Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP)

Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP)

Why participate in the Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP)? The SEP Program:

 

  • Offers a community of like-minded peers.
  • Provides challenging accelerated courses with admissions score criteria.
  • Presents opportunities to delve deeper into a single topic and to develop an advantage in one’s area of strength.
  • Focuses on the whole family, offering parent education workshops that address the social-emotional development of gifted learners.

Details

Application Process

The Saturday Enrichment Program welcomes applications from new applicants, returning applicants and portfolio applicants. Before beginning the online application, determine which type of applicant you are based on the descriptions below.

New Applicant
You are a new applicant if you are age 4 through grade 9 and you meet either one of the following criteria:

  • You have never attended any CTD program and you have qualifying test scores that are no more than two years old.
  • You have previously attended a Weekend Enrichment Program, Gifted LearningLinks Program or the Summer Program, but you are now applying for a course in a different subject area and you have qualifying test scores.

Returning Applicant
You are a returning applicant if you are age 4 through grade 9 and you meet both of the following criteria: 

  • You have successfully completed a CTD course through the Saturday Enrichment Program, Summer Program or Gifted LearningLinks Program.
  • You are now applying for a SEP course in the same subject area of the CTD course you previously completed and wish to use your old scores as evidence of your qualifications for the program.

Portfolio Applicant
You are a portfolio applicant if you are grade 3 through 9 and you meet the following criterion:

  • You do not have qualifying test scores because you have either 1) never taken a nationally normed standardized achievement test or 2) taken this type of test but not achieved a qualifying test score.

Eligibility

Some SEP courses require prerequisites. Please see course descriptions for more information.

Enrichment

To qualify for Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP) admission to enrichment (not for credit) courses, students must be age 4 through grade 9 and must also provide evidence of one of the following criteria:

  • Within the last two years, successful completion of a CTD Saturday Enrichment Program, Gifted LearningLinks (excluding Family Program courses) or Summer Program course in the subject area of the SEP course to which student is applying;
  • Within the last two years, a score at the 90th percentile or above on a nationally normed standardized test (see below) in the subject area of the SEP course to which student is applying;
  • Participation in above grade-level testing such as the EXPLORE® test taken in grades 3, 4, 5, or 6, the ACT® or SAT® test taken in grades 6, 7, 8 or 9 (NUMATS).
  • Qualifying academic evaluation (available to students age 4 through grade 3) performed by Center for Talent Development or a similar testing agency; or
  • Submission of an Admission Portfolio (an option only for students in grades 3 through 9).

Admission Portfolio for Enrichment Classes

An Admission Portfolio is accepted once a student is in grade 3 and must include all the following documents:

  • One teacher recommendation form indicating student is performing 1½ to 2 years above grade level in the subject area of the SEP course to which student is applying; 
  • Current school report card indicating exceptional performance in the subject area of the SEP course to which student is applying; 
  • Most recent state testing report, if available; and 
  • Any results of EXPLORE®, ACT®, SAT® or other nationally normed test, if available.

High School Credit Courses

To qualify for SEP admission to honors-level high school credit courses, students must provide evidence of one of the following criteria:

  • Within the last two years, a score at the 95th percentile or above on a nationally normed standardized test in the appropriate subject area (see below);
  • Within the last two years, participate in above grade-level testing and receive score as follows in the appropriate subject area:
    • ACT-Reading 19 or above
    • ACT-Math 18 or above 
    • ACT-Science 18 or above 
    • SAT-Math 460 or above 
    • SAT-Critical Reading 440 or above
    • EXPLORE-Reading 14 or above
    • EXPLORE-Math 15 or above 
    • EXPLORE-Science 16 or above; or 
  • Submission of an Admission Portfolio.

Admission Portfolio for High School Credit Courses

An Admission Portfolio is accepted once a student is in grade 3 and must include all the following documents:

  • Two teacher recommendations forms indicating student is performing 1½ to 2 years above grade level in the subject area of the SEP course to which student is applying;
  • Current school report card indicating exceptional performance in the subject area of the SEP course to which student is applying;
  • Most recent state testing report, if available; and
  • Any results of EXPLORE®, ACT®, SAT® or other nationally normed test, if available.

Homeschooler Admission Portfolio
A Homeschooler Admission Portfolio includes:

  • Two teacher recommendations forms from adults unrelated to the applicant; and 
  • Parent’s statement describing the student’s learning in the appropriate academic area over the past year, including references to curriculum, books, projects and activities.

Additionally, the Homeschooler Admission Portfolio may include any or all of the following, depending on availability:

  • Copies of the student’s best work in the appropriate academic area; 
  • Copies of teacher evaluations from any classes taken from umbrella schools, co-ops, etc.; 
  • Copies of any available standardized test reports taken in the last 24 months; 
  • Copy of transcript or grade report for current academic year (Please indicate if this was produced by a parent); and
  • Any other information that might provide insight into the student’s academic strengths and help us place him/her in the appropriate course.

