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National School Boards Association Terminated Its Annual Conference and COSA School Law Seminar

March 30 Update: At this time, all credit card payments have been refunded and all check refunds will sent out this week. Please allow the postal system some time to get to you. We have noted that the US Postal system is taking up to two weeks to get to certain locations.

The National School Boards Association today terminated its upcoming Annual Conference scheduled for April 4 – 6, 2020, and the COSA School Law Seminar April 2 – 4, 2020, in Chicago. Given the circumstances of the evolving coronavirus and the disease it causes (COVID-19), which has been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, we are unable to hold the meeting and law seminar this year. The association’s most important priority and commitment is to protect the health, well-being, and safety of all our annual conference and law seminar attendees and participants, and the communities served by NSBA’s members.

NSBA has been very closely monitoring the rapidly increasing health and safety concerns directly related to the potentially deadly coronavirus as it continues to spread to the vast majority of states in the United States. After careful evaluation of currently available information, including information and directives from health and medical experts and federal, local and state governmental agencies and departments, the NSBA Board of Directors (NSBA Board) voted to terminate the annual meeting.

The NSBA Annual Conference has served as the one national event that brings together education leaders. COSA School Law Seminar is the preeminent meeting for school attorneys.

While it is disappointing to terminate a meeting that promised to be an exceptional event, the NSBA Board thoughtfully considered all the factors essential to conduct a safe and successful annual conference.

Frequently Asked Questions


General Attendee


1. What is the status of NSBA2020 and the COSA School Law Seminar? 

We are terminating the NSBA Annual Conference in Chicago on April 4-6, 2020, and the COSA School Law Seminar in Chicago on April 2-4, 2020. NSBA has been closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We want to assure our Annual Conference and COSA School Law Seminar participants and attendees that your health and safety are of utmost concern and our top priority.

To all our registered attendees and members, we want to thank you for your patience over the past few weeks as we monitored the ever-evolving situation and tried to make the best decision in the interest of our stakeholders. We also appreciate the patience and understanding of our presenters, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors who are essential to our events and our work.

If you have any other questions regarding NSBA’s position on the impact of the coronavirus on the 2020 Annual Conference and COSA School Law Seminar, please contact Jaclyn Goddette, NSBA Communications Coordinator, at

2. Why was a decision made to terminate the meeting?

The decision was based on several factors, including, but not limited to:

  • The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
  • The Governor of Illinois signed an emergency disaster declaration on March 9, 2020 and several COVID-19 cases have now been reported in the greater Chicago area.
  • Input from City of Chicago officials and continued review of recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other governmental organizations.
  • Input from our members who were increasingly concerned with travel and the large gathering in Chicago. 
  • The expanding trajectory of the virus, based on tools such as the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering COVID-19 tracking device that monitors the escalation of COVID-19 domestically and globally.
  • Travel bans/restrictions imposed upon our attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors. 
3. Will NSBA 2020 be rescheduled for later this year? 

No. The availability of suitably sized venues makes it not possible to reschedule in 2020.

4. Will my fees (registration, special events, etc.) be refunded? When?

Refunds for AC attendee registrations update for the week of March 30, 2020: At this time, all credit card payments have been refunded and all check refunds will sent out this week. Please allow the postal system some time to get to you. We have noted that the US Postal system is taking up to two weeks to get to certain locations.

5. I cancelled my registration prior to February 21, 2020 – will I be refunded my $150 cancellation fee? 

Per NSBA’s cancellation policy, refunds for the cancellation fee assessed after the early cancellation will not be issued.

6. Will NSBA cancel my hotel reservations if I booked through NSBA Housing and Registration? 

Yes, hotel cancellations will be handled for you if you booked through NSBA Housing.  Any deposits that may have been charged will be refunded in 7-14 business days.

Hotel reservations that were NOT booked through NSBA Housing will not be canceled for you. If you booked a room outside of the official NSBA room block or online at another hotel, you will need to cancel your own reservation.

