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Franczek Annual School Law Conference—See You on Zoom!

For almost 30 years, Franczek P.C. has hosted an annual School Law Conference for clients and friends. We always love seeing you in person and catching up on all the most significant legal changes in our field together. Although we cannot all be in the same place right now, we are pleased to announce our Virtual School Law Conference held by Zoom. Our conference will be on Thursdays at noon between October 1, 2020, and December 3, 2020, with a break for Thanksgiving.
Many of you already have become accustomed to spending the noon hour with us on Thursdays for our COVID-19 school law webinars. Our school law conference will bring you a comprehensive lineup of the top issues facing school leaders today. We will continue to touch on the impact of COVID during this time, but we will also catch you up on all the critical school law insights you may have missed during this challenging time. Sessions are as follow:
October 1, 2020 at 12 p.m.
COVID School Landscape 
As a kickoff to our Fall 2020 School Law Conference, we will begin with a familiar topic for the Thursday noon hour: the COVID School Landscape. Join us as we discuss the most top-of-mind issues and lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis.
October 8, 2020 at 12 p.m. 
They Said What? First Amendment Issues in 2020

A presidential election like no other in history, a global pandemic causing an unprecedented economic and emotional toll on our communities, and a remote learning environment where virtual communication reigns, whether in the school setting or through social media. What are the rules to navigate discussion and debate on these issues and others in the public school setting, and how can administrators work within them to model respectful discourse not just for students but for our school communities at large? This session will cover the rights of employees and students to exercise their first amendment rights and respect the rights of others, whether teaching on controversial topics, sponsoring student clubs or publications, or navigating political messages shared by school community members through personal social media.

October 15, 2020 at 12 p.m. 
Shield and Sword: Law as a Driver of Educational Equity
Laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment can be used to preserve status quo, but can also act as a driver of educational equity. Whether it’s a school district’s approach to Black Lives Matter, equity considerations in discipline, homeless, and residency disputes, or deciding whether to continue having police in schools, participants will learn how they can use the law as a drive for internal reforms supporting equity in public schools.
October 22, 2020 at 12 p.m. 
Bargaining in the Time of COVID: 2020 and Beyond
The panel will discuss actual impact and general bargaining subjects that have arisen since the emergence of COVID-19. As school re-openings continue, it is obvious that many of the issues addressed will carry on until at least the second half of the 2020-2021 school year, and beyond. The panel will also solicit questions to answer common themes in emerging at the bargaining table at this time.
October 29, 2020 at 12 p.m.
The OMA Meets Zoom
Join our Franczek group of aspiring thespians/board members in our rendition of a virtual board meeting. We will review common issues school boards face complying with the Open Meetings Act generally and with the extra layer of complication created by virtual board meetings. This session will provide legal and practical insight in dealing with the OMA’s various requirements in an entertaining format. Topics will include appropriate notice and agendas, public participation, closed session discussions, roles of committees, appropriate board use of technology, voting requirements, and many other OMA issues.
November 5, 2020 at 12 p.m.
2020: New Laws for a New Reality
This webinar will provide an overview of new legislation that school officials need to know about to lead through this extraordinary school year. 2020 has been a remarkable year of legislation including the sweeping legislation to address changes in the educational landscape due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. This webinar will also look forward to new legislative initiatives that could significantly impact all aspects of the school’s functioning.
November 12, 2020 at 12 p.m.
FAPE in a Pandemic: Top Ten Takeaways
This session will review the lessons learned to date related to providing special education services during remote, hybrid, and in-person learning. We will cover issues related to masks, discipline, compensatory education, requests for in-home services, remote learning plans, evaluations, and more.
November 19, 2020 at 12 p.m.
Property Taxes and Assessments: Protecting Revenues and Communicating Effectively
This session will focus on how the largest revenue source for school districts has been affected by the events of 2020 as well as provide effective ways for administrators and board members to communicate the impact of these changes to stakeholders and community members.  Topics will include how changes in real estate values affect school district revenue, the latest on the collection and distribution of taxes, important issues and cases to be aware of, economic development incentives, and TIF districts.
November 26, 2020

No Session—Enjoy Thanksgiving!

December 3, 2020 at 12 p.m.
Are We There Yet? COVID Update 
This session will wrap up our 2020 School Law Conference with where we began, with an update on where things stand with COVID, schools, and the law. The panel you have come to know and trust will be back to discuss relevant issues and answer your questions. After this week’s webinar, we will segue back into our weekly COVID webinars beginning on December 10, 2020.

As always, our School Law Conference is complimentary. For a description of each session and to register, click the link below. Please submit any questions you would like us to address during the conference through registration or by email to Illinois MCLE is pending for each session.