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Sweet Stevens Explores Special Education During the Pandemic at Virtual PAPSA Forum

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Posted on in Events, Press Releases and Announcements

New Britain, PA Attorneys from Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP will address special education in the context of the current extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic at the 43rd Annual Pennsylvania Association of Pupil Service Administrators (PAPSA) virtual conference on Friday, April 9, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The same pandemic that took the conference virtual this year also brings up legal ramifications for schools attempting to provide a meaningful and appropriate education in a setting that is safe and healthy for students and staff.

Longtime legal presenters at the PAPSA conference, Sweet Stevens attorneys began the tradition as a tribute to one of the firm’s founders, Paul Stevens. Stevens had served as PAPSA’s legal advisor and conducted workshops on relevant issues up until his untimely death. PAPSA established the Paul Stevens Memorial Law Seminar as an ongoing feature of the conference. Typically, it is the closing session and a highlight of the event, consistently earning top ratings from participants.

This year, instead of the firm participating in the closing session, the conference itself has been retitled the “PAPSA Virtual Legal Forum Featuring Sweet Stevens Katz & Williams, LLP.” Partners Jane Williams, Sharon Montanye and Thomas Warner will present legal issues in special education and pupil services relevant in 2021, updating attendees on court decisions, regulations, and best practices, among other topics. Attorney Leslie Collins worked with the team on the research and development of the materials.

Jane M. Williams, partner, brings 25 years of experience in special education law. She has served as a hearing officer and advisor to school boards in student expulsion matters and provided school district boards with in-service programs concerning special education and pupil services.

Sharon W. Montanye, managing partner, understands the underlying issues that influence special education litigation. Prior to joining the practice of law, she spent nearly a dozen years working in the field of education as a certified teacher, administrator, grant writer, and peer reviewer for both the U.S. Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Thomas C. Warner, partner, represents Pennsylvania school districts and entities in matters of special education. He also provides in-service training to districts on a variety of matters including the development of defensible special education programming and confidentiality/disclosure issues involving education records.

Leslie A. Collins, of counsel, concentrates her work in special education and student services. Prior to joining the firm, she was a staff attorney for the Pennsylvania State Education Association. She provided counsel on matters pertaining to individuals with disabilities, special education, assessment and accommodations, child protective services, student records, school funding, ESEA, establishment of religion, school violence, and other legal issues.

The cost to participate is $99 for PAPSA members and $149 for nonmembers. Click here to download a registration form.

PAPSA is the only organization in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania specifically devoted to issues concerning pupil services programs in schools. Members of the organization have supervisory or administrative responsibility in fields such as counseling, health, psychology, home and school visitation, social work, special education, gifted education and student assistance. For more information, visit

Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams, LLP was formed in 1995 by nine experienced education lawyers who created the first private law practice in Pennsylvania dedicated entirely to Education Law. Since then, the firm has grown to 23 attorneys who represent over 290 school and municipal entities as Solicitors or as Special Counsel in more than 50 counties throughout Pennsylvania.