CTD Weekend at Home

CTD Weekend at Home

CTD Weekend At Home

Live, online classes focus on high interest topics, and include collaborative group work and individual hands-on projects. Instructors offer meaningful and personalized instruction in an
interactive online classroom.

6-week courses, Saturday and Sunday options

CTD Encounters at Home

CTD Encounters at Home

CTD Encounters at Home

These exciting experiences offer a deep dive into a high interest topic. During the live, online sessions, instructors lead demonstrations and hands-on explorations where students can engage with like-minded peers.

Single, half-day (3.5 hour) session


Application Process and Timeline

The CTD Weekend and Encounters at Home Programs welcome applications from returning applicants as well as new score and portfolio applicants. Before beginning the online application, determine which type of applicant you are based on the descriptions below.

Pre-qualifed Review Applicant
You are a pre-quaified review applicant if you are grade 3 through grade 8 and you meet both of the following criteria: 

  • You have successfully completed a CTD course through the Weekend Enrichment Program, Summer Program or Online Program at the Emerald Tier, or a tier with a higher score requirement, within the previous twenty-four months. 
  • You are now applying for a Weekend at Home course with the same qualifying subject area (Verbal or Math) of a CTD course you previously completed.

New Scores Applicant
You are a new scores applicant if you are in grade 3 through grade 8 and you meet either one of the following criteria:

  • You have not attended any CTD program for the past two years and you have qualifying grade-level test scores (Verbal or Math) for your desired course that are no more than two years old.
  • You have previously attended a course with the Weekend Enrichment Program, Summer Program, or CTD Online Program, but you are now applying for a course with a different qualifying subject area (Verbal or Math) and you have qualifying grade-level test scores. 
  • You have participated in above grade-level testing such as the PSAT™8/9 test taken in grades 3, 4, 5, or 6, the ACT® or SAT® test taken in grades 6, 7 or 8 (NUMATS);

New Portfolio Applicant
You are a portfolio applicant if you are in grade 3 through grade 8 and the following is applicable to you:

  • You do not have qualifying test scores because you have either:

             1) never taken a nationally normed standardized achievement test 


             2) taken this type of test but not achieved a qualifying score.

 An Admission Portfolio includes the following documents:

  • Required: one teacher recommendation form (available once you have submitted your application) indicating that the student is performing 1½ to 2 years above grade level in the subject area of the course to which the student is applying; 
  • Required: most recent school report card indicating exceptional performance in the subject area of the WEP course to which the student is applying; 
  • If available: most recent state testing report (e.g. NWEA/MAP); or any results of a grade-level test such as PSAT™8/9 taken in middle school

Application Deadline

  • Applications must be complete one-week prior to the start of the class in order to be reviewed.  Applications completed after the deadline may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.


CTD Encounters at Home courses are at the Amber Tier for eligibility, which is open enrollment. There are no test scores or further documentation required for participation in the courses. Please note that successful completion of a CTD Encounters at Home course does not pre-qualify students to enroll in future classes outside of the Amber Tier.

CTD Weekend at Home courses are at the Emerald Tier for eligibility. To qualify for Emerald tier CTD Weekend or Encounters at Home Program courses, students must be in grade 3 through grade 8 and must also provide one of the following:

  • Achievement of  a score of 90thpercentile or higher on a nationally normed grade-level assessment in the required qualifying subject area (Verbal or Math) for the desired course; OR
  • Successful completion of a CTD course, with the same qualifying subject area within the past two years; OR
  • Submission of a portfolio application, consisting of a teacher recommendation (available after submitting the application) and the student’s most recent report card, demonstrating that the student is performing exceptionally well in the qualifying subject area.

A small number of CTD Weekend and Encounters at Home courses may have prerequisites. Please read individual course descriptions carefully for more information.


For families looking for insights into student learning or interested in assessment for program eligibility (test scores are valid for 2 years for CTD programs), Center for Talent Development will begin to offer REMOTE assessment for young learners, age 4 through grade 1, using MAP in August.  Because of the requirements of remote testing, there will be limited days and times available. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more.


Requests for Grade Advancement/Acceleration: CTD course content is advanced or grade-level accelerated, as reflected in course descriptions and the standard admission requirements. Though course content is advanced, students can engage with intellectual peers who are also age- or grade-level peers. Therefore, most students should apply for courses aligned to the grade-level in which they are currently enrolled. Still, for some students demonstrating a need for an even higher level of instruction than CTD’s advanced and accelerated courses already provide, further acceleration may be an option. Visit the Requesting and Accelerated Placement web page for more information about the process, timeline, and required materials.

