Captivating Courses. Engaged Peers.
CTD Weekend at Home enrichment courses provide students the chance to explore a topic of interest in depth through live, online activities with master teachers and a diverse group of peers who share a love of the topic. Over the six weeks of class, students achieve depth of understanding in the topic, preparing them to take their interests to the next level.
Why Choose the CTD Weekend at Home Program?
Weekends are for spending time on things you love and having fun with friends. CTD Weekend at Home gives curious learners the opportunity to focus on high-interest topics with peers who have similar interests and motivation to learn.
- Courses available on Saturdays or Sundays
- Experienced instructors offering meaningful and personalized instruction
- Engaging, interactive, online classroom experiences involving independent and small and large group activities
- Challenging courses in a variety of topics, including English and language arts, mathematics, science, engineering and design, and computer science
In addition to Weekend at Home courses, CTD offers a diverse range of online program options; view a full list here.
The CTD Weekend at Home Programs welcome applications from Pre-qualified 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-qualified Review Applicant
You are a pre-qualified review applicant if you are grade 3 through grade 12 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 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 12 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, 8, or 9 (NUMATS).
New Portfolio Applicant
You are a portfolio applicant if you are in grade 3 through grade 12 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.
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 Weekend at Home courses are at the Emerald Tier for eligibility. To qualify for Emerald Tier CTD Weekend at Home courses, students must be in grade 3 through grade 12 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 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 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.
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 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.
Winter 2021 Session:
- Six consecutive weekend days
- 3 hours of live online class time each weekend
- 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.
Students engage directly with their instructor and classmates through an online video conferencing platform (Zoom) for the duration of the course.
All course materials (documents, videos, discussion boards) are posted in Schoology, CTD's secure, online learning platform.
Courses run for 3 hours on a single day with a 15-minute break. See Sample Class Agenda further down this page for details on how live classes are conducted.
Supplies: Some courses may have required or recommended supplies, including print-outs, 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.
This is an example schedule for a Weekend at Home course. Times of activities are approximate, and schedules will vary from course to course (and week to week within a course).
|45-60 Minutes||Course Work|
|10-15 Minutes||Share Out|
|45-65 Minutes||Course Work|
|10-15 Minutes||Share Out|
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 (3 or more of the following activities during each course):
- interactive instructor lecture and/or slide deck
- introductory video
- instructor-led interactive demonstration
- 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
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.
Debrief: Recap learning experiences, revisit essential question(s) of the day, complete exit slips
Students are required to have a laptop or tablet with a camera, a microphone, speakers and/or audio jack, the ability to type/keyboard, 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 course sessions. We recommend watching the Zoom for Students tutorial video prior to the start of class.
Course materials (including the link to the course’s Zoom classroom) 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. Login details for student accounts will be shared with students a few days prior to the start of the session.
Student acceptance emails will contain a link to a Family Information webpage that includes program information and the Student and Family Handbook.
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.
All students who successfully complete a Weekend at Home course receive a brief 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 class of the session.
- For questions regarding CTD Weekend at Home admissions and financial aid, please contact:
- For questions about current CTD Weekend at Home enrollments, please contact:
- For questions about school partnerships, please contact: