Wednesday, March 6, 2019 from 1:00 PM to 2:15 PM EST
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Webinar (Online Event)
Registration Fee:  $79


Erin D. Gilsbach, Esq. 
EdLaw Interactive (edlawinteractive.com) 

Communication & Special Education: Legally-Defensible Tips and Tools

Effective communication is essential in special education, and misunderstandings and other types of communication problems can be a quick trigger for a lawsuit. This session identifies some of the most common communication issues and offers practical and helpful solutions.

About the Program:

In this program, Atty. Erin D. Gilsbach provides a lively discussion of the following issues:

Alphabet Soup, Anyone? –In this segment, Atty. Gilsbach will discuss how the over-use of acronyms can lead to legal woes and offer simple-yet-effective preventative techniques to make sure that parents don’t get lost in the lingo.

Email Etiquette – Thinking about polishing off one more email to parents before bed? Think again!  In this segment, Atty. Gilsbach will identify common emailing issues that get educators in trouble, basic rules that everyone should be following, and best practices for more effective and legally-defensible email communication.

Feelin’ Hot, Hot, HOT! – Trouble keeping flaring tempers at bay?  This segment identifies tested-and-tried ways to help everyone keep their cool, techniques for de-escalating almost any situation, and methods of spotting and preventing flare-ups before they start.  Atty. Gilsbach also provides practical tips for dealing with out-of-control parents.

Working from Within – This segment offers ideas for effectively (and civilly) handling internal disagreements and discord before meeting with parents while avoiding pre-determination issues by remaining open to ideas and input at IEP or manifestation determination meetings.

Setting the Scene – IEP meetings are intended to be collaborative team processes.  In this segment, Atty. Gilsbach suggests seating arrangements, room décor, and conversational techniques designed to reduce tension and encourage cooperation. 

Everybody’s Business –  It happens.  A parent or community member asks a perfectly understandable question about a specific student, but you’re not sure how to answer (or if you even can!). In this segment, Atty. Gilsbach will provide a summary of the applicable confidentiality laws at issue and offer practical suggestions for handling these types of situations.

Not-So-Golden Silence – Finally, Atty. Gilsbach offers pointers for engaging un-engaged parents and ideas on how to connect them.  She will also discuss ways of dealing with non-responsive parents and provide tips for documenting a parent’s lack of response.

This webinar is packed full of practical and effective ways to reduce liability and prevent potentially costly and time-consuming litigation through the use of legally-defensible communication techniques.  It is a necessary lesson for all special education administrators, Section 504 coordinators, special educators, guidance counselors, building administrators, and anyone else responsible for communicating with families of special education students.

About the Presenter:


Erin D. Gilsbach, Esq. is the Executive Director of EdLaw Interactive (edlawinteractive.com).  An experienced speaker at the state and national levels on matters regarding school law and a frequent author on education law topics, Atty. Gilsbach provides a wide variety of training programs, as well as legal consulting services, to school districts, charter schools, non-public schools, and education-related organizations.  A former high school English teacher who served for over two years at the PA Dept. of Education’s Office of Chief Counsel, Atty. Gilsbach was voted by her peers as a SuperLawyers “Rising Star Attorney” for 5 consecutive years.  She currently services as the Immediate Past-President of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) Solicitor’s Association, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Council of School Attorneys (COSA).  She is an active member of and frequent presenter and author for NSBA, COSA, PSBA, the National Business Institute (NBI), LRP’s National Institute, and the Education Law Association (ELA).  Attorney Gilsbach was named the 2018 Distinguished Speaker at the annual Missouri Council of Administrators of Special Education.  Atty. Gilsbach has authored a book on public school obligations to students with medical needs, which is scheduled to be published by LRP publications in the summer of 2019.