Vermont Principals’ Association Education Law Series, 2014-15

November 13, 2014. Session I. Student Discipline, Bullying and Harassment: A Practical Legal Overview for Vermont School Administrators
School administrators often must take action or make decisions in the heat of the moment when student discipline, bullying and student-student harassment issues arise. Vermont and federal law present a challenging array of legal requirements –statutory, regulatory and Constitutional – requiring compliance by school administrators dealing with these issues.
Patti Page and Dina Atwood will prepare seasoned and new school administrators to recognize and manage situations before legal challenges result in time-consuming corrective action or costly litigation. Topics will include: policy and procedure mandates; preventative steps to reduce occurrences; constitutional due process requirements for discipline proceedings; special rules and procedures relating to these topics when they involve students on IEPs or 504 plans; tips for conducting and documenting sufficient investigations of harassment or bullying claims; discussion of common errors and how to avoid them.
January 13, 2015. Session II. Current Issues in Labor and Personnel Law: a Workshop for Public School Administrators; Legislative Update
A workshop designed to help school administrators, human resource professionals and business managers stay up to date and compliant with the myriad of labor and employment laws which affect school districts and supervisory unions. Steven Stitzel and Dina Atwood will cover: labor negotiations and collective bargaining; Family Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Acts (as amended), FLSA Wage and Hour compliance; how to hire, evaluate, discipline and fire personnel; what to cover in an exit interview; how to craft effective performance plans; and, relevant legislative updates to employment laws.
Legislative Update: Time will be set aside at the end of the session to provide a quick “heads up” review of proposed legislation in the pipeline for this year’s legislative session.
March 24, 2015. Session III. Special Education and Section 504 Issues: A Review and Update for Vermont School Administrators
Virtually every aspect of public education is affected by State and federal special education and disabilities law mandates. Patti Page and Dina Atwood will provide an overview of the laws and identify common errors and pitfalls for administrators when implementing these mandates on a day to day basis. They will also discuss solutions and make recommendations concerning best practices to avoid such pitfalls.
Topics will include:
• Roles of school administrators in special education and 504;
• Supervisory Union-wide duties under Section 504;
• Guidelines for determining “what is enough” for an appropriate IEP program;
• Avoiding due process;
• Increasing issues with time demands on personnel for mandated meetings and paperwork;
• Legal compliance issues when disciplining students with disabilities;
• Participation in after school activities
• Role of general education teachers in special education and the educating of 504 students;
• Implementing Rule 4500: Vermont’s restraint and seclusion regulations;
• Key school board policies and procedures relating to special education and Section 504;
• Additional record keeping responsibilities for special education records;
• Over and under identification of students for special education and/or 504;
• Planning for ongoing education for educators and service providers;
• Overuse and misuse of paraprofessional services in IEPs.

(All workshops will be held at the Vermont Principals’ Association offices, 2 Propect Street, Montpelier, Vermont 05602 – Conference Rooms A & B.)