The Center for Talent Development's Summer Program
CTD's Summer Program
Apply for the Summer Program's Leapfrog, Apogee, Spectrum or Equinox programs
FAQs

Academics

Admissions

Eligibility

Faculty

Financial Aid

Logistics

Testing

Tuition


Academics

  • What kinds of activities do students do in Leapfrog?
    Students participate in fun hands-on activities, stimulating experiments and real-life applications that allow them to gain and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding.



  • Will my child receive an evaluation of her/his work? Will she/he receive a grade?
    Students in Leapfrog do not receive grades, but each student will receive a final, written evaluation of her/his performance in the course. The evaluation provides feedback about achievement, strengths, areas in need of improvement, and recommendations for future study. The evaluations are usually mailed following the conclusion of the Summer Program, usually by September 15.



  • What is the student-teacher ratio?
    In order to maximize personalized interactions, CTD courses are limited to 18 students. All classes of eight or more have an instructor and a teaching assistant. PreK and kindergarten courses are limited to 16 students.



  • How does the Leapfrog all-day program for students completing grade 3 (and sometimes grade 2) differ from the half-day program?
    For students with special interests who are ready to study one subject in depth for an extended period of time, the Leapfrog all-day program is a great choice. The all-day program provides students with the opportunity to explore the subject matter more fully with their peers and under the guidance of instructors who have a passion for and expertise in the topic. Students engage in extended projects, hands-on experiments and in-depth activities during classes that meet from 9:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. (8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. in Elmhurst). For students considering CTD courses beyond grade 3, which are all-day programs with a residential option, the Leapfrog all-day program is an excellent introduction.



Admissions

  • What are the admission criteria for Leapfrog?
    Leapfrog students must be completing PreK through grade 3. Select courses are available to students continuing in PreK. To enroll in math courses, students must have a mathematics score in the 95th percentile or above on a nationally normed standardized achievement test. Language arts courses require a verbal score in the 95th percentile or above on a nationally normed standardized achievement test. Students who are applying for a science course may qualify with a math or verbal score in the 95th percentile or above. Students completing grade 2 or 3 who do not have test scores may submit an admission portfolio. For more details, see the Leapfrog Eligibility page.



  • Can a student enroll in more than one course?
    Yes! Students may be registered for just one week or multiple weeks, and for a morning course only, an afternoon course only, or both a morning and an afternoon course. There are also all-day courses for students completing grade 2 or 3, depending on the course.



  • How should I select a course for my child?
    Select a course that aligns with your child's area of strength and on a topic that is of interest to him/her. Also, your child must qualify for the course(s) you select. For more information about qualifying for courses, please visit the Leapfrog web site pages on eligibility and admission criteria.



  • If my child doesnít have standardized test scores, can he/she participate?
    We want all students who can benefit from the programs to participate! Students completing grade 2 or 3 who do not have test scores may submit an admission portfolio. Since many students in PreK through grade 3 have not yet taken standardized achievement tests in school, Center for Talent Development has developed a testing program for students between the ages of four and nine (or not yet in grade 4). Comparable evaluations by a school psychologist may be used, provided that achievement scores in the area of mathematics and language arts are included. See the testing page for more information.



  • Must I submit multiple applications and pay multiple application fees if my child applies for more than one course?
    No. You only need to pay one application fee if your child is applying for more than one course. If you are applying more than one child in the program, you need to pay one application fee per child. If you are completing an online application, you will need to submit an initial application and then use the duplicate function to create additional forms for each session for which you plan to apply. Also, you only need to complete Part 2 of the application once per child. See the application pages for more details.



Eligibility

  • My student is not a U.S. citizen. Can he/she still apply?
    Yes. CTD welcomes international applications. Any student who is not a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or in another visa category that allows for study requires sponsorship for a student visa. Information regarding how to apply for a visa will be provided upon program acceptance. CTD strongly recommends that students who require sponsorship apply before April 1, as it may take 8 to 10 weeks to secure a student visa. Visa applications must be submitted to Northwestern University's International Office by June 1. Visa applications submitted after June 1 will not be processed. Please note, the application for visas is offline in February. CTD strongly encourages families to apply for visas in January or March. CTD is not responsible for an accepted student's inability to secure a student visa.


Faculty

  • Who teaches Leapfrog courses?
    CTD recruits instructors from premiere schools in the Chicago metropolitan area. Leapfrog educators are master teachers selected for their content expertise, familiarity with the needs of gifted children, enthusiasm, ability to individualize their teaching, and skill in providing interactive and engaging classroom experiences. Each class with at least eight students also has a teaching assistant. Teaching assistants are often college students pursuing the field of education or certified educators.



Financial Aid

  • Is financial aid available? What are the eligibility requirements?
    CTD offers a limited amount of need-based financial aid. Aid awards are based on family income and extenuating circumstances (e.g., loss of job, unforeseen medical expenses); most families awarded aid have a total household income of less than $50,000. For Leapfrog, financial aid is available for up to two half-day courses or one all-day course. The financial aid application is available in Part 2 of the online application. Families seeking financial aid are encouraged to apply early since aid money is limited.




Logistics

  • What is the Leapfrog Family Handbook?
    Enrolled students receive a secure link to web pages that provide access to the Leapfrog Family Handbook once they are accepted into a course. Parents are encouraged to read the handbook with their students to help prepare for Leapfrog and learn about program policies and procedures. The handbook includes information about the Leapfrog community; student health, safety and supervision; CTD and Northwestern University policies; calendars and schedules. A link to information about arriving to the sites, locations and maps is also sent to accepted students.


  • How can I obtain the information necessary for tuition reimbursement through my Flexible Spending Account?
    Contact the Summer Program staff to obtain CTD’s tax identification number. Call us at 847/491-3782 or e-mail us at summer@ctd.northwestern.edu.



  • What is the lunch and recess option?
    The lunch and recess option is an opportunity for students to eat their lunch and participate in recreational activities between 12 noon and 1 p.m. (with some minor variation by site) under the supervision of teaching assistants. See the Daily Schedule page for more information.



Testing

  • What kind of evaluation is performed?
    The CTD evaluation consists of achievement tests in letter recognition and reading, early mathematics, general information, and abstract representation. The PreK through grade 3 testing program is NOT a complete or psychological assessment. Instead, we administer a limited number of tests that allow us to measure the child's readiness for participation in CTD classes. The following tests are administered:

    Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, Brief Form, Second Edition (KTEA-II Brief Form) is an individually administered measure of academic achievement in the areas of reading and mathematics.

    Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, Second Edition (KBIT-2) is a brief, individually administered measure of verbal and nonverbal intelligence.

    In addition, a special inventory measures children's cooperation and attentiveness, their ability to separate from a parent and interact with the unfamiliar examiner, and their social adeptness and ability to hold their own in an adult conversation.




  • Can I watch and/or listen?
    No. After the testing consultant introduces him/herself to the parent(s) and the child and spends a few minutes establishing a comfort level, the child will be asked to go to a nearby room with the tester. While the child is being tested, the parent(s) is asked to complete a parent inventory form.





  • Does my child have to be evaluated through CTD in order to apply to its programs?
    No. In general, our program entrance requirements call for achievement (not IQ) scores. If your child has taken tests either through his or her school or with another qualified tester that yield similar achievement results, you may include a copy of those results with your application.


  • How do I schedule a testing appointment and what is the fee?
    Contact CTD at 847/491-3850 or e-mail us to schedule an appointment. The fee for testing is $125.



  • How long does the evaluation take?
    The evaluation lasts for about one hour.


  • How old must my child be to be tested through this program?
    Any child from age 4 through grade 3 may be evaluated through this program. We recommend that parents wait until their preschool children are showing some familiarity with letters and numbers, since a major portion of the test battery will test achievement in these areas.


  • What is the purpose of the age 4 through grade 3 Testing Program?
    Families applying to CTD educational programs must provide evidence of their children's ability to succeed in the program. Because many students age 4 through grade 3 do not have the opportunity for achievement testing within their schools, CTD offers testing. Its purpose is to assess eligibility for admission into CTD programs. It is not a general psychological evaluation.



  • What kind of evaluation is performed?
    The CTD evaluation consists of achievement tests in letter recognition and reading, early mathematics, general information and abstract representation. The PreK through grade 3 testing program is NOT a complete cognitive or psychological assessment. Instead, we administer a limited number of tests that allow us to measure the child's readiness for participation in CTD classes.



  • When do we receive the results?
    The test consultant will briefly review the results with the parents(s) immediately after the testing is completed. A written assessment of the test scores and a recommendation will follow, usually within three to four weeks.



  • Where is the testing location?
    Testing is performed in several Illinois locations: Northwestern University's Evanston campus, Aurora, Chicago (at Frances Xavier Warde School-Holy Name Campus), Elgin, Gurnee, Naperville, Oak Park, Palatine, and Woodridge.



Tuition

  • What forms of payment does CTD accept?
    Payment may be made by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or Diner's Club cards, or by check or money order payable to Center for Talent Development.


  • When is Leapfrog Tuition due?
    The total tuition plus the nonrefundable $60.00 application fee is paid in full when the application is submitted, unless the applicant is also applying for financial aid. See the Financial Aid page for more details.