22nd Annual Pre-Convention School Law Seminar

Thursday, October 25 ● 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  
Sheraton New York Times Square, New York City  
(Separate Registration Fee:  $285)           

Co-hosted by

New York State School Boards Association and
New York State Association of School Attorneys

View ebrochure 


7:00 – 8:00 a.m.
Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 8:15 a.m.
Introduction and Welcome

8:15 – 9:30 a.m.
School Safety – A World Turned Upside Down
Sadly there are no guarantees that will keep school children and staff safe from a violent attack while at school. Recent events again have districts re-examining what they can do better to prevent and respond to such an event. From community engagement, security measures and training to mental health, interagency collaboration and law enforcement partnerships, join a discussion of the real life and legal issues involved.

9:30-9:45 a.m.

9:45 – 10:40 a.m.
Political Discourse in Public Schools – Complex Issues without Simple Rules
Public school can limit the exercise of free speech rights within their buildings and grounds, including expressions of political solidarity. But what if school officials want to allow or even engage in such speech? When and what limitations might be appropriate? To whom would they apply? Understand better the legal issues involved.

10:40 – 11:30 a.m.
Sexual Harassment of Staff – What Every School Board Needs to Know
The prohibition against sexual harassment in the workplace is not new. But the #MeToo Movement shows work still needs to be done in this area. Find out if your policies and practices adequately protect both your district and its staff. Reassess your prevention, identification, investigation and resolution processes.

11:30 a.m. – Noon
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.

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch (On Your Own)

1:30 – 2:20 p.m.
Employment Law – Some Bargaining and Non-Bargaining Issues
Discuss the impact of the recent Supreme Court’s agency shop decision on your district. Review the various bargaining implications of New York’s ESSA Plan. Hear about non-bargaining employment issues you should be aware of.

2:20 – 2:35 p.m.

2:35 – 3:30 p.m.
Special Education Disputes – Litigate or Settle: That is the Question
It is not always easy to resolve parental issues over special education services. Should you litigate all disputes? When should you settle? Learn about the factors you need to consider when making that decision.

3:30 – 4:00 p.m.
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.

4:00 p.m.

↑ Top
10th Annual Pre-Convention Communications Workshop

Thursday, October 25 ● 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
America Hall I, New York Hilton Midtown
234 W 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
(Separate Fee:  $140)


Session 1:  Social Media Crisis Communications
Social media has added a new dimension to crisis communications, enabling live video streams, photos and regular updates in real time as the crisis unfolds. Your community will use social media to get the latest information, ask questions, and offer comments during a crisis.

Immerse yourself in a tabletop crisis drill where communication occurs at a rapid pace on multiple social media platforms.

Discuss when your school – and you as a school leader –should be doing social media during a crisis with seasoned social media professionals from New York City public relations agencies.

Hear a firsthand account from the superintendent of the Newtown, Connecticut school district at the time of the Sandy Hook shooting on how to lead and communicate when the unthinkable happens.

Session 2: Staying Cool during Public Comment Periods
Has your public comment period ever turned into a public venting session?

Public comment periods allow your board to get valuable input from the community on issues facing your district. But when controversy erupts, the discussion can turn disrespectful.

How should you act when you are subject to withering public criticism, anger or personal attacks?

Learn communication strategies for keeping your cool and maintaining decorum at your board meeting when members of the community turn up the heat. Hear from a debate coach and psychologist on how to defuse tensions and maintain professionalism.

↑ Top