Client Memoranda

Return-to-Work Concerns - Clarification of Question #5, Frequently Asked Questions, Part 1. - Client Memo #69
July9, 2020
This memorandum clarifies the answer to Question#5 of Tuesday's memorandum(Client memo#68), as the original answer did not factor in the interaction of the families first Coronavirus Response Act's ("FFCRA") emergency paid sick leave provisions with the expanded Family and Medical leave Act("FMLA").
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Return-to-Work Concerns - Frequently Asked Questions, Part 1 - Client Memo #68
July7, 2020
This memorandum provides answers to some of your frequently asked questions on return-to-work issues. As we have received many questions, we expect to issue several follow- up FAQ memoranda in the coming weeks.
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Plans to Provide Meals and Child Care - Update #1 - Client Memo #67
June26, 2020
On March 17, 2020, we issued a client memo regarding the requirement that plans for the provision of child care for the families of essential workers, and meals to low income students be submitted to SED. (See COVID-19 Client Memorandum, No. 11.).
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Return-to-Work Concerns - Request for Questions - Client Memo #66
June25, 2020
Over the past few weeks, we have issued client memoranda addressing reopening offices (#60), conducting daily health screenings (#64), and dealing with employees reluctant to return to the workplace (#55).
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Special Education COVID-19 Update - Summer Services - Client Memo #65
June24, 2020
As you know, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently issued Executive Order 202.37 (“EO 202.37”), which allows districts to offer in-person special education services over the summer. The State Education Department (“SED”) has promulgated updated Q&A guidance documents on the implementation of EO 202.37, as well as on planning for the 2020-2021 school year and offering extended school year (“ESY”) and compensatory education services (attached). This memorandum summaries the most crucial updates.
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SED Special Ed COVID-19 Q&A Supplement #2 - Planning for Services During the 2020-21 Year
SED Special Ed COVID-19 Q&A Supplement #3 - EO 202.37

Daily Health Screenings - Memo #64
June24, 2020
As district offices reopen, we have gotten questions about conducting newly-required daily health screenings. This follow-up to our original reopening memorandum (#60) summarizes screening requirements and best practices.
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Associate Elected to NCBA Education Law Committee.
June18, 2020
Frazer & Feldman is proud to announce that our associate, Abigail A. Hoglund-Shen, has been appointed to serve as Vice-Chair of the Nassau County Bar Association’s (“NCBA”) Education Law Committee. The NCBA is the largest suburban bar association in the United States. The NCBA boasts a membership of nearly 6,000 private and public attorneys, judges, legal educators and law students. The NCBA is a leading source for legal information and services for the legal profession and local community in Nassau County, Long Island, New York.
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APPR - Client Memo #63
June16, 2020
This memorandum provides an update regarding Annual Professional Performance Reviews (“APPRs”). Per Education Law §3012-d, districts are required to conduct APPRs for classroom teachers and building principals every year. Normally, if districts fail to do so, they are ineligible for increases to state aid. See id. at (11). However, given the extraordinary circumstances of this year, the State Education Department has acknowledged that conducting APPRs will be “difficult, if not impossible.” Accordingly, under Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order (“EO 202.39”), districts will no longer have to fear forfeiting state aid increases for failing to conduct APPRs.
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School District Election Contact Information Client Memo #62.
June15, 2020
Please be advised that should any questions or problems arise during the election, we will have an open Zoom call beginning at 4:30 p.m. with attorneys from the office available to answer your questions.
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Special Education COVID-19 Update – Summer Services – Client Memo #61
June12, 2020
As you know, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order (“EO”) which states that schools may choose to offer in-person summer services. His latest press conference indicated that it is left to individual districts to decide whether and how to implement it. The Department of Health (“DOH”) followed with health and safety guidelines for schools to consider, should in-person instruction be offered (enclosed). At this time, additional guidance -- either from SED or the Governor’s office -- is expected but none has yet been issued.
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Interim Advisory for In-Person Special Education Services and Instruction

Reopening District Offices – Client Memo #60
June9, 2020
On June 8, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.39 (“EO 202.39”). Under EO 202.39, non-essential employees can return to school district offices two weeks after your region enters Phase 2 of Governor Cuomo’s New York Forward reopening plan (i.e., tentatively June 24, 2020 on Long Island).1 This memorandum explains how to get offices ready for reopening.
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Absentee Ballot Extension for the June 9th Adjourned School District Election - Client Memo #59.
June8, 2020
This memorandum is to alert you to the extension of the absentee ballot deadline for the upcoming school district election and budget vote. You may recall that on May 1, 2020, the Governor’s Executive Order #202.26 (“EO”) provided that all voting for the June 9, 2020 adjourned election will be by absentee ballot. Late yesterday, the Governor announced a change in protocol and today, published EO #202.39, which provides that absentee ballots can be counted if they are received in the mail by June 16, 2020.
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Options for Gradation - UPDATE - Client Memo #58
June8, 2020
On May 21, 2020, we issued a client memorandum regarding student graduations. See COVID-19 Client Memorandum No. 53. This follow-up memorandum provides new information and additional legal considerations. First, in a press conference on Sunday, Governor Cuomo announced that socially- distanced graduation ceremonies of 150 or fewer people will be permissible outdoors beginning on June 26, 2020. However, such ceremonies are conditioned upon maintaining certain COVID- 19 metrics as cited by Governor Cuomo (e.g., rate of hospitalizations, etc.) in your region.
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Election Worker Instructions - Client Memo #57
May 29, 2020
This memorandum will provide last minute information and instructions for you and your election personnel. You can read or distribute the election worker instructions set forth below as is, or modify the document to fit your particular circumstances. In the event of a challenge to the election, the fact that you provided clear and precise instructions to your election workers will go a long way in defending the integrity of the election.
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Graduation Notice and Regents Examination- Client Memo #56
May 29, 2020
Please be advised that on May 27, 2020, SED issued a new guidance document placing new responsibilities on school districts concerning student graduation for the 2020-21 school year (attached).
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Regents Examination and Graduation Requirements: Questions Related to COVID-19 Closure
Parental Right to Decline Examination Waivers

RAAI! April, 2020
May 28, 2020
In this installment of the Attorney’s Corner, we focus on considerations for school districts during COVID-19-related school closures and summarize state and federal guidance in this quickly-changing area.
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COVID19 and Reluctant Employees – Client Memorandum #55.
May 27, 2020
This memorandum addresses the challenges faced by school districts when employees are reluctant to return to the workplace. It is undeniable that Long Islanders have experienced especially painful and lasting consequences of COVID-19. Many have underlying conditions that continue to pose additional risks to their health. Thus, it is understandable that some employees may be hesitant to return to their assigned school building. However, school districts must continue to carry out their essential obligations at this time and prepare for eventual reopening.
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Additional Information for the June 9th Adjourned School District Election
May 26, 2020
This memorandum will follow-up on our Zoom conference call held on Friday, May 15, 2020. During the call, a few questions were raised, answers to which we indicated would be addressed in written guidance.
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Options for Graduation.
May 21, 2020
June is fast approaching, and districts are contemplating how to conduct graduation ceremonies in the COVID-19 era. The traditional ceremony – with many students and families congregating together – is incompatible with social distancing mandates. However, districts around the country have developed creative and innovative alternatives. This memorandum summarizes the relevant law/executive orders and compiles a list of alternative graduation ideas for your consideration.
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End of the 2019-20 Academic Year – Client Memo #52.
May 20, 2020
Since the onset of the school closure period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtually everyone has been asking (with increasing levels of frustration), “When is this school year going to end?”
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The Do’s and Don’ts of Campaigning.
May 20, 2020
In anticipation of the upcoming school district election and budget vote, we are providing an overview of how board members and others can – and cannot – participate in the election process.
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School District Election Contact Information
May 19, 2020
Please be advised that should any questions or problems arise during the canvassing and counting of the ballots on election day, our attorneys will continue to be available on June 9, 2020, and as long is necessary, by cellular phone, Facetime or Zoom.
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Reimagining reopening: Ideas for school districts
May 19, 2020
Enclosed please find a copy of the latest article published by Frazer & Feldman, LLP, attorneys Christie R. Jacobson and Abigail Hoglund-Shen. The article is entitled, “Reimagining Reopening: Ideas for School Districts.” It is featured in the May 18, 2020 Edition of On Board, which is the statewide newspaper published by the New York State School Boards Association (“NYSSBA”).
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Article - Reimagining Reopening in NYSSBA Newspaper

