Guest speaker to offer tips on how to help students stay focused at Oct. 4 presentation in Westfield


Westfield Washington Schools will host guest speaker Sarah Ward Oct. 4 at Monon Trail Elementary School.

Ward is the co-creator of the 360 Thinking Executive Function Program and co-director of Cognitive Connections. The event will help parents and teachers educate children on how to be successful by using practical strategies to improve executive functioning skills.

CIW COM 0925 Sarah Ward

Executive functions are a set of skills that assist people in completing tasks.

“I took a group of people from Westfield to one of Sarah’s presentations on executive functioning last fall,” said Carla Butorac, consultant for Westfield Washington Schools. “I was so incredibly impressed with the information she had to offer that I asked if we could sponsor bringing her to Westfield, not only for only for our staff to come but the public.”

Ward will discuss ways teachers and parents can help students focus and stay on task to complete assignments.

“She talks about how teachers can set up their rooms to be much more functional for kids,” Butorac said. “She’s got these great strategies for letting kids see the end result and then backwards plan to get to the end. It’s a very simple strategy but it’s brilliant.”

Ward also addresses time management.

“She discusses how kids can use an analog clock to see how to best utilize their time and identify those things that get in the way preventing them from getting on task, staying on task and finishing the task,” Butorac said.

Ward has professional and personal experience dealing with executive functioning.

“She has a child who struggles with executive functioning skills,” Butorac said. “Between her formal background and her family situation she has developed super-strategies and thought processes behind executive functioning.”

The event is from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is $150 per person and can be paid for with a credit card or purchase order. To register, contact Nancy Gilleran at 317-867-8006. RSVP before Oct. 1.