Workshop held for the Introduction of the New Special Needs Initiative on the Division of Special Education

The exterior of the Guam Department of Education in Tiyan Barrigada in Tiyan, Barrigada. PNC file photo

The Guam Department of Education has procured a federal grant totaling 1.25 million for Project Hita Para Mo’na

PNC’s Damen Michael has this story

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The Guam Department of Education’s Division of Special Education sponsored a workshop conference on special needs yesterday.

The focus of the conference was to collaborate on the introduction of a new framework for the special needs program.

In an interview with PNC – Deputy Superintendent Joe Sanchez said that following GDOE’s strategic plan majority of the goals are centered around collaboration.

The framework and structure being adopted are called “leading By Convening” which looks to help promote collaboration amongst students, teachers, families, school administrators, and really anyone at any level within DOE.

Tom Babauta, Assistant Superintendent for the Division of Special Education said, ” today the focus is on pre-leadership academies on special needs and helping our administrators get up to speed on the latest and greatest best practices we are working on a lot of collaboration aot of legal issues and looking at revamping our system and looking at the data from the last few years and trying to implement where we could improve our systems and for all the administrators to bring their questions to us so that we could also address it .”

According to Assistant Superintendent Babauta anytime the department can get together and brainstorm and collaborate as a division it helps strengthen relationships and become closer which allows for smoother operations.

He added that everyone within the division of special needs is committed for the “long haul,” and want to make sure that student outcomes are a priority and make sure that measures being implemented have the greatest impact on their students’ lives.

Joanne Cashman , Members Service, National Association of State Directors for Special Education said, “When you’re trying to solve a problem you bring all the people together that have a role or a stake in that problem and that is the framework we have on Guam to really think about some of the things that are continuing to challenge people and then say what can we do to build the relationships across the administration the teachers and the families to actually solve those problems together .”

According to Cashman over the years the rules and regulations of special education changed prompting the update to national levels of the special education framework and structure.

Furthermore, after bringing together multiple organizations and stakeholders within the special education departments a collaborative research and development team created the framework for Leading by convening after 15 years.

Reporting for the Pacific News Centre
I’m Damen Michael