Member Services

Our members' success is important to us. We offer connection, support, education, and information. 

About This Section

We provide services and publications to support superintendent and cabinet level leaders and their districts. 

Supportive Legal Services

The Council plays an active role in providing effective legal representation for superintendents and assistant superintendents. (Cabinet Members). In-house legal services are provided directly from Council attorneys.

We also represent new superintendents even before they join The Council as members. We offer a Model Contract that serves as a base for negotiating new agreements or a way to evaluate a current contract. Superintendents can also use our Model Superintendent's Evaluation to help boards and superintendents develop thoughtful, constructive evaluations that advance district goals and keep the leadership team healthy.

Beyond representation, our legal service department prepares legal publications and articles to update superintendents on the latest court cases and regulatory changes, including monthly articles prepared for our Councilgram newsletter. We have also held legal briefing workshops across the state that provide timely and valuable legal information to members when needed. 

The Council's legal services department evaluates legal issues for individual superintendents on the basis of what it means to that superintendent. In addition, our counsel evaluates legal issues and takes appropriate steps when a particular issue also has greater application to the superintendency or to the ability of the superintendent to lead a district.

Contact:

Jacinda H. Conboy, Esq., General Counsel
E: jacinda@nyscoss.org
T: 518.449.1063
Twitter: @JazzConboy  #WomenEdLeaders #EmpowerUp

Jazz is primarily responsible for negotiating superintendent's employment contracts and providing legal advice and assistance to our members. In addition, Jazz designs legal seminars, provides presentations on legal educational issues and is also the creator of the Council's Women's Initiative.

Greg S. Berck, Esq., Assistant Director for Governmental Relations & Assistant Counsel
E:  greg@nyscoss.org
T:  518.449.1063
Twitter: @Greg_Berck  #LeadersMatter

Greg devotes his efforts to the The Council's lobbying and advocacy agenda. He also assists in negotiating superintendent's employment contracts and providing legal advice and assistance to our members. Greg works with the executive and legislative branches of state and federal  government as well as a variety of state agencies. Contact Greg regarding legislative and regulatory concerns and legal inquiries.


Kelley A. Pratt, Program Associate & Legal Support
E: kpratt@nyscoss.org
T: 518.694.4878
Twitter: @KELLEYP48

Kelley provides support for the General Counsel and legal team. In addition, she assists with program planning for LEAF, Inc., serves as a contact for general member inquiries, and manages the Council's Career Center.

Contact Kelley if you have questions or need to request a meeting/call with Jazz or Greg.

Supportive Legal Services

Model Superintendent's Evaluation

The Board of Education's evaluation of the superintendent is one of its most important functions. It is also mandated by law (8 NYCRR 100.2(0)(2); requiring an evaluation on an annual basis.

The evaluation is the instrument through which the board judges the superintendent, how (s)he is performing, whether its goals for the district are being achieved and what needs to be done if they are not. The evaluation often forms the foundation for remuneration changes in the future. As importantly, past evaluations are something the superintendent may rely on both internally and externally as evidence of excellent performance should board goals or compositions change dramatically.

The Council's Model Superintendent Evaluation helps boards and superintendents develop thoughtful, constructive evaluations that advance district goals and keep the leadership team healthy. It is by no means the only model, just a suggested guide that is available to members only.



Questions?

For more specific information on how to use this evaluation more effectively or if you would like to receive the Word document, please contact General Counsel Jacinda H. Conboy, Esq. at 518.449.1063 or jacinda@nyscoss.org.
Model Superintendent Evaluation

Model Contract

We also represent new superintendents even before they join The Council as members. We offer a model contract that serves as a base for negotiation of new agreements or as a means of evaluating a superintendent’s current contract. Not all superintendents will have or need every clause in the model, but the language it contains is a good resource for superintendents wishing to add a benefit, or restate a provision.

Questions?

For more specific information on how to use this evaluation more effectively or if you would like to receive the Word document, please contact General Counsel Jacinda H. Conboy, Esq. at 518.449.1063 or jacinda@nyscoss.org.
Model Contract

Councilgram Newsletter

Connecting the school leadership community is what our Councilgram newsletter is all about. By sharing stories written by educational leaders, staff, strategic partners and individuals influencing educational policy, we can provide information that informs, educates and inspires members. 

We publish 11 editions each year. Interested in writing an article? Send your article or idea by the 1st of the month to theresa@nyscoss.org. All articles require approval and editing by Council staff.
 

