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Legal Issues Seminar
Date / Time
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
9:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Zehmer Hall Conference Center
Participant Fee
Fee includes program, breaks and lunch
VAIS Member /
Non-Member /
Navigating Student Mental Health Issues:  Tips, Traps And Best Practices
Zehmer Hall Conference Center, Charlottesville
Check-in and coffee: 9: 30 AM  Program begins at 10:00 AM and concludes at 2:30 PM

Explore the myriad ways that student mental health issues are manifesting on school campuses, the many legal obligations that arise therefrom, and the emotional and often challenging family interactions that often accompany these issues.  This lively and interactive program will identify best practices for utilizing the school’s enrollment agreement, student and family handbook, and other key documents to properly set family expectations and to protect the student and the school in the event of a mental health crisis.  Using interactive case studies, participants will be guided through several real world scenarios, and will come away with strategies for responding lawfully and compassionately to student mental health concerns while standing firm on student safety and protecting the school’s reputation.

Topics will include: 

  • Evaluating Student Disabilities And Accommodations
  • Establishing A Process For Student Mental Health Assessment
  • Crafting Policies Regarding Medical Leaves
  • A School’s Legal Duties Regarding Student Self-Harm In The Wake Of Nguyen v. MIT
  • Creating A Suicide Prevention Protocol
  • Defining The Role Of School Counselors
  • Parental Comportment And Codes Of Conduct
  • The Intersection Of Student Mental Health And Discipline
It is always with great pleasure that we bring Sara Schwartz and her colleagues from Schwartz Hannum PC, a law firm based in Andover, Massachusetts, to present at the VAIS Legal Issues Seminar.


Sara Goldsmith Schwartz is the Founder and President of Schwartz Hannum PC. Sara graduated from Concord Academy, and is a cum laude graduate of both Yale College and Harvard Law School.  She began her legal career at the law firm of Ropes & Gray in Boston, after completing a federal court clerkship with The Honorable William Young in Boston.

Sara founded the Firm in 1995.  The Firm has 13 lawyers, of whom 6 are dedicated to the Firm’s education practice.  The education  practice is the largest in New England, representing more than 200 educational institutions in Massachusetts, New England and throughout the United States.  Schwartz Hannum’s Schools and Education Practice provides comprehensive guidance to the full spectrum of school and education clients. 

Sara is a frequent speaker at seminars for attorneys, human resources professionals, and independent school administrators.

Matthew D. Batastini is Co-Managing Partner at Schwartz Hannum PC and a member of the Firm’s education and employment groups. A strategic partner to educational institutions looking to promote a positive learning environment and resolve workplace issues, Matthew assists school clients with crafting and implementing policies and practices applicable to students, employees and the larger school community.  Matthew also counsels school clients on investigations and responding to workplace issues, and defends school clients before state and federal government agencies and courts with respect to claims brought by their employees.  Matthew holds a B.A. in Economics from Middlebury College and earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law.


Head of School, Associate Head of School, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Business Manager, Director of Human Resources, Director of Admissions, Dean of Faculty, School Nurse, School Physician, Health Center Staff, Head of Upper School, Head of Lower School, Dean of Students, Dean of Admissions and Other Independent School Administrators.

Zehmer Hall Conference Center
104 Midmont Lane
Charlottesville, VA 22904

Includes all materials, break and lunch
Members:        $235
NonMembers: $435

Final date to register for this program is Wednesday, November 26, 2019No refunds after this date. Please refer to the VAIS Cancellation Policy for further clarification.

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