Contact2021-03-28T13:32:14-05:00

CAMPUS LOCATIONS

Corpus Christi Catholic School
Houston

Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
Houston

St. Anne Catholic School
Tomball

Looking for another DeBusk program? See the complete list  of programs that receive funding from DeBusk Foundation.

We’re not on-site at our host campuses during the year and so we ask that you contact us via email. Once the program begins in June, we publish phone numbers for each site for attendee use during the program. Please do not call host schools directly, as our staff is not present there during the year.

Contact DECATS

Have a question or need assistance? Complete this short form, or reach out to us at admissions@decats.org.

    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

    Are there homework assignments?2020-08-10T17:19:22-05:00

    Generally speaking, no. Mentors may give Scholars the option to complete work or to continue working at home.

    What do Scholars wear to the program?2020-08-10T17:34:53-05:00

    Our dress code is summer casual: t-shirts, shorts and sneakers, with designated DECATS t-shirt days on Tuesday and Thursday of each week. While in a comfortable and relaxed academic setting, with time for movement both indoors and outdoors, clothes must remain tasteful and appropriate for our setting.

    Scholars must wear the current summer’s thematic shirt on the first Tuesday of the program for our annual group photo.

    Do Scholars need to buy school supplies or bring anything special?2020-08-10T17:34:52-05:00

    Taking a photography course? We provide the camera. Ready to refine your fine arts? We’ve got your pallete and paint. Headed for the science lab? A lab kit of goggles, apron and gloves are all ready for you.

    In other words, we’ve got everything you’ll need.

    Each Scholar receives a personal pencil bag of supplies for use throughout the program that includes: pencil bag, pens, pencils, scissors, eraser, highlighter, sharpener, glue stick, markers, colored pencils. Scholars scheduled in technology courses also receive a flash drive for storing their materials. All Scholars also receive a lightweight tote for carrying and storing items. All of these items may be taken home at the conclusion of the program.

    Scholars might be offered the option to bring in items to be used in their courses. This is always optional. We strongly encourage Scholars to leave all valuables at home.

    Can the program be extended beyond the sixth grade?2020-08-10T17:37:21-05:00

    Currently, no. Foundational research that was core to the program’s creation indicates that the optimum time for influence in the lives of gifted students is between third and sixth grades. Scholars who have graduated from DECATS often apply to serve as Graduate Assistants for the program.

    Are Scholars required to attend the entire program?2020-08-10T17:44:41-05:00

    Yes, and we require that full commitment up front with your application.

    We take our invitation and your desire to attend DECATS seriously. From our mentors, who commit several months to building curriculum, to you, the participants, who commit a month of your summer to come to DECATS, one of the defining strengths of our community is an intense dedication so that the program will be as educationally enriching, engaging, fun and successful as possible for all involved.

    To gain the most benefit from the program, and because there is likewise very high demand to be admitted, nominees may only apply if they are committed to attending the entire three-week program. Families who are new to DECATS (i.e. first-time attendees with no older siblings who have attended previously) are also required to attend New Scholar-Parent Orientation the Saturday before DECATS begins.

    Absences for illness that occur during DECATS may be excused. Routine medical appointments and non-emergency surgery or procedures may not be scheduled during DECATS hours. Any planned absence must be approved in advance by program administration. Unapproved absences not due to illness or emergency may result in my Scholar not being allowed to complete the current summer session and could result in the forfeiture of the opportunity to return to DECATS in future years.

    Can first-time families be excused from Orientation, make it up another time or go to Orientation at another campus?2020-08-10T17:50:53-05:00

    No, the requirement for first-time families (including at least one parent / guardian) is required in order to attend DECATS. Orientation is offered once at each campus location, and you must attend at your assigned campus since the faculty, facility, courses and course schedule are different at each site.

    Orientation includes essential information about the structure and purpose of the program, including an opportunity for Scholars and parents to get to know the people and campus prior to our first day. Significant experience and feedback has proven that hearing this information second-hand is not sufficient to prepare first-time Scholars and their parents for what lies ahead. Scholars arriving Monday without this preparation miss out on essential information necessary for us to open the program in a safe (and fun) way for all.

    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
    Do I get to see the summer’s course offerings before signing up for the program?2020-12-06T10:03:48-06:00

    The upcoming summer’s Course Catalog, which includes names and descriptions of courses we’re offering as well as the master schedule for the summer, isn’t available until after sign-up and registration have concluded. To get a sense of the types of courses you can expect to be offered, you can review the previous summer’s elective courses.

    What are the program’s eligibility criteria?2019-09-28T15:02:04-05:00

    95th Percentile Score

    95th Percentile Score

    Participants must have a ranking in the 95th percentile or above on any nationally standardized achievement test, creativity test or reasoning test – in a specific area, in multiple areas or as an average score overall.

