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Aurora Institute

2020 Aurora Institute Symposium Planning and Coronavirus Response

Education Domain Blog

Author(s): Susan Patrick

Issue(s): Issues in Practice, Lead Change and Innovation, Learn Lessons from the Field

UPDATE: The Aurora Institute 2020 is canceled as an in-person event due to COVID-19. See our update here:

Dear Colleagues,

For 15 years, the Aurora Institute Symposium (formerly iNACOL Symposium) has brought together thousands of educators, practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and advocates to share the latest trends, innovations, and advancements from the leading edge of K-12 education. 

Right now, we are planning and currently have every expectation the Aurora Institute Symposium 2020 will proceed as expected Oct. 25-28, 2020, in San Antonio. Our request for presentation proposals ran from March 23, 2020, until May 1, 2020.

We know planning a convening of this magnitude for the field is an enormous effort that requires complex decision-making, and sometimes quick pivots and contingencies, as new circumstances arise.

I want to assure you we are closely monitoring developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) out of an abundance of caution and concern for your safety and wellbeing. 

We are in close contact with the Henry B. González Convention Center, which is taking direction from the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District. Guidance from public health authorities in the United States, including the CDC, has consistently called for added safety precautions and planning for large gatherings. 

Because developments are still unfolding and we can’t predict their trajectory, we are considering contingency plans and weighing options, such as alternative delivery methods for some Symposium content and presentations and postponement in a worst-case scenario. We know anxieties tend to thrive where there are uncertainties. We are committed to sharing information and decision-making early and often. We will communicate any status change through all of our channels: email, newsletters, social media, and website. 

We have received a number of requests for exemplars and lessons learned in districts and schools planning for continuity of learning and e-learning days. We are planning on hosting an upcoming webinar on “Continuity of Learning.” If you would be interested in sharing planning guidance or presenting, please let us know by emailing me. K-12 districts and schools are currently:

  • Reviewing and supporting plans for continuity of teaching and learning
  • Reviewing attendance policies and supporting seat-time flexibility
  • Ensuring students and teachers have Internet connectivity and can connect remotely
  • Creating communications plans for use with the school community

For your information, the following are helpful resources to learn about coronavirus, prevention strategies, and recommendations for schools:

We continue to work hard to provide a conference with high-quality programming, sessions, and networking experiences of the caliber you have come to trust us to deliver. Remember, our call for presentations will open on March 23, 2020, and additional details are forthcoming. As always, do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.


Susan Patrick
President and CEO
Aurora Institute