Category Archives: SEPAC Meetings

DORS Level-Up Program

Wednesday, October 11, 9:30-11 am
DHS, Room  A106

Leah Pavone from the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) will discuss their services, including the Level Up program for the 16 – 21 year old population. DORS Level Up provides students with the tools, training and resources to work competitively and forge a path to independence. Through this program students who have an IEP or 504 plan can receive vocational services, which may be made available in the school setting, outside of school hours or in the summer months.
This program is sponsored by DHSPA, Darien SEPAC and DPS. 

 

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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).

Is My Child Making Progress?

Understanding Progress Monitoring

Monday, October 5th, 11 am, Royle Common Room
Please RSVP: dariensepac@gmail.com

Dr. Susie Da Silva, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, K-12 will discuss the purpose and components of a strong Scientifically Research-Based Intervention (SRBI) model. She will outline how an effective program supports students in the most meaningful way.

Find out the answer to your questions including:
What are the assessment tools the district currently uses?
How will I be notified of my child’s progress in SRBI?
How do I know if my child is reading on grade level?

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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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.