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Spring/Summer SEPAC Parent Newsletter

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

Support Norfolk SEPAC on Amazon Smile!

Donate as you shop! Norfolk Special Education Parent Advisory Council is now an available charity on Amazon Smile. Help us provide educational and supportive programming to the Norfolk Community by selecting us as your Amazon Smile charity at . This option is also now available inside the app in your settings!


Congratulations to our new and returning board members

Elections were held at our monthly meeting on April 8th, 2021 and we welcomed three new members to the board and re-elected our existing board members. We are very excited to expand our group! Please join us at our next meeting if you would like to get involved.

Co-Chairs: Jo-Anne Gilbody and Karen Murphy

Chair of Technology: Taiese Hickman

Chair of Marketing: OPEN

Chair of Operations: Mike McCarthy

Chair of Finance: Karen Mazzola

Secretary: Kayla Costa

Board Members: Stefanie Durniok and Jianmei Bai (NEW!)

Fundraising Coordinator: Sarah Logie (NEW!)

Volunteer Outreach: Melissa Cyr (NEW!)


Recap of our Spring events

Our spring was filled with virtual meetings and events that provided lots of valuable resources to parents. Special guests covered topics such as summer camp inclusion, a parents guide to learning with hidden disabilities, and the KP middle school transition. Thank you to all of you who joined these events and participated in the discussions.

There was also a great turnout for the Spring family photo shoot at Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary here in Norfolk. We are grateful to Mass Audubon for allowing us to use such a wonderful local backdrop and for all the families that signed up.

We look forward to seeing you all in the Fall at more of our workshops and events...hopefully we'll be in person. Have a wonderful summer until then!

If you or your children are looking for some good books to read, check out our latest recommendation below along with a link to past favorites listed on our website.


SEPAC Book of the Month

Norfolk SEPAC Library Display and Book List

As a reminder, we are partnering with the Norfolk Public Library to obtain and feature our monthly SEPAC Book of the Month! Stop by the NPL to borrow a copy.

Book of the Month

The future of our society depends on our gifted children - the population in which we'll find our next Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, or Virginia Woolf. Yet the gifts and talents of some of our most brilliant kids may never be recognized because these children fall into a group known as twice exceptional, or "2e". Twice exceptional kids are both gifted and diagnosed with a disability - often ADHD or an autism spectrum disorder - leading teachers and parents to overlook the child's talents and focus solely on his weaknesses. Too often, these children get lost in an endless cycle of chasing diagnostic labels and are never given the tools to fully realize their own potential.

Bright Not Broken sheds new light on this vibrant population by identifying who twice exceptional children are and taking an unflinching look at why they're stuck. The first work to boldly examine the widespread misdiagnosis and controversies that arise from our current diagnostic system, it serves as a wake-up call for parents and professionals to question why our mental health and education systems are failing our brightest children.

Most importantly, the authors show what we can do to help 2e children, providing a whole child model for parents and educators to strengthen and develop a child's innate gifts while also intervening to support the deficits. Drawing on painstaking research and personal experience, Bright Not Broken offers groundbreaking insight and practical strategies to those seeking to help 2e kids achieve their full potential.

If you're looking for more reading recommendations as we go into the summer months, check out more of the books we love.


Want to know more about us?

The Norfolk SEPAC is run by Norfolk parents and provides a great support system for families with all types of needs. We offer educational presentations, resources, information on the IEP process, and opportunities for parents and students to connect in a supportive and inclusive environment.

A SEPAC is a public body which serves as an adviser to the School Committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities. In addition, the SEPAC has a duty to meet regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development and evaluation of the district’s special education programs.

The SEPAC is a self-governing body (creates its own by-laws and operational procedures) and is open to all parents of children with 504s and IEPs and any other interested parties.

A SEPAC is different from a PTA, PTO or School Council – it does not represent families from one school, but serves all families of children with special needs from the entire school district.

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