Absentee Ballot Voting for the June 9th Adjourned School District Election
May 14, 2020
This memorandum is intended to guide you through the absentee ballot process for the upcoming election. You may recall that on January 16, 2020, we distributed a client memorandum to inform you of an amendment to the New York State Education Law which significantly changed the provisions relating to applications for absentee ballots for school district elections.
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Zoom Q & A: Planning for a Legally Compliant Election - Save the Date Client Memo #48
May 7, 2020
This is to inform you that we will be holding a Zoom Conference on Friday, May 15, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The conference will focus on helping school districts handle Governor Cuomo’s mandate that the adjourned school board election and budget vote must be conducted by absentee ballot
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Preparing to Reopen Schools: Issues to Think About.
May 5, 2020
Governor Andrew Cuomo has advised communities to reopen cautiously. Reopening without certain safeguards in place could result in a second wave of COVID-19 infections, which happened in Hokkaido, Japan.1 On Friday, Governor Cuomo announced that schools would be closed for the remainder of the school year. As weeks of school closures have turned into months, districts have asked when – and how – schools will reopen. Even if schools could reopen in September, classrooms will be very different. Recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recommends that school districts develop, implement, maintain and revise their plans for reopening.2 In Friday’s press conference, Governor Cuomo called for
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Special Education COVID-19 Update.
May 5, 2020
On April 27, 2020, New York State’s Office of Special Education issued a memorandum entitled “Supplement #1 - Provision of Services to Students with Disabilities During Statewide School Closures Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak in New York State Additional Questions and Answers” (“SED Memo”) (attached). We will examine that memorandum, building on our previous guidance, in an attempt to assist our clients in their continued support of students with disabilities.
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nysed-covid-19-cancellation-august-2020-regents-exams
nysed-covid-19-third-guidance-updated-4-27-20
special-education-supplement-1-covid-qa-memo-4-27-2020

Initial Guidance for the Postponed 2020 Annual Election and Budget Vote.
May 3, 2020
The following provides an outline of pertinent election dates for the adjourned 2020 Annual District Election and Budget Vote, which will be held on June 9, 2020 pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order No. 202.26 (“EO”).
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School Closures and Homeless Students – Client Memo #45.
April 24, 2020
The purpose of this memorandum is to share the attached document, “COVID-19 & Student Homelessness Q&A (“Homelessness Q&A”),” published by New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students (NYS-TEACHS).
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NYS-TEACHS QA COVID-19 Student Homelessness


Extensions to Deadlines for Special Education Subject Area Certification - Client Memo #44
April 23, 2020
In December 2019, SED announced that special education teachers teaching grade 7-12 special classes (hereafter, “teachers”) must obtain certification in each subject area they teach.1 As described in the attached document, SED has extended the deadlines for this process:
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Attachment - Subject Area Certification Deadline Extension


Special Education COVID Update –Recommendations to Support Children with Autism During the Closure - Client Memo #43
April 17, 2020
Servicing students classified with autism, or those who present with needs similar to those on the spectrum, pose unique challenges that uniquely frustrate the delivery of remote learning opportunities. Below are several recommendations for your staff to consider in order to support this population.
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Special Education COVID Update –Compensatory Education and Record-Keeping Best Practices - Client Memo #42
April 16, 2020
On April 11, 2020 in a webinar arranged by the New York State School Boards Association (“NYSSBA”), the SED representative suggested that compensatory education would be available to address the regression of a student’s abilities during the COVID-19 closure of schools. His use of the term regression, a term usually attributed to eligibility for extended school year services (“ESY”), or summer school, in the context of compensatory education has created some uncertainty. This memo provides clarification of what constitutes the standard for compensatory education, and how this remedy differs from regression and the analysis of eligibility for ESY services. The memo also offers suggestions of how the committee on special education (“CSE”) can document its efforts to service students with disabilities during the closure to prepare for forthcoming claims for compensatory education.
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Special Education COVID Update – Evaluations - Client Memo #41
April 14, 2020
On April 11, 2020 in a webinar arranged by the New York State School Boards Association (“NYSSBA”), SED provided guidance concerning how districts must proceed with new referrals to the CSE during the shutdown. We were advised that school districts are expected to move forward with initial eligibility evaluations and reevaluations during school closures unless the district and the family otherwise agree.
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Changes to Graduation Requirements - Client Memo #40.
April 14, 2020
In recognition of the significant disruption to normal instruction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, SED has issued two guidance documents describing these changes for the 2019-20 school year. We have summarized a number of significant points below, but we encourage you to review the SED documents in their entirety, as they provide specific guidance regarding a wide variety of issues relating to graduation requirements.
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Attachment #1 - Cancellation of the June 2020 Administration of the New York State (NYS) High School Regents Examination Program in Response to COVID-19 Related School and District Closures
Attachment #2 - Regents Examination and Graduation Requirements_ Questions Related to COVID-19 Closure


Student Registration During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Client Memo #39
April 14, 2020
This memorandum provides guidance for school districts which receive requests to register new students while schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically, individuals seeking to register a new student would visit the school district registration office, complete forms and submit proof of the student’s residency and age. However, it is not possible to follow this traditional process while district offices are closed. Set forth below is our recommendation for a modified registration process during this unprecedented period.
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Zoom Security Tips for Online Public Board Meetings and Virtual Meetings/Classrooms - Client Memo #38
April 8, 2020
Online platforms such as Zoom have been instrumental in allowing school districts to meet their distance learning obligations and for boards of education to conduct their meetings remotely in compliance with the modifications to the Open Meetings Law. A recent spate of negative headlines has, however, understandably raised concerns about the security of such platforms. The FBI has issued a warning about incidents of what has been termed, “Zoom- bombing,” in which hackers have targeted and interrupted video teleconferences, online meetings of public bodies and online class discussions that were not properly secured.
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Tips to Hold A Secure Zoom Meeting


Student Mental Health - Client Memo #37
April 8, 2020
As districts and nonessential businesses remain closed, families are feeling increasingly weary, isolated, and stressed. Children in general and special education settings alike are exposed to these closure-related stressors as they relate to school and home life. Students with special needs – and their families – are especially sensitive to these changes. Accordingly, to minimize the impact of these inevitable disruptions and to ensure that students can access remote learning to the greatest extent possible, we recommend that districts proactively address mental health concerns.
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Emergency Regulations on Special Education – Initial Eligibility, Reevaluations, and Bilingual Education - Client Memo #36
April 7, 2020
On April 4, 2020, SED issued a series of proposed emergency regulations1 for the Board of Regents consideration addressing the Coronavirus pandemic. A number of these changes, discussed below, directly affect the delivery of special education services by Committees on Special Education (“CSE”). These emergency rules are effective as of April 7, 2020.
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Student Discipline During COVID-19 Pandemic - Client Memo #35
April 7, 2020
This memorandum is to remind school Districts that, although school buildings may be closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the District’s Code of Conduct and its expectations regarding off-campus conduct continue to apply to all distance learning activities. Now more than ever, appropriate student behavior is crucial to allow students to participate in and benefit from distance learning activities. As teachers navigate the use of new distance learning technologies, instructional control is an essential part of this process.
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Student Discipline COVID19 Reminder Letter