Fees, Withdrawals and Financial Aid


Weekend at Home

  • $300  


  • $75


Financial Aid

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. Please see the Financial Aid page for details. 

  • The deadline to complete a financial aid application for Weekend programming is two-weeks prior to the start date of the class.
  • You will receive the FACTS application link in your application confirmation email once the 60 dollar tuition deposit is paid and the application is submitted.
  • It is imperative that you complete the financial aid application as soon as possible as it may take FACTS up to ten days to process your information.
  • If you previously completed a FACTS application for the 2019-2020 academic year for CTD, you must still attach the 2020-2021 FACTS application to your FACTS account.  You will be able to link your FACTS account to this new FACTS information.  You may need to update financial information.
  • If you experience difficulties with the FACTS process please call the FACTS helpline at 866-412-4637.

Course Details and What to Expect

Students engage directly with their instructor and classmates through an online video conferencing platform for the duration of the course. 


CTD Weekend at Home courses run for 3 hours each weekend for 6 consecutive weeks. All course materials will be posted in Schoology, CTD's secure, online learning platform.


CTD Encounters at Home run for 3.5 hours on a single weekend day. Course materials will be emailed prior to the start of the course.


Supplies: Some courses may have required or recommended supplies that families will be responsible for obtaining prior to the course. Supply lists and recommended suppliers will be provided to parents at least 10 days prior to the course in which they are needed. No course will have supplies that exceed $30 (before shipping and handling), and many required supplies will be common household items that may already be in the student's home.

Program Dates and Times

CTD Weekend at Home

  • Six consecutive weekend days, October 17 - November 22
  • Students apply for courses on Saturday or Sunday, morning (9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Central Time) or afternoon (1:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Central Time), though they can submit applications for more than one course per session if they choose.

CTD Encounters at Home

  • September 12 (9:00 AM - 12:30 PM, Central Time) 
  • September 13 (9:00 AM - 12:30 PM, Central Time) 
  • September 26 (9:00 AM - 12:30 PM, Central Time) 
  • September 27 (9:00 AM - 12:30 PM, Central Time) 

Sample Class Agenda

This is an example schedule for both CTD Weekend at Home and CTD Encounters at Home courses. Times of activities are approximate, and schedules will vary from course to course (and week to week within a CTD Weekend at Home course).  




10-25 minutes



45-65 minutes

Course Work


10-15 minutes

Share Out


15 minute break

Bathroom / Snack Break


45-65 minutes

Course Work


10-15 minutes

Share Out


10-20 minutes





Introduction: Introduction to the topic(s) of the day, ice-breaker, reminders of class expectations, materials needed for class, and how to use the functions in the conferencing software


Course Work (2 or more of the following activities during each course work session):

·       interactive instructor lecture and/or slide deck

·       introductory video

·       instructor-led interactive demonstration

·       read-aloud

·       informational article that is read and discussed in small groups

·       large-group discussion

·       small-group problem-solving activity

·       individual hands-on activity

·       individual research

·       practice with new skill or strategy

·       written reflection


Share Out: Sharing out of student products or findings from small group/individual work and follow-up large-group discussion


Bathroom / Snack Break: Students take a bathroom / snack break. While eating their snack, they might keep their computers connected to the conferencing software so that they can continue to build community and engage with classmates outside of the academic context of the course.


DebriefRecap learning experiences, revisit essential question(s) of the day, complete exit slips 

Technology and Technical Requirements

Students are required to have a laptop or tablet with word processing software, a camera, a microphone, and the ability to connect to the Internet. Students need access to a stable internet connection and an updated web browser. 

Zoom is the conferencing software that will be used for the live online sessions for both CTD Weekend at Home and CTD Encounters at Home. We recommend watching the Zoom for Students tutorial video prior to the start of class. 

CTD Weekend at Home course materials are hosted in Schoology, which is a learning management system designed for K-12 students. Schoology is a web-based application, so no software is required.

Program Orientation

Prior to the course start date, CTD Weekend at Home students receive login information allowing them to gain access to Schoology, the learning management system (LMS), which hosts all CTD online courses. Students will have access to Schoology one day prior to the start of their session.
For both CTD Weekend at Home and CTD Encounters at Home, instructors will help students navigate the features that will be utilized within Zoom at the start of the class. CTD still recommends, however, that students watch the Zoom for Students tutorial video prior to the start of class. 
Primary communication with the course instructor and/or classmates occurs within Zoom.
Copyright 2014 Northwestern University Center for Talent Development