Entries by Peter T. Zawadski

Ohio School Districts: Don’t Dabble in CBD Oil

The advent of legalized medical marijuana in Ohio has prompted parents to request that school districts administer cannabidiol (CBD) oil to their children during the school day. CBD is currently used as a homeopathic alternative to prescription medications for treating attention and anxiety issues. On the surface, the process for implementing the request is simple: […]

School Districts: Protect Your Tax Base

The steady uptick in the economy means property values are on the rise. While this translates to more money in a school district’s coffers, it also means residents and commercial property owners are preparing their offensives to ensure their property values remain low despite a better economy. As the new year gets underway, school districts […]

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Careful, Texts on Personal Cell Phones About Employees Can Be Public Records

The Ohio Court of Claims has confirmed that text messages between public officials using personal devices can be public records.  Although the question has previously been open to interpretation, this decision clarifies the answer and serves as a warning for all public employees. In Sinclair Media III, Inc. v. Cincinnati, a reporter issued a public […]

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ODE Clarifies Teacher Evaluation Questions, But Complicated Decisions Remain

April 9, 2020  House Bill 197, which was meant to provide clarity to school districts on a range of issues due to school-building closures from the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in more questions than answers. Specifically, those questions focused on OTES 1.0, OTES 2.0 and conducting teacher evaluations while school buildings are closed to students. On […]

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Questions Arise with the Reopening of Ohio Sports and Training Facilities

June 1, 2020  The Ohio Department of Health Director has authorized school districts to reopen their doors to skills training and non-contact sports. The Order provides detailed requirements and restrictions as well as guidance specifically tailored to baseball, softball, golf courses, pools, and tennis facilities. In addition, the Ohio Department of Health also released its […]

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Contact Practices for Sports and Non-Contact Competitions Can Start – Are You Ready?

June 19, 2020  Governor DeWine announced that on June 22, 2020, contact practice for all sports activities and non-contact sport competitions can resume. As with other reopening announcements, it comes with an order containing mandates and recommendations to be followed. All players, coaches, trainers, officials, organizers and spectators should be made aware of these expectations. […]

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CDC Urges Schools to Open for In-Person Learning Safely and Soon

February 18, 2021 Stressing the importance of in-person learning, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released guidance to open and operate K-12 schools in ways that mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (COVID). The CDC’s guidance includes detailed steps for districts, which are summarized below. Employ the following mitigation strategies to reduce the […]

The Ohio “SAVE Students Act” Calls for More Student Safety Initiatives

April 22, 2021 The “Safety and Violence Education Students Act,” also known as the “SAVE Students Act,” took effect March 24, 2021. Enacted as part of H.B. 123, the Act requires Ohio school districts to provide youth suicide awareness education and training and to implement threat mitigation efforts. Beginning with the 2021-22 school year, districts […]

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School Districts Can Get Tax Relief for Certain Paid Leave Expenses

May 4, 2021 It’s not your typical tax relief. And while it’s available for only a small window of time, it’s tax relief nonetheless. Last month, the IRS issued guidance explaining how employers, including school districts, can claim tax credits under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“Act”). The Act allows school districts to […]

W|H Attorney Peter Zawadski Gives Guidance on Masks in Ohio’s School Districts

WEWS-TV, Cleveland’s ABC affiliate, interviewed Peter Zawadski, a partner at Walter | Haverfield who focuses his practice on education law, for this story that aired on August, 18, 2021. The debate over face masks, and whether they should be deemed mandatory or optional in schools has sparked countless conversations in school districts across Northeast Ohio. WEWS-TV […]