Committee Program

Monday, January 25, 2021

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Special rate of $75 available for Educators! Call 1-800-582-2452 to register (no online registration available). Note: Attorneys are not eligible for this special rate.


COVID-19 – Lessons Learned and the Continuing Challenges it Presents for School Districts

This program will provide an overview of lessons learned from the perspective of school administrators and school lawyers as well as top officials at the State Education Department.

This program will look at the specific challenges which our special education student population have faced as a result of, in many instances, being precluded from receiving in-person learning.

In addition the program will delve into school administrators as they attempt to properly evaluate staff members.

Finally the program will explore inequities of educational offerings that have been made even wider as a result of a multitude of students in our state who do not have appropriate access to remote learning.

Key Highlights and Takeaways

  • The impact of COVID-19 on state level education policy-making
  • Evaluating educators who provide remote instruction
  • Providing services remotely to students with disabilities



Committee Chair

Gail Ehrlich, Esq.
Mount Vernon, NY

Program Chair

Jay Worona
New York State School Boards Association, Latham, NY

3.0 MCLE Credits- 3.0 Areas of Professional Practice

This program is transitional and is suitable for all attorneys including those newly admitted

Monday, January 25, 2021

9:00 AM – 9:10 AM

Welcome and Introduction


Gail Ehrlich, Esq. | Chair, Law, Youth and Citizenship Committee


9:10 AM – 10:30 AM

COVID-19 – An Overview of Lessons Learned

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


Beth A. Bourassa, Esq. | Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, LLP., Albany, NY
Howard M. Miller, Esq. | Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC., Garden City, NY
Thomas M. Volz, Esq. | Law Offices of Thomas M. Volz, PLLC., Nesconset, NY
Dr. Kevin C. McGowan | Superintendent, Brighton Central School District, Rochester, NY


Donald E. Budmen, Esq. | Ferrara Fiorenza, P.C., East Syracuse, NY

1.5 Credits in Areas of Professional Practice


10:30 AM – 11:00 AM

COVID-19 – A Statewide View from the State Education Department’s Perspective

Join a conversation with the Interim Commissioner of Education and the Vice Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents on the key educational issues facing school districts right now and in the near future. Find out how the COVID-19 experience has affected ongoing department initiatives and its potential impact on new ones.


Dr. Betty A. Rosa | Interim Commissioner of Education, New York State Education Department, Albany, NY
T. Andrew Brown | Vice Chancellor, New York State Board of Regents, Rochester, NY


Jay Worona, Esq. | New York State School Boards Association, Latham, NY

0.5 Credits in Areas of Professional Practice


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM



11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

COVID-19 – Lessons Learned About the Special Education Conundrum

When schools closed, students with disabilities posed unique challenges to continuity of learning efforts, exposing districts to potential liability for compensatory education. Those challenges remain for students whose condition(s) may prevent them from returning to reopened schools. Find out about lessons learned that can help districts both better serve such students and minimize their own exposure to liability.


Andrew J. Freedman, Esq. | Hodgson Russ, LLP., Buffalo, NY
Karen S. Norlander, Esq. | Impartial Hearing Officer, New York Council of Administrators of Special Education
Jeffrey J. Weiss, Esq. | Harris Beach, PLLC., Buffalo, NY


Laura J. Granelli, Esq. | Jaspan Schlesinger, LLP., Garden City, NY

1.0 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice


$119: Section Member | $149: NYSBA Member | $269: Non-NYSBA Member

REGULAR REGISTRATION (1/1/21 and after)

$159: Section Member | $199: NYSBA Member | $359: Non-NYSBA Member

IMPORTANT: For those of you that wish to attend multiple Section or Committee programs, we are extending a discount of 25% off the pricing of 2 or more programs, however you must contact our MRC Department directly and register over the phone.


If you have questions please contact us at 800.582.2452 | [email protected]

Hours: Monday – Friday | 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

If you would like to view and register for our Committee’s additional upcoming events, or access the on-demand library for past events, please visit our Committee’s page here: