Conference FAQ


Conference FAQ
Have questions? We're here to help.

The Making Schools Work Conference brings attendees, SREB staff and invited speakers together to form lasting communities of practice.

Before, during or after this year’s events, if you have a question, we’re here to help – just let us know.

In the meantime, here are answers to questions we’re frequently asked.


Frequently Asked Questions

I heard the 2021 conference is being held as a hybrid event. What does that mean?

We recognize that unique health, safety, travel and budget restrictions may make in-person conference attendance more challenging this July.

That’s why we’re excited to announce that this year’s conference will be held as a hybrid event with two registration options to accommodate every attendee:

  • in-person attendance at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville OR
  • online attendance at our virtual conference

What’s the difference between the in-person conference and the virtual conference?

Many in-person and virtual events will overlap! For example, in-person and virtual attendees will both enjoy our opening and closing keynote speakers and general sessions and many regular conference sessions held on main stages at the Gaylord Opryland and livestreamed to our virtual attendees.

The in-person conference:

We are committed to ensuring that all sessions, meals and special events meet the Gaylord Opryland’s health and safety guidelines for meetings and encourage you to learn more about Marriott’s Commitment to Clean and Gaylord Hotels’ health, safety and cleanliness standards at

For example, to encourage social distancing, we will spread out available seating in meeting rooms, our Education Marketplace, ballrooms and dining areas. Food and beverage services will be adapted to meet health and safety requirements. Dedicated entry and exit doors or marked pathways will encourage the safe movement of attendees in our Education Marketplace, escape rooms, dining areas and registration kiosks.

To accommodate social distancing, we will offer slightly fewer in-person sessions compared to previous years.

Industry tours for in-person attendees remain TBD at this time.

The virtual conference:

Virtual attendees will have complete access to 100+ live and on-demand conference sessions during the conference and on-demand for 30 days after the conference. Many of these sessions — including our opening and closing keynotes and popular sessions on five ballroom stages — will be livestreamed from Nashville, bringing in-person and virtual attendees together.

Our eShow event platform offers many opportunities for virtual attendees to engage with presenters and each other in sessions through chats, Q&As and breakout rooms. Don’t miss our virtual escape room!

All virtual attendees are invited to attend our virtual reception and prize giveaway on Wednesday, July 7. Virtual attendees can also drop into our 24/7 virtual lounge to chat with friends, engage in focused conversations or network with conference partners.

When will the 2021 conference program be available?

A complete conference program will be posted on this website and in our eShow event management system in February 2021. The program will be regularly updated after this date — including during the conference — to reflect any last-minute changes.

Will there be a printed program in 2021?

We are not printing programs this year. Attendees are encouraged to consult our online conference program (TBA) or our mobile app.

Is there a conference mobile app?

Yes! Download our official conference app to access each day’s schedule, partner listings, venue maps, speaker bios and more. The app will allow you to search for sessions by keywords, session types, topics, times, intended audiences, grade levels and more. A link to the conference app will be posted on this website in February 2021.

What happened to the Networking Conference?

After seven years of offering the College- and Career-Readiness Standards Networking Conference as a separate event, we united both conferences in one – the Making Schools Work Conference. Join us in Nashville in 2021 to explore powerful literacy and mathematics tools and strategies that enhance students’ content knowledge and reasoning skills.

When does registration open?

Registration is open now!

Register now!

How much does it cost to attend?

Please visit our registration page for information on our new early bird, regular and onsite registration fees for our in-person event in Nashville as well as our virtual registration fee for online participants.

What’s included in conference registration fees?

Your in-person registration fee includes admission to all conference sessions and the Education Marketplace, coffee or refreshment breaks and hot lunches on Wednesday and Thursday.

All in-person attendees are invited to attend our Pacesetter Awards reception, poster session and prize giveaway on Tuesday, July 6 and to participate in conference games.

Spouse/guest registrations only include admission to the Education Marketplace, lunches and coffee or refreshment breaks.

Optional in-person industry tours and other special events also carry a separate fee (TBD).

Your virtual registration fee includes access to 100+ live and on-demand conference sessions during the event and for 30 days after the event, our virtual reception and prize giveaway, games, lounge, chats, eBag for conference documents, and other online services during the event (July 6-9).

May my spouse or another guest attend the conference?

Yes! We encourage attendees to bring spouses or family to the in-person conference.

If you would like your spouse/guest to have access to our Education Marketplace hall, coffee and refreshment breaks, and lunches, please register them using our $100 spouse/guest registration option.

Industry tours. Your spouse/guest can be registered to attend a Friday industry tour (TBD) without registering for access to the Education Marketplace, coffee and refreshment breaks, and lunches. A separate fee will be assessed for tours.

Badges for spouses/guests will note their level of access to conference venues or special events.

Please note that all in-person conference attendees or their spouses/guests are limited to one industry tour choice per person (TBD). Check our website for information on any limitations or special requirements for tours.

How much does it cost to stay in SREB’s official conference hotel?

Please visit the travel section of our website for detailed pricing information for our official conference hotel as well as information on flights and ground transportation in Nashville.

When does the conference begin and end?

Registration begins at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6. Conference activities kick off with an opening general session at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday and end at noon on Friday, July 9.

For detailed information on preconference activities and special events, please visit our Schedule at a Glance page.

I have not received confirmation of my registration. What should I do?

Send us an email with your request for a confirmation.

How do I make changes to my conference registration?

Visit our Attendee Service Center with the login and password that were emailed to you or email us for assistance.

May I switch from in-person to virtual registration (or vice versa)?

Yes! Please contact us at

I would like to present a session, too. What do I need to do?

Our proposal system closed on October 30, 2020. We will open our system for 2022 submissions in July 2021. In the meantime, learn more about our conference objectives and session types and check out our new Submission FAQ.

I registered but can’t attend. May someone else go in my place?

Yes! Please send an email requesting the change that includes the registrant’s name and the new attendee’s name and complete contact information.

What is your cancellation policy?

In-person conference registrations: To qualify for a refund, in-person conference cancellations must be received by June 11, 2021. All cancellations received after June 11 will incur a $100 cancellation fee per canceled registrant. Requests for a full refund without the cancellation fee after June 11 will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Please email us.

You may also convert your in-person registration to a virtual registration at no penalty and receive a refund of the difference between the in-person and virtual registration rates.

Virtual conference registrations: You may cancel your virtual conference registration up to the first day of the conference, July 6, 2021, without penalty. Because all of our virtual conference sessions will be available on-demand for 30 days after the conference, cancellations during the week of the conference will not be permitted. SREB will consider extraordinary circumstances for a cancellation on a case-by-case basis. Please email us.

We will publish a guide to ensuring you have the strongest, most stable internet connection to support participation in the virtual strand of our conference (TBA).

What types of payments are acceptable?

Our online registration system accepts MasterCard, Visa and Discover. If you wish to pay with a check or purchase order, please send payment to:

James Lew
Southern Regional Education Board
Attn: 2021 Making Schools Work Conference
592 10th St NW
Atlanta, GA 30318-5776

Is there a registration deadline?

No. Online registration for our in-person conference will remain open throughout the conference, but you may prefer to register in person at SREB’s headquarters at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

To take advantage of our early bird pricing for the in-person conference, please register by May 3, 2021.

Online registration for our virtual conference will remain open throughout the event. All virtual conference sessions will remain accessible, on-demand, for 30 days after the event, increasing the value of virtual attendance.

Is payment due before the conference?

Payments should be made at the time of registration. However, we do accept payment at the in-person conference. Please visit SREB’s headquarters at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center to make your payment in person.

Is payment still due even though I did not attend the conference?

Yes, you are responsible for either the full registration fee or a cancellation fee.

I need special accommodations at the conference. What do I do?

If you require special accommodations at the 2021 Making Schools Work Conference, send a written description of your needs to and we will be pleased to help you.

What is SREB’s communications permission and release policy?

In consideration of registering for a Southern Regional Education Board conference, event or training session, participants grant SREB permission to record, videotape and photograph their images or voices and to use, reproduce, publish and display their names, photographs, video images or quoted material in any format or media including, without limitation, printed and electronic publications and materials, press releases, webpages, internet publications and other publications, materials, information and communications, at its discretion, for purposes consistent with its mission and nonprofit status. By registering, participants agree that they are not entitled to receive, and waive any right to, compensation for any such use of their images or voices. Participants who wish to opt out should notify SREB conference, event or training session staff.

What is SREB’s data policy?

When you register for the Making Schools Work Conference or similar SREB events or services, we request information to identify you uniquely and gather aggregate information about your use of our conference and event resources. 

We will never sell your information to another organization. We use your information only to improve to the quality of our conference and other resources and to contact you with updates.

I have a question I don’t see here.

Email us at and we’ll be happy to help.