Previous Meetings 2015-2016

April 27, 2016

Parent Workshop: Transition—What Does It Mean & How to Start Planning for It

Massachusetts law requires that transition planning must begin at age 14 and continue throughout the high school years as students prepare to journey into a full and inclusive adult life. Coordinated and continuous transition preparation promotes better post school outcomes for students with disabilities. This program is appropriate for anyone with a child who will require special education transition planning within the next two years. 

This introductory transition workshop presented by the Federation for Children with Special Needs will address: What is transition?, the transition planning process, transition assessments, transition planning form (TPF), graduation, and chapter 688 referrals.


May 17, 2016

“Treating Fears, Phobias & Meltdowns in Children with Special Needs” a lecture by Dr. Karen Levine

Anxiety is very common in children in general and especially common in children with social and communication challenges including autism spectrum disorders. Fears of various sounds (e.g. lawn mower; blender; gym buzzer; thunder), experiences (e.g. doctor; dentist) and sensory experiences (e.g. band aids; assemblies; fire drills; haircuts; bugs) as well as various emotional experiences (e.g. change in schedule; losing in game) are very common. Emotional dysregulation is also very common in children with a range of developmental disabilities. While Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is effective for children who can access it, the language and cognitive skills involved are not accessible to many very young children or children with developmental disabilities. This workshop illustrates how emotional dysregulation triggers can be conceptualized within an affect based phobia treatment model and then illustrates specific approaches to treating common fears, phobias and meltdown triggers. Replays (Chedd and Levine) as well as adaptations of CBT and uses of gradual exposure will be discussed. Uses of video, apps, and YouTube will be included, with many examples. Treating children at home, in school and in therapy will be discussed. There will also be time for questions.

Dr. Levine, a Developmental Psychologist of more than twenty years, has a private practice in Lexington focusing on the child’s social and emotional development conducting play-based diagnostic evaluations, school consultations, treatment and consultations to families, educators, agencies and other professionals. Her most recent book “Attacking Anxiety” was published in 2015.

June 8, 2016

SEPAC General Business Meeting

What topics would YOU like to have on the calendar for 2016/17? Join us for the final meeting of the year and share your ideas. 

March 23, 2016

“Smart but Scattered:  The Importance of Executive Functioning for Success in School” a lecture by Dr. Peg Dawson

Executive functioning is a term used to describe the tasks our brains perform that are necessary to think, act, and solve problems. Executive functioning includes tasks that help us learn new information, remember and retrieve information we've learned in the past and use this information to solve problems of everyday life. Children with learning disabilities often have executive functioning disorders as well. Think about your own child. Does she have difficulty managing time, paying attention, switching focus or starting a long-term assignment?  Is he easily distracted, forgetful or does he become upset when routines or expectations are changed?

Dr. Peg Dawson, Ed.D, NCSP, from the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders in Portsmouth, NH, has co-authored six books on Executive Functioning. Come learn more from this nationally-recognized expert who has worked with thousands of children and teens who struggle at home and school.

Where:  Hale Middle School Auditorium, 55 Hartley Road, Stow

Time:  7:00 – 9:00 PM  PowerPoint Presentation

February 24, 2016

SEPAC General Business Meeting

SEPAC leadership has identified several projects/events that we’d like to address this year but we need your input and help in making these ideasbecome reality. Please join us to give us feedback on the following:


Updating the “Referral and Special Education Process” description in all School Handbooks throughout the district

 Holding regular Parent Networking nights

Organizing a “Move Up Fair” for parents of special needs 5th graders transitioning to Luther Burbank MS & Hale MS

Expanding the Best Buddies program at the middle school level in Bolton and Stow


Where:  High School, Room 216, 12 Green Road, Bolton

Time:  6:30—7:00 PM (precedes the “Basic Rights” meeting—see below)

February 24, 2016

Parent Workshop: Basic Rights in Special Education

Is your child struggling in school? Do you suspect your child could have a learning or behavioral disability that may require him/her to receive additional support services at school? 

Is your child currently on an IEP or 504 and you’d like a better understanding of the laws and process that the NRSD Special Education Department follows to provide support services to your child?

This workshop provides families with an introduction to their rights and responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Massachusetts Special Education Law. It is designed to help parents learn how to be effective partners with their child’s school to decide their child’s eligibility for special education, and to plan, make decisions and monitor their child’s progress in school. 

Where:  High School, Room 216, 12 Green Road, Bolton

Time:  7:00 – 9:00 PM

January 29, 2016

Special Education Open House at the Sawyer School

SEPAC invites all FSS parents to come to an informal gathering on the morning of Friday, January 29th.  Meet with the school administration, the Director of Special Education and Special Education TEAM Chairs who cover the Sawyer School as well as educators, interventionists/social workers and other FSS staff who work with your child. A simple breakfast buffet will be offered. 

Where:  Florence Sawyer School Cafeteria

Time:  9:00 – 10:00 AM

January 13, 2016

Parent Workshop:  How Can DDS Help Your Family?

 If your special needs child is 16 years old and will require housing, transportation, daily living and/or job assistance as an adult, then this workshop is a must. Planning for your student’s post-school life should be started earlier than you think.

Catherine Keese, DDS Service Coordinator Supervisor, will provide a general overview of DDS services and how DDS Service Coordinators work with families, focusing on the transition years 18-22. She will also discuss the new population that DDS is beginning to provide services for: high functioning autism.

Where:  High School, Room 216, 12 Green Road, Bolton

Time:  7:00 – 8:30 PM

504 Plans: How to Make Them Work for Your Child
This Parent Forum will be presented by Joseph Presti, Esq. of Baystate Advocacy Group.  Mr. Presti will cover a wide range of topics relating to 504 Accommodation Plans.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 beginning at 7:00 PM
Location: Randall Public Library, 19 Crescent Street, Stow

Understanding Evaluations

Learn more about the testing that the District performs when your child is referred for special education services and what the results mean.  Click here for the PowerPoint Presentation  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 beginning at 7:00 PM
Location: Room 216, Nashoba Regional High School, 12 Green Road, Bolton

Valerie Beyranevand, MS, CCC-SLP and Kristen Diggins, MS,CCC-SLP provided an overview of the programs and approaches used by the Nashoba Regional School District to facilitate improved social skills in all students at a presentation entitled 
"Social Skills Curriculum and Supports: Preschool to High School."  Strategies and resources for supporting children at home and in the community were also discussed.Presenters: Valerie Beyranevand, MS, CCC-SLP and Kristen Diggins, MS, CCC-SLP  Read More...

"How to EffectivelyInteract with Your Anxious and Dysregulated Child.

Kimberlee Kusiak, M.D., Consulting Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, will speak on childhood anxiety at a presentation entitled, "How to EffectivelyInteract with Your Anxious and Dysregulated Child."  In early May, Dr. Kusiak will hold a workshop for NRSD teachers and staff exploring this topic.  We are excitedthat parents of all students can learn strategies to manage anxiety in their own child(ren).  Read more..... 

Handouts from presenter attached 

"Basic Rights Workshop"  

Bonnie Polakoff, an educational advocate, will lead a "Basic Rights Workshop." This workshop introduces participants to the federal and state special education laws, special education process, parent and student rights and how to resolve differences with the school.  It is designed to help parents learn how to be effective partners with their child's school to decide the child's eligibility for special education,and to plan, make decisions and monitor their child's progress in school.  Read More....


"The Roadmap to CBHI & Applying for MassHealth and Accessing Services" on Thursday, April 30th  

Bonnie Thompson, Family Leader at Mass Family voices, will speak on a topic that many parents have questions about with the newly enacted legislation (MA Autism Bill of 2014). Topics such as accessing autism related services through ARICA will also be covered.