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CTD’s Weekend Enrichment Program (WEP) gives students the opportunity to engage with advanced content in a fun, collaborative learning environment. Through hands-on activities that encourage application of new knowledge and skills students learn to take on challenges that will prepare them for middle school, high school, and beyond.
Why Choose the Weekend Enrichment Program?
The in-person Weekend Enrichment Program offers challenging, hands-on courses for academically advanced learners age 4 through grade 8 and introduces them to peers with similar interests.
- Engagement with accelerated content in a fun, collaborative environment
- Opportunities to develop both independent and collaborative problem-solving skills
- A community of peers and the guidance of expert educators
The WEP Program welcomes applications from returning applicants as well as new score and portfolio applicants. Before beginning the online application at my.ctd.northwestern.edu, determine which type of applicant you are based on the descriptions below.
Pre-qualifed Review Applicant
You are a pre-qualified review applicant if you are in 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 applying for a 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 10 and you meet 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 or 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 10 and you do not have qualifying test scores because you have either:
- never taken a nationally normed standardized achievement test, OR
- 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 course to which the student is applying;
- If available: most recent standardized testing report (e.g. NWEA/MAP) or results of a state grade-level assessment.
WEP PreK-Kindergarten courses are at the Amber Tier for eligibility, which is open enrollment. There are no test scores or further documentation required for participation. Please note that successful completion of a WEP PreK-K course does not pre-qualify students to enroll in future classes outside of the Amber Tier.
WEP courses for grades 1 and up are at the Emerald Tier for eligibility. To qualify for Emerald Tier courses, students must provide one of the following:
- Achievement of a score of 90th percentile 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. This option is for students grade 3 and up, only.
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 offers REMOTE assessment using MAP. Because of the requirements of remote testing, there are limited dates 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 an Accelerated Placement web page for more information about the process, timeline, and required materials.
$350 per each 6-week course.
Please see CTD's withdrawal and refund information for policies.
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 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 2020-2021 academic year for CTD, you must still attach the 2021-2022 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.
The following elements make the WEP environment unique:
- Extensive time is spent in-depth with one subject. Choosing a course that suits a student's strengths and interests is crucial.
- WEP courses are dynamic. Students engage in a variety of activities during each class session. Students work independently, in pairs, and in small groups.
- 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 and Times
Chicago, IL (British International School of Chicago, South Loop - 161 W. 9th Street Chicago, IL 60605): Saturday mornings (9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)
Downers Grove, IL (Avery Coonley School - 1400 Maple Ave, Downers Grove, IL 60515): Saturday mornings (9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)
Evanston, IL (Roycemore School - 1200 Davis St. Evanston, IL 60201): Saturday morning (9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.) and Saturday afternoon (12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.) courses are available.
All Weekend Enrichment Program students receive a brief narrative evaluation that includes comments on the student’s performance in class as well as recommendations for future study. An e-mail notification will be sent when the evaluation is available for access via MyCTD.
The health and safety of our students and staff has always been CTD's top priority. This year is no exception. Please note the expectations - below - as they apply to COVID-19 precautions and preparedness:
Class Sizes, Room Capacities, Building Use
Class capacity will follow current CDC and IPDH guidelines. Maximum enrollment is carefully set to ensure an instructor, TA, and students can safely be in the room together. Because classrooms have different capacities, enrollment maximums may vary by course and by site.
Students and staff, even if fully vaccinated, will be required to wear adequate face coverings (covering both mouth and nose) at all times, except while drinking water.
In addition to masking, students will maintain three feet of physical distance for the majority of class as an additional prevention strategy. There may be short periods of time during class (less than 15 consecutive minutes) when students will engage in collaborative work with a partner or small group where they may be within three feet of each other. Those brief periods will again be followed by distancing of 3 or more feet.
Collaboration is critical to our enrichment philosophy, but to be mindful of COVID-19, we have to limit how much consecutive time students spend together in situations of fewer than 3 feet.
Snacks and Breaks
There will be no snack break during the 2.5 hour class, though there will be at least one bathroom break. Students should have a light snack before they arrive to class and/or at pick-up time, if needed. Water bottles are encouraged, and students can remove masks when drinking from them.
Monitoring Student Health
Parents/caregivers are strongly encouraged to monitor their students for symptoms every day prior to each class, keep sick students at home, and get them tested for COVID-19.
Vaccinations are required for all in-person CTD staff, except in cases where a staff member has submitted a formal request for an exception to this requirement, due to a personal health condition or sincerely held religious belief.
As CTD classes take place on Saturdays, our site facilities staff will do a thorough cleaning of each classroom space prior to class sessions.
Parents and other guests will not be allowed to enter the building; there will be no in-person parent orientation or end-of-session “Expo” activities.