Video links now available for the following presentations:

ADHD & Executive Functioning: Strategies to Identify and Improve Your Child’s Executive Functioning Skills 
Mary Murphy, Ph.D.
October 10 at 1:30 PM, Darien Library Community Room

Darien Library Video – ADHD & Executive Functioning

DPS Special Education Budget & Strategic Planning Discussion
Superintendent, Dr. Alan Addley and BOF Chairman, Jon Zagrodzky
November 18 at 7:15, Darien Library Community Room

TV 79 Darien Video – SEPAC Strategic Planning Discussion

ADHD, Anxiety and Mood Disorders: Best Practices for Evaluation and Treatment

Thursday, January 23
7:15 PM, Darien Library Community Room
Hosted by Darien SEPAC and Darien Library
Please RSVP to

In this presentation, Dr. McAllister will address best practices for evaluating and treating ADHD, anxiety and mood disorders in school-age children. He will discuss the pros and cons of available treatment interventions, including medication, and the risks when leaving these conditions untreated.

Dr. Peter McAllister is a neurologist and Medical Director of New England Institute for Neurology and Headache, where he treats adults and children and employs a holistic, biopsychosocial approach. Dr. McAllister lectures internationally, has been a principle investigator on numerous clinical trials, and has authored articles in the lay and scientific press. He holds clinical appointments at both Yale University School of Medicine and The Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University.

DPS Special Education Budget & Strategic Planning Discussion with Superintendent, Dr. Alan Addley and BOF Chairman, Jon Zagrodzky

Monday, November 18, 7:15 PM
Darien Library Community Room
Please RSVP: 

We will be joined by Jon Zagrodzky, Board of Finance Chairman and Dr. Alan Addley, Superintendent of Schools. Discussion topics to include:

1. District tracking of delivered special education services

  • What is the method (s) used to track delivery of special education services and does this method differ when excess cost reimbursement is expected?
  • How is excess cost tracking impactful in the budget process?
 2. Revision of Budget RCs
  • Is there a plan to revise RC 24 to Support Services from Special Education?
  • Will there be an income/expense analysis for 504 services, general education social/emotional supports, Fitch and ELP, breaking out service expenses? What can be done to increase transparency in documenting where support services are received?

3. Strategic Planning Process

  • Will the Strategic Planning Committee look at data outcomes for students receiving special education services?
  • If so, will there be targeted analysis within disability categories?
  • Will a parent of a child receiving special education services be asked to participate on the Strategic Planning Committee?

4. Gamm Report and BOF 2014 Special Education Audit

  • Are there plans for the BOF and BOE to look back at the Special Education reports from 2013-15 and report on progress from 2015 to present?

5. State of the Town Address

  • Can you share the preparation process for the State of the Town Address from BOF and BOE/District perspectives?

6. Questions and comments from parents

Effective Reading Instruction and How to Get It by Sheryl Knapp, M.Ed., C/AOGPE, CDT

Hosted by Darien SEPAC and Darien Library
RESCHEDULED/New date and time to be announced
Please RSVP to

Students who struggle to learn to read require explicit, systematic instruction, targeted toward their specific areas of strength and weakness, using an evidence-based methodology. Sheryl Knapp, founder of The Literacy and Learning Assessment Center of CT, will describe the components of a comprehensive literacy evaluation, and their implications for providing each student with effective interventions. She will comment on specific instructional programs and methodologies, including suggestions regarding what to request.

Sheryl Knapp, M.Ed., C/AOGPE, CDT, is founder of The Literacy and Learning Assessment Center of CT in Norwalk. She currently serves as the President of the Dyslexia Society of Connecticut and was a long-time Board member for the Connecticut Down syndrome Congress. Knapp is also a contributing writer and editor for Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities. After completing hundreds of classroom and practicum hours under the supervision of a Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners (AOGPE), Knapp earned her Associate level of Certification with the Academy in 2010, and Certified level in 2018. Knapp frequently writes and presents on topics relating to literacy and learning disabilities and has worked extensively with students, families and school districts across Connecticut, as well as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and beyond.

ADHD & Executive Functioning: Strategies to Identify and Improve Your Child’s Executive Functioning Skills

Thursday, October 10
1:30 PM, Darien Library Community Room
Hosted by Darien SEPAC and Darien Library
Please RSVP to

In this presentation, participants will learn practical strategies to help their children build executive functioning (EF) skills and improve focus, organization and self-regulation. Dr. Murphy will offer resources for mindfulness practice, stress management, biofeedback, as well as explain the psychological assessment process for students with suspected ADHD/executive functioning symptoms.

Mary Murphy, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in counseling, executive functioning/academic coaching, biofeedback, and psychological testing. Dr. Murphy’s clinical practice focuses on helping children and adults with ADHD, concussion, depression, anxiety, and trauma. Her testing practice focuses on educational assessments and 504/IEP planning.


Upcoming Community Events


Tokeneke Elementary School Pumpkin Carnival 

Saturday, October 19, 2019
9:30am early start time for children with a disability and their family 
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
7 Old Farm Road
Darien,  CT

The annual Tokeneke Elementary School Pumpkin Carnival will take place on Sat. Oct. 19th (rain date 10/20) from 10am-4pm with a 9:30am early start time for children with a disability and their family.  There will be thrilling amusement rides, fun carnival games, the famous Haunted House and delicious food options from favorite eateries like Burgers Shakes & Fries, Melt Mobile, Fjord Fish Market and Heights Pizza.

We hope to see you there! For any Pumpkin Carnival related questions, please contact Andy Huntington.




How to Raise a Reader:  10 Tips for Parents of Struggling Readers
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT

Children are wired to speak, see and think, but reading must be explicitly taught.  Good instruction, rich language experiences, and reading practice help build the wiring in the brain to support fluent reading and comprehension.  Find out more about the reading brain, how we learn to read, and what makes reading challenging.

Certified Academic Language Therapist Margie Gillis, EdD will discuss reading evaluations, the importance of early screening and individualized intervention, heredity as a red flag for dyslexia.  She will explain what you can do at home to encourage and motivate your child to engage in reading and will provide a list of resources you can explore to support your child’s reading success.

ALL parents and educators are WELCOME! Sponsored by WIlton Library and SPED*NET Wilton.  The event is free and open to the public.  Registration is highly recommended. or 203-762-3950

Special Education Equity KIDS CT (SEEK of CT)

Back-to-School:  Special Education Empowerment Conference
Saturday, October 5, 2019
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale
155 Temple Street
New Haven, CT  06510

Don’t miss CT’s most informative special education conference! Presentations focus on trending special education issues and must know advocacy skills to prepare for a successful school year.  SEEK is CT’s only parent/professional run organization created to identify barriers in special education and SEEK solutions through changing policy and legislation.

Parents, professionals and providers – TICKETS $65 Online tickets available through 10/2/19.  Tickets are $85 at the door. Includes full day conference, 2 panels, 3 break out sessions, light breakfast and lunch.

Meet Dr. Addley, Superintendent of Schools

September 6th, 12 pm
Darien Library, 3rd floor conference room
Hosted by Darien SEPAC and Darien Library
Please RSVP to

The Darien Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) invites you to our first meeting of the year in which we will welcome Dr. Addley to our school community.

SEPAC is an organization of parent volunteers committed to open communication and effective collaboration between the families of our community and the Darien Public Schools.

All SEPAC meetings are open to the public.