Emergency Amendments to the Commissioner’s Regulations Affecting School Districts Client Memo #34
April 7, 2020
On April 6, 2020, the Board of Regents adopted emergency regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic an the recent extended school closure. The State Education Department (“SED”) adopted extensive regulations to address the issues faced by school districts, institutions of higher learning, educators, students and professionals resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.
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COVID-19 Response Presentation
COVID-19 Emergency Regulations
04-04-20 regentsbra6


Legal Loop: Coronavirus Edition - April 8, 2020 -- AGENDA
April 8, 2020
Please join us on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. for the next Legal Loop: Coronavirus Edition. We will review the current status of special education services during the COVID-19 closures, review SED and U.S. DOE guidance, discuss how to address current parent requests for compensatory services, best practices for providing IEP services and supports to provide FAPE and potentially limit compensatory claims, flag issues relating to annual reviews in the current climate, and be available to answer your questions. We will conduct this session by videoconference on Zoom. Please see below for log in information.
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Agenda April 8, 2020


Important Pension Information for Employees with Coronavirus - Client Memo #33
April 6, 2020
It goes without saying that everyone in the nation has had their lives turned upside down as a result of the COVID -19 pandemic. Certainly those most grievously affected are those who are, or have loved ones, infected with this unpredictable and often fast-acting virus. In light of that, the New York State Employees Retirement System (“ERS”) has notified public employers of information that may be critical for employees who are at risk of succumbing to coronavirus.
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Compensation for Hourly Employees - Client Memo #32
April 6, 2020
Among the many pressing issues facing school districts during this period of emergency school closure are questions about compensation for hourly employees who, due to the nature of their jobs, are not performing any duties. This may include monitors, security aides, and other workers whose duties depend on schools being fully functional.
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Distance Learning and FERPA – Guidance for Teachers – Client Memo #31
April 3, 2020
This memorandum provides guidance to help address concerns about student privacy rights while engaging in distance learning activities. For the next few weeks at least, districts will be engaging with students remotely using various forms of videoconferencing services (e.g., Zoom and Google Hangouts) and other interactive platforms. As we have previously noted, the Student Privacy Policy Office of the U.S. Department of Education (“DOE”) has advised that:
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FEMA Relief for School Districts - Client Memo #30
April 3, 2020
This is to alert you to a revenue source that is available to you under the federal agency FEMA. Public school districts may be eligible for reimbursement of certain expenses related to COVID-19. FEMA will be providing some relief for those expenses directly related to the current pandemic.
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School Bus Transportation Contract Payments During the COVID-19 School Closure - Client Memo #29
April 2, 2020
Districts which provide student transportation via third party vendor contracts have asked whether they are required, or even permitted, to pay their contractor(s) during the current school closure. Unfortunately, as of this writing, there has been no definitive guidance from the State Education Department (“SED”) and/or the Governor’s office on the issue.
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Special Education COVID Update- Client Memo #28
April 1, 2020
This memorandum provides an update to address multiple special education topics which are relevant due to the recent school closures.
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Invitation to the "Legal Loop" Coronavirus Edition
April 1, 2020
Please join us on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. for the next Legal Loop: Coronavirus Edition. We will review the current status of special education services during the COVID-19 closures, review SED and U.S. DOE guidance, discuss how to address current parent requests for compensatory services, best practices for providing IEP services and supports to provide FAPE and potentially limit compensatory claims, flag issues relating to annual reviews in the current climate, and be available to answer your questions. We will conduct this session by videoconference on Zoom. Please see below for log in information.
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Required Postings - Client Memo #27
April 1, 2020
This is to provide guidance regarding requirements under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) related to the posting of notices in the workplace.
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Continuity of Instruction During Spring Break – Client Memo #26
April 1, 2020
On March 27, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.11 (“Order”) directing school districts to remain closed until April 15, 2020.1 The Order directed districts to “continue plans for alternative instructional options, distribution and availability of meals, and child care” during this time. On March 30, 2020, the State Education Department (“SED”) clarified that districts must continue to “provide remote instruction for students, meals for students, and child care for essential workers every weekday between April 1, 2020 and April 14, 2020, even if the district is scheduled to be on spring break during that time” (emphasis added).2
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Change in Date for School District Elections and Budget Votes - Client Memo #25
March 31, 2020
This is to provide a brief update regarding the March 30, 2020 Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo, Executive Order #202.13, which suspends the May 19, 2020 annual district election.
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Coronavirus Memorandum – Client Memo #24: School Construction Projects.
March 30, 2020
In light of the Governor’s recent executive order halting all non-essential construction work, a number of our school district clients have asked whether they may proceed with their existing or pending construction projects during the COVID-19 outbreak. We have received the following clarification from the Governor’s Deputy Secretary for Education:
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Recent Executive Order Changes to Transportation - Client Memo #23.
March 30, 2020
This memorandum provides an update to address the Governor’s extension of the April 1st deadline for a parent to request district-provided transportation to a non-public school located within 15 miles of the parent’s residence.
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SCOPE Child Care Contracts - Client Memo #22.
March 27, 2020
As many of you are aware, our office has been working SCOPE Education Services to set up emergency child care services for your school districts, either as hosting or sending districts. SCOPE has circulated the following template contracts (attached hereto) for that purpose, and we are advising our clients to utilize them, for the sake of consistency and expediency:
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SCOPE Emergency Childcare Program_Host
SCOPE Emergency Childcare Program_IMA
SCOPE Emergency Childcare Program_Sending District


Competitive Bidding During the Coronavirus Pandemic - Client Memo #21.
March 27, 2020
Many of our districts are contemplating soliciting bids to undertake public work and/or purchase goods. This memorandum is intended to provide suggestions for consideration and best practices to utilize in upcoming bid solicitations. If your district presently has a bid solicitation pending, review of the following may prompt you to issue an appropriate addendum and amended legal notice.
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Data Security and Privacy Rules and Regulations - Client Memo #20.
March 27, 2020
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe it is important to remind you of the recent amendment to the Commissioner’s Regulations which enacted new rules and requirements surrounding the implementation of New York Education Law §2-d. That statute is designed to protect personally identifiable information contained in student education records and teacher and principal evaluations, and to guard against the unauthorized release or use of such data by third party contractors. The new regulations, codified as Part 121 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, set forth more specific rules and requirements as to how school districts must implement data privacy and security protections when contracting for services with outside service providers and contractors.
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FFEDLAW Template - Data Privacy and Security Plan Agreement 2020 with Attachments
NYSSBA Sample Policy 5500 Mar.2020
NYSSBA Sample Policy 8635 Mar.2020


Coronavirus Memorandum - Senate Stimulus Bill and School Districts - Client Memo #19.
March 27, 2020
On March 25, 2020, the Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion stimulus package to provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the House of Representatives plans to vote on the bill, which is expected to pass; President Trump has indicated he will sign it. As you may know, the bill provides, among other items, cash payments to individuals and loans for small businesses. Here, we describe the appropriations relevant to school districts.
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Coaches’ and Club Moderator Stipends; Premium Pay – Client Memo #18.
March 26, 2020
This memorandum will provide some guidance regarding compensation for employees who receive stipends for such things as coaching, moderating student clubs, etc. Additionally, we have received numerous inquiries from our clients regarding various employee groups seeking compensation above their regular rate of pay (“premium pay”). At the moment, there is no state guidance on these issues, and there’s a good chance that none will be forthcoming. Accordingly, the following advice is based on our best judgment (and common sense).
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Coronavirus Memorandum: Updated Guidance on FERPA - Client Memo #17.
March 25, 2020
The Student Privacy Policy Office of the U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance documents on the release of student education records during the COVID-19 pandemic (FERPA & Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions, “Attachment #1” and FERPA and Virtual Learning Related Resources, “Attachment #2”). Below is a summary of the guidance.
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FERPA Memo Attachment 1 - FERPA and Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions
FERPA Memo Attachment 2 - FERPA and Virtual Learning Resources


