All events are free and open to the public. 

DATE: September 17, 2015
TITLE: Comprehensive Reading Assessments for K-5 Students: What You Need to Know for Your Child’s Literacy Development
PRESENTER: Maureen F. Ruby
 Review of the key competencies that all children must master on their journey to becoming literate citizens and independent, lifelong learners.
MATERIALS: Literacy Development (PDF Format)


DATE: October 1, 2015
TITLE: IEP vs. 504: Which One Is Right for My Child?
PRESENTER: Gerri Fleming
 Overview of the differences in Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and Section 504 Plans, with some illustrative case studies.
MATERIALS: IEPs vs. 504 Plans (Powerpoint format), Independent Educational Evaluation Guidance (PDF Format)


DATES: October 19, 2015 and November 16, 2015
TITLE: The Journey Begins…Understanding the Special Education Process
PRESENTERS: Jose A. Centeno and Ada Suarez 
(Human Services Advocates from the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities)
A two-session training, in Spanish, for parents of children receiving — or needing — special education services who would like to learn how to navigate the school system more effectively.


DATE: November 12, 2015
TITLE: Connecticut Core Standards
PRESENTER: Joanne R. White (CT State Department of Education)
 Overview of the Common Core State Standards, now the Connecticut Core Standards (CCS), that are being implemented in all public schools. Presentation assisted parents to understand the instructional shifts and rigor in the standards and to know what the new curriculum will do for their children that the old curriculum didn’t.
MATERIALS: CT Core Standards (PDF Format)


DATE: December 3, 2015
TITLE: The ABCs of Special Education
PRESENTERS: Jose A. Centeno and Ada Suarez 
(Human Services Advocates from the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities)
Presentation, in Spanish, to assist parents of children with disabilities to know more about their rights concerning Special Education Services.


DATE: January 7, 2016
TITLE: Building Resilience for Children Who Tend to Quit Difficult Tasks Due to Frustration and/or Low Confidence
  Presentation of ways to assist children to develop Grit (i.e., stamina, passion, and a determination to continuously plug-away when experiencing difficulty), a fundamental characteristic of successful learning.
MATERIALS: Presentation overview (PDF format), 12-Item Grit Scale (PDF format), Dealing with Mistakes checklist (PDF format), Trial and Error Lesson overview (PDF Format)


DATE: February 4, 2016
TITLE: Effective and Non-Effective Communication Patterns Between Parents and School Personnel As They Relate to Team-building
  Presentation of strategies that parents can use to foster understanding and mutual respect with school staff in order to minimize communication breakdowns and to build effective teams for meeting children’s needs.
MATERIALS: Presentation overview (PDF Format)


DATE: March 3, 2016
TITLE: Executive Function: Realities and Possibilities
PRESENTER: Lydia Soifer, Ph.D.
Discussion of how executive function issues affect children both academically and socially in everyday tasks. Dr. Soifer shared practical ways that parents can meet, head-on, the many challenges related to executive function.


DATE: April 7, 2016
TITLE: The ABCs of Pre-Literacy Skills:
Getting Ready to Learn to Read

PRESENTER: Dr. Margie Gillis
 Description of the many things parents can do to help their 3- to 5-year-olds get ready to learn to read when they start elementary school, including  how books work, learning the letters of the alphabet, and playing rhyming games.
MATERIALS: Presentation overview (PDF Format)


DATE: May 5, 2016
TITLE: Promoting Social Skill Development in a Screen-Oriented World
PRESENTER: Dave Sylvestro
 Discussion of the potentially positive and negative effects of children’s use of smart phones, tablets and computers – “screen time” – and how families can achieve a balance between time focused on pixels with time with people in order to improve social interaction skills (such as reading body language, tone of voice, facial expressions and using effective pragmatic language in social situations).
MATERIALS: Social Skills Development (Powerpoint Format)



Visit THE ARCHIVES for descriptions of previous Speaker Series presentations, as well as downloadable materials.