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2021 Summer Program FAQs

The information on this page is for Summer 2021. Information for Summer 2022 will be available in Spring 2022.

For Summer 2021, the Center for Architecture will offer Summer Programs both in-person at the Center for Architecture and online, with full and half-day options available. Full details on program dates, themes, format, and registration are available on our Summer Programs page.  

Please have a look at these FAQs, which we hope will answer your most pressing questions. These FAQs are separated into three main sections: Overall Summer Program Information, In-Person Summer Programs, and Online Summer Programs. If you have further inquiries after reading these over, please reach out via email to our education team at or 212-358-6133. 

General FAQs (In-Person and Online)

Program Details:

What are the program hours? 

  • Program hours vary based on program format (in-person or online) and age group. Please see our Summer Programs page for a list of program hours. Hours are also listed on each individual program registration page. All students will have a one-hour lunch break in the middle of the day from 12:00 – 1:00 PM. All program hours are in Eastern Time.

How many students will be in each class? 

  • Our Summer Programs have a maximum of 12 students per class 

What is the student to teacher ratio in your Summer Programs?  

  • In most courses, there will be one lead educator and one assistant educator, creating a 1:6 adult to student ratio. For in-person programs, when we leave the Center for Architecture for lunch and trips, there will be 2-3 adult staff members with the group at all times. 

Is there flexibility in the age groups for Summer Programs?  

  • All grade levels are based on the grade the student will be entering in the fall. Students are not eligible to go up a grade level. However, students at the youngest age of their group can opt to enroll in the younger class. For example, a student who has just completed 8th grade and will be entering 9th grade in the fall can choose to register for a Grade 6-8 class.  

Do you balance the programs based on gender?  

  • Registration is completed on a first-come, first-served basis. We do not ask for a student’s gender identity during the registration process. We do not feel that a student’s gender has any bearing on their ability to enjoy the programs or make friends. 

Are your programs appropriate for students with special needs? 

  • While we try to accommodate all types of learners, our programs are not specifically designed for students with special needs. We have one lead educator per course who divides their time assisting all students in the course equally. While there is constant guidance and support throughout the course, we do expect students to be independent and self-motivated workers. If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact us. 

What happens if my child can’t attend a day or if they will be late?  

  • Please email or call 212-358-6133 and notify our Youth Programs Manager if your child will be late or absent on any given day. If there is a perpetual lateness issue that we think a parent may be unaware of (primarily for older students), our staff will reach out to you. There are no make-ups or refunds for missed days. 


Registration and Payment:

How to I register for these programs? 

  • Registration for all of our online Summer Programs can be handled through the Summer Programs page.  

What is the program cost? 

  • Program cost varies from based on program format (in-person or online), program hours, and program materials. Please see our Summer Programs page for a list of program prices. Prices are also listed on each individual program registration page.  

Do you offer scholarships for Summer Programs? 

Do you offer a payment plan? 

  • Unfortunately, we do not have a payment plan available. Full tuition is due at the time of registration, except for need-based scholarship applicants who can delay payment until they have received notice of any scholarship award the Center for Architecture is able to provide. Scholarships are need-based and are limited to one per student. For more information on our scholarships, please see our 2021 Summer Programs Scholarship Information and Financial Need Form. 

Do you have a multiple child discount? 

  • We do not offer a multiple child discount. 

What does waitlist mean? 

  • Waitlist means that we are currently full for that program. You are welcome to sign up for the waitlist, but a spot will only open if someone else cancels their registration. You are placed on the waitlist in the order that you registered. To be added to a waitlist, please follow the waitlist link on the Summer Programs page, enter your information, and select all programs you would like to be waitlisted for. You should receive an automated email confirmation for your records. We will contact you if a spot opens in the program. 

What are the chances of getting admitted from the waitlist for a Summer Program?   

  • Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing. There will be some waitlist movement in June following our scholarship application process. After that point, we do occasionally have cancellations up until the week prior to the program. Our waitlists are formed on a first-come, first-served basis. You will be notified if a space becomes available.  

What is your cancellation and refund policy? 

In-Person Summer Programs

What is a typical in-person Summer Program schedule?  

  • All in-person Summer Programs meet from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. We have an hour-long break for lunch and recess, typically from 12:00 – 1:00 PM, which we take at a local park (weather permitting). Over the course of the week-long program, students learn about their program topic through class discussions, design challenges ,and investigation of architectural examples both in class and on local walking trips, when appropriateStudents spend most of each day exploring their own design ideas through art and building projects, which they share with the group. This year, students will complete and bring home related projects throughout the week, rather than focusing on a single final project, to avoid disruptions in their work if a program needs to move online.  

