New York State School Boards Association

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The Capital Conference
(Formerly The State Issues Conference)
Date: March 9 - 11, 2013

Location: Show map
The Hotel Albany
Albany, NY


Click here to download the e-brochure PDF  1.74mb

Click here for the conference materials

Online Registration is Closed

NYSSBA is proud to introduce

The Capital Conference

(Formerly State Issues Conference)

March 9 - 11, 2013 • Hotel Albany • Albany, NY


Attend our new Capital Conference and take home valuable information on school safety and advocacy that you can use now!





Attend one, two or all three days – you decide!

March 9 - 11 * Hotel Albany, Albany, NY

Need a room?
Contact the Hotel Albany (formerly the Crowne Plaza), Albany City Centre, State and Lodge Streets, Albany, NY 12207, 518-462-6611 or; $152 single and $162 for double occupancy; enter group booking code 1 GEY. Book your hotel reservations by February 24! After that date, reservations will be taken on an availability basis. Contact the Hotel Albany directly. Mention the NYSSBA 2013 Capital Conference.

3 days * 2 topics * 1 powerful weekend!


Safe Schools, Safe Students/March 9
$75 NYSSBA members, $150 nonmembers

(Program includes resource materials, lunch and a nonrefundable $25 administrative fee. Cancellations will not be refunded after the pre-registration/cancellation deadline. No-shows will be billed.)

Advocacy Institute/March 10

  • Complimentary for NYSSBA members
  • Reception and Awards Dinner

Lobby Day/March 11

  • Breakfast
Conference Agenda

Safe Schools, Safe Students - March 9
In cooperation with the Utica National Insurance Group
Begin with a day-long interactive session packed with school safety information and practical strategies to help keep your schools safe.

Cost: $75 members / $150 nonmembers

9:00 - 9:45 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:45 - 10:00 a.m. 

Conference Kick OffWelcome and Introductory Remarks

Thomas Nespeca, President New York State School Boards Association

Sponsor Remarks
Utica National Insurance Group

10:00 - 11:15 a.m.

General Session: School Safety - The Law Enforcement Perspective
Are we doing enough? Hear from top state and national authorities on their view of what constitutes appropriate and effective school safety plans and practices, including the use of school resource officers.

SSA Andre Simons, Behavioral Analysis Unit, Behavioral Threat Assessment Center, FBI
Arthur J. Kelly, III, Consultant, Behavioral Threat Assessment and Targeted Violence and former Chief of Police, New Bedford, Massachusetts  
Bryan Vossekuil, Retired, United States Secret Service; The Metis Group, Inc. 
Captain John Agresta, New York State Police
Sgt. Renise Holohan, New York State Police

Moderated by Jay Worona, General Counsel, NYSSBA

11:15 - 11:30 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.   Morning Concurrent Sessions - Choose 1
  • Tools to Review and Improve Your School Safety Plan

New York school safety experts will share best policies and practices to help make your schools safer, including the importance of staff training and conducting drills.

Elizabeth Mastro, Director, New York State Center for School Safety Linda Bakst,Deputy Director of Policy Services, NYSSBA

  • Collaborating with First Responders: Before, During and After a Crisis

Learn the most effective ways to build and sustain relationships with first responders that will secure safer schools. 

Robert Bloom, Teacher, Co-Chair, District SAVE Committee (Safety, Emergency Planning, Emergency), Hyde Park Central School District

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.  Lunch
1:30 - 2:20 p.m.

General Session: Creating Innovative Student Support Systems to Increase Safety, Resiliency, and Academic Success  
What can school districts do to establish and maintain a school culture that promotes the healthy well-being of students?

Gil Noam, Ed.D., Ph.D, Director, Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency (PEAR), McLean Hospital; and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School

2:20 - 2:30 p.m.   Break
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.  Afternoon Concurrent Sessions Choose 1
  • Best Ways to Access and Enhance Student Support Services

What resources do school districts have? Understand the roles of student support services and community resources.

John Kelly
, School Psychologist, Commack Union Free School District, representing New York State Association of School Psychologists
Hai-Ping Yeh, School Social Worker, representing New York State Association of School Social Workers
Gloria Jean, School Counselor, representing New York State Association of School Counselors
David Saffer, LCSW, Council for Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Moderated by Linda Bakst, Deputy Director of Policy Services, NYSSBA

  • Educate the Whole Child, Engage the Whole School

Learn how to integrate social-emotional learning into school curriculum and programs. Review guidelines for the Social Emotional Development and Learning (SEDL) in New York State.

Mark Barth, Education Consultant; former Associate, New York State Education Department; former Albany City School Board Member and Secondary School History Teacher

  • Building a Stronger Safety Net: Mental Health and Schools

Hear from the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) about its efforts to collaborate with schools.  See a demonstration of an innovative no-cost online staff development tool “At-Risk for High School Educators,” which helps staff to recognize when a student is in distress and how to connect them with help.

Melanie Puorto Conte, MS, Director of the NYS OMH Suicide Prevention Initiative

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Facilitated Roundtable Discussion: Where Do We Go From Here?

Timothy G. Kremer, Executive Director, NYSSBA

4:30 p.m. 

Final Thoughts

Thomas Nespeca, President, NYSSBA

Advocacy Institute - March 10
Get practical advice and tips to effectively advocate for your school district and students in Albany and at home

Cost: Complimentary. For members only.

9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Registration
10:00 a.m. - Noon Advocacy Boot Camp - New!
Begin with a tour of the New York State Capitol Building to better understand how our advocacy meshes with the workings of government as you stroll through history. Then learn how to maximize your local advocacy efforts to instill community confidence in your schools and support for your budget. Finally, begin to prepare for Lobby Day by learning how to make the most of your time with your state representatives.
Noon - 1:30 p.m.  Lunch on Your Own
1:30 - 2:15 p.m.  Call to Action
Get the most up-to-date state budget and legislative information from NYSSBA President Thomas Nespeca and Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer.
2:15 - 3:15 p.m.  Partnership for Progress: School Boards and the New New York Education Reform Commission
Hear how Governor Cuomo’s education reform commission came to consensus on their eight initial recommendations to transform public education and about the challenges ahead.   
3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Panel of Pundits
What does the governor’s state of the state agenda and budget plan hold for your district? Where’s the money really coming from? Who are school boards competing with for state lawmakers’ attention? “Capital Tonight’s” Liz Benjamin will ask the questions you’d ask to a panel of Albany insiders.
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.  Leader Line Up
Join state lawmakers for a roundtable discussion of public education’s issues and challenges.
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.    Reception
Meet your colleagues from across the state and share your concerns.
6:30 p.m.  Dinner
Help us recognize the NYSSBA Leaders of the Year and Advocate of the Year. Then hear from a special guest!

Lobby Day - March 11
Take all you’ve learned, head up the hill and meet your state representatives!

Cost: Complimentary. For NYSSBA members only.

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.  Registration and Breakfast
With the New York State Association of School Business Officials
8:00 - 8:45 a.m.

Lobby Day Charge - Your Issues, Your Questions

David Little, NYSSBA’s director of governmental relations, and the Governmental Relations Team will answer any last-minute questions before you prepare to meet with state lawmakers.

8:45 - 9:30 a.m.

The State of Education

State Education Commissioner John King will offer his thoughts on education issues and challenges.

9:30 a.m. onward  Legislative Appointments
Remember: please schedule your appointments in advance and allow plenty of time to get to your appointments and go through security.

Remember: please schedule your appointments in advance and allow plenty of time to get to your appointments and go through security.

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