Coronavirus COVID-19

Last updated March 25, 2020

Summer workshop implications

We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will always prioritize the health and safety of our attendees and staff.

Listed below are our 2020 summer conferences, along with our planned procedures.

Literacy Retreat – CANCELED

Dear Educator,

First and foremost, thank you for supporting students and families during this especially challenging time. The role you are playing now is shaping lives in powerful ways, even if it’s from a distance.

Secondly, thank you for registering to attend our 14th annual Literacy Retreat. It is with regret that we have chosen to cancel this year’s Literacy Retreat. It will not be rescheduled, and it will not occur virtually

In the days since COVID-19 caused schools to close, it has become clear that teachers need help delivering instruction remotely, and they need help now. 

For this reason, we are pivoting our focus and re-tooling our operation for the foreseeable future in order to help how we can. Instead of developing new professional development for teachers, our team will now dedicate 100% of its efforts to creating mini-lesson videos that teachers and families can share with children – for FREE.

Kristina Smekens and other members of our team are creating videoed lessons and resources, and the first set of lessons will be accessible beginning Sunday, March 29.

Regarding your Literacy Retreat registration:

If you have already paid the full $475 registration fee, please contact us with how you would like to handle your credit.

We are happy to offer these options:

  1. Transfer your registration to our “Best-of-Smekens Writing Conference,” which will occur this fall. This two-day event costs $449, leaving a $26 credit that may be used at the conference bookstore.
  2. Apply your credit to our online workshops. If you choose this option, you will have 30-day access to your choice of four different 5-hour workshops, plus a yearlong subscription to webPD. 
  3. Transfer your registration to next summer’s Literacy Retreat.
  4. Receive a refund.

Regardless of the option you choose, don’t forget get to cancel your hotel reservations, if necessary.

While we are very disappointed to be canceling the 2020 Literacy Retreat, we are excited to support teachers and families in timely, tangible ways. We appreciate your gracious understanding and hope to see you at next summer’s Literacy Retreat! 

Back-to-School Literacy Conference – STILL SCHEDULED TO OCCUR

If we have to cancel or reschedule any of the Back-to-School Literacy Conference sessions, educators will have three options:


1. Reschedule: If the event is rescheduled, educators may transfer their registration to the new date and location.

2. Attend Online: If the workshop is canceled, rescheduled, or continues as planned, registrants who are not able to attend in person, may elect to enroll in the 5-hour online workshop and view the pre-recorded content at their convenience for no additional charge.

3. Get a Refund: If the workshop is canceled or rescheduled, registrants may elect to receive a full refund, minus a small transaction fee for credit card payments.

Hotel Reservations

If registrants have secured overnight lodging, they should work directly with the hotel to understand their cancellation policy. Smekens Education is not responsible for any costs/fees associated with hotel or travel expenses.

Have additional questions? Contact us today.