Community Services: Technical Assistance Project Bisita I Familia
May 23, 2019: Vera Blaz, Guam CEDDERS Training Associate/Project Bisita I Familia TA and Training Coordinator (pictured second from right), and Jenika Ballesta, CEDDERS Research Associate/Project Bisita Data (not pictured), facilitated training on Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) with Project Bisita Staff using the CQI Toolkit, a resource for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program developed by James Bell Associates under the Project Design Options for Home Visiting Evaluation (DOHVE).

First PBILC Meeting in 9 Years Held in Guam

CEDDERS CORE Community Services: Technical Assistance
February 28, 2019: Representatives from the American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Guam met to discuss common issues relating to disabilities on our islands and the potential on re-establishing the Pacific Basin Interagency Leadership Consortium to work collaboratively in addressing common concerns.
Tafaimamao Tua-Tupuola, Director of the American Samoa University Center on Developmental Disabilities (ASUCEDD) spearheaded regrouping efforts and facilitated the meeting with support from Guam CEDDERS.

Langston University RERC Meets with UOG Administration

CEDDERS CORE Community Services: Technical Assistance
On February 28, 2019, representatives from the Langston University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (LU-RRTC) met with University of Guam (UOG) officials to discuss opportunities for the territory to conduct research in the field of disability and rehabilitation. Langston University will work in collaboration with UOG to provide technical assistance in grant writing, conducting research, data analysis, and research publication.
Sitting from L-R: LU-RRTC Representatives: Dr. Courtney Ward-Sutton, Post-Doctoral Fellow; Dr. Renee Starr-Howard, Post-Doctoral Fellow; Dr. Corey L. Moore, Principal Investigator and Research Director; Dr. Edward O. Manyibe, Research Associate & Capacity Building Director; Dr. Andre L. Washington, Research Assistant Professor & Technical Assistance Coordinator.
Standing L-R: UOG Staff: Dr. Troy McVey, Interim Assistant Vice President, Director of Graduate Studies; Dr. Anita B. Enriquez, Senior Vice President; Dr. Heidi San Nicolas, CEDDERS Director; Dr. Josephine Cruz, CEDDERS Training Associate; and Peter Barcinas, Institutional Review Board Chair.