Students should arrive in the drama room at 8am on Thursday. We plan on leaving by 9am. We will stop for lunch at Golden Corral in Columbus (this is included in the $250 you have paid). We are staying at the Courtyard Marriott, at 3501 Courtyard Way, (706) 323-2323. We stayed at the same hotel last year, and all of the rooms open into an indoor hallway.
The activities start at 9:30 each morning and will go until 10:45pm. We will have a bus driver with us, and we will all go together to the convention center. No student will be allowed to stay at the hotel during the day. While at the conference, students will check in with me during lunch and dinner. They will be allowed to go by themselves to the shows and workshops, which are all within three blocks. There are over 5000 students and adults at the conference and there has always been a prominent police presence, so there should not be a single moment when students are alone. When we get back to the hotel at night, I may allow 15 minutes of socializing time, but then students will be expected to go to their rooms and stay there for the rest of the night and not come out until me or a chaperone comes around in the morning. And yes, after bedtime, I will be walking around making sure everybody is in their rooms.
Students will have my cell number, and I will have theirs. We have five parents going as chaperones and students will also have their numbers. A few parents are driving their own cars, in case a student is not feeling well and needs to go back to the hotel (and a parent will stay with them if that is the case). If you would like my cell number, please email me or ask your child to share it with you.
I have made it very clear to the students that this is a school activity and school rules apply the entire time. If there is a problem with behavior, I will call Principal Fine first, then the parents.
As for money, students don’t necessarily need to bring any. All meals are covered. There will be stands selling buttons, shirts and scripts, and usually on Saturday for lunch I allow students to walk a few blocks to where there is a row of restaurants, but this is optional.
We should be back by 5pm on Saturday.
For more information on the conference, please visit the conference website.
If you have any concerns, please email me.