Sign-up for DECATS 2021

Welcome back!

We are so excited to share that current conditions indicate we will be able to safely resume DECATS this summer with reduced enrollment. While we continue to monitor the situation, we’re ready to move forward with facilitating our sign-up processes. We are so grateful to our three host campuses for welcoming us back!

This FAQ is designed to address the variety of questions about modifications to the program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will do our best to notate additions or changes. You may find conflicting information between this FAQ and other areas of our website, as certain modifications are only intended to last for Summer 2021.

Year in Program Sign-up Open Date
Fourth Sat, April 3 at 7 p.m.
Third Wed, April 7 at 7 p.m.
Second Sun, April 11 at 7 p.m.
First Sat, April 17 at 7 p.m.

Update Log

The following question was added on June 12 at 4:45 p.m.:

  • Can medication be administered at DECATS?

Responses for the following questions were updated May 23 at 3:00 p.m.:

  • Will New Scholar & Parent Orientation be held in-person or virtually?
  • Will the Closing Celebration be held at the end of the program?
  • Will special events like the group photo and Manners to Morals Day be held?
  • Will participants be required to wear masks or other PPE?
  • Will there be special arrival procedures to follow each day?
  • Will assemblies be modified in any way?
  • Will parents be able to visit DECATS?
  • Will anything be different about the core DECATS curricula, Manners to Morals and Perspectives?

Summer 2021 FAQ

What is the program’s daily schedule?2021-03-28T13:50:13-05:00

7:00 – 8:15 a.m. Extended Day*
8:15 – 8:30 a.m. Morning Carpool & Dropoff
8:30 – 8:50 a.m. Morning Assembly: Song, Fellowship & Prayer
8:50 – 9:50 a.m. First Period: Manners to Morals
9:55 – 10:55 a.m. Second Period: Perspectives
11:00 am – 12:00 p.m. Third Period: Elective Course
12:05 – 12:55 p.m. Lunch & Recreation
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Fourth Period: Elective Course
2:05 – 3:05 p.m. Fifth Period: Elective Course
3:10 – 3:40 p.m. Afternoon Assembly: Song, Fellowship, Course Presentations & Prayer
3:45 – 4:00 p.m. Afternoon Carpool & Pickup
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Extended Day*

*Extra fee required

Does DECATS provide extended day care? How much does this cost?2022-05-28T09:56:03-05:00

Extended day begins at 7:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m.

  • Morning care only: $100
  • Afternoon care only: $100
  • Both morning & afternoon care: $200

On the last day of DECATS — Thursday of the third week — we provide only morning extended care, as the program concludes by noon on this day.

Will participants be required to wear masks or other PPE?2021-05-23T14:06:33-05:00

May 2021 Update:  All Scholars, faculty and staff are required to wear a fabric face mask at all times except while eating or while outdoors. This must be a fabric face mask that covers the nose and mouth snugly. Gaiters, bandanas, masks with valves and any other face coverings are not permitted. DECATS will have a small supply of masks on hand in the event a mask must be replaced during the day. Masks will be required upon exiting vehicles in morning carpool drop-off. Those without masks will not be permitted to enter until they return with a compliant mask.

This policy will remain in effect for the duration of the 2021 program at all campus locations. Recent Texas-state mandates regarding masks apply to government entities and public schools. DeBusk Enrichment Center of Texas is a non-profit, private institution and reserves the right to set and enforce this policy.

How many Scholars will be in individual classroom spaces?2021-03-30T08:42:02-05:00

We expect about a 1:18 ratio in most individual course settings.

Will there be special arrival procedures to follow each day?2021-05-23T14:07:43-05:00

May 2021 Update: We ask all families to complete appropriate self-checks each day for indications related either to routine illness or to a disease like COVID-19. Those with symptoms of any illness should not come to the campus. We will not take confidential health measurements (temperatures) in public settings like carpool lines. Masks will be required upon arrival, and those not in compliance may not enter the campus or participate until they return with a compliant mask.

