This past June, the media reported that a shouting match erupted between the superintendent of the Jersey City Schools and the president of the Jersey City school board after the board voted to not renew the contracts of eight school officials, including the HR director and school attorney, with less than 48 hours’ notice. Near Baltimore, the Howard County Public School System has been engaged for over a year in a feud between its board members and administration, which involved (among many other things) board members campaigning on a platform opposing the then-current superintendent, a lawsuit filed by the superintendent against the board for usurping her authority, a settlement in which the superintendent agreed to step down in favor of a job within the MD Department of Education, and ongoing lawsuits filed against the board by a number of other members of the district’s administration. In Lehighton, Pennsylvania, the personal attorney of a school board member has threatened legal action after the school board recently voted 5-4 to ban the board member from setting foot in the district’s high school or administration building for one year. In its action, the board cited concerns regarding the board member’s behavior towards school employees, as documented in a formal investigation report by the school's superintendent, some of which involved the handling of the board member’s personal right-to-know requests. These are only some of the many examples of administration/school board relationship issues that deeply affect the communities and students that they serve.
How do such adversarial relationships begin? What can administrators and board members do to foster good relationships and prevent (or come back from) this type of spiraling negativity? In this webinar, nationally-recognized school law attorney Erin D. Gilsbach examines the administration/school board relationship and the common issues and pitfalls that can lead to a breakdown in school leadership on both sides. Through the examination of these and other cases, Atty. Gilsbach offers insight into how such tensions occur and preventative measures that can be taken to avoid them. She focuses on strategies and tools that can be used to strengthen the relationship between administrators and school boards, and she provides information regarding the legal, financial, and operational toll that poor administration/board relations can have on an educational system. She concludes the session with a discussion of the importance of preserving and strengthening good administration/board relationships and practical tips for both administrators and board members on how this can be accomplished.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:
- Real-life cases involving a breakdown in the administration/school board relationship and their legal, financial, and educational consequences
- Common issues and pitfalls that can lead to a breakdown in school leadership on both sides
- Preventative measures that can be taken to avoid significant relationship-related governance issues
- Strategies to assist school leaders and board members currently engaged in a struggle
- Tips and tools for administrators and board members aimed at preserving and strengthening good relationships and ensuring positive outcomes in the future
- AND MUCH MORE!
YOUR CONFERENCE LEADER
Your conference leader for “Administration/Board Member Relationships: Tips and Tools for Preserving the Positive, Rehabilitating the Negative, and Preventing Total Collapse” is Erin Gilsbach. An experienced speaker at the state and national levels on issues regarding education and education law, Erin Gilsbach is an attorney with the Pennsylvania-based law firm of Steckel and Stopp and the president of the PSBA Solicitors Association. She is dedicated to providing quality professional education in the area of school law to educators and school leaders. Throughout her career, she has provided legal representation and/or professional development to over 150 Pennsylvania schools. In her practice, Atty. Gilsbach emphasizes a proactive approach to legal defensibility for schools by providing engaging and high-quality professional development trainings for educators and school leaders in the area of school law. In addition, she helps schools create procedures, administrative regulations and board policies that are not only compliant with statutory and regulatory requirements but that also anticipate the best practices and common pitfalls found within the facts of applicable caselaw.
Erin Gilsbach has been voted a Rising Star Attorney by her peers in Super Lawyers and Philadelphia Magazine for the past five years, and she is a frequent presenter with the National Business Institute, the Education Law Association, the National School Boards Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, and at numerous conferences held at universities throughout the state. She began her career as a public high school English teacher. Prior to private practice, she served for over two years at the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Office of Chief Counsel.
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CERTIFICATES OF PARTICIPATION
EducationAdminWebAdvisor certificates of participation are available to everyone completing this webinar.