Open Meetings Law Changes During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Client Memo #16.
March 24, 2020
This update provides guidance to Boards of Education regarding how to hold public meetings and work sessions during school closures. As you are probably aware, the Open Meeting Law, the portion of the New York State Public Officer’s Law that addresses participation and attendance at public meetings, was been suspended effective March 7, 2020, through Executive action of the Governor.
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Special Education COVID 19 FAQ - Client Memo #15.
March 23, 2020
We have attached a sample letter for your use in communicating with parents of students with special needs. This letter describes the manner in which services and supports recommended under either an individualized education program (“IEP”) or Section 504 plan will be provided during the COVID-19 outbreak. This information we are providing includes the recent guidance from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services and the Office for Civil Rights issued on March 21, 2020, entitled “Supplemental Fact Sheet Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities (120 LRP 10623).
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Final Template Q and A FINAL


Sick Leave Requirements Related to COVID-19 - Client Memo #13.
March 19, 2020
This memorandum provides information about the newly adopted sick leave requirements for employees affected by mandatory COVID-19 quarantines.
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Suspension of Rules for Procuring Cleaning & Maintenance Products and Services Client Memo #12.
March 17, 2020
We have received a number of questions from school business officials regarding their ability to purchase necessary cleaning products, equipment and services in a timely manner without competitive bidding in order to combat the spread of COVID-19 ("coronavirus") and to properly clean and maintain school buildings and facilities. It has become increasingly difficult to locate and purchase such cleaning products and services and it appears their availability will only worsen. In light of these difficulties, we are providing the following relevant information and guidance to assist school districts who need to take immediate action to address these concerns.
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resolution declaring a public emergency pursuant to gen mun law 103(4)


PLANS DUE AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT – Alternative Instructional Options, Meals, Childcare Client Memo #11.
March 17, 2020
As you may be aware, last night Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.4 (copy enclosed) which requires your immediate attention. Specifically, the order requires that all school districts submit a plan for providing alternative instructional options, distribution and availability of meals for students eligible for free or reduced meals, and "child care, with an emphasis on serving children of parents in the health care profession or first responders who are critical to the response effort."
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EO 202.4


COVID-19 and Related Labor Issues Client Memo #10.
March 13, 2020
The COVID-19 ("coronavirus") health crisis has raised a number of labor issues for all employers, including school districts. Unfortunately, there are a number of issues for which there is currently no definitive guidance, but we would like to provide you with a list of frequently asked questions from our clients and identify particular items which need to be taken into consideration when dealing with these issues.
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Coronavirus: New Guidance from SED Regarding Continuity of Meal Programs Client Memo #9.
March 12, 2020
This memorandum provides an update regarding a new FAQ document and memorandum from the New York State Education Department ("SED") regarding continuity of meal programs (i.e., free and reduced lunch) during school closures due to the novel coronavirus (a.k.a. COVID-19, "coronavirus"). We encourage you to review these documents in their entirety.
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CN Covid-19 Application
CN FAQ Covid-19
CN Memo Covid-19


Coronavirus: New Guidance from the CDC, DOH, and SED Client Memo#8.
March 10, 2020
This memorandum provides an update regarding new guidance from the New York State Department of Health ("DOH") and the New York State Education Department ("SED") regarding the novel coronavirus (a.k.a. COVID-19, "coronavirus").
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Coronavirus Guidance Release 3-9-20 FINAL
covid-19-p-12-school-guidance (002)


Coronavirus: New Guidance from the CDC, DOH, and SED Client Memo #7.
March 09, 2020
This memorandum provides an update regarding recently-issued guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC"), the New York State Department of Health ("DOH"), and the New York State Education Department ("SED") regarding the novel coronavirus COVID-19, "coronavirus"). We will summarize the key elements.
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DOH Cleaning Guidance for Schools
FAQs for K-12 Schools and Childcare Program Administrators Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19)
Schools and Childcare Programs Checklist_CDC


Coronavirus: Addressing the Needs of Children with Disabilities Client Memo #6.
March 09, 2020
The U.S. Department of Education has indicated to Congress that it expects to release guidance materials about providing services to students with disabilities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The most recent guidance, issued in 2009, from the Department of Education addressed the H1N1 flu virus. Secretary Betsy DeVos has indicated little that is expected to change from the prior guidance. Therefore, and until guidance to the contrary is issued, school districts should take the following steps to ensure students with disabilities continue to have access to services, whether due to an extended illness related to COVID-19, or in the event schools close in response to the virus.
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Military Ballot Voting in School District Meetings and Elections.
March 04, 2020
This memorandum is to inform you of an update to the New York State Education Law regarding absentee voting for military personnel in school district elections.
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SED Memomilitary Ballots


Military Ballot Voting in School District Meetings and Elections - Updated.
March 04, 2020
This memorandum is to inform you of an update to the New York State Education Law regarding absentee voting for military personnel in school district elections.
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SED Memomilitary Ballots


Coronavirus: New Guidance for Schools from the CDC Client Memo #5.
February 28, 2020
This memorandum provides an update to yesterday's memorandum regarding recently-issued guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") about the novel coronavirus (a.k.a. COVID-19, "coronavirus").
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Interim Guidance for Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools _ CDC


Coronavirus: New and Forthcoming Guidance from the CDC Client Memo #4.
February 27, 2020
This memorandum provides an update regarding recently-issued guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") regarding the novel coronavirus (a.k.a. COVID-19, "coronavirus"). As many of you are aware, the coronavirus has begun to spread from its initial outbreak in Wuhan, China to various parts of the world, including South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran.
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CDC Guidance for Businesses.pdf
CDC Risk Assessment Guidance


Change in Law: Salary History Inquiries Now Prohibited.
February 11, 2020
This memorandum provides an overview of a new law prohibiting salary history inquiries. Pursuant to recently enacted Labor Law § 194-a, employers are no longer permitted to ask job applicants and current employees about past salaries (with certain limited exceptions').
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Salary History Ban


Coronavirus: Updated Guidance from Webinar Client Memo #3
February 07, 2020
This memorandum provides an update to yesterday's memorandum regarding students and staff who have recently traveled to areas affected by the novel coronavirus ("coronavirus"). Today at 3:00 p.m., the State Department of Health ("DOH") and the State Education Department ("SED") held a webinar to provide additional guidance for districts. While the link is not yet available, the webinar will be posted online. Much of the webinar's content mirrored earlier guidance. However, there were two additional points of clarification:
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Coronavirus: Updated Guidance Client Memo #2
February 06, 2020
This memorandum provides guidance regarding students and staff who have recently traveled to areas affected by the novel coronavirus ("coronavirus"). The Department of Health ("DOH") and the State Education Department ("SED") have issued a guidance document as well as a letter for parents (enclosed). We encourage you to review each document carefully.
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NYSDOH-NYSED Coronavirus
Coronovirus Parent Letter


Coronavirus Guidance Client Memo #1.
February 03, 2020
This memorandum provides guidance regarding students who have recently traveled to areas affected by the coronavirus. While neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") nor State agencies have issued official guidance for schools to date, a guidance document from the Department of Health ("DOH") and the State Education Department ("SED") is forthcoming. We will provide it as soon as it is available.
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2019-nCoV: What the Public Should Do


Absentee Ballot Voting in School District Meetings and Elections – Updated.
January 28, 2020
This memorandum is to inform you of another recent change to the New York State Education Law which adds a provision to the Education Law regarding absentee voting for military personnel in school district elections.
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Military Voting Statute


Recent Changes to Property Tax Cap Regulations.
January 23, 2020
This memorandum is to inform you of a recent amendment to the Regulations of the New York State Commissioner of Tax and Finance which affects the New York State Education Law and a school district's calculation of its tax cap levy for the 2020-2021 budget.
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Property Tax Cap SED Final


New Federal Guidance: Constitutionally-Protected Prayer and Religious Expression in Public Schools
January 22, 2020
This memorandum provides an overview of new guidance (enclosed) from the U.S. Department of Education ("DOE") regarding constitutionally-protected prayer and religious expression in public schools ("January 16, 2020 DOE Guidance"), The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires school districts to show neutrality towards prayer and other forms of religious expression. The January 16, 2020 DOE Guidance summarizes school districts' responsibilities under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 ("ESEA"), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act ("ESSA"), and demonstrates the application of the First Amendment and the Equal Access Act.
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Federal Guidance re Constitutionally Protected Prayer and Religious Expression


New Certification Requirements for Special Class Subject Area Teachers in Grades 7-12.
January 17, 2020
This memorandum provides an overview of new guidance from the New York State Education Department ("NYSED") regarding special education teacher certification (enclosed as Attachment #1). As you know, all special education teachers teaching special classes (i.e., self-contained classes; e.g., 12:1:1, 8:1:2, 6:1:2) in grades 7-12 must possess special education certification. Effective July 1, 2020, special education teachers who teach special classes in grades 7-12 must also be certified in each subject area they teach.' There are four options to satisfy this requirement, which are set forth below.
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Attachment 1 - NYSED Memo
Attachment 2 - Verification of Paid Experience Form
Attachment 3 - Special Class Verification of Paid Experience Form
Attachment 4 - HOUSSE Rubric


Absentee Ballot Voting in School District Meetings and Elections
January 16, 2020
This memorandum is to inform you of a recent amendment to the New York State Education Law which significantly changes the provisions relating to applications for absentee ballots for school district elections.
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New Mandatory Policy: Student Voter Pre-Registration/Registration.
December 23, 2019
This memorandum provides an overview of a new law that requires school boards to adopt a policy promoting student voter pre-registration/registration. The law's purpose is to enable and encourage voter pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds. The law takes effect in January 2020.
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Model Policy: Student Voter Pre-Registration and Registration


New York Magazine - New York’s 2019 Top Rated Lawyers.
December 17, 2019
Frazer & Feldman is proud to announce that Florence and Jack have been recognized in the December issue of New York Magazine (Best of New York Issue) as New York’s Top Rated Lawyers of 2019. The recognition features attorneys who have demonstrated leadership qualities and have achieved AV Preeminent ratings by Martindale-Hubbell® in legal ability and ethical standards.
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UPDATE: Lawsuit Challenging Repeal of Religious Exemption Dismissed.
December 10, 2019
This memorandum provides an update to memoranda (July 2019) in which we advised of immunization-related litigation in Albany County, Supreme Court. As you may recall, 55 families had challenged the repeal of the religious exemption to immunization requirements.
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NY Law Journal - Albany Judge Rejects Challenge to NY Law Ending Religious Exemption for Vaccines


UPDATE: Tackle Football Programs and Concussion Informational Packets for Parents.
December 3, 2019
This memorandum provides an update to our memorandum dated September 11, 2019 in which we advised that school districts which have "tackle football programs"1 must distribute informational packets about concussions to parents ("concussion packets"). The law charged the New York State Department of Health with developing the materials for the concussion packets. Although the law took effect on December 2, 2019, the Department of Health only promulgated the required materials on November 29, 2019 (available at https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/injury_prevention/concussion.htm).
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Concussion INFORMATION SHEET
TBI factsheets parents 508-a

Annual District Election and Budget Vote Seminar - Save the Date.
December 3, 2019
This is to inform you that we will be holding our annual seminar on School District Elections for all Superintendents, Administrators, Board of Education members and District Clerks who would like to attend. Topics to be covered will include pertinent dates for the 2020 annual district election, legal notice requirements, submission of propositions, voter qualifications, absentee and affidavit ballots, campaigning and electioneering, budget issues, recent Commissioner's decisions and other quirky election-related items. We will also discuss any updates on the Department of Justice's investigation related to the federal Voting Rights Act, which requires that school districts provide election documents in Spanish as well as in English.
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Paid Time Off for Voting - Part II.
October 25, 2019
On May 1, 2019, we sent out a client memo which provided information bout recent amendments to the New York State Election Law requiring employers to provide all employees, including teachers, with paid time off to vote. This memorandum provides additional information regarding that law.
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Important New Guidance – Repeal of Religious Exemption to Immunization Requirement.
October 11, 2019
As you know, on June 13, 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation that eliminated non-medical (i.e., religious) exemptions from school vaccination requirements for children. In the past months, we disseminated memoranda' which provided information and guidance on the application of this significant change to the Public Health Law. See Chapter 35 of the N.Y. Laws of 2019 (S.2994A/A.2371).
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DOH State Education Department Additional FAQ re School Vaccination Requirements

Red Flag Law.
September 27, 2019
This memorandum is to advise you about New York's recently enacted "red flag" law. The purpose of the new law is to allow a law enforcement officer, family member, or school administrator to file a petition against a threatening individual to remove firearms in his/her possession. The law took effect on August 24, 2019. One important feature to remember about this law is that a petitioner is not required to take action. This is an option to take under appropriate circumstances.
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Preparation for 2020 Annual Election and Budget Vote.
September 19, 2019
The following provides an outline of pertinent election dates for the May 19, 2020 Annual Election and Budget Vote. Our annual election workshop will take place in mid January, at which time we will address all elements of the school district election process and review the latest Commissioner's decisions. We will notify you of the date and time of the workshop in early December.
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Four New Lawsuits Seeking to Reinstate Religious Exemption to Immunization Requirements.
September 18, 2019
This memorandum is to advise you of four new lawsuits, two in Nassau County and two in Suffolk County, challenging the repeal of the religious exemption to immunization requirements.' None of these lawsuits were commenced against school districts; in each case, the defendants involve the State of New York and/or State-related entities and agencies (i.e., the Governor, the Attorney General, the Department of Health, etc.). If any of these suits are successful, it would allow families once again to claim religious exemptions to immunization requirements. However, at the current time, nothing has changed with respect to school districts' obligations to exclude students who do not receive the requisite vaccinations.
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2019 Women Leaders in Law.
September 13, 2019
Frazer & Feldman is proud to announce that Florence T. Frazer, Laura A. Ferrugiari and Christie R. Jacobson have been recognized in the September, 2019 issue of the New York Law Journal and New York Magazine as AV rated Women Leaders in Law. The recognition is based on and celebrating the achievements of the New York Tri-State area’s legal leaders.
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Invitation to the “Legal Loop”.
September 12, 2019
Please join us on November 14, 2019 and January 21,2020, for the next meetings of the Legal Loop.
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Immunization-Related FAQs.
September 11, 2019
We have received numerous questions regarding the recent changes to the immunuzation laws. This momorandum is to advise you of several frequently asked questions and our responses to each.
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Tackle Football Programs: Concussion Informational Packets for Parents.
September 11, 2019
This memorandum is to advise you of a new law requiring "tackle football programs" to distribute informational packets about concussions to parents.The purpose of the new law is to provide parents with more information about the risk of injury involved in tackle football programs. The Law takes effect on December 2, 2019.
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Press Release

Immunization-Related Exclusion Letters.
September 9, 2019
As a follow-up to our memorandum deated Auguest 23,2019 detailing a school district's obligations in the case of an immunization-related student exclusion, w have drafted letters(enclosed) to go out to parents and the local county Department of Health should an exclusion occur.
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Required Immunizations Chart 2019-20
Exclusion Letter - to Parents_Nassau County
Exclusion Letter - to Dep't of Health_Nassau County

Second Lawsuit Seeking to Reinstate Religious Exemption to Immunization Requirement.
August 1, 2019
This memorandum is to advise you of a second lawsuit challenging the repeal of the religious exemption to immunization requirements, this time, on behalf of students with disabilities. At the current time, nothing has changed with respect to your obligations to exclude students who do not receive requisite vaccinations. However, we want to keep you apprised of the pending litigation around this matter.
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Courtroom News Service

TRO Seeking to Reinstate Religious Exemption to Immunization Requirement Unsuccessful.
July 12, 2019
This memorandum is to provide an update regarding the lawsuit challenging the repeal of the religious exemption to immunization requirements.
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New York journal article

Lawsuit Seeking to Reinstate Religious Exemption to Immunization Requirement.
July 11, 2019
This memorandum is to advise of a new lawsuit challenging the repeal of the religious exemption to immunization requirements. If successful, the suit would allow families once again to claim religious exemptions immunization requirements. However, nothing has changed at the current time with respect to school districts' obligations to exclude students who do not receive requisite vaccinations.
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New York journal article

Alternate Assessments
June 18, 2019
This memorandum is to advise you of recently issued guidance from the New York State Education Department ("NYSED") regarding alternate assessments. While such assessments are not new, NYSED has provided new tools for Committees on Special Education ("CSEs") to use while making eligibility determinations and has updated requirements regarding parental notification.
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Eligibility and Participation Criteria - NYSAA
Eligibility Criteria for Participation in the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA)


Commissioner’s Regulations on School Counseling.
May 29, 2019
This memorandum is to remind you of the need to begin implementation of amendments issued by the Commissioner of Education and adopted by the Board of Regents Concerning school counseling/guidance counseling services.
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March 2016 Guidance Document SED
March 2019 Guidance Memo and Chart
May 2017 Memo to Bdvof Regents


Homeless Students and Summer Services.
May 28, 2019
This memorandum is to advise you of a recent document issued by the Office of Accountability for the New York State Education Department ("SED"), regarding the provision of summer services for homeless students. See May 17, 2019 SED Memorandum entitled, "McKinney-Vento Summer School Information," attached. SED has reissued the memorandum to remind school districts of their obligation regarding summer services for homeless children.
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2019 Summer School MV Memo


Update - U.S. Department of Justice May 21, 2019 Election Monitoring at Nassau and Suffolk County School District Elections.
May 21, 2019
As you are aware, Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act (VRA) requires that school districts in Nassau and Suffolk Counties provide information related to school district elections and budget votes in English and Spanish. That stature also requires translation of materials at that election site. This covers not only the ballat, but all election information such as sample ballots and instructional forms through the actual casting of the ballot, and the questions that commonly are asked at the polling place.
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Budget Re-vote.
May 14, 2019.
This memorandum will provide you with the options available to the Board of Education should be budget be defeated by voters on May 21,2019. As in previous years, the Board may hold a special meeting (a budget "re-vote"), in which case the Board can present the same or a modified budget to the voters. The procedures for a re-vote are outlined below. Alternatively, the Board may choose to forego a second vote and adopt a contingency budget. The parameters for a contingency budget also follow below.
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Paid Time Off for Voting.
May 01, 2019.
This memorandum provides information about recent amendments to the existing law that requires employers to provide all employees, including teachers, with paid time of to vote.
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Updated APPR Laws.
April 25, 2019.
As you may recall, in 2015, the State created a new Annual Professional Performance Review (“APPR”) system for teachers and principals that required State-created or administered assessments to be a factor in determining a teacher or principal’s effectiveness. Since that time, this new APPR system has not been widely accepted, has created many disparities, and may even have strengthened the “opt out” movement.
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FOIL Request from Data Research Partners.
April 11, 2019.
We are writing in response to the numerous Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”) requests that clients have received seeking names and addresses of school district employees. This memorandum reviews the obligation of school districts to respond to such requests seeking lists of names and addresses. Recently, several school district clients have received such a request from an entity known as “Data Research Partners” (“DRP”) seeking the names, email addresses, titles and “primary campus/department” locations of school district employees.
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Model Non-Solicitation-fundraising Affidavit


Latest Legal Publication.
April 10, 2019.
Enclosed is a copy of the latest article published by Frazer & Feldman, LLP, partner Christie R. Jacobson, Esq. This article is entitled, “Principals Must Make Legal Distinctions on Religious Exemptions to Immunization.” It is featured in the April 2019 edition of On Board, the statewide newspaper published by the New York State School Boards Association (“NYSSBA”).
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Sample Board Resolution for Establishing TRS sub-fund


TRS Reserve Fund.
April 4, 2019.
The 2020 New York State Budget that was recently adopted on March 31, 2019, includes the long sought-after authorization for school districts to create TRS reserve funds. School districts may now establish a “TRS reserve sub-fund” within their existing retirement contribution reserve fund for purposes of financing contributions to the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, subject to specified annual and overall limits. This new authorization is effective April 1, 2019, subject to the Governor’s veto 1 , and, thus, we urge you to promptly determine whether your district wishes to take advantage of the new TRS reserve fund rules prior to the close of the current fiscal school year. The parameters of the new reserve authorization are detailed below.
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Sample Board Resolution for Establishing TRS sub-fund


DOJ Conference Call Results
March 5, 2019.
The purpose of this memorandom is to hsare the results of a conference call in which I participated yesterday afternoon, together with Neil Block, an attorney from Ingerman Smith, and Michael Goldberger, Kaycee Sullivan, Megan Freismuth, and Rachel Evans, attorneys with the Department of Justice ("DOJ"). The purpose of the call was to discuss the content of my February 11,2019 letter to the DOJ arguing that school districts are political subdivisions under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act ("VRA"), not political units within political subdivisions.
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Decision of the Commissioner of Education Regarding Capital Propositions.
March 1, 2019.
This memorandum provides information about a recent decision from the Commissioner of Education ("Commissioner") which reiterates the fact that propositions that are placed on the ballot must be accurate and unambiguous in order to ascertain the intent of the voters.
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Decision No. 17587


Recent Federal Guidance on FERPA.
February 28, 2019.
This memorandum provides information on recently issued federal guidance regarding the application of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA") to health or safety emergencies faced by school districts.
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SRO FAQs


Children in Foster Care.
January 22, 2019.
This memorandum provides information about recent state laws that are designed to help ensure educational continuity for children in foster care. See Education Law §§3244, §3202(4) and Social Services Law § 153-k. The legal changes bring State law into compliance with Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 ("ESEA"), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act ("ESSA") of 2015. These laws set forth school district obligations with regard to the education and transportation of children in foster care.
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2019 School District Elections
January 17, 2019.
On January 16, 2019, we held our annual seminar on School District Elections for our clients. Twenty five school district clerks, board members and business officials attended. In addition to covering pertinent dates for the upcoming 2019 annual district election, we discussed in detail the federal Voting Rights Act, which requires that school districts provide registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, ballots or other materials or information related to an election in Spanish as well as in English. A spirited discussion was held among our attorneys and clients as we brainstormed a school district’s various duties and responsibilities involved in conducting the budget vote and school board election. For those of you who were not able to attend, we are attaching the handouts from the seminar. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
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2019 School District Elections
January 16, 2019.
As you are aware, the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") has not yet issued finding of guidance regarding their investigation related to school district compliance with Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act ("VRA"). School districts in Nassau and Suffolk Counties were notifed of the DOJ's investigation on or about June 28,2018, when school districts received letters requesting information form the last annual election and budget vote. Through the letter, the DOJ provided notice that school district elections are subject to the federal requirement that election information provided in English must also be provided in Spanish.
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Voting Rights Act