Acceptable Tests for SEP Eligibility

To prove eligibility for SEP, applicants may submit any one of the following tests taken within the last two years demonstrating a score in the 90th percentile* or above (National Percentile Rank) in math and/or reading:

  • Center for Talent Development Academic Evaluation 
  • ACT® or SAT® Test
  • Stanford Achievement Test 
  • Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)
  • Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) 
  • Terra Nova Test 
  • ERB Tests: Comprehensive Testing Program, Independent School Entrance Exam
  • Northwest Evaluation Association Tests (NWEA): Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), MAP for Primary Grades 
  • Otis-Lennon Test
  • Kaufman Test of Education Achievement (KTEA) 
  • Weschler Tests: WPPSI, WISC, WIAT 
  • Woodcock-Johnson Test 
  • Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT) 
  • California Achievement Test 
  • EXPLORE® 
  • School and College Ability Test (SCAT) 
  • Any other achievement test with a National Percentile Rank (NPR %)

*95th percentile or above (National Percentile Rank) scores in math and/or reading are required for SEP honors-level, high school credit courses.

Financial Aid Opportunities

CTD offers need-based financial aid awarded as requests are received. Families are encouraged to apply early because the amount of aid available is limited.

  • The amount of financial aid awarded varies from partial to full tuition, and awards are based on family income and extenuating circumstances (e.g., loss of job, unforeseen medical expenses, etc.). Most families awarded aid have a total household income of less than $50,000.
  • Financial aid is awarded for one program and one session per child.
  • To be considered for financial aid, families must complete the Financial Aid Application, available once a family has applied through the online application. All supporting materials (tax information, statement of need, etc.) must be included in the financial aid submission in order for an application for financial aid to be considered.

Course Environment

Key Aspects that Make the SEP Environment Unique

  • Extensive time is spent in the classroom studying one subject. 
    • Choosing a course that suits a student's strengths and interests is crucial. 
  • Students must advocate for themselves and seek out help when needed. 
    • SEP staff takes great efforts to get to know each student quickly, but students must know who to go to with questions or when they need help. 
  • Classes are rigorous, designed to be up to 2 years academically advanced, and there is little unstructured time. 
    • This requires significant focus and energy on the part of the students.

Locations & Times

Evanston, IL (EV)
Northwestern University

AM classes: 9am-11:30am
PM classes: Noon-2:30pm

Palatine, IL (PA)
Quest Academy 
500 N. Benton St.

AM classes: 9am-11:30am

Chicago, IL (CH)
The Frances Xavier Warde School
Holy Name Campus 
751 N. State St.

AM classes: 9am-11:30am
PM classes: Noon-2:30pm 

Naperville, IL (NP)
North Central College 
31 N. Loomis St.

AM classes: 9am-11:30am
PM classes: Noon-2:30pm

Lake Bluff, IL (LB)
Lake Bluff Elementary School
350 W. Washington Ave.

AM classes: 9am-11:30am

 

Safety & Conduct

The Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP) staff takes every reasonable step to ensure the safety and well-being of every SEP student, including the following:

  • Requiring a high standard for student conduct; and
  • Protecting student information.

High Standards for Student Conduct In order to maintain a safe and inviting learning environment, SEP participants must adhere to the CTD Honor Code. The Honor Code establishes standards and expectations for student behavior and reflects CTD's commitment to fostering character development, integrity and respect for diversity. 

Program Orientation

Acceptance notifications are sent via e-mail two to three weeks following receipt of a completed application. Please pay special attention to this notification. It will include information about student course placement and a link to access further information on:

  • Program orientation
  • Program policies
  • Supplies
  • Behavioral expectations

Emergency Closing Information

If we have to cancel classes due to weather-related or other campus emergencies at any of the sites, it will be indicated at www.emergencyclosings.com, listed as Saturday Enrichment Program.

Evaluations

All Saturday Enrichment Program students receive a narrative evaluation that includes comments on the student’s performance in class as well as recommendations for future study. These evaluations are available 6 weeks after the final SEP class of the session. Students enrolled in high school credit-bearing courses also receive an official Center for Talent Development (CTD) transcript (upon request) with the course grade. To request a transcript, please email sep@northwestern.edu. Whether taking classes for enrichment or academic credit, students benefit from the feedback and guidance they receive at the end of each session.

Job Opportunities

CTD takes pride in having excellent instructional staff. Courses are designed to be rigorous hands-on experiences for academically advanced students.  Visit the Saturday Enrichment Program Job Opportunties pages to learn more.

Courses

Story Studio AM (PreK-K)

October 3, 2015 - November 21, 2015 9:00 am to 11:30 am
Description

How do we transform our ideas into stories?

