Cooper Levenson Attorneys to Present at NJSBA’s Workshop 2015 – “Empowering the 21st Century Student”

October 27-29, 2015 at Atlantic City Convention Center

Atlantic City, N.J. September 28, 2015 -Amy L. Houck, Esq. and William S. Donio, Esq., will present on topics ranging from board members and board meetings to compliance and special education at the New Jersey School Board Association (NJSBA)’s Workshop 2015, “Empowering the 21st Century Student,” scheduled for October 27-29, 2015 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Houck and Donio are members of Cooper Levenson’s Education Law Practice and are partners in the firm

What about Bob? Productive Meeting Pointers under Roberts Rules” – William S. Donio

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 12 noon

Board meetings are supposed to be effective and transparent. Board members need to know how agendas are created; what backup material is necessary; what matters come before the Board; what notes are needed and what are the rules governing the operation of a meeting of the Board of Education? This program will focus on typical Board by-laws, agenda issues and Roberts Rules to ensure effective Board meetings.

Opening up about OPRA; Common Pitfalls with Compliance” – Amy L. Houck and William S. Donio

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 11 a.m.

Boards of Education are frequently asked to respond to Public Records Requests, which can be overly burdensome, very expensive, concern confidential or sensitive material, or records. Responding in the wrong way can lead to costly litigation. What should a Board Member know regarding OPRA requests, the public’s right of access and the possible liability of a Board of Education for wrongful denial?

“The ABC’s of the IDEA: What every Board Member should know about Special Education” – Amy L. Houck and William S. Donio

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2 p.m.

From IDEA to IEP, CST, LRE and FAPE, there is a veritable alphabet soup of laws, terms, programs and people involved with special education. Often Board Members are asked to evaluate the reasonableness and cost effectiveness of various programs, placements or personnel without adequate explanation regarding the underlying special education components. This introduction is focused on giving Board Members the “know how” they need to be able to ask important questions regarding special education. This session includes a mock board presentation.

Getting Personal about Personnel; What can you know about your Employees” – Amy L. Houck and William S. Donio

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 3 p.m.

Board Members do not run the schools, they ensure they are well run, but in ensuring that they are well run, they are asked to vote on personnel recommendations made by the Chief School Administrator. In addition, Board Members are frequently asked to evaluate personnel effectiveness and make decisions regarding salaries, renewals, effectiveness, leaves, RIFs and tenure charges. School employees are understandably concerned that their personnel matters not be subject to unlimited public discussion or access. What exactly are Board Members allowed to know to make the very complex Board decisions that they have to?  

For more information about attending these sessions, visit or email

Cooper Levenson is a full service law firm since 1957, with 75 attorneys and New Jersey offices in Atlantic City and Cherry Hill. The firm has regional offices in Bear, Del., and Las Vegas. For more information, visit