Read all about November-December 2018
December 26, 2018.
In this installment of the Attorney’s Corner, we review federal decisions by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the District Courts of the Southern District of New York and New Jersey, an administrative decision by the State Hearing Office of Arkansas, and guidance from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).
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Annual District Election and Budget Vote Seminar – Save the Date.
December 03, 2018.
This is to inform you that we will be holding our annual seminar on School District Elections for all Superintendents, Administrators, Board of Education members and District Clerks who would like to attend. Topics to be covered will include pertinent dates for the 2019 annual district election, legal notice requirements, submission of propositions, voter qualifications, absentee and affidavit ballots, campaigning and electioneering, budget issues, recnet Commissioner's decisions and other quirky election-related items. We will also provide an update on the Department of Justice's investigation related to the federal Voting Rights Act, which requires that school districs provide registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, ballots or other materials or information related to an election in Spanish as well as in English.
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RAAI! September, 2018
September 2018.
In this installment of the Attorney’s Corner, we review two federal Court of Appeals decisions, a federal court decision, one administrative decision from the Office of State Review (“SRO”), and an advisory opinion from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Services and Educational Programs (“OSEP”).
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Amendments to Civil Service Law §75.
October 12, 2018.
This memorandum provides information about a new amendment to the New York State Civil Service Law that provides due process rights for certain labor class employees. Section 75 Protections
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Preparation for 2019 Annual Election and Budget Vote.
October 5, 2018.
The following provides an outline of pertinent election dates for the May 21, 2019 Annual Election and Budget Vote. Our annual election workshop will take place in mid January, at which time we will address all elements of the school district election process and review the latest Commissioner's decisions. We will also provide an update on the implications of the Department of Justice's ("Dal") investigation related to school district compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act ("VRA"). In the meantime, we would recommend that you begin the process of translating all election material related to voter registration and the election into Spanish.' We will notify you of the date and time of the workshop in early December.
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RAAI! August, 2018
August 9, 2018.
In this installment of the Attorney’s Corner, we review a circuit court decision, three federal district court cases, and an advisory letter from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (“OSEP”). We start with a case from the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit that addresses what constitutes an appropriate response to bullying in an individualized education program (“IEP”). We follow with a decision by the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York that explores what sort of information is disclosable as ‘directory information’ under FERPA. This is followed by a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania discussing measurable annual goals, and how critical it is for a school district to monitor a student’s progress throughout the school year. We also examine a decision from the Southern District of New York which weighs the impact of a school district’s agreement to provide transportation services for a student to his nonpublic school in determining the student’s stay-put setting. We conclude with a letter from OSEP which discusses a school’s responsibility to provide make-up services following the administration of state assessments.
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Second Circuit Court Appeal – F.L. et al v. Board of Education of the Great Neck Union Free School Dist., Case No.: 17-2881.
August 24, 2018.
We are extremely pleased to enclose a favorable decision from the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals, upholding the decision of Judge Feuerstein of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and dismissing the above-referenced proceeding in its entirety.
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17-2881-Decision

Private School Transportation Requests - Students with Disabilities.
August 24, 2018.
Special Education Departments often receive a rush of transportation requests from families who have unilaterally placed their children in private, non-state-approved programs. To that end, this memo reviews the conditions under which transportation must be provided, as well as the information school districts should request from the family to make the determination of eligibility to receive transportation.
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ESSA 2018 Overview.
August 15, 2018.
The New York State Board of Regents recently adopted emergency regulations' to implement New York's plan for the implementation of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act ("ESSA") 20 U.S.C. 0301 et seq., which sets forth the conditions under which schools receive federal funding. ESSA requires that public schools implement challenging academic content and achievement standards, applicable to all students.
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Status Update - U.S. Department of Justice Review of Nassau and Suffolk County School District Elections for Compliance with the Voting Rights Act.
July 30, 2018.
As you are aware, virtually every school district in Nassau and Suffolk Counties has now received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") seeking information related to the May 2018 annual district election and budget vote. Through the document request, the DOJ is attempting to determine the extent to which school districts have complied with the federal Voting Rights Act ("VRA" ).1 DOJ has designated school districts as "political subdivisions" under Section 203 of the VRA, mandating that they provide registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, ballots or other materials or information related to an election in Spanish as well as in English.
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Dues Deductions after Janus v. AFSCME.
July 27, 2018.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, public employers may no longer deduct agency shop fees from employees who decline to join the union which represents their bargaining unit. The decision has placed a focus on what may be considered a ministerial function of school districts, namely, the automatic deduction of union dues from employees' paychecks.
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Guide – How to PWN.
July 24, 2018.
We are often asked to review prior written notice (“PWN”) letters following a particularly contentious CSE meeting. This past year, we have come across some consistent, problematic areas which would raise red flags if the PWNs were reviewed by an impartial hearing officer (“IHO”). To that end, this memo reviews the purpose of PWN and some helpful tips for your staff to use when drafting these documents
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The PWN Cheat Sheet

RAAI! July 2018
July 18, 2018.
In this installment of the Attorney’s Corner, we review three federal cases and a Question and Answer Guidance document issued by the Federal Privacy and Compliance Office. We start with a case from Northern District of New York that addresses IEP errors made by the school district in its attempt to address a student’s school avoidance. We follow with a multi-year challenge in the Southern District of New York which examines the steps a CSE must take to ensure meaningful parental participation when the parent of the student in question speaks English as a second language. We also review a second decision from the Southern District of New York, which examines the dangers associated with over-reliance on progress reports from the student’s unilateral placement. We conclude with a Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) guidance document from the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Privacy and Compliance Office describing the steps districts must take to ensure interested stakeholders have appropriate access to photo and video records.
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Newsday FOIL Request for Payroll Information.
July 13, 2018.
This memorandum addresses school districts' legal obligation to comply with the most recent Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL") request from Newsday, which seeks a substantial amount of employee data for a three year period.' Specifically, Newsday has requested employee payroll data, including each employee's full name, department, title, rate of pay, hire date, termination date, overtime compensation, termination/retirement compensation, and total compensation for each of the three years. A number of clients have asked whether it is necessary to comply with this request. The short answer is yes. A few caveats are set forth below.
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New Employer Obligations to Combat Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
July 09, 2018.
This memorandum is designed to introduce new obligations imposed on school district employers by legislation enacted in the 2019 New York State Budget to train staff about the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. These new mandates, which were signed into law by the Governor on April 12, 2018, impose several new obligations on New York employers, including school districts, to help prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Among other things, employers are required to distribute a written sexual harassment prevention policy and provide annual sexual harassment training. These and other changes in the law concerning sexual harassment are detailed below.
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U.S. Department of Justice Review of Nassau and Suffolk County School District Elections for Compliance with the Voting Rights Act
July 03, 2018.
This week, each school district in Nassau and Suffolk Counties can expect a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") entitled "Compliance with Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act." The letter seeks certain information related to your most recent annual district election and budget vote in an attempt to determine the extent to which school districts are complying with the federal Voting Rights Act ("VRA").
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US Supreme Court Decision: Janus v. AFSCME
June 28, 2018.
As you are no doubt aware, the United States Supreme Court has issued its long-anticipated decision in the matter of Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees ("AFSCME"), a case of great significance to public employee unions, as it eliminates public employee unions' right to collect a fee from non-union members, yet retains the unions' obligation to fairly represent all members of a bargaining unit, irrespective of their union membership.'
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New Legislation Prohibiting "Lunch Shaming"
May 21, 2018.
This memorandum provides guidance regarding a recently adopted provision of the Education Law which is intended to eliminate embarrassment to students unable to pay for meals at school, sometimes referred to as "lunch shaming." 1 The statute requires school districts to adopt a plan which, among other things, requires school districts to take affirmative steps to assist families to apply for federal or local programs which enable students to receive meals at school free or at a reduced price. It specifically prohibits school districts from implementing practices which single out children who cannot pay for a meal, and requires school districts to take affirmative steps to determine if a family is eligible to receive free or reduced price meals at school.
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New SED Policy Guidance for Homeless Students
April 12, 2018.
This memorandum provides important information about new policy guidance from the New York State Education Department (“SED”) regarding the education of homeless students under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (“McKinney-Vento”).
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Sample Local Educational Agency (“LEA”) Policy on the Education of Students in Temporary Housing1

