Provided by Tom Ulmet on January 28, 2020

As you return from this special holiday season, you will be facing many new challenges with regard to another of the corona type viruses that have emerged every few years such as SARS, H1N1, avian flu, swine flu and others. There will be uncertainty, confusion, a concerned international community on edge, conflicting news and reports, all of which add to the rapidly changing conditions. As with other viruses before, the next two weeks will reveal the strength of transmission. Remember, CDC stated that SARS was diagnosed in February 2003 and by warm weather in July had died out. These things strike quickly with intensity and cause great stress. Be strong, be confident, be safe and follow government directives. We are here to help where we can. Meanwhile, you may find this sensible article helpful with the big picture.

We too, face a challenge with the upcoming Spring Leadership Conference. The following update on the conference status will be sent to all conference registrants and sponsors. We ask that you bear with us into February until we have a specific response from authorities to move ahead.

By now everyone should be aware of the outbreak of a corona virus in Wuhan that is spreading through human to human contact. Since we were informed on January 24 of school closures, the Executive Office, the ACAMIS Board, host school, and other key people in the Beijing region were engaged in ongoing communications about the continuation of the ACAMIS Spring Leadership Conference.

Except for similar school closing mandates, it became clear that conditions are somewhat different by province/city. With all of the great effort that has gone into planning the Spring Leadership Conference and as there is a large core of participants in Beijing who have asked us to try to carry on, it is our hope to continue with the conference with an emphasis on contagious disease with this as an example which would be of enormous benefit for leaders at all levels, provided the government will approve a gathering such as this. One of the "Values to be Added" for leaders at all levels are sessions about Procedures, Practices, and Care During Health Crises that will address communications, health procedures within the school and how to cope with these pressures. As schools will be closed in many cities until February 17, we may not know until then if approval is possible. Valuing our members as we do, the ACAMIS Board has authorized us to automatically grant full refunds to attendees or schools who registered participants upon written request.

If approval to hold the conference is not granted by February 24, we will issue an official cancellation notice, at which time full refunds will automatically be granted to all registrants or schools who registered participants.

We ask your patience until then as we constantly monitor and assess advisories provided by major medical organizations including WHO, CDC, Hong Kong Department of Health and the Chinese Ministry of Health and the Beijing Education Bureau.  Big thanks to Keystone Academy, our host school, and the Beijing Education Bureau as we work together to try to make this happen. If schools are allowed to reopen on February 17, this will be an encouraging sign. However, after February 24, if the conference is unable to be held, registrants will be notified that full refunds will automatically be granted for everyone who registered, including sponsors. Meanwhile, for those who feel uncomfortable with attending or with waiting until February 24, simply submit a brief written request to withdraw and a full refund will be granted. Below is the refund policy that was sent in the registration acknowledgement of each person or each group registered by their school.

"Cancellation Policy:
In the unlikely event of cancellation of the conferences and workshops due to circumstances beyond our control, we will give full refund of the registration fees. However, we will unable to refund any travel, visa or accommodation expenses incurred from registering the conferences and/or workshops."

Under the circumstances with government-imposed restrictions it should be easier to obtain refunds for any travel or accommodations booked.

Withdrawal Instructions

  • For those who were registered by your school as a group, consult your school leadership/PD Coordinator to review the attendance decision.
  • In your refund request be sure to name every person that wished to withdraw.
  • For schools that registered a group, the easiest way is to provide your original name(s) of the registered attendees and next to their name state "Cancel" or "Stay Registered". Then include your school's bank wire transfer information.
  • If a refund is requested, ideally we will make only a single refund payment per school (paid in USD). Refunds will be paid after 24 February.
  • Individuals who registered can simply send a short message requesting to withdraw and ... your bank wire transfer information.  Refunds can only be returned to the original payee.
  • For schools, in due course, please communicate with the people you registered about the status of their registration (i.e. whether you cancelled it or whether they are recorded as still attending).

While we hope most will be patient a while longer and will choose to "Stay Registered", those who wish to withdraw now should simply submit a short written request as per the above instructions to Gary Henderson at