    3rd - 6th Grade

    3rd - 6th Grade

    Participants must currently be completing third, fourth, fifth or sixth grade to be admitted.

    Principal Nomination

    Principal Nomination

    Students meeting the age and test score criteria are certified of their eligibility via a nomination from their school’s principal.

    How are courses developed?2020-12-06T10:09:57-06:00

    Course ideas come from lots of places!

    • Scholars and parents tell us about courses they would like for us to develop — and ones we should offer again! — in an evaluation completed at the end of each summer.
    • The faculty hired as Mentors bring their own specialties, talents, expertise and inspiration to our course development process.
    • Our annual program theme gives is some ideas for course subjects and topics, too.

    Mentors participate in an intensive lesson planning process utilizing DECATS philosophy and methodology, creating a one-of-a-kind differentiated education program for academically gifted kids.

    How do I plan my course requests?2020-12-12T10:12:12-06:00

    Our Course Catalog and master schedule will introduce you to the courses we’re offering for the summer and in which period each will take place.

    You will build a list of the three courses you like the most in each of the three elective periods, taking into consideration:

    • Scholars receive at least one first-choice course overall (though this is not a guarantee that you will receive all first choices)
    • Scholars may take a maximum of two courses within the same discipline / area of interest (make your requests diverse!)
    • Scholars may not repeat courses taken in previous summers

    When we publish the Course Catalog, we also provide the schedule for when the course request process will begin so that everyone has an advance opportunity to review the offerings and consider their requests.

    Will a course “fill up” if I don’t submit my requests quickly?2020-12-06T10:25:29-06:00

    Courses do not “fill up” as requests come in, and there is no “seniority” consideration for returning Scholars.

    Once everyone’s requests are in, we perform scheduling in the order that we received the requests. This does not mean, however, that those who submit first necessarily receive all of their first choices.

    We work very hard to schedule Scholars in as many of their top choices as possible. As we perform scheduling, inevitably the combination of choices results in our moving one Scholar from first choice to second in order to prevent another Scholar from not receiving a first choice at all. The very last course request submitted can impact the very first submitted.

    We encourage you to be prompt with submitting your requests though wish to make clear there is not necessarily a distinct advantage to submitting first. We guarantee all Scholars will receive at least one first-choice course.

    Can I change my final schedule?2020-12-10T13:12:10-06:00

    We cannot fulfill requests to change course schedules.

    Our unique scheduling process is very different from a typical master scheduling processed utilized at an elementary, middle or high school. It’s intensive and takes into consideration many factors both on the individual Scholar level as well as the program-wide level. Allowing one person to change courses would require we extend that opportunity to everyone, and this would severely compromise the program’s ability to move forward successfully.

    We are happy to make an accommodation in the event a Scholar is no longer able to participate in a course they’ve been assigned. Examples:

    • A Scholar in a physical activity course sustained an injury before the start of the program and they are no longer able to participate in the course as it is designed
    • A Scholar in a science dissection course learns they have an allergy or will develop an illness as a result of the materials or specimens used in the course
    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.

    Is every course offered in every elective period?2020-12-13T09:07:24-06:00

    No. Once Mentors have developed the elective courses they wish to offer for the summer, we create a master schedule that divides them as evenly as possible between the three elective periods – both numerically and by discipline / area of interest. This is different from traditional school, where the same course might be taught all day long, every period. Our innovative schedule maximizes the number of elective opportunities, offering greater variety, challenge and exposure for participants.

    Sometimes, very popular courses are offered in more than one period. To streamline the request and scheduling processes, we often track those multiple offerings by grade level (e.g. the fourth period session is for third and fourth graders; the fifth period session is for fifth and sixth graders).

    Here’s a sample master schedule to give you a sense of what you’ll see in the Course Catalog:

    What are the campus locations, and do I get to select a particular campus to attend?2020-12-06T12:12:53-06:00

    You have your choice of any of our three campuses when you sign-up.

    Corpus Christi Catholic School
    Houston

    Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
    Houston

    St. Anne Catholic School
    Tomball

    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.

    Are there other programs or locations?2020-12-06T12:07:10-06:00

    The DECATS Coalition is a state-wide network of all DECATS programs, which receive a grant from DeBusk Foundation.

    Operating independently from our three locations, there are also DECATS programs in Sugar Land, West Houston, Austin and Dallas. Contact those programs directly with any questions you have about their campus.

    Visit DeBusk Foundation
    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.

    When is the program typically scheduled?2020-12-06T12:16:16-06:00

    The final three weeks in June, which in some years also includes the first day or two of July.

    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.

    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 admissions@decats.org if you need a replacement copy.

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

    Announcements & Updates

    Go to Top