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Information for Parents

Requesting Special Accommodations

If your child needs special accommodations for a physical, medical, mental health, or other disability, please visit Summer Programs Disability Services for more information. Related questions can be directed to CTY staff at 410-735-6215 or

Working with a Child Reluctant to Attend

It’s not uncommon for first-time students to be apprehensive about attending CTY. They may feel unsure about being away from home for three weeks or about spending some of their summer inside a classroom. These concerns can put parents in a difficult position. There is a fine line between encouraging children to overcome normal apprehension and forcing them into a situation for which they are not yet ready. Although many initially nervous students later report being grateful that their parents encouraged them to attend CTY, we do not recommend sending a very reluctant child to the program.

Supporting Your Child

Parents are a vital component of a successful summer. The demanding nature of the academic program and the residential setting are often new to students. We encourage you, well in advance of the session, to discuss with our staff any issues that may affect your child’s experience in the classroom or residence hall. The following advice can help you prepare your child for success in the classroom:

  • Speak with your child about what it’s like to live in an inclusive community. Students at CTY have a variety of backgrounds, beliefs, and opinions which they may choose to share freely. While this can create an uncomfortable moment or two in the beginning, we feel strongly that the diversity of communities at our sites makes CTY an especially rewarding academic and social experience.
  • Encourage your child to take advantage of opportunities to meet new people. Often, particularly in the first few days, the comfort of solitary activities (like reading a book or talking on the phone) may come at the expense of meeting people with shared interests.
  • Emphasize that working through inconveniences (like sharing a room or a bathroom) can lead to great rewards and is well worth the close friendships your child will build.
  • Encourage your child to share experiences and concerns with staff members. Feedback on the activities that students participate in, as well as the issues they are facing (such as roommate conflicts or struggles in class), helps us to provide a supportive and enjoyable environment.
  • Review the CTY Honor Code and expectations for student conduct with your child. Students fully committed to all aspects of the program, including the rules, report the highest levels of satisfaction with their experience.

During the summer, we encourage parents to contact site administrators if a child is encountering difficulties so that we can work together to help the student.

Homesick Students

Being away from home, especially for the first time, can be difficult, so we make every effort to create a supportive environment. Site administrators are trained to assist students who are having trouble adjusting to the program. If your child becomes homesick, contact a site administrator (such as the academic counselor) for ideas on helping your child adapt to the new environment. Keep in mind that frequent contact with your child may prolong homesickness. Please give your child a few days to become comfortable at CTY; nearly all students who initially experience homesickness ultimately succeed in and enjoy their summer experience.

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