Previous Published Editions

Councilgram Newsletter

News Articles

People to Follow

Chuck Dedrick
Executive Director, NYSCOSS
Robert Lowry
Deputy Director, NYSCOSS
Jacinda Conboy, Esq.
General Counsel, NYSCOSS
Greg Berck, Esq.
Assistant Director, NYSCOSS
News Articles

News Releases

The Council issues news releases in response to education policy developments and to unveil our reports and initiatives. Council leaders and staff also meet with local newspaper editorial boards and conduct briefings on critical issues for State Capitol and education reporters. They also appear on statewide television and radio programs that have emerged in recent years as key forums for discussing state issues. As with our legislative advocacy, we seek to be recognized as an information source which reporters can trust and rely upon. A thrust of our media relations efforts is to attempt to frame issues once at the state level, so that superintendents do not all have to make the same arguments in 700 different locations throughout the state.

Media Contact:

Robert N. Lowry, Jr.
Deputy Director for Advocacy Research & Communications
T:  518.694.4879
C:  518.435.5996
E:   boblowry@nyscoss.org
Twitter:  @robertnlowry

Bob directs our advocacy activities and serves as the principal contact with the news media. He is regarded as one of the state's leading experts in education finance.

Advocacy - for, with, and by our members.


Connect to latest advocacy resources!

Learn More Here  


Council News Releases

News Releases

Supporting Leadership Development 

We want our superintendent and cabinet level leaders to excel at what they do -- leading their districts on behalf of the children they serve. So we deliver services and publications that build their leadership capacity, share new ideas and approaches, and provide timely and accurate information. 

Professional Development

LEAF, Inc., The Council’s Foundation, offers professional development that is high quality, cost effective, and research-based.

Consulting Services

LEAF, Inc. / Council offers a variety of services provided by independent consultants with expertise in district consulting, regional retreats, customized professional development and informal confidential support. Services offered reflect the needs of New York State school districts in a time of increasing demands at the local, state and national levels. For more information on any of the above services please contact Vren Banks, Director of LEAF at vren@nyscoss.org or 518.694.4880.

Annual Events

The Fall Leadership Summit and the Winter Institute and Lobby Day are annual events offering keynote addresses by national experts in the fields of leadership, education and related areas; opportunities for members to share best practices with colleagues through smaller educational sessions; an interactive discussion with the Commissioner of Education about New York State issues and initiatives; and networking for support and collegiality among members through social interaction, group discussions, meetings and workshops. Each event focuses on a key theme over several days. 

Leadership Coaching Program

It has never been more important than it is today to support our school leaders. The challenges leaders face today are more complex than ever and leaders are facing unprecedented issues in an ever-changing environment. In response, LEAF, Inc. has created a Leadership Coaching program to support school leaders through the state.

Advocacy 

Policies adopted in Albany or Washington can shift the odds either for or against success for our members and the schools they help lead. So advocacy – for members, with members, and by members – is one cornerstone in building toward success. Our advocacy staff constantly strives to give members the most accurate and timely information possible on developments affecting school funding and policy, both in Albany and in Washington, both to help influence decisions before they are settled by policymakers, and to interpret them once they are enacted into law. That expertise is never more valuable to school leaders than when the economy falters and governments’ capacity to deliver funding diminishes. Learn more about our advocacy efforts here.
Superintendent Resource Bank
The Superintendents Resource Bank (SRB) is available for use by active members of The Council. The SRB includes member superintendents with a desire to respond to requests for information and to share advice and experiences with colleagues statewide on important issues they face. If you are an active member and you cannot find the information you are requesting in the SRB archive, The Council will post your request for information to our online community without identifying information (name or district). For more information about the Resource Bank contact Administrative Assistant Heather Rapp at heather@nyscoss.org. You can access past discussions in our Online Communities. Login is required. 

2021 Fall Leadership Summit: The Ride of Lifetime

Saratoga Hilton & Saratoga Springs City Center
Saratoga Springs, NY 

September 26-28, 2021

This past year was like a series of waves . . . ever-changing, never-ending, and rippling. Every day educational leaders were the calm in stormy seas.
It is time to celebrate education and the joy of the superintendency. 

Registration now open. See our 2021 Fall Leadership Summit Website and register today!  

Article

Sustainable Leadership: Keeping Connected in a Time of Distancing

"School leaders, especially facing our current challenges, should consider investments in themselves by making time for personal interests, gifting themselves with a coaching opportunity, making time for reflection, even a short “personal sabbatical” to allow educational leaders to decompress and connect with others about their own well-being and needs as an individual."  Read more about sustainable leadership in our December 2020 Councilgram.
—Laura Feijoo 
President, LEAF, Inc.