Planning for Summer 2021
Just like you, we want students to experience pre-college enrichment in-person, and we want to keep them safe.
That’s why - with snow still on the ground here in New York – we’re focusing on planning in-person, summer programs that will support the educational, emotional, and social needs of our students. As we are actively planning for in-person programs, our priorities remain the same. Summer Institute for the Gifted is steadfastly committed to safety, flexibility, assurance, and transparent communication.
Experience & Partnerships Pave the Path Forward
We have long-standing relationship with our university and school partners, and we’re working collaboratively with officials to formulate plans for on-campus programs.
No other summer provider has the depth and breadth of our university and school partnerships. If any pre-college program will be in-person this summer, it will be Summer Institute for the Gifted.
Trust us to be your in-person, summer experience provider.
Reduced Capacity Means Early Enrollment is Critical
It is likely that we’ll be running in-person programs at reduced capacity, with single-occupancy rooms and limited students in the classroom. We’d love to provide every student with the opportunity to join us on-campus, but smaller numbers of students in each program will help to reinforce the CDC’s physical distancing guidelines and will help to keep students safe.
We admit students to on-campus programs on a first-enrolled, first-served basis. The sooner a student enrolls, the more likely they’ll be able to join us on-campus. That’s why it’s more critical than ever to reserve a spot early.
Reserve Your Space with Our Free Program Protection Plan
We understand you want to protect your educational investment, so we’re giving you a risk-free option to save your spot.
All Summer Institute for the Gifted enrollments prior to May 1, 2021, are protected by our free Program Protection Plan. All students who enroll in a SIG program may cancel for any reason prior to May 1, 2021, and receive a full refund (minus the application fee and optional travel insurance).
And, if our university or school partners cancel a program for any reason, you’ll get your money back or have the option to transfer your enrollment to another program. Hold your spot with no risk!
We work directly with universities and schools and must follow their safety protocols while also developing our own standards to protect students. We will also work within the guidelines of each state where we operate programs. In addition, we follow all CDC guidelines and work directly with medical advisors to develop custom plans for our specific needs.
We know parents and students want specific information, and we promise to deliver proactive, timely communications and protocols as we add them.
Here’s what we plan for a safe student experience on campus:
- We will require students and staff to have a PCR test prior to arrival and the test must be negative.
- We will test students and staff for COVID on a weekly basis.
- Students will be housed in single-occupancy rooms (Innovators programs).
- Students are limited to one guest in their room at a time (Innovators), and the guest must be a SIG student.
- All program participants are required to wear face coverings at all times when leaving their dorm room (residential students). For Innovators and Investigators students, this includes, but is not limited to, common areas, hallways, classrooms and elevators.
- We will track student symptoms and students will complete a daily health screening survey
- Students will be placed in quarantine/isolation if they’re exposed to or test positive for COVID-19 (symptomatic or asymptomatic).
Preparing for Summer 2021
Many students and parents have asked questions about our COVID-19 plans for on-campus programs in summer 2021. The reality is that our plans are rapidly evolving based on the latest scientific evidence, guidance from the CDC, and advice and learnings from our university partners. We are preparing for a new normal, but the safety and health of our students has always been our number one priority. Our commitment to student and staff safety is the driver behind all of our planning, decisions, and protocols.
Because guidance, protocols and scientific evidence is changing daily, we don't have all the answers yet. However, we promise open, transparent and two-way communication with all of our SIG families.
Working Together for a Safe Summer
Many students and parents have asked questions about our COVID-19 plans for on-campus programs in summer 2021. The reality is that our plans are rapidly evolving based on the latest scientific evidence, guidance from the CDC, and advice and learnings from our university partners. We are preparing to host in-person programs, but the safety and health of our students has always been our number one priority. Our commitment to student and staff safety is the driver behind all of our planning, decisions, and protocols.
We have developed response protocols based on recommendations from the CDC, the American Camp Association, and our university partner protocols.
We can all work together this year to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Below are some of the protocols we’re implementing, as well as ways Innovators and Investigators program participants can help protect themselves and each other.
(Updated January 27, 2021)
We are currently accepting and enrolling students for SIG's 2021 programs this summer as campuses are still hopeful that they will be open during program dates. Of course, there may be travel restrictions or extraneous variables that prevent a student from attending SIG this summer. We are carefully monitoring the current Coronavirus situation, and will announce additional registration and on-campus precautions closer to the program dates, to be sure we are providing the most current and pertinent information.
We are in close communications with all our host universities and schools regarding protocols, possible changes in programming and maintaining the safety and well-being of our SIG family.
Summer Institute for the Gifted continues to closely monitor updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. State Department. We also consult with a third-party travel security specialist that advises us on the risks associated with travel to different areas in the world and monitors advice from the local authorities in our recruitment countries.
SIG is first and foremost committed to the safety and security of all students and staff. SIG is not a stranger to health concerns; we have navigated through many health issues during our over 35 years of experience. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding Coronavirus related to your participation in the Summer Institute for the Gifted program please reach out to admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. The health and safety of our students and staff is our priority.
What You Need to Know
All SIG program participants will be expected to conduct pre-screening measures, including temperature checks, symptom monitoring, and exposure likelihood. Participants will be required to take and record their temperature for 5 days prior to the program.
- Do you have COVID-19 symptoms? A fever of 100.4 F or greater, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, nausea, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, etc., within 14 days prior to the program?
- Have you been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with, tested for, or quarantined as a result of COVID-19?
In addition, all program participants will also be required to provide SIG with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the start of the program. If this test is returned positive, participants will not be able to participate in-person. More details about test submission will be provided closer to arrival times.
- Wear face coverings at all times when outside of their room (for residential students) unless they are eating
- Complete a daily symptom monitoring survey
- Adhere to weekly COVID testing
- Maintain 6 foot physical spacing from other individuals
- For residential students, limit guests to one guest in their room at a time, and the guest must be another SIG program participant
- Respect closures and limits on community spaces including bathrooms, common spaces and study areas, and restrictions on events and social activities, per public health guidance and SIG guidelines
- Refrain from sharing food or beverages with others
- Follow hand washing and sanitizing guidelines
In addition to asking students to follow these guidelines, SIG will:
- Regularly disinfect heavily touched surfaces
- Use outdoor spaces as much as possible for classes, activities, and meals
- For residential students, required isolation/quarantine for students who are exposed to or test positive to COVID-19 (symptomatic or asymptomatic)
Any student in our Innovators commuter or Investigators programs will be required to complete daily screening measures at home prior to class:
- Complete daily temperature check
- Complete Symptom Tracker
- Determine and notify SIG of potential for COVID due to close contact
Any commuter or day program student found to have a temperature or combination of symptoms will be unable to attend the program in-person.
All program staff will be trained in alignment with the CDC, American Camp Association, state and local government, the University, and SIG health and safety protocols and procedures prior to campus arrival, with additional training during program orientation.
Each program will have designated staff responsible for and responding to COVID-19 concerns.
SIG will provide all program staff with portable Health + Wellness Kits that will include, but are not limited to basic first aid supplies, gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, a thermometer, and liquid hand soap. Similar kits, with additional supplies, will be stored in every SIG office.
Any residential program participant found to have a temperature or combination of symptoms (as consulted by a medical professional) will be isolated from their Counselor group, and testing will be conducted.
- With a negative test result the program participant will be able to return to their Counselor group and continue the program in-person.
- With a positive test result the following will occur:
- SIG will reach out to the program participant’s parent or guardian and request implementation of their Travel Contingency Plan
- Care for the program participant will continue, along with isolation
- All program participants and staff in the affected Counselor group will undergo testing
- Contact tracing measures will be set in place
At SIG, we understand the unpredictability in the world right now. That’s why we are giving our students the option to protect their investment in their educational future.
You have until May 1, 2021, to cancel your enrollment without penalty. Just let us know by the deadline and you’ll get your money back minus the application fee and any optional travel insurance.
