Conference FAQs – Wednesday, March 3**
With all the new information and updates coming up almost daily, we wanted to clarify and confirm several conference-related matters that have come up recently:
1) Will masks be required to attend the conference?
Cass County (where the conference will be hosted) has no official mask mandate.
However, we will be renting parts of the mall surrounding Eagle Creek Church, as well as B&B Theatres, as space for our conference vendor hall and workshops. Part of our agreement with these businesses is that we request for our guests to wear a mask in their space.
Both the mall and the theatres have requested face coverings to be worn for attendance.
We are aware that there are health exemptions to this requirement, and we honor and respect your privacy on this issue in regards to HIPAA. We ask that each family’s needs be respected on both sides of this issue and grace extended to all.
Please register and join us online if you are unable to join us in person this year.
2) Can only a certain amount of people attend the conference each day?
We have no limit on the number of people who can attend our conference in person each day.
This year we also have an online option for those who may not feel comfortable attending in person (please register as an MPE member at the Family tier or higher before end of day Friday, March 26, to receive access to online attendance).
However, our MPEKIDS program this year only has enough capacity to care for up to 100 kids each day.
3) Why were some vendors chosen and some not?
Unfortunately, our new venue is much smaller than our original space at the KCI Expo Center. But our only options were either to have a smaller conference, or no conference at all for 2021.
We chose to have a smaller conference, which meant cutting from 180 vendor booths to 40.
We know this situation is far from ideal, and we are grateful for the understanding and patience we have received from our vendors. We also appreciate the freedom to offer vendors other options in place of their booth (such as discounted advertising). From what we have heard, other homeschool conferences have not offered any economic options or alternatives after cancellation.
4) Why are vendors unable to attend only being offered the chance to use their booth funds for advertising?
In these trying times, we know many vendors have been affected by the impact that this pandemic has had on our economy. We know behind your business, you have a family to care for as well!
That’s why this year, we still want to keep the interests of vendors in mind as we strive to hold one of the only in-person Homeschool Conferences across the nation. It is especially important to our Conference Chairman, Chad Womble, that each and every one of our vendors consider solutions tailored to fit their business and family’s needs. If needed, we will work with each vendor to make sure a satisfactory solution is met for each of them personally.
We pray that all our vendors can experience business growth this year, in spite of the difficulties.
5) Will children at MPEKIDS need to wear masks?
As mentioned above, masks are required by the parts of the mall and theatres that are helping host the children’s conference. These requirements do not extend to children who are younger than 5 years.
We are also aware that there are health exemptions to this requirement, and we honor and respect your privacy on this issue in regards to HIPAA.
6) Why did the volunteer form for MPEKids close so quickly?
Believe it or not, the demand for volunteering at our popular MPEKIDS program far outpaces our supply! We had to shut down the volunteer form as we have already reached the number of volunteers needed.
Don’t forget the lower capacity of MPEKids this year also had an impact on how many volunteers we needed and that we hope to be back to normal next year!
7) Are there other opportunities for my teens to serve?
Yes! We welcome teen volunteers to apply for our Youth Leadership Team here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=2V4ZMctmuk6CHZ5UXs756dvADs9TnZhMn5vaSwpTWtpUN1M5TEtOR0M2TU44TFdFRlhaQUpVSUFYNC4u&wdLOR=cC2CCA0CC-A05F-4F81-83B8-A9A97DD914D9
Despite this season’s challenges, we are grateful to still host a conference to meet the needs of our members and the growing homeschool community in the KC Metro area. We hope these steps ensure that we can continue to host more conferences in future years.
MPE 2021 Conference Update – Saturday, Feb 20**
Dear MPE Members, Sponsors, and Homeschool Advocates:
Our hope is this note finds each of you well and warm during this freezing Kansas City Winter!
We wanted to give you all an update on what we are working on here at Midwest Parent Educators.
We had a very successful Women’s Encouragement Day in January, with over 250 ladies gathering for wonderful fellowship, teaching, worship, and encouragement to stay strong in the Lord’s work of raising children with a Christian worldview. We were so thankful to be able to meet in-person, considering the COVID-19 restrictions, and offer our first ever online WED for those who could not attend in-person.
The MPE Homeschool Conference and Curriculum Fair is planned for April 9-10, 2021!! With a few adjustments, and after missing a year, we will be hosting this year’s conference a short drive south of Kansas City in Harrisonville, Missouri. The Conference Committee has worked tirelessly to move the event to a place where we could still have workshops, vendors, and a children’s program. We have seen the Lord provide when we did not know how it was going to come together. We hope you can join us on April 9th and 10th!
This year’s graduation will be on May 14th, and we will have the venue set within the next couple of weeks. More information will be available on our website and social media. Join our Facebook Event HERE for all your up-to-date information.
We have invested in upgrading our website to handle financial transactions, registrations for events, and more content for our members and visitors. We partnered with Computer Impressions at a very low cost to completely overhaul the site and add the functionality necessary. The new platform will be going live within a few weeks.
Lastly, 2020 and going into 2021 has been financially difficult. We need your financial help to continue providing quality events, information, and support for the Christian homeschooling community. Membership fees make up less than half the revenue needed. Our MPE Homeschool Conference and Curriculum Fair supplements our organization. Last year our conference was cancelled, and this year is a smaller venue. We find ourselves burning through our cash reserves, and we are about $40,000 behind where we were sitting this time last year.
We rarely ask for financial support over and above your membership renewals, but now it has become a necessity. Please pray for MPE, and please consider a financial gift to our organization to keep us viable for homeschool families. Tax-deductible donations may be made via our website by clicking HERE, or you are welcome to mail a check to P.O. Box 14391, Lenexa, KS 66285.
We thank you all for your commitment to homeschooling your children and the loyalty you have shown Midwest Parent Educators. May the Lord bless you!
Dave and Beth Layman
MPE 2021 Conference Update – Sunday, Feb. 14**
Thank you to all who reached out to us via email, telephone, and social media with your thoughts about our upcoming conference. Please take the time to read through these updates.
REGISTRATION & PRICING
- Online-only option. As many of you have requested, we are working to provide our first ever online-only attendance option with our partner, Resounding Voice. They will help us livestream one of the workshop rooms. This option will be available to anyone who is an MPE member at the Family tier and higher. You can log in to our website to access the videos as they are streamed and uploaded for later access, at your convenience. To register for this option, please sign up or renew your MPE Family-tier membership before end of day Friday, March 26.
Because of the new venue, we have re-evaluated and adjusted registration prices for the following:
- Between now through March 26, MPE membership at the Family tier will be $50. Beginning March 27, we will close online registration to process the magnitude of membership applications/renewals in time for the conference.
- At the door of the conference, MPE membership at the Family tier will be $60.
- For admission only through the vendor hall (no access to workshops or other conference features), a Vendor-Only Pass at the door will be $20.
- For MPE members at the Family tier or higher, a full set of workshop MP3 files will be available for $50 through 6 p.m. April 8.
- For everyone else, the set will be $80 through 6 p.m. April 8.
- At the door of the conference, the set will be $90. Please use this link to pre-order: https://www.midwesthomeschoolers.org/conference-recordings/
SPEAKERS & WORKSHOPS
- We are very excited to confirm that Hal & Melanie Young, Kristi Clover and Dara Halydier are coming to the conference at our new venue.
- Right now we have a total of 54 workshops, which will be hosted at a staggered schedule across six rooms, starting at 9 a.m. Friday.
- We are still working on the new workshop schedule. Typically we are not able to release the schedule until 2-4 weeks before the conference date, as many local speakers have time and schedule constraints that need to be considered beforehand.
VENDOR HALL SHOPPING & HOURS
- At this time, we are preparing for the vendor hall to be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
COVID-19 POLICIES (UPDATED)
- We will be renting parts of the mall surrounding Eagle Creek Church, as well as B&B Theatres, as space for our vendor hall and workshops. Both the mall and the theatres have requested masks to be worn for attendance.
- We are aware that there are health exemptions to this requirement, and we honor and respect your privacy on this issue in regards to HIPAA. We ask that each family’s needs be respected on both sides of this issue and grace extended to all.
- Please register and join us online if you are unable to join us in person this year.
- We are also recommending COVID-19 suggestions for vendors, such as hand sanitizer, setting aside display copies from regular curriculum copies, and other hygiene best practices.
Thank you again for your prayers and understanding as we continue to finalize details for April 9-10.
MPE Conference Committee Chairman
MPE 2021 Conference Update – Saturday, Feb. 6**
In a season when many homeschool conferences have been postponed and cancelled, we would like to share a brief update concerning our planned conference on April 9-10, 2021.
Because of the recently extended COVID-19 regulations in Kansas City and at the KCI Expo Center, it has become necessary to make changes regarding our 2021 Conference.
Our conference committee has decided after much prayer and consideration to host this year’s event at a new location: Eagle Creek Church, 2791 Cantrell Road, in Harrisonville, MO. Click here for directions.
Other important details:
- We are still planning to have a vendor hall and children’s conference.
- There are hotels nearby, some within 10 minutes and others within 20 minutes.
- The new facility has no restrictions on food catering and vendors, so attendees will have easier access to a greater variety of eating options.
- The host of our new location is Eagle Creek Church, a growing church that is homeschool-friendly.
We hope to have more details within the next two weeks and greatly appreciate your patience. Thank you for your prayers as we continue to support our local homeschool community.
MPE Conference Committee Chairman