delta centerSeveral LEA members have asked the following about the 2013 Convocation. If you have a question, send it to ed.grube@lea.org. We’ll try to include it in the Q & A list.

Q:Why should I go to the Convocation?
A: Go to grow! The best answers will come from colleagues who have attended previous Convocations. Statistics from the 2011 Convocation indicate that 89 percent of those who attended rated the Convocation good or excellent.
More than 2,500 professionals from Lutheran educational ministries in the U.S. and internationally attend the Convocation. It’s the only large-scale gathering of its kind to link, affirm, equip, and inspire the Lutheran education family as it addresses the challenges of Christian education. In short, the Convocation is a program of renewal for educators serving Lutheran schools and congregations.

Q: Why Milwaukee?
A: Milwaukee offered LEA the “best deal” for the anticipated size of the Convocation. The Wisconsin Center (formerly the Delta Center) is located very close to the participating hotels, all of which locked in reasonable rates. (LEA’s 50th anniversary was celebrated 20 years ago at Touching Lives…, the 1993 LEA Convocation in Milwaukee.)

Q: How close are the hotels to the convention center?
A: Two are adjacent, four are less than 3 blocks, and two are 3-6 blocks away. See a hotel map here.

Q: Which hotels are we using and what are their costs?
A: The 11 hotels range in cost from $89 to $129 per room per night, with most hotel rooms at a rate of $109. More detailed information about the hotels is available at the Hotel Information tab on the registration website.

Can I get government funds to help with expenses?
A: In some places, yes. In others, no. While some schools have used Title funds successfully, others were denied through their local districts. It’s worth a try, but the answer you get today may change before you actually receive a check.

Q: Can I get continuing education units for attendance?
A: LEA has researched several states, hoping for a consistently positive response to this question. The answer is similar to that above. Much depends on your local public school administration. Sometimes the answer is yes. Other times, no. LEA provides a certificate of attendance with space for recording topics and contact hours.

Q: Why not discontinue the banquets to save money?
A: The Steering Committee discussed that possibility; however, many past participants indicated that the banquets are a major point of enjoyment. In addition, facility contracts complicate what seems a simple matter. Eliminating the banquets is unlikely to reduce registration costs because facility rental escalates dramatically when food services are not used.

Q: What professional growth opportunities are planned?
A: Participants have approximately 190 sectionals spread over six periods. Presentations and workshops cover topics for teachers at all grade levels, parish educators—including pastors and DCEs, and other church-work professionals.

Q: Who will provide the keynote?
A: Nationally known author, lecturer, and educator Tim Elmore will deliver the keynote.

Q: Will there be worship opportunities?
A: Yes, indeed. Rev. Tim Klinkenberg and Dr. Barry Bobb have assembled two worship events—one to open the Convocation and a Reformation service to close the Convocation. You definitely don’t want to miss these!

Q: Is it possible for our faculty or staff to sit together at the two banquet events?
A: Yes! A new service for the 2013 Convocation is Preferred Seating. Reserved seating is available—the number of seats you specify assigned to one or more tables, located closer to the stage than non-reserved seating, and assisted from a special entrance by ushers. The online registration site reflects this option. There is a $50 service charge, which covers all seats for both nights.

Q: Will there be exhibits?
A: Up to 200 exhibiters will be present to show you their best in educational products and services.

Q: What kind of technology will be available?
A: Wifi is available throughout the Wisconsin Center. LEA is initiating Facebook and Twitter interaction before, during, and after the Convocation.

Q: Will there be any “surprises” during the Convocation?
A: Yes.

Q: Uh…?
A: Okay, okay. The Steering Committee has some pleasant surprises planned. Unplanned surprises haven’t been planned.

Q: I want to attend, but my board or administrator needs convincing. What can I do?
A: Share this Q & A with them, and perhaps the value will be evident. (Download this document in PDF.) Continue your “lobby” by sharing additional Convocation information as it is released. You can always find the latest information at www.lea.org.

Q: Who will be exhibiting at the Convocation?
A: See a dynamic view of the Exhibit Hall floor plan. Check back often to see how the number of exhibitors grows and where you'll find the exhibits you don't want to miss.

Q: How do I register?
A: LEA recommends a two-step process.

  1. Go to the sectional tab for a worksheet to help you select sectionals. THIS WILL NOT REGISTER YOU, but it will help you choose from the over 190 sectionals. When you have completed the worksheet, you can use it to assist your online registration.
  2. Registration is available online only at the Registration site.

Q: Is there a way to print out all the sectionals?
A: Here it is!

Q: Is there a way for one person to register the entire staff?
A: Check out Tips for Registering Your Entire Staff

Q: How do I get from the airport to the Convocation hotels--and back again?
A: Flying to Milwaukee for the Convocation. Go Riteway is the designated driver, offering discounted shuttle service from the airport to the Convocation hotels. Round trip is required for the discounted rate of $25 (as opposed to $27). Use the special Go Riteway LEA website for reservations. 

Q: Did I hear that my school or group could submit a dance video for use at the Convocation?
A: You heard right! Check it out. 

Q: Does the Convocation have its own theme song?
A: Yes, indeed! It's a Jennie Williamson (AriSon Records) orginnal titled "Rise and Shine." See and hear it on YouTube.

Q: Can I get college credits for attending the Convocation?
A: Find out how you can earn graduate credits from CUW at the Convocation.
Q: Where can I park?
A: Check out www.parkmilwaukee.com.