Tag Archives: Education

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).


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.”



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



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/

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.

Programming for Literacy Challenges

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SEPAC and Darien Library are pleased to invite parents to participate in a roundtable discussion on programming for children with learning disabilities and literacy challenges. To support all learners in the Darien community, the group will discuss potential library programs for children who learn differently as well as programs that can support adult family members. Come with ideas and suggestions. Examples include, book series appropriate for children with dyslexia…programs on executive function…building pre-reading skills. April 2nd at 11:00 am at Darien Library. Space is limited. RSVP is required at dariensepac@gmail.com.

Special Education: Back To Basics Presentation 11/14/2013

Darien SEPAC invites all parents of Darien students to our November 14, 2013 meeting.  Nancy Prescott and Theresa DeFrancis have graciously agreed to be our guest speakers for this event.  A meet and greet will be held at 6:30pm followed by a presentation, “Special Education:  Back to Basics”,  at 7:00pm.  This meeting is being held at the BOE Administrative Building at 35 Leroy Ave, Darien.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at DarienSEPAC@gmail.com
~Darien SEPAC