Newsday FOIL Request – Settlement Agreements
March 22, 2018.
Newsday recently emailed a Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”) request to a number of our school district clients asking for “a copy of all settlement agreements executed by the district in 2017.” In follow-up to questions regarding the scope of this request, Newsday subsequently clarified that it was seeking only those “settlement agreements executed by the district in the calendar year of 2017 to formally close civil lawsuits against the district.”
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Paid Leave for Cancer Screenings
March 14, 2018.
Effective March 18, 2018, school district employees will be entitled to an excused paid leave, not to exceed four (4) hours, for expanded cancer screenings. The purpose of this law is to encourage regular screenings for all types of cancers as a matter of improving public health.
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“Walkout” Scenarios and Student Speech Considerations
March 12, 2018.
This memorandum supplements our March 1, 2018 memorandum entitled, "Walkout" Scenarios and Student Speech Considerations" As you know, school districts across the country are anticipating a surge in student protests in the upcoming days and weks in response to recent events such as the tragedy in Parkland, Florida. This memorandum lists a few reminders to help districts respond in the case of a student walkout or other mass protest.
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"Walkout" Scenarios and Student Speech Considerations
March 01, 2018.
In the wake of the tragedy that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, school districts across the country are experiencing student protest movements in response to school violence. This memorandum provides guidance to help districts respond in the case of a school "walkout" and other mass protests in the school setting.
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Archived Client Memoranda



For more information on how to access our client memoranda and documents, please contact info@ffedlaw.com.

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Events Calendar
  • UPCOMING EVENTS
  • May 1, 2020
    Hampton Inn White Plains/Tarrytown
    200 West Main Street, Elmsford, New York
    9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Special Education Laws Made Simple

    Timothy Mahoney will be presenting a seminar on disciplinary procedures and managing FBAs, BIPs, physical restraints and isolation techniques. He will also cover suspensions and expulsions; Manifestation Determinations; interim alternative education settings; expedited due process hearings and school actions that can result in lawsuits. For additional information please visit www.nbi-sems.com.



  • May 8, 2020
    Four Points by Sheraton Melville
    333 S. Service Road, Plainview, NY
    9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    School Law: Handling Mental Health Issues

    Jack Feldman will be presenting a seminar on balancing special education and mental health concerns; tying IEPs to mental health issues; drafting IEP goals for students; 504 plans: determining eligibility for mental health issues and outlining parameters of required services for students without 504s/IEPs. He will also discuss conducting FBAs and BIPs; performing Manifestation Determination Reviews; changing student placement; when to suspend or expel; handling and responding to bullying; harassment and intimidation; restraining and seclusion; documenting school discipline actions; and making criminal referrals for mental health concerns. For additional information please visit www.nbi-sems.com.


  • RECENT EVENTS
  • February 6, 2020
    Four Points by Sheraton, Melville
    Special Education Law: The Ultimate Guide

    Jack Feldman and Timothy Mahoney will be presenting a seminar on IEPs, 504 plans, Manifestation Determinations Reviews and more on behalf of National Business Institute. Jack will discuss developing legally compliant IEP’s that benefit students, 504 plan eligibility and accommodation best practices. Timothy will discuss bullying and harassment and ensuring special needs students receive free and appropriate public education (FAPE), along with Manifestation Determination Reviews (MDRs). For additional information, please visit www.nbi-sems.com..



  • October 25, 2019
    Rochester Riverside Convention Center
    123 E Main St, Rochester, NY 14604

    Christie Jacobson, Esq., will present at the New York State School Boards Association Annual School Law Conference held on October 24-26, 2019. Ms. Jacobson will present on the topic of “Free Speech in the Era of Social Media.” The audience for this presentation will be school board members, school administrators and school attorneys from throughout the State of New York. For additional information visit WWW.NYSSBA.ORG.

  • October 4, 2019
    IEPs and 504 Plan Legal Workshop

    On October 4, 2019, Jack Feldman and Timothy Mahoney presented a program on 504 plans on behalf of National Business Institute. 504 plans, like IEPs, are essential tools to ensure positive learning outcomes for many students. They also have the potential to cause legal issues for schools if they aren't properly planned and carried out. The seminar addressed key considerations for implementing IEPs, functional behavioral assessments (FBAs) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs). For additional information, please visit www.nbi-sems.com.

  • August 19, 2019
    Live Teleconference 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

    Jacob S. Feldman, Esq., presented a Live Teleconference Seminar on “Sexual Harassment in Schools: Interpreting the Latest Legal Guidelines”. The program covered the latest school sexual harassment guidelines you need to know. How to determine critical Title IX protections for victims of sexual harassment; how to properly respond to and document allegations using the latest federal guidance; and how to handle delicate sexual violence allegations the right way. For more information please visit www.nbi-sems.com.

  • June 3, 2019
    Four Points by Sheraton Melville Long Island
    333 S Service Road
    Plainview, NY 11803

    Jacob S. Feldman, Esq. and Timothy M. Mahoney, Esq., presented a seminar on “New York Special Education Law”. The program covered compliance with Special Education Laws to avoid liability; Strengthen knowledge of how recent special education legislation affects school policies and operation; Learning what to do and what not to do in 504 plans; Evaluating the legal protection offered by the Individualized Education Program (IEP); How to successfully handle disciplinary actions for students with disabilities; Exploring the role of manifestation determination reviewing the legality of disciplinary actions; and Understanding the rights of special needs students so as to avoid inadvertent illegal actions that may lead to a lawsuit. For further information please visit www.nbi-sems.com.

  • Monday, April 22, 2019
    Hofstra University
    Hempstead, New York

    We are proud to announce that our partner Christie R. Jacobson was honored as one of Hofstra University’s Outstanding Women in Law at an awards dinner reception held on Monday April 22,2019. This recognition celebrates women who have made meaningful and inspiring contributions to the legal community. For more information please visit www.law.hofstra.edu/owl.

  • Friday, December 7, 2018

    Jacob S. Feldman, Esq., presented a seminar on “Special Education”.
    Christie Jacobson, Esq., presented a seminar on “The Non-Resident "Resident" Student”.
    Joseph Lilly, Esq., presented a seminar on “Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace”.
    Laura Dilimetin, Esq., presented a seminar on “School Safety”.
    For additional information visit www.nassaubar.org..



  • Click for more Past Events
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