What is the Center for Architecture doing in response to COVID-19? 

What happens if my child’s class moves to an online format during the week?  

  • If a COVID-19 infection in the class requires us to transition the class to an online format for the remainder of the week, students will continue with program activities designed to be completed at home. Students will bring home a bag of at-home design supplies on Day 1 in case this happens. We ask that students provide their own scissors, pencil, coloring tools (crayons, etc.), and paper recyclables from home to supplement this supply kit. They will also need a computer and internet connection for remote learning.  

What does my child need to bring for the program? 

  • Please send your child each day with a bagged lunch, snacks, a refillable water bottle, and an additional clean mask. Sunscreen and sun hats for lunch and trips may also be helpful. Please note: staff will not apply sunscreen for students. 

Are lunch or snacks included for Summer Programs? 

  • No, all students need to bring their own lunch, snacks, and refillable water bottle each day. All lunches and snacks should be nut free. Please pack all food with ice packs if needed. No refrigeration or heating will be available. Lunch will be enjoyed at a local park (weather permitting). Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, all students will be required to stay with their program group during lunch. Independent lunch breaks will not be an option this year. 

Can my child bring their phone, tablet, etc.? 

  • During class hours, students will not be allowed to use personal electronic devices. These items may be used during lunch. The Center for Architecture is not responsible for lost, damaged, or broken items.  

Do you offer before or after care for Summer Programs? 

  • No. Due to safety and cleaning protocols, we cannot accommodate early arrivals or late pick-ups. Students who are picked up more than 15 minutes past the 4:00pm pick-up time will be charged $30. We appreciate your attention to this matter. 

What should my child wear for these programs? 

  • Wear clothing that is comfortable and can get a little messy. All of our materials should be washable (markers, glue, etc.) but as with most creative things, our programs can get messy. Also, please dress appropriately for the weather. While the programs are largely indoors, we will take some field trips and be outside for lunch each day (weather permitting). Students should carry a reusable water bottle and wear a hat/sunscreen as needed. 

Where should I go on the first day of the program?  

  • All in-person programs meet at the Center for Architecture. Due to COVID-19 Safety Protocols, no one will be admitted into the space prior to 9:00 AM and all check-in procedures will be conducted outside. You will need to remain with your child until their check-in health screening has been completed each day, unless you have given your child permission to come and go on their own (designated during registration). Additional check-in procedure information will be sent to all families via email prior to their program. 

Who can sign out my child?  

  • People signing out students must be listed as authorized pickup persons on our sign-in sheet. You can designate these individuals when completing registration and can add individuals to this list at check-in each morning. Students in grades 6-12 can sign themselves out with adult permission. This permission will be designated during the registration process and can be changed, if needed, by a parent or guardian by contacting k12education@centerforarchitecture.orgDue to COVID-19 Safety Protocols, all pick-up procedures will be conducted outside. 

What happens if I need to pick up my child early?  

  • If you would like to pick up your child prior to 4:00 PM, please notify at least 24 hours in advance. For emergencies, please call the front desk at 212-358-6121. 

What happens if I’m late picking up my child?  

  • Students who are picked up more than 15 minutes past the pick-up time will be charged $30. We appreciate your attention to this matter. 

What if my child gets injured during the program? 

  • We have two CPR and FirstAid trained staffers on site at all times. In case of injury, we will respond to the situation and reach out to the child’s emergency contact as soon as possible.  

Will there be final presentations? 

  • Students will still give final presentations at the end of the program week to their teachers and classmates. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 Safety Protocols, no parents or additional adults will be allowed to enter the Center for Architecture during the program. 

Online Summer Programs

During the Program:

What will the online daily activities look like? 

  • Each day will involve live lessons from our educators, class discussions, virtual field trips, and project time where students will engage in hands-on art and building activities using the art and design materials shipped to each student participating in a non-digital design program.  During project time, students will not need to focus on their screen (unless they are participating in a Digital Design class) but will remain connected to the class and our educators, who will provide support and guidance. We will take advantage of breakout rooms to create a dynamic classroom atmosphere and provide individualized one-on-one instruction and feedback.  

What type of workspace will my child need? 

  • Students should choose a well-lit, distraction-free learning space appropriate for interacting with educators and fellow students on camera. Ideally, their workspace is large enough to hold their device as well as have some room for their hands-on project. We understand that this will likely look a bit different for every family and it is up to you to determine the most successful set up for your student. 

