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10 Member Recognition Points Logo2023 WASB/WSAA School Law Conference

Thursday, February 23
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, Wisconsin Dells

The WASB/WSAA School Law Conference features experienced school law attorneys presenting sessions on a variety of legal and related issues pertinent to school board members and school administrators.

Registration Information

Conference registration is $190. Registration includes materials, breakfast and lunch.

The deadline to register is Thursday, Feb. 16 at 5 p.m. No refunds for cancellations after Feb. 16. To cancel, call toll-free 877-705-4422.

Hotel Accommodations

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, 1305 Kalahari Dr., Wisconsin Dells

Room reservations: or 877-326-4489
Single/Double Rate: $159
Cut-off date for hotel rooms: Jan. 23, 2023

When making a reservation, identify yourself as a member of the WASB/WSAA School Law Conference group to get the special group rate.

Note: The Kalahari Resorts do NOT accept letters of authorization forms, tax exemption forms or purchase orders at the hotel check-in. These forms must be submitted NO LATER THAN 7 days in advance via email to or via fax to 608-254-6116. Failure to submit these forms ahead of time may result in the full room and tax charge on attendees personal credit cards.


8 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m.
Strategies for Dealing with Wicked Problems
Wicked problems are not new to government officials. What is new is that government officials are increasingly doing business in a “wicked environment.” As a result, even seemingly mundane problems can quickly take on a sheen of complexity that, if not effectively addressed, can quickly escalate. With public access to real-time information; the spread and magnification of inaccurate facts and narratives; the evaporation of voices of moderation; and the increasing use of judicial intervention to attempt to resolve policy disputes (among many other factors), elected officials and professional government leaders must be vigilant and prepared with tools and strategies to prevent and address wicked problems in an increasingly wicked world.

Dean Dietrich (Weld Riley) and Eric Giordano (Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service)

Non-renewal of Teacher Contracts
This presentation will review the basics of teacher non-renewal, including statutory 118.22 requirements, due process constitutional protections, employment discrimination laws, individual contracts, employee handbooks and policies, public records and open meeting law considerations and more.

Scott Mikesh (WASB)

9:30 a.m. Break

9:40 a.m.
Public Records and the Social Media World
This presentation will discuss the impacts of social media under the Wisconsin Public Records Law. The presenters will discuss the language of the Public Records Law and the obligations of local government entities to maintain records posted through social media as part of the public records of the local government unit.

• Sven Strutz (Weld Riley) and Tony Steffek (Amundsen Davis)

Rules of Order for School Board Meetings: Productive Parliamentary Procedure
School board meetings are more effective when the board’s attention is focused on the substance of their decisions rather than on the procedures that are used to navigate the agenda and reach those decisions.  Attend this session to improve your understanding of typical meeting procedures and those situations where state law establishes mandatory procedures, to gain clarity on some common sources of confusion, and to obtain ideas for using board policy to document a core set of local rules of order that can serve as an efficient and readily-available framework for conducting the board’s business.

Dan Mallin (WASB)

10:40 a.m. Break

10:50 a.m.
Buy, Sell, Build: Referendums and Real Estate Transactions
When it comes to developing or improving school district property, school districts have several options to consider, including: buying or selling property through real estate transactions or modifying existing district property through upgrades or construction projects funded by a referendum. Both options are a significant financial and time-intensive undertaking for a district, so having a solid understanding of each process is crucial to achieving a successful outcome. From the real estate transaction perspective, this presentation will focus on the key issues for a district to consider when buying or selling real estate. From the referendum lens, this presentation will include an overview of the referendum process, as well as tips and tricks to ensure the referendum process runs smoothly for your district.

• Jenna Rousseau (Renning, Lewis & Lacy) and Sarah Hanneman (Attolles Law)

An Overview of the Open Meetings Law
This session will cover a broad overview of the open meetings law requirements and cover more specific issues such as calling special meetings, virtual participation and voting, use of technology and social media, and the slippery slope of walking quorums.

• Ben Richter (WASB)

11:50 a.m. Lunch

12:50 p.m.
Preparing for Your Annual Meeting
All Common and Union High School Districts are required by State statute to hold an Annual Meeting of the electors in each district.  With the significant turnover in Board members, District Administrators, and their staff (who are frequently relied upon for organizing these meetings), a review of what should and can occur at an Annual Meeting may be beneficial to many districts.  Many districts just copy what was done the year before and don’t understand “why” they are doing what they are doing or even know if they are doing it correctly.  Attorney Witte will cover the requirements for an Annual Meeting, share important reminders as you plan for and conduct the meeting, and prepare you for some common “traps” that might come up.  With renewed citizen interest in school matters, we have seen a spike in unusual or uncommon matters regarding Annual Meetings over the last couple years.  With proper planning hopefully your district can navigate the easy and hard issues which might come up at your Annual Meeting.

• Doug Witte (Boardman Clark)

Pardon My Speech: Whose Right Is It Anyways?
This session will provide an overview of the most recent case law involving First Amendment rights in the school environment, including apparel and dress code issues, flags and posters, recent developments surrounding school prayer, and the free speech rights of individual School Board members. Buelow Vetter will review how to address First Amendment issues raised by constituents, School Board Members, School Employees & Staff, and Students. Included is a deep dive into recent cases that illustrate how the courts are interpreting the First Amendment and how school attorneys may best tackle those issues.

• Saveon Grenell, Sheila Thobani and Emily Turzinski (Buelow Vetter)

1:50 p.m. Break

2 p.m.
Administrative Leave for Employees – What Are the Ramifications and Considerations?
The term “administrative leave” is often used in the employment setting. So, what is administrative leave and when should the employer consider it? Could the employer keep the employee in the employee’s present assignment and/or reassign the employee instead of placing the employee on leave?  What are the impacts on the employee who is placed on administrative leave? This panel session will discuss what administrative leave is, when it could be considered, and what are the potential ramifications of placing someone on administrative leave.

• Malina Piontek (Piontek Law LLC), Bob Butler (WASB) and Joe Donovan (Donovan Group)

3 p.m. Adjourn

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