Supporting Students and Employees
When Managing Mental Health Becomes Unmanageable
From anxiety and depression to complex mental health issues, independent school communities are increasingly balancing the mental health needs of both students and employees. The challenges that schools face while navigating the landscape of mental health care and accomodations can be vast, including how to communicate with the school community, preserving the dignity of the employee or student, and protecting the school from any legal liabilities.
In this deep dive session, join independent school experts and lawyers as they discuss what independent schools are legally required to do in response to mental health diagnoses, what policies schools should put into place, and how to balance community expectations and risks. Hear how to support your students and employees while protecting your school from legal risks. Discuss the challenging scenarios that schools have faced and where they might be able to draw the line in light of the limited resources they may have.
Learning Objective: Participants will learn how and when to address student and employee mental health issues, how to assess potential accommodations, as well as whether and how to convey related needs and actions to the school community. Participants will learn the legal risks and liabilities that their school may face when dealing with student and employee mental health.
Regional Managing Partner and Chair, Education Practice Group, Fisher Phillips
Suzanne Bogdan is the managing partner in the Fisher Phillips Fort Lauderdale office. Bogdan is also the chair of the firm's Education Practice Group, actively representing hundreds of private educational institutions nationwide in employee, student and board issues. She is a frequent presenter to educational associations on all aspects of employment law and risk management in the employment context and also works with many accrediting agencies and school associations.
Chief Financial Officer, Gladwyne Montessouri
Michael Dyson is chief financial officer at Gladwyne Montessori School, an American Montessori Society accredited school in Philadelphia’s western suburbs. Dyson has served the school since 1997, providing vision and leadership through numerous property acquisitions, leadership transitions and program evolutions. For nine years, he served as treasurer of the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools and currently serves on the board of directors of Philadelphia Area Independent School Business Officers Association. Dyson is both a CPA and licensed psychologist. He earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Villanova University and his doctorate in psychology from Immaculata University. Dyson also practices clinical psychology, serving adults with mood and anxiety disorders, and formerly served as an adjunct professor.
Partner, Fisher Phillips
Susan Guerette is a partner in the Fisher Phillips Philadelphia office. She is a member of the firm's Education Practice Group, which represents private educational institutions in claims involving employees, students, parents and boards. Guerette defends schools and other educational institutions in cases relating to discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, leave issues, wage and hour matters and breach of contract.
Head of School, Gladwyne Montessouri
Carrie Kries has been an educator for over 27 years, serving as a classroom teacher and school administrator in the public, charter and private sectors. Specializing in school turnaround efforts, Kries served as chief executive officer of a formerly underperforming urban charter school before serving as head of school for Gladwyne Montessori School, the only American Montessori Society accredited school serving children ages 2-12 in Philadelphia’s western suburbs. Kries earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education from Beaver College (now Arcadia University) and her master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds her American Montessori Society Administrators Credential.