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.

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?2021-03-30T08:38:08-05:00

Extended day begins at 7:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. No extended care is provided on the last day of DECATS, as the program concludes before noon that day.

  • Morning care only: $100
  • Afternoon care only: $100
  • Both morning & afternoon care: $200
Will participants be required to wear masks or other PPE?2021-03-30T08:41:39-05:00

DECATS will be fully compliant with any restrictions or requirements with respect to school settings that are in place at the time of operation of the program. At this time, we plan on requiring all participants, faculty and staff to wear masks at all times except during lunch and outdoor time after the lunch period.

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?2021-03-28T13:43:21-05:00

At this time, we expect to ask for compliance with all participants completing the appropriate self-checks each day for indications related to either routine illness or to a disease like COVID-19. We do not anticipate taking confidential health measurements (temperatures) in public settings like carpool lines, nor would that data ever be recorded by us.

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?2021-03-28T13:44:03-05:00

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 space. While certain contact activities (like dance or motion during certain songs) will change or adapt, we are currently evaluating the best ways to preserve these community times.

Will lunch or outdoor times be modified in any way?2021-03-30T10:23:55-05:00

We expect to continue having Scholars 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 plan to 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 during the program.

What cleaning procedures or other safety equipment will be in place?2021-03-30T08:43:55-05:00

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. We expect for this summer to have participants sit at the same space each day in each room / space to make any necessary contact tracing easier.

Will parents be able to visit DECATS?2021-03-30T08:47:34-05:00

This year it is highly unlikely that parents will be able to attend our morning and afternoon assemblies. A final determination will be made closer to the start of the program. We are investigating recording or live streaming these daily activities at each campus.

Will anything be different about the core DECATS curricula, Manners to Morals and Perspectives?2021-03-28T13:45:34-05:00

We are currently assessing to make a final determination in this area. Some levels of curriculum are adaptable, and some may warrant “pausing” for one year (like Manners, which involves many activities requiring close proximity and / or contact with others, like handshaking).

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?2021-03-28T13:46:29-05:00

We are currently assessing to make a final determination.

Will the Closing Celebration be held at the end of the program?2021-03-28T13:46:55-05:00

We are currently assessing to make a final determination.

Will special events like the group photo and Manners to Morals Day be held?2021-03-28T13:47:25-05:00

We are currently assessing to make a final determination.

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.

Why is there a waitlist?2020-12-06T12:25:32-06:00

Spaces in the program are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. When a campus reaches capacity prior to the application deadline, we still accept applications for that campus, and we place them on a waitlist – also in order of first-come, first-served.

How do I see my place on the waitlist?2020-12-06T12:25:26-06:00

Your place on the waitlist is indicated on the main checklist page of your myStatus portal. The higher the number, the more applicants 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.)

What are my chances of admission from the waitlist?2020-12-06T12:25:20-06:00

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.

How long will I have to wait?2020-12-10T13:15:55-06:00

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. We will do our best to predict and provide timely updates.

How long can I stay on the waitlist? Can I withdraw?2020-12-06T12:26:02-06:00

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.

Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of enrollment?2020-12-06T12:24:59-06:00

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. There is no reason to send us emails of continued interest, inquiries of current status, letters of recommendation, etc.

Can I have a space in line for more than one campus?2020-12-06T12:24:45-06:00

No, you may only be considered for admission at one site. If it so happens that another campus clears its waitlist, we will contact the next person on the waitlist at another campus (by order of application 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.

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.

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.

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?2021-03-30T17:32:59-05:00

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 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 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.

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.

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).

2021-03-31T07:32:13-05:00March 31, 2021|

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