If you have chosen to purchase our Domestic TripMate Tuition / Travel Protection Plan please note that COVID-19 is treated the same as any other sickness for purposes of all coverages that are triggered by a sickness or that can reimburse losses resulting from a sickness. This can include – but is not necessarily limited to – the following (including the sub-benefits of many of these):
- Trip Cancellation
- Trip Interruption
- Accident and Sickness Medical Expense
- Emergency Medical Evacuation/ Medical Repatriation/ Return of Remains
- Domestic TripMate Tuition / Travel Protection FAQs pertaining to coverage for COVID-19 related claims
Frequently Asked COVID-19 Questions
Below are some of the common questions we've received:
- Will SIG be accepting fewer students because of COVID to limit interactions between students?
- How will on-campus housing be handled due to COVID?
- Will my student have access to the on-campus gym this summer?
- What precautions will be taken in the classroom due to COVID?
- How will weekend activities be impacted at Innovators Programs due to COVID?
- For students who must fly to an in-person program, will they have to quarantine?
- Can students be signed off-campus for lunch, dinner, or weekend activities?
- Will Innovators Program students flying to the program have to be tested when they arrive?
- Will the faculty be tested (faculty and teachers, TAs, administrative staff, housekeeping, etc.)? If so, how frequently?
- If an Innovators Program student tests positive for COVID during a 3-week program, can they quarantine for the appropriate time and return upon a negative test?
- Will out-of-state or international students need to quarantine prior to arrival at their program?
- What if a student on a residential Innovators program gets COVID and needs to quarantine?
- Will I receive a refund if SIG cancels my program after May 1 due to COVID concerns?
- Will I receive a refund if my program is canceled mid-session?
- Will I get a refund if an outbreak occurs during the program and my student needs to quarantine because they have COVID or were exposed to it?
- What if a COVID outbreak occurs during the program and my student chooses to voluntarily leave?
- What if the university or location cancels the program while it is in session?
- Are you planning to run on-campus programs this summer?
- Will SIG require students to wear masks?
- Will students have roommates?
- Does SIG require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19?
- Will my student have to mask and complete COVID testing if they have been vaccinated?
Will SIG be accepting fewer students because of COVID to limit interactions between students?
We anticipate accepting fewer students; however, our student numbers will be based on guidelines from the CDC, state and local government regulations, and university/partner protocols. That’s why it’s important to apply and enroll as soon as you're able. We will be giving priority to enrolled students. It’s very likely that these programs will fill up, and students are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
How will on-campus housing be handled due to COVID?
Room occupancy will be set by each university/partner. Masks will be required when students are outside of their rooms, including in the residence hall. Physical distancing will also be required where possible. Safety is our number one priority and we will adhere to local, state and federal CDC guidelines to keep our students and staff as safe as possible.
Will my student have access to the on-campus gym this summer?
This will depend on university protocols and we will update you when we know. Students will be able to exercise outside to help maintain their physical wellness.
What precautions will be taken in the classroom due to COVID?
Classroom capacity will be determined by physical distancing guidelines. We'll be using CDC guidelines, state guidelines, and university/partner protocols to determine our classroom numbers. Course capacity will vary based on the square footage of classroom space available. Students will have ample space between seats. SIG may limit class sizes to meet safety protocols, and because of this we recommend students apply and enroll as soon as possible. We anticipate that many of our popular courses will fill up, and we enroll students on a first-come, first served basis.
How will weekend activities be impacted at Innovators Programs due to COVID?
It is possible that some of the activities will look different than in years past in order to follow safety guidelines. However, there will be activities offered locally and on-campus for our Innovators students. Most of the activities we plan are optional, so students can pick and choose activities that they feel comfortable participating in.
For students who must fly to an in-person program, will they have to quarantine?
We are currently reviewing quarantine guidelines for each of our program locations. Every student must follow all applicable state quarantine guidelines prior to arriving on-campus. More information will be provided in the coming weeks.
Can students be signed off-campus for lunch, dinner, or weekend activities?
In previous years, students could be signed off-campus (with a parent's permission) for lunch, dinner, or weekend activities with family. For 2021, in order to keep students and staff as safe as possible, we are not permitting students to be signed off-campus.
Will Innovators Program students flying to the program have to be tested when they arrive?
Innovators Program students and staff will be required to take a pre-travel PCR test within 72 hours before program arrival. After 3-5 days of being on campus, SIG will administer another COVID test. After that test, we will be testing students and staff every week to ensure their safety.
