Category Archives: Events

Darien SEPAC Reading Buddy Program

Darien SEPAC is pleased to present a new Reading Buddy Program. The program, piloted successfully in the winter of 2016/17 with space and books provided by Darien Library, is now open to student volunteers.

What is a Reading Buddy Program? It’s older kids (“Big Reading Buddies”) paired with younger kids (“Little Reading Buddies”) for one-to-one reading time. Research has shown that academic performance, motivation to read, reading skills, and self-confidence are all gained through participation in these programs. Two SEPAC Representatives; Lynne Andren, who has a MA in Reading and Kara Callahan, who has a MS in Special Education, run the program, with some assistance from SEPAC co-chairs Courtney Darby and Tricia Bresnahan. Both Andren and Callahan are thrilled with the idea of helping parents through the sometimes dreaded daily reading homework requirement while helping the buddies develop new friendships and foster a love of reading. The group meets once a week on Thursday afternoons from 4:00-5:00 PM. Either buddy can require support; in fact this program is perfect for a teen who is struggling with reading.  For program information or to sign-up, contact Lynne Andren (lynneandren@yahoo.com) or Kara Callahan (kwcallahan@icloud.com).

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Catch up on Recent SEPAC Presentations!

Two of SEPAC’s most popular Spring events are now available online. Both events were co-sposored by the Darien Library and have been added to their special website called Darien Library TV.

http://darienlibrary.tv/categories/childrenslibrary.html

ADHD and Mood Disorders:
New Strategies & Treatments
Dr. Wachtel discussed medication options, treatments and strategies to help children who struggle with mood and attention. He covered school-based accommodations and strategies. Research has shown that parents and teachers need to foster a child’s focus to maximize their ability to learn. In addition, Dr. Wachtel addressed the benefits and risks of available treatments and when to commence or postpone treatment at various stages of a child’s life. A board certified psychiatrist, Dr. Wachtel is the author of The Attention Deficit Answer Book.

Meaningful Inclusion Benefits All Students by William Henderson, Ed.D.
Dr. Henderson is a nationally recognized inclusion expert and author of The Blind Advantage: How Going Blind Made me a Stronger Principal and How Including Children with Disabilities Made the School Better for Everyone. Dr. Henderson discussed approaches to develop a culture of inclusion, to provide instruction with universal design and specialized supports, and to build a community that collaborates and problem solves. He also highlighted how including students with disabilities can be a catalyst for improving teaching and learning for everyone.

Meaningful Inclusion Benefits All Students

Darien SEPAC and Darien Library are pleased to present:

William Henderson, Ed.D.
Inclusion Expert and Author

Monday, April 27th

12:00 – 1:30 PM — Public Meeting
RSVP: https://dlchildrenslibrary.wufoo.com/forms/meaningful-inclusion-benefits-all-students/

3:30 PM– 4:45 PM — Educators Only Session
RSVP: https://dlchildrenslibrary.wufoo.com/forms/bill-henderson-educator-visit/

Darien Library Louise Parker Berry Community Room
Light refreshments will be served.

William Henderson, Ed.D., author of “The Blind Advantage: How Going Blind Made me a Stronger Principal and How Including Children with Disabilities Made the School Better for Everyone,” will present practical strategies for developing successful inclusive schools.

Dr. Henderson will discuss approaches to developing a culture of inclusion, to provide instruction with universal design and specialized supports, and to build a community that collaborates and problem solves. He will also highlight how including students with disabilities can be a catalyst for improving teaching and learning for everyone.

As a first-year teacher, Dr. Henderson learned he was gradually losing his vision and was advised he “should get out of education.” Instead he continued to persevere and went on to become principal of the Patrick O’Hearn Elementary School which is now renamed the Dr. William W. Henderson K- 12 Inclusion School.

“In an age when the word ‘hero’ is overused, Bill Henderson clearly deserves the title. Long before most educators embraced the concept of inclusion, Bill built a school that became a model of equity and excellence.”
— Thomas Hehir, professor of practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education & Author of ”Effective Inclusive Schools, Designing Successful Schoolwide Programs.”

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CANCELED DUE TO BLIZZARD: ADHD & MOOD DISORDERS: New Strategies and Treatments

CANCELED: Monday, January 26, 7-8:30, Darien Library

NEW DATE TO BE DETERMINED

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Darien SEPAC and Darien Library are pleased to present Alan Wachtel, MD on ADHD & Mood Disorders: New Strategies and Treatments.

Dr. Wachtel will discuss medication options, treatments and strategies to help children who struggle with mood and attention. He will cover school-based accommodations and strategies. Research has shown that parents and teachers need to foster a child’s focus to maximize their ability to learn. In addition, Dr. Wachtel will address the benefits and risks of available treatments and when to commence or postpone treatment at various stages of a child’s life.

A board certified psychiatrist, Dr. Wachtel is the author of The Attention Deficit Answer Book. He is founder and director of Familyhealth Associates, which specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of attention, behavior, mood and learning disorders. He is a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

RSVP at https://dlchildrenslibrary.wufoo.com/forms/adhd-and-mood-disorders-new-strategies-treatmen/

Upcoming SEPAC Events

NOVEMBER      

Assistive Technology to Support Reading & Writing
Monday, November 24th
7:00-9:00 PM, Middlesex Middle School

A discussion with assistive technology (AT) expert Shelly Lacey-Castelot on available technology to support reading and writing — and how best to use it to enhance a child’s education. Also, strategies to secure an effective AT plan for your child. Darien Public Schools administrators Marc Marin, Director of Instructional Technology, and John Verre, Special Assistant to the Superintendent, will also participate.

 

DECEMBER

Executive Function, Working Memory and Everyday Tasks
Monday, December 8th
7:00-9:00 PM, Darien Library

Executive functions and working memory are critical aspects of a child’s ability to be successful in school.  Lydia Soifer, PhD, director of the Soifer Center for Learning & Child Development, will make these complex topics understandable, and relate them to manageable everyday tasks. Darien district administration will also participate to provide answers on the role of executive function in accessing the curriculum.

Co-sponsored with Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, SPED*NET Wilton and Darien Library.

Help Your Child — and Yourself — Conquer Stress & Anxiety

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May 1st at 7:30PM at Middlesex Middle School
Please RSVP at dariensepac@gmail.com.

Marcia Eckerd, Ph.D. will discuss scientifically-documented strategies that heal the physical effects of anxiety and promote stress-resilience. Every child with a learning or developmental disability suffers from stress as an unavoidable response to daily academic and peer pressure. Chronic stress affects the body and mind: physical health, mood and self-esteem. Parents also experience anxiety, as they attempt to balance the demands of their own lives with understanding, supporting and advocating for their children. Dr. Eckerd, a licensed psychologist, will present proven tools to help you — and your child – effectively deal with this stress. Darien SEPAC is co-sponsoring this event with Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities. Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities® is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering the parents of children with learning disabilities (LD) and attention-deficit disorder (ADHD). Please RSVP at dariensepac@gmail.com.

New ESY Guidelines & Parent Meeting! April 9

The Darien school district has released “Guidelines for Practice: Extended School Year Services.” The guidelines can be found on the home page of the district web site, www.darienps.org.

SEPAC is pleased to support our parent community by hosting a brief overview of the ESY guidelines by Special Education Ombudsman, John Verre, followed by a question and answer session. Parents are encouraged to review the guidelines before attending. April 9th, 9:15 to 10:15 at Tokeneke School.