How much parental supervision will be required for online programs?  

  • It is our goal to make these programs engaging for students and easy for parents. This is best accomplished when students have their cameras on and are actively participating in the class.  Obviously, there are limitations to what we can control through the screen, so while we will be supervising your child, we cannot be fully responsible for their actions. Just as for our in-person programs, it is important that students are self-motivated and have an interest in the program topic and their projects. We will contact you if a student becomes disconnected from the class or is non-responsive to educator questions and class discussions. 

Is lunch supervised? 

  • No, lunch is not supervised. There is no online location for students to hang out during the lunch break. We feel that lunch time is an important opportunity to give the students a break from their projects and screens. 

Will there be final presentations? 

  • Yes! Students will be sharing their work with each other throughout the week. On the final day of the program, friends and family are invited to join in and see the work of their student along with the rest of the class. 


Online Program Materials:

What materials will the Center for Architecture provide? 

  • The Center for Architecture will be shipping program material kits for all online programs other than “Digital Design” programs, which require no supplies. These materials kits will include a variety of art and design supplies to allow students to make design choices about their projects, as well as customized Center for Architecture activity sheets and handouts aligned with the week’s schedule of activities. Please note: The Center for Architecture will not ship materials internationally. 

Are there any materials we will need to provide?  

  • We ask all students to provide pencils, pens, blank paper, crayons/markers/colored pencils, scissors, and a ruler or straightedge. In addition, most classes will have students make use of empty cardboard cereal/cracker/tissue cartons, paper towel/toilet rolls, and other recyclables from home. Specific requests to save and set aside these materials will be sent in the program confirmation emails.  


Online Programs Access and Security:

What platform will you use for the class? 

  • We will use the Center for Architecture’s Zoom video conferencing for our online Summer Programs. 
  • We will also use Microsoft SharePoint/OneDrive to share digital program materials with students. This will be a great way to share program resources without clogging up your inboxes. 
  • For our Digital Design classes, we will be using the digital software program SketchUp. We will send instructions for downloading the free version of this program to all registered families. 

What technology does my child need in order to participate? 

  • For the majority of our online Summer Programs, students will need a computer, laptop, or tablet that has a camera and a microphone. Steady internet access is also required. Although not necessary, headphones with a built-in microphone are helpful. Printers are not required but may be useful for printing additional copies of materials sent by the Center for Architecture. 
  • For our Digital Design classes, students must have a computer or laptop (not a tablet) and an external three-click mouse. Tablets cannot run the digital design software used in these classes.  
  • For our high school classes, students are asked to photograph their drawings and models and to upload those to our online portal. 

Can my child attend class on their phone? 

  • Although mobile phones do work with Zoom, students cannot use a phone as the main means of connection to the class. A phone can be useful as a secondary device, however, to enable students to stay connected to the class while trying out an activity away from their computer, or to provide another view of their work to share with our educators. 

Can both of my children participate in the same online program using the same computer? 

  • Yes, this would be possible for any program that is not labeled “Digital Design”, as the computer will be used primarily as vehicle for group discussions and presentations. You will need to register each child individually, as the cap on students is per child, not per device. For all Digital Design programs (the ones with computer-based model making), however, each student will need their own computer, as this is their main design tool.   

Is my internet speed fast enough for these classes? 

  • You’ll need fairly reliable internet access to attend our online programs. While everyone’s internet speed capabilities are unique to their location, most homes will be well equipped to handle these classes. If you would like further specifics, you can check out Zooms system requirements here. 

Will they need a special microphone and/or headphones? 

  • No, they won’t need anything special, as long as their device has a built-in camera and microphone. Although not required, headphones with a built-in microphone are helpful. The headphones will allow for your students to hear the class clearly (and likely will be appreciated by others in your household!)  

Where are the links for my child to attend classes?  

  • We will send out links via email to all participants in the week prior to the program. We suggest that you bookmark these links or save the email somewhere for easy access throughout the program.  

What kinds of online protections are there for these classes? 

  • Every class is password protected. The link to participate in the class, along with the password, will be sent to all participating families prior to the program start date. Email addresses and contact information collected in the registration process will not be shared with others.  

What if I don’t have, or I lost, the link or password? 

  • First, do a search for emails from to see if it’s hiding somewhere in your email. If you still cannot find it, send us an email and we will get back to you as quickly as possible. 


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