Will the faculty be tested (faculty and teachers, TAs, administrative staff, housekeeping, etc.)? If so, how frequently?
University faculty will follow university protocols; SIG staff will follow the SIG weekly COVID testing protocols. We encourage families to visit the university or college website to learn about their COVID protocols. Universities are taking COVID very seriously and have enhanced their policies based on their experiences during the fall and spring semesters.
If an Innovators Program student tests positive for COVID during a 3-week program, can they quarantine for the appropriate time and return upon a negative test?
Upon the positive test, the Innovators Program student will need to be picked up by a parent, guardian, or COVID Contact. We don’t accept students mid-session, so there’s a chance that based on when the student is quarantined, students won’t be able to return to the program.
Will out-of-state or international students need to quarantine prior to arrival at their program?
Prior to arrival, students are expected to follow pre-arrival guidelines and avoid "risky" behavior (such as attending a music concert, a large religious service, eating at a buffet, etc.) as defined by the CDC. If a state or location has quarantine requirements, students are expected to abide by those requirements prior to arriving at their program. More information will be provided soon about this.
What if a student on an Innovators Program gets COVID and needs to quarantine?
All students will be required to submit a travel contingency plan before arriving on-campus. This plan will outline how a student will return home if they test positive for COVID. If a student does test positive, their travel contingency plan will go into effect and the designated COVID-19 Contact must come and get the student within 24 hours. The student will be quarantined while waiting for their designated COVID-19 contact to arrive.
Will I receive a refund if SIG cancels my program after May 1 due to COVID concerns?
Yes. Students will receive a full refund of tuition less the non-refundable application fee and the optional tuition travel protection plan.
We will also give students the option to transfer their 2021 tuition to another program or they can opt to roll over their tuition to summer 2022. By selecting the roll over option, students will lock in this year's prices, get a guaranteed spot in any of our 2022 programs, skip the application, and be eligible for our alumni discounts.
Will I receive a refund if my program is canceled mid-session?
If SIG needs to end a session early for any reason, students will be entitled to a partial refund less expenses and non-refundable fees (such as the application fee and any optional insurance) based on when the program cancels. Refunds will be determined at the time of cancellation.
Will I get a refund if an outbreak occurs during the program and my student needs to quarantine because they have COVID or were exposed to it?
If the program is not completely canceled due to COVID, any student that contracts COVID or needs to leave the program to quarantine will not be entitled to a refund.
What if a COVID outbreak occurs during the program and my student chooses to voluntarily leave?
The student will not be entitled to a refund and the SIG optional travel insurance will not offer a benefit for this situation.
What if the university or location cancels the program while it is in session?
You will be entitled to a partial refund less expenses, based on when the program cancels. Refunds will be determined at that time. Application fees and optional travel insurance are non-refundable.
Are you planning to run on-campus programs this summer?
Yes, at this time we are planning to operate on-campus programs. Our ability to operate on-campus is dictated by city, state, and local COVID-19 protocols. In addition, SIG must work within the guidelines of each university's COVID plans.
Will SIG require students to wear masks?
In accordance with the health and safety regulations of our university partners, along with guidance from the CDC, we will require students and staff to wear face masks at all times when leaving their room (residential students). For Innovators and Investigators students, this includes, but is not limited to, common areas, hallways, classrooms and elevators, vehicles, and when within 6 feet of others outside.
Will students have roommates?
In accordance with the health and safety regulations of our university partners, at this time we are only able to offer single-occupancy rooms.
Does SIG require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19?
No, we do not require the COVID-19 vaccine to attend our programs. However, we strongly encourage families who feel comfortable with their student receiving the vaccine to prioritize getting it prior to attending their program. Vaccines offer further protections for our students, but we will continue to implement COVID-19 protocols regardless of a student’s vaccine status.
Will my student have to mask and complete COVID testing if they have been vaccinated?
All students, staff, and instructors – regardless of vaccine status – will be required to follow our COVID-19 protocols. Testing and masking will be required for vaccinated students. Many of our university partners mandate specific COVID protocols and make no exceptions for vaccinated persons.