Are DECATS employees required to have a COVID-19 vaccination?2021-03-28T13:43:38-05:00

DeBusk Enrichment Center of Texas does not make employment decisions based upon an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status or desire to be vaccinated. All employees are required to provide whether they have received vaccination – if so, when and what type; if not, when / whether they will / plan to once eligible.

Will assemblies be modified in any way?2021-06-15T17:56:40-05:00

May 2021 Update: Returning families familiar with our assemblies at the beginning and end of each day know that these community times of interaction involve song and movement in a large indoor space. Certain contact activities (like dance or motion during certain songs) will be adapted or discontinued for this year. Participants will be spaced out in assembly areas following the recommendations of the CDC and other authoritative guidelines.

To maintain our commitment to reducing the number of persons exposed to other people, unfortunately we will not be able to accommodate visitors or parents on-campus at any time, including during morning or afternoon assemblies.

Will lunch or outdoor times be modified in any way?2021-05-23T14:12:35-05:00

Scholars will continue to eat lunch in their third period classrooms. For outdoor time after lunch, thankfully each of our locations has considerable outdoor space for Scholars to have a choice whether to stay indoors or go outdoors.

In previous years, Scholars placed their lunches into large buckets or bins by their third period courses, to be delivered later to classrooms. We will discontinue this practice so that a Scholar’s food is always on their person as they move through the campus.

There is no central food service or ability to heat meals during the program.

What cleaning procedures or other safety equipment will be in place?2021-05-23T14:13:36-05:00

Our host campuses have graciously allowed us to continue using cleaning supplies and safety equipment already in place during the regular school year. Routine cleaning will be performed during and between courses. Participants will sit at the same space each day in each room to make any necessary contact tracing easier.

Will parents be able to visit DECATS?2021-06-15T17:57:09-05:00

May 2021 Update: To maximize the health and safety of all Scholars and Mentors, as well as make every possible effort to fully execute the program, we unfortunately cannot accommodate any visitors or parents on-campus at any time, including during morning and afternoon assemblies this summer.

Will anything be different about the core DECATS curricula, Manners to Morals and Perspectives?2021-05-23T14:16:11-05:00

May 2021 Update: Activities in these courses have been reviewed and adjusted to adapt activities that normally require close proximity and / or contact with others, like handshaking.

Manners to Morals levels are traditionally assigned by grade level of the participant. We will continue with this practice, which means the following assignments will occur this year:

  • Third Grade: Manners (there are no third graders in attendance)
  • Fourth Grade: Executive Functioning
  • Fifth Grade: Wellness
  • Sixth Grade: Values & Morals
  • Seventh Grade: Values & Morals

Perspectives levels are traditionally assigned based upon the number of years of participant attendance. We will continue with this practice:

  • First-Year Scholars: Perspectives 1
  • Second-Year Scholars: Perspectives 2
  • Third-Year Scholars: Perspectives 3
  • Fourth-Year Scholars: Perspectives 4
Will anything be different about the available elective courses, the course request procedure or the course scheduling procedure?2021-03-28T13:45:59-05:00

At this time, we anticipate no major changes to the academic scheduling and elective course curriculum aside from obvious content modifications within the final set of approved courses (examples: removing food or edible product from a chemistry course; assigning one robotics kit per participant versus using shared kits; etc).

Will New Scholar & Parent Orientation be held in-person or virtually?2021-06-09T07:29:37-05:00

May 2021 Update: In the interest of minimizing the opportunities for any unnecessary exposure through large assemblies of people, we will not hold our New Scholar & Parent Orientation, either in-person or virtually, for this summer. All necessary information for the program — including course schedules, campus maps and other procedural information — will be provided via your myStatus portal. We will send an email when these resources have been published.

Those participants who need to deliver prescription medication for use during DECATS may come to their campus on Saturday, June 12, from 10 a.m – 12 p.m.