Far from your typical read-aloud, story dictation class, this course integrates those traditional methods with cutting-edge digital tools. Activities may include creating animation and storyboards using a range of coding and storytelling apps and will culminate in digitally recorded narratives of original, student-created scripts.

NOTE: Students do NOT need to be able to write independently to be in this course.

SUBJECT AREA: English & Writing

QUALIFYING SCORE: Reading

Program
SEP
Subject Area
English & Language Arts
Computer Science & Technology
Location
Evanston, IL

Science Reporters AM (Gr. 2-3)

October 3, 2015 - November 21, 2015 9:00 am to 11:30 am
Description

How can scientific information be most accurately portrayed to an audience?

Research the latest scientific breakthroughs and act as a science correspondent for a national news broadcast. Gain experience using various media (such as video, print, and electronic) to report findings. Learn various strategies that make reporting fair, accurate, and unbiased, while also learning how to gain the attention of your audience. An emphasis will be placed on accurately reporting scientific research.

SUBJECT AREA: English & Writing

QUALIFYING SCORE: Reading

Program
SEP
Subject Area
English & Language Arts
Location
Evanston, IL

Introductory Programming with WeDo & Scratch AM (Gr. 2-3)

October 3, 2015 - November 21, 2015 9:00 am to 11:30 am
Description

 

What can machines help us do?

Create an interactive device using Scratch software along with the WeDo Lego building blocks and the distance sensor, the tilt sensor and/or the rotating motor. Program a simple machine of your original design to follow a sequence, interact with its environment or act out a story. Discover how essential parts of storytelling are used in programming and bring stories to life. Build your programming knowledge while utilizing geometric skills, logical reasoning, design technique and creative thinking.

NOTE: Additional $25 materials fee required.

SUBJECT AREA: Technology

QUALIFYING SCORE: Reading or Math

Program
SEP
Subject Area
Computer Science & Technology
Location
Evanston, IL

Electronics AM (Gr. 4-5)

October 3, 2015 - November 21, 2015 9:00 am to 11:30 am
Description

How do we understand the role of electronics in the world around us?

Discover your “inner inventor” and learn the principles of electronics by constructing electrical gadgets. Explore how components connect to make complete circuits. Breadboards, basic sensors and circuits are used to manipulate sound, lights and motion with a variety of tools such as Little Bits hardware. Examine ways we can improve upon electronics for the future.

NOTE: Additional $25 materials fee required.

SUBJECT AREA: Technology

QUALIFYING SCORE: Reading or Math

Program
SEP
Subject Area
Computer Science & Technology
Location
Evanston, IL

Mythbusters: Don't Try This at Home! AM (Gr. 5-6)

October 3, 2015 - November 21, 2015 9:00 am to 11:30 am
Description

How can the scientific method be used to confirm or debunk common myths?

Does lightning ever strike the same place twice? Can a penny dropped from a tall building cause damage to the ground below? Explore and debunk these and other common science misconceptions by researching and testing the validity of rumors, myths, movie scenes, urban legends, Internet videos and more.

SUBJECT AREA: Science

QUALIFYING SCORE: Reading or Math

Program
SEP
Subject Area
Science
Location
Evanston, IL

Business & Social Entrepreneurship AM (Gr. 5-7)

October 3, 2015 - November 21, 2015 9:00 am to 11:30 am
Description

What tools and strategies do social entrepreneurs employ to develop innovations that change lives?

Do you think business can be a key player in transforming the world for good? Explore topics including corporate philanthropy, business for social impact, venture philanthropy, the foundation sector, grantmaking and more. Learn from experts who employ social responsibility across business and nonprofit organizations. Discover your passion and affect change with increased understanding, knowledge, and skills of the social enterprise sector. This course is a CTD/Allowance for Good (AfG) partnership. To learn more, visit www.allowanceforgood.org.

SUBJECT AREA: Business & Entrepreneurship

QUALIFYING SCORE: Reading or Math

Program
SEP
Subject Area
Business & Entrepreneurship
Location
Evanston, IL

Algebra I Honors AM (Gr. 7-9)

October 3, 2015 - November 21, 2015 9:00 am to 11:30 am
Description

How can algebraic tools and skills be used to express mathematical ideas, concepts and relationships?

This course is intended for students who have completed Pre-Algebra and are ready to extend their knowledge in an intensive, full-year course. Algebra I Honors covers equations and functions, properties of real numbers, solving and graphing linear equations and functions, solving and graphing linear inequalities, exponents and exponential functions, polynomials and factoring, quadratic equations and functions, radicals and geometry connections, and rational equations and functions.

NOTES:

• Algebra I Honors must be taken in sequence, beginning with the fall.

• A scientific calculator is required.

• Additional $85 cost for required textbook.

SUBJECT AREA: Math

QUALIFYING SCORE: Math

Program
SEP
Subject Area
Mathematics
Location
Naperville, IL
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