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  • Writer's pictureNorfolk SEPAC

April Parent Newsletter

Updated: Apr 11, 2019

Thank you to everyone who joined us on April 1st for our free parent workshop on Understanding Executive Function led by Donna Kincaid from the Institutes for Learning and Development. We welcomed our biggest crowd of the year and raised over $400 in our Bake Sale and Raffle to cover costs for the event!. Thank you for your generosity! Congratulations to our raffle winners!

The Norfolk SEPAC would also like to welcome our newest member, Jeff Chalmers, who will serve as Special Advisor to the Board.


Mark Your Calendar for our remaining 2018/2019 events!

Events List

  • Sunday, May 5, 2019 - Friends of SEPAC Cinco de Mayo 5K and Fun Run. Join us on the Town Green after the race for our Race Day After Party. All family and friends are welcome!

  • Thursday, May 9, 2019 - General SEPAC Meeting and 2019/2020 Board Elections

  • Sunday, May 19, 2019 - Spring Family Photo Session with Leah Romig

Event Details

Sunday, May 5, 2019 - Friends of SEPAC Cinco de Mayo 5K Fun Run

Join many Norfolk Families for some family fun! Run, Jog, Walk, or Stroll around Norfolk and help support the SEPAC! Following the run, bring your family for some refreshments, music, and kids activities on the town green (weather permitting).

Sponsors Include: Uncle Eddie's BBQ, Sarcastic Sweets, TC Scoops, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commonwealth Real Estate , Laer Realty Partners, South Shore Therapies, Salon Sorella Norfolk, Norwood Hospital

Music and Entertainment By: Exhale School of Dance, Berkshire Valley Boys, ImagineThat Facepainting, Art by Jen Callei, Bouncy House courtesy of Taylor Rental Norfolk


Date: Sunday, May 5, 2019

Registration: 8:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Start Time: 9:00 a.m.

Location: Norfolk Town Hill, 1 Liberty Lane Norfolk, MA 02056

Cost: $25

Registration: Register online here or at the Norfolk Public Library on race day

Dogs: Dogs are not permitted on the race course during the race

T-shirts: Can be purchased for $15 via online registration

After Party: 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Want to Volunteer? The SEPAC is looking for volunteers for After Race Entertainment and Games, and Course Cleanup as well as families that would like to signup to be Mile Markers. Contact if interested. If you are unable to volunteer but know of a vendor(s) that would like to participate please contact us. We are also accepting items for race day prizes and raffles as well as looking for local entertainment.

Thursday, May 9, 2019 - May SEPAC Meeting - Open to the public

Norfolk SEPAC 2019-2020: Board Elections 7:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Meeting topic: Preventing the "Summer Slide"

7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

H. Olive Day School Library

Register Here:

Interested in joining our board next year or helping us with key events? Elections will take place at our upcoming meeting. Also, come hear from our very own Norfolk teachers about how you can integrate activities into your summer schedule that will help prevent loss of core academic skills and be fun in the process!

Sunday, May 18, 2019 - Spring Family Photo Session with Leah Romig Photography

Back by Popular Demand! Leah Romig is excited to offer family photo mini-sessions at our very own Stonybrook Wildlife Sanctuary.

Location: Stonybrook Wildlife Sanctuary

108 North Street, Norfolk MA Time: 1pm - 6pm

Register Here!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

6:15 p.m.

2nd Annual SEPAC Summer Concert and Food Truck Event

Spend time with friends, enjoy a summer concert, food, face painting, and family games while supporting the SEPAC as we gear up for the 2019/2020 School Year!

If you would like volunteer or know of a vendor(s) that would like to participate please contact us; We are also accepting donations for our raffles as well as looking for local entertainment (i.e. games, facepainting etc.).


Parent Education

What is Executive Function and how does it impact a child?

Children are expected to use executive function skills every minute of the day. Sitting up straight in a chair, organizing a desk full of materials, writing neatly, prioritizing where to focus their attention are just a few examples of skills requiring mastery of executive function. These skills are seemingly simple for some, while being very difficult for others. Many children with disabilities also struggle with executive function.

No two people have the same set of strengths and weaknesses in Executive Function. Parents and children can have strengths and weaknesses that complement one another. They can also have weaknesses in the same areas which can cause strife when that particular skill is needed. A good way to understand how to help your child with executive function strengths and weaknesses is to first assess your own and then cross-match them with your child(ren).

Anxiety can also impact a child's ability to access Executive Function skills. When a child's brain is anxious, it struggles to get past the fight/flight/freeze response to access higher-level thought that occurs in the frontal lobe of the brain. This can impede the ability to execute tasks that may be simple for the child in other circumstances where they are not anxious.

There are many ways to support executive function skills for children at home and at school. Here are some examples:

Additional Resources

Executive Function 101 - Ebook prepared by the National Center for Learning Disabilities

Executive Function Questionaire - by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare


SEPAC Book of the Month


The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

By, John J. Ratey

In SPARK, John Ratey, MD embarks upon a fascinating journey through the mind-body connection, illustrating that exercise is truly our best defense against everything from depression to ADD to addiction to menopause to Alzheimer's. Filled with amazing case studies (such as the revolutionary fitness program in Naperville, Illinois, that has put the local school district of 19,000 kids first in the world of science test scores), SPARK is the first book to explore comprehensively the connection between exercise and the brain. It will change forever the way you think about your morning run.

Additional books recommended by our Executive Function workshop host, Donna Kincaid:

  • Promoting Executive Function in the Classroom - Lynn Meltzer

  • Nowhere to Hide - Jerome Shultz

  • Spark - John Ratey

  • Mindset - Carol Dweck

  • What do you Do When You Worry Too Much - Dawn Huebner

  • Smart But Scattered - Peg Dawson and Richard Guare

  • Smart But Stuck - Tom Brown

Our Mission


The Norfolk Special Education Advisory Council exists to:

  • Raise awareness and provide thoughtful leadership on the benefits of special education in the community

  • Develop a platform where parents can share ideas, identify concerns, and support families of children with special needs

  • Develop, maintain, and share tools and resources for parents of children with special needs

  • Advise the School Committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities

  • Meet regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development and evaluation of the School Committee’s special education programs; and

  • Assist the district in coordinating the presentation on the rights of students and their parents and guardians

  • Promote diversity, acceptance and inclusion of students with disabilities in all district and community activities

  • Promote social enrichment by hosting parent support groups and periodic events for children in the Norfolk community.

Norfolk SEPAC Board


President: Taiese Hickman

Vice President: Jo-Anne Gilbody

Director of Communications: Karen Murphy

Director of Events: Michael McCarthy

Grant Administrator: Karen Mazzola

Special Advisor: Jeff Chalmers

Contact Us


Facebook: @norfolksepac

Instagram: @norfolksepac

Twitter: @nsepac

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