Note that there will be no tours or staff available prior to the program to navigate you through the campus. While we are eager to meet you, it is important to us to minimize any unnecessary interactions so that we are able to fully complete the program.

Will the Closing Celebration be held at the end of the program?2021-06-15T17:56:59-05:00

May 2021 Update: In the interest of minimizing the opportunities for any unnecessary exposure through large assemblies of people, we will not hold our Closing Celebration at the end of the program for this summer. The final Thursday of the program will start at the daily regular time (8:30 a.m.) and run until 1:00 p.m. Scholars will go to all three elective courses on this day, followed by an extended assembly in lieu of our usual Closing Celebration.

Will special events like the group photo and Manners to Morals Day be held?2021-05-23T14:03:56-05:00

May 2021 Update: We plan to make every effort to safely take our usual group photo on the first Tuesday of the program. However, Manners to Morals Day — a special day with culminating activities for the Manners to Morals curriculum — will not be held because the components are typically highly communal with large groups and close proximities. Therefore, this day (the final Tuesday of the program) will be a regular program day.

Will morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up procedures be affected?2021-03-28T13:48:14-05:00

Yes – both of these processes will be fully done via a carpool line system. Parents, guardians, relatives and other authorized pick-up adults will not be able to enter the campus for drop-off or pick-up.

Each campus will have appropriate instructions to follow for late drop-off and early pick-up. These will be provided before the start of the program.

What will happen if DECATS has to be cancelled again?2021-03-30T08:39:33-05:00

Should this happen, we will assess the pertinent decisions to make at that point in time. Any decision regarding admission and eligibility for 2022 would be made at a later date.

Please see the “Tuition & Payments” section for information about refunds in the event of program cancellation.

At what point would DECATS close or cancel due to a high COVID-19 positivity rate?2021-03-30T08:44:19-05:00

DECATS will be fully compliant with any restrictions and requirements with respect to school settings that are in place at the time of operation of the program.

Will families be notified in the event of a positive COVID-19 case?2021-03-30T08:44:52-05:00

Yes, to the fullest legally-permissible extent.

If a participant tests positive for COVID-19, will they be able to complete the program virtually?2021-03-30T08:48:11-05:00

DECATS will be fully in-person only, with no virtual or online component. Because the program is only three weeks, it is most likely that a participant who tests positive for COVID-19 will need to withdraw. Please see the “Tuition & Payments” section for concerns related to refunds in the event of non-elective withdrawal from the program.

I absolutely want a guaranteed space: what should I do?2023-01-21T09:52:29-06:00

If you definitely want to participate at DECATS Houston this summer, our recommendation is to sign-up at a campus that has guaranteed spaces available versus subscribing to the waitlist.

Who is eligible to sign up for 2021?2021-03-30T17:31:16-05:00

Only participants who were registered in a guaranteed space in the 2020 program, including – as a one-time exception for 2021 only – those who are now in seventh grade.

What is the cost of attendance?2020-12-06T12:05:10-06:00

The current cost of attendance is maintained on our main enrollment information page.

DeBusk Foundation, which provides the leading grant for DECATS, makes it possible for us to keep the cost of attendance as low as possible. As a non-profit academic institution, we depend on grants, tuition and donor generosity to maintain and sustain the operation of the program year after year.

Why is there a waitlist?2023-01-21T10:02:42-06:00

Spaces in the program fill on a first-come, first-served basis. When a campus reaches capacity, we still accept sign-ups for that campus, and we place them on a waitlist – also in order of first-come, first-served.

I was on the waitlist in 2020. Am I eligible to sign up?2021-03-30T17:31:28-05:00

At this time, we are only extending invitations to those who were registered in a guaranteed space in the 2020 program due to the lower enrollment capacity we are following for 2021. If spaces are still available after those who had a space in 2020 have had an opportunity to register for 2021 (highly unlikely), we will contact those who were on the waitlist in 2020. We kindly request no inquiries as to whether space is available: we will contact you if this becomes possible.

