24th Annual Pre-Convention School Law Seminar

A live virtual two-half day seminar

Wednesday, October 21 ● 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 22 ● 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
(Separate fee: $130)

Co-hosted by
New York State School Boards Association
New York State Association of School Attorneys

View ebrochure 

October 21 – Day 1

8:30 – 8:40 a.m.
Introduction and Welcome
Jay Worona, Esq., Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel, NYSSBA
Neil Block, Esq., President, NYSASA

8:40 – 10:10 a.m.
COVID-19 – An Overview of Lessons Learned
Unexpected, unprecedented and far reaching in its consequences, COVID-19 turned the world of education on its head. Its impact is still being felt and concerns over the prospect of a new wave still linger. So what did we learn? What went right? What could have been done better? If the future depends on the present, are we prepared? What do we still need to do? Join a discussion of the legal issues involved and real-life legacy of COVID-19.

Speakers: Beth A. Bourassa, Esq., Partner, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP; Howard M. Miller, Esq., Partner, Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC; Thomas M. Volz, Esq., Law Offices of Thomas M. Volz, PLLC; and Dr. Kevin C. McGowan, Superintendent, Brighton Central School District

Speaker/Facilitator: Donald E. Budmen, Esq., Partner, Ferrara Fiorenza P.C.

10:10-10:20 a.m.

10:20 – 10:50 a.m.
COVID-19 – A Statewide View from the State Education Department’s Perspective
Join a conversation with the Interim Commissioner of Education and the Vice Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents on the key educational issues facing school districts right now and in the near future.  Find out how the COVID-19 experience has affected ongoing department initiatives and its potential impact on new ones.

Speaker: Dr. Betty A. Rosa, Interim Commissioner of Education, New York State Education Department; T. Andrew Brown, Vice Chancellor, New York State Board of Regents

Speaker/Facilitator: Jay Worona, Esq., Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel, NYSSBA.

10:50-11:00 a.m.

11:00 – Noon
Evaluation, Discipline & Discharge in the Age of COVID
Despite the reopening of schools, remote teaching and learning are still central to the delivery of instructional and support services to students.  How can districts evaluate the performance of educators and non-instructional staff?  How do staffing and the re-organization of instruction implemented to cope with COVID affect APPR requirements? How does a school district face the realities of incompetency and misconduct in a COVID environment? What is the duty of reasonable accommodation and how does it affect evaluation and discipline of staff?

Speakers: Erin M. O’Grady-Parent, Esq., Partner, Guercio & Guercio, LLP; Frank W. Miller, Esq., The Law Firm of Frank W. Miller and Jeffrey D. Honeywell, Esq., Honeywell Law Firm, PLLC

Speaker/Facilitator: John H. Gross, Esq., Partner, Ingerman Smith LLP

12:00 p.m.

October 22 – Day 2

8:30 – 8:40 a.m.
Introduction and Welcome
Jay Worona, Esq., Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel, NYSSBA

8:40 - 9:15 a.m.
School Law: A Year in Review Part I – New Laws and Regulations
School district responsibilities are continuously evolving. Learn how this year’s actions by the Legislature and the State Education Department have transformed those obligations.

Speaker: Kimberly A. Fanniff, Esq., Senior Staff Counsel, NYSSBA

9:15 - 9:20 a.m.

9:20 – 10:10 a.m.
COVID-19 – Lessons Learned About the Special Education Conundrum
MWhen schools closed, students with disabilities posed unique challenges to continuity of learning efforts, exposing districts to potential liability for compensatory education. Those challenges remain for students whose condition(s) may prevent them from returning to reopened schools. Find out about lessons learned that can help districts both better serve such students and minimize their own exposure to liability. 

Speaker(s): Andrew J. Freedman, Esq., Partner, Hodgson Russ LLP; and Jeffrey J. Weiss, Esq., Partner, Harris Beach PLLC

Speaker/Facilitator: Laura J. Granelli, Esq., Partner, Jaspan Schlesinger LLP

10:10 – 10:20 a.m.

10:20 – 11:15 a.m.
Collective Bargaining – More than COVID-19
For sure, an era of social distancing and remote teaching and learning can present potential bargaining issues that may be significant on their own. But school districts are also facing major financial issues that cut across the entire spectrum of daily school operations. Join a discussion of key anticipated areas of bargaining that districts need to prepare for, and possible approaches that can help districts at the bargaining table. 

Speakers:  Gregory J. Guercio, Esq., Partner, Guercio & Guercio, LLP; David S. Shaw, Esq., Partner, Shaw, Perelson, May & Lambert, LLP; and Jeffrey F. Swiatek, Esq., Partner, Hodgson Russ LLP

Speaker/Facilitator: Eugene R. Barnosky, Esq., Partner, Lamb & Barnosky, LLP

11:15 – 11:25 a.m.

11:25 - Noon
School Law: A Year in Review Part II – New Court Cases and Other Rulings
Official interpretations of law and regulations affect how school boards govern and operate their schools. Hear how your district might need to adapt to satisfy changes in legal requirements.

Speaker: Jeffrey Mongelli, Esq., Senior Staff Counsel, NYSSBA

12:00 p.m.

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CTLEThe convention educational sessions, pre-convention events, and featured sessions (but not including the Opening Session and the Commissioner Session) have been approved for CTLE credits.