7. Will NSBA help with fees associated with the cancellation of my travel reservations?

NSBA is not able to assist with travel arrangements you made on your own. However, most airlines have made special provisions to address COVID-19 related issues. Please contact your travel agent or the airline directly to learn about the options that exist.

8. Will the other NSBA meetings take place as scheduled?

Right now, no decisions have been made regarding other upcoming NSBA meetings. Please consult the NSBA Events and Meetings webpages for the most up-to-date information.

9. I planned to meet my CEU requirement through programming at NSBA2020. What other options are available from NSBA?

Please check the NSBA website and your state association websites for continuing education credit opportunities that might meet your needs.

10. I rely on the COSA School Law Seminar for CLE credits. What other options are available from COSA? 

COSA is planning web-based programming to provide as much of the content from the School Law Seminar to help you meet your state’s CLE requirements. We also are working with Assistant Secretary Ken Marcus’ office to deliver his presentation via webinar at a future date/time. Check the COSA website as more information will be coming soon.

11. I was scheduled to present in Chicago, what happens to my session? 

The 2020 workshops will not carry over into 2021. Presenters are invited to submit their workshop as a proposal for consideration for the 2021 Annual Conference in New Orleans. The 2021 Call for Proposals will open on April 10 and close on June 10. Details will be announced on the website and via email. Please contact Mary McKee at if you have further questions.

12. I would like to present at NSBA2021, what is the process? 

The 2021 Call for Proposals will open on April 10 and close on June 10. Details will be announced on our website and via email.

13. Who can I contact if I have additional questions? 

Please contact Jaclyn Goddette at



1. Are you refunding my NSBA exhibit booth fee? 

Paid exhibitors will be refunded for the full amount of their exhibit space rental. We anticipate you will see a full refund on your credit card within 60 days. Refunds for payments made by check or wire transfer will be issued within 60 days of the event termination. You will receive a cancellation confirmation once your record has been canceled. Please contact Jeaneen Bodie at for more information.

2. How will third-party digital promotion fees be handled? 

If you purchased an advertising opportunity via Personify a2z digital marketing, promotion add-ons are not refundable to exhibitors or sponsors, including in the event of event termination or non-participation in the event.

Please contact Natalie Langan at 443-832-3807 for additional information.

3. Who should I contact for questions about third-party event partners related to booth, logistics and event support? 

For questions regarding arrangements made with NSBA’s third-party event partners, please contact these service providers directly:

Freeman Exhibitor Services, (773) 473-7080

Kayleigh Norris,, (214) 210-8122

McCormick Place/Booth Catering, (312) 791-7250

McCormick Place/Technology Management/Internet
, (312) 791-6113

CMR Lead Retrieval, (800) 616-8210

4. How can I cancel my hotel room reservation? 

If you booked within the official NSBA hotel block, we will cancel your reservation with the hotel. If you did NOT book within the NSBA hotel block, you will need to cancel directly with the hotel.

5. Will NSBA reimburse me for flight or other travel costs? 

No, NSBA will not refund individual travel costs. If you purchased travel insurance, please contact your provider for information and the next steps. Many airlines are either waiving cancellation fees or considering the action that precipitated your cancellation. Please contact your airline to see if your ticket qualifies. We apologize for any inconvenience and challenges this may cause you.

6. What if I require documented proof that NSBA 2020 Chicago was terminated? 

Upon request, NSBA will provide you with official documentation of the NSBA 2020 cancellation. Requests may be submitted to Jeaneen Bodie at

7. What about NSBA 2021 New Orleans booth selection? 

NSBA 2021 New Orleans advance booth selection will take place March – April 2020. The NSBA exhibits team will be contacting companies directly with additional information.



1. Are you refunding my sponsorship fees? 

Sponsors of the NSBA Annual Conference will have the opportunity to have sponsorship fees fully refunded or to make other mutually agreeable arrangements such as applying the conference sponsorship fees to future NSBA events. Expenses beyond sponsorship fees remain the responsibility of the sponsor.

2. Who can I contact to discuss my options or get additional information? 

To discuss options and to get additional information, please contact a member of the Business Development team including Damien Delgado at; Eric Hargis at; or Kristen Hutter at