Are there additional fees beyond tuition?2022-05-31T13:08:05-05:00

Tuition covers the entire cost of attendance due in order to participate.

Aside from tuition (and your deposit, which is applied toward your tuition), the only additional optional fees are for extended day services and any merchandise offered for sale, like extra program t-shirts.

Will any new Scholars be nominated?2021-03-30T17:31:39-05:00

We are not accepting any new nominations this year, including younger siblings of current participants. Schools have largely not been able to conduct the typical standardized testing normally used to qualify eligible students.

How do I see my place on the waitlist?2023-01-21T10:02:44-06:00

Your place on the waitlist is indicated on the Home tab of your myStatus Portal. The higher the number, the more registrants there are in front of you waiting in line for a space. (Example: If your place is 10, then 10 spaces must become available in order to offer you admission to the program – one each for those waiting ahead of you, and then yours.)

How do I submit payments?2021-03-30T17:33:40-05:00

All payments must be submitted electronically using your myStatus portal, which will guide you through the payment steps. Deposits are due in full at the time of assessment. Remaining tuition and fees due by the designated deadline on the calendar and may be paid in customized installments via your portal.

DECATS Houston accepts credit, debit and ACH e-check payments.

  • Credit / debit card transaction fee: 2.3% of amount paid
  • ACH e-check transaction fee: 0.25 cents per transaction

DECATS Houston does not receive any transaction fees paid.

What is the refund policy?2020-12-06T12:09:52-06:00

Our withdrawal and refund policy is listed on our main enrollment information page.

If my school conducted testing or I have a qualifying score already, will you accept the nomination this year from my school or from me directly?2021-03-30T17:31:43-05:00

No. Due to enrollment limitations for 2021, the spaces in the program will only be made available to those who were registered in 2020.

What are my chances of admission from the waitlist?2023-01-21T10:02:45-06:00

This depends on the number of spaces that become available due to withdrawals. When an admitted participant withdraws, we immediately offer that space to the next person on the waitlist. Throughout the spring as other important enrollment deadlines pass, admitted participants who do not complete certain requirements forfeit their space, which we then offer to the next person on the waitlist. Lastly, someone ahead of you on the waitlist may also withdraw, which advances your place. Though uncommon, we may face an exceptional circumstance that necessitates admitting someone currently placed after you on the waitlist. (Note that we will not discuss another participant’s circumstances for admission with anyone other than that immediate family.)

I need a receipt or tax information.2021-03-30T17:33:58-05:00

Receipts for all payments and donations are provided at the time the payment is made. Contact us at if you need a replacement copy.

DeBusk Enrichment Center of Texas is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization, EIN 82-4711738.

How long will I have to wait?2023-01-21T10:07:45-06:00

This depends on the circumstances for spaces becoming available, described above. Circumstances change each year, and as the program nears, it becomes less likely that those in the program will have reason to withdraw.

Are all Scholars considered “returning Scholars?” Does 2020 count toward a year of attendance and will it affect Manners to Morals or Perspectives course assignments?2021-03-30T17:31:49-05:00

By definition:

  • Returning Scholars – have attended DECATS before
  • New Scholars – have not attended DECATS before

Summer 2020 did not count as a year of attendance. Assignments in Manners to Morals will still be performed by grade level, and assignments in Perspectives will still be done by years of completed attendance (not including 2020).

What typically happens with waitlist movement? “How likely” is it to get to space number X?2023-01-21T10:14:31-06:00

We typically see the most movement on the waitlist at the end of March and the end of April, when important deadlines pass and those who are enrolled who have not completed necessary steps are withdrawn.

Our ability to move on the waitlist is different each year, and what happened in previous years is not good indication of what may happen this year. Therefore, we cannot speculate, as we do not want this to be misinterpreted as a promise or guarantee that circumstances from previous years will happen again this year.

The meaning of waitlist numbers also changes over time. For example, being in a low position in February may be favorable since there are still several months before the program for spaces to become available. In April and May, it becomes more unlikely that spaces will become available since major deadlines have passed and there are fewer withdrawals.

