Personalization 2020 Update

March 11, 2020 

Given the evolving and intensifying developments that have occurred over the last 48 hours regarding the Coronavirus in Rhode Island, the Highlander Institute team has elected to cancel the Personalization 2020 conference scheduled for April 2 - 4, 2020 in Providence. 

A state of emergency has been declared by RI Governor Gina Raimondo and our team has been advised by the RI Department of Health to cancel or reschedule our conference event. While the threat remains low, the number of Rhode Islanders instructed to self-quarantine quadrupled to over 300 within a 72 hour period. Given our focus on school site visits, community site visits, classroom simulations, and practitioner-led sessions, it is clear that we must prioritize the safety and well-being of all of our conference stakeholders. We simply cannot jeopardize the health of school communities across Rhode Island as well as the 25 states and 2 countries sending attendees to the event. It is also important to us that we cancel in time for individual teachers and school districts to recoup funds that have been invested in conference tickets and travel arrangements.

We are heartbroken to share this news. Our annual conference typically convenes crowds of 1,000 classroom, school, and district leaders who are energized and inspired by our line-up of activities, speakers, and presentations. We appreciate the support and understanding of our growing network of participants, presenters, partners, and mission sponsors whose enthusiasm and energy for improving schools and sharing insights at this event sustains us all throughout the year.

Refunds: As we begin to cancel and address the many transactions associated with Personalization 2020, we appreciate your patience. We will begin refunding conference tickets on Monday, March 16. Refunds will take 3-5 days to be fully processed. Refunds will be processed using the same payment method and same email address connected with initial registration efforts. If you are the point person for a large group, please update anyone on your team who may be in the process of either registering or awaiting a refund.

Hotels: If you have booked a hotel as part of your Personalization 2020 arrangements, your reservation will not be automatically canceled. It is up to individual participants to cancel associated rooms and travel plans. If you have any questions, please contact Michaela at

Potential Virtual Learning Opportunities: As we regroup, we are considering how to design potential virtual learning opportunities that honor the time, energy, and expertise of presenters and participants. We would love to hear your thoughts. Please take a few moments to complete this brief Google Form to share your feedback, interest, and ideas.

As always, we are grateful for your support and understanding during this unprecedented time. We look forward to reconnecting soon. Meanwhile, keep yourselves and your families safe and healthy.

Thank you,

Dana Borrelli-Murray

Executive Director

Highlander Institute