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Summer Programs 2020 Are Going Virtual!

After much time and consideration, the Center for Architecture has decided to move all of our scheduled Summer Programs online. Full program dates and descriptions are available on the Summer Programs page here.

Please have a look at the FAQs below, which we hope will answer your most pressing questions. If you have further inquiries after reading these over, please reach out via email to our education team at k12education@centerforarchitecture.org or via phone at 212-358-6133.  

Program Basics

What are the program hours? 

  • All programs meet Monday – Friday from 9:30 am – 4:00 pm, with a lunch break from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm. All program hours are in Eastern Time. There will be breaks in the morning and afternoon sessions; the timing for those will depend on the activities planned for each class. