Category Archives: General

Preparing Incoming 6th Grade Students with Special Education Services & 504 Plan Accommodations for Middlesex Middle School

Friday, February 28, 2020, 9:30AM – 11:00AM 
Middlesex Middle School Library/Media Center

Please join us for an informative panel discussion and explanation of the Middle School transition process for elementary students with IEPs and 504 accommodations.

Topics will include:
1. Brief overview of Middlesex Middle School.
2. Understanding the Transition-to-Middle School Process for students who have IEPs or 504 Plans (Articulation PPT and 504 Meetings).
3. Middlesex Continuum of Services & Supports (Description of Co-Taught classes, Resource Room, Direct Reading, Special Programs).
4. Q & A

Panel to include:
Scott McCarthy – 6-12 Program Director Special Education and Student Services
Theresa Fox – 6-8 Special Education Department Chair
Shelley Somers – MMS Principal
Mary Scalise – MMS Assistant Principal
Dana Giannattasio – MMS Assistant Principal
Lynn Sellon – School Psychologist
Shannon Boldrighini – Special Education Teacher
Rachael Sandler – School Counselor

Social Anxiety & Generalized Anxiety Disorder

When anxiety interferes with performance and relationships

By Child Mind Institute expert, Dr. Jerry Bubrick

Wednesday, January 8th, Noon- 1:30PM
Darien Library Community Room
Please RSVP:

Youth today worry…Academics…Sports…College. When is it too much?

Please join us for an important presentation on Social Anxiety & Generalized Anxiety Disorder by national expert Jerry Bubrick, PhD. on Wednesday, January 8, Noon-1:30 pm, in the Darien Library Community Room.  Dr. Bubrick, a senior clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, has been featured in mainstream media and the highly-acclaimed films Like and Angst.

Dr. Bubrick will explain the signs and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety – from worrying about everyday stressors to being intensely self-conscious and terrified by others’ perceptions. He will describe the importance of understanding and addressing anxiety when it interferes with performance and relationships. Dr. Bubrick will also explain anxiety as a primary disability or comorbidity to another disability. In addition, Dr. Bubrick will share proven strategies for managing anxiety and how to get the help your child needs.

Jerry Bubrick, PhD, is a senior clinical psychologist in the Anxiety Disorders Center and director of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Service at the Child Mind Institute in New York City.  Widely recognized for developing one of the world’s most intensive pediatric programs for OCD, he is a pioneer in using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat children and teens with OCD and related anxiety disorders.

Featured in media such as Newsweek, The Washington Post and ABC Primetime, Dr. Bubrick is a sought-after expert and speaker. A dedicated advocate for children and their families, Dr. Bubrick is a significant public voice educating parents and teachers about the fear at the roots of anxiety — and how it’s effectively treated.

This event is co-sponsored by Darien SEPAC and Darien Library.

Video links now available for the following presentations:

ADHD, Anxiety and Mood Disorders: Best Practices for Evaluation and Medical Management
Dr. Peter McAllister
January 23 at 7:15 PM at Darien Library Community Room

Social Anxiety & Generalized Anxiety Disorder: When Anxiety interferes with performance and relationships
Child Mind Institute expert, Dr. Jerry Bubrick
January 8 at 12 PM, Darien Library Community Room

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

The Myth of Normalcy:  Empowering Students with Learning Differences
Jonathan Mooney
September 10 at 7:15, Darien Library Community Room

TV 79 Video – The Myth of Normalcy


ADHD, Anxiety and Mood Disorders: Best Practices for Evaluation and Medical Management

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

Dr. Peter McAllister, a board certified neurologist, 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.

Peter McAllister, MD is 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