Lastly, spaces become available in different quantities and frequencies, so movement in one day should not become an expectation that it will happen again. For example, if you moved forward 10 places in one day, while that is generally good, circumstances may not allow that to happen again. There may be several sequential days of small movement, followed by several days of no movement. It is unpredictable and so we recommend not setting an expectation or “getting hopes up” by trying to identify patterns in the movement.

How long can I stay on the waitlist? Can I withdraw?2023-01-21T10:10:27-06:00

You are welcome to stay on our waitlist as long as you prefer, and you may notify us if you wish to be removed from the waitlist at any time. We will continue to offer available spaces through late May / early June – as late as reasonably possible. There is no financial cost to be on the waitlist. If it becomes clear that no spaces will become available or the program is too near, we may release the waitlist and conclude any further admissions for the summer.

When can I expect to hear updates?2023-01-21T10:05:19-06:00

You can track your place in line in your myStatus Portal. We will contact you via email immediately if and when a space is available for you, and your portal will show you have been admitted. You will have 72 hours to submit your sign-up deposit to claim the space. After then, the space will be made available to the next person on the waitlist, and to be considered again, you will need to contact us to be re-added to the end of the list.

Due to limited time and resources, as well as the self-service nature of the portal, we cannot facilitate status update requests over email. The number of your place in line will automatically decrease as you advance forward toward an available space. This may happen several times or not at all. Continue checking your portal to see your place in line.

Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of enrollment?2023-01-21T10:02:50-06:00

Because the waitlist is first-come, first-served, it operates like standing in line for checkout at a store. You must naturally reach the front of the line. We trust you joined the waitlist because of a strong desire to participate. We value that trust and pledge to diligently work toward your admission. We appreciate your interest and kindly request you not send emails of continued interest, inquiries of current status, letters of recommendation, etc, as we cannot take any action on those.

Can medication be administered at DECATS?2021-06-12T16:49:14-05:00

Prescribed or over-the counter medication (which includes but is not limited to inhalers, ointments, cough syrup, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, topical lotions or sunscreens, eye drops, etc.) may be administered to Scholars only upon written request by the physician and parent / guardian. All medications must be accompanied by the Medication Permission Form, which further outlines the consents and procedures required to administer medications. A copy of the signed permission form previously submitted to your regular school is also acceptable documentation.

Do waitlisted siblings of registered participants receive priority for the next available space, regardless of waitlist position number?2023-01-21T10:05:29-06:00

When this rare circumstance occurs, we may, at our discretion, give priority to a waitlisted sibling for the next available space, regardless of waitlist position.

Do waitlisted Returning Scholars and Legacy Scholars receive priority for the next available space, regardless of waitlist position?2023-01-21T10:05:34-06:00

Returning Scholars were provided sign-up access two weeks in advance of first-time attendees, with several email and text messages reminders to sign-up. Similarly, Legacy Scholars (first-time attendees who have a sibling that has attended DECATS Houston before) were provided one week of early access to sign-up ahead of other first-time attendees, with several email reminders. We may, at our discretion, give priority to a waitlisted returning or legacy Scholar for the next available space, regardless of waitlist position.

Can I switch from one campus to another?2023-01-21T10:06:14-06:00

Yes, you may notify us via email with your request to change your campus choice. If you switch between two waitlists, you are placed at the end of the waitlist of the campus to which you switched. In other words, you cannot switch between waitlists and keep the same place number – you leave one line to walk to the end of the other.

Can I have a space in line for more than one campus?2023-01-21T10:02:58-06:00

No, you may only be in a position for a space at one site. If it so happens that another campus clears its waitlist, we will contact the next person on the waitlists at our other campuses (by order of sign-up date) to offer the available space. If that person passes on the offer, we will continue down the list to offer the available space. We understand you are waiting in line at your preferred campus, so you are under no obligation to switch to an available space at another campus.

2021-06-12T16:48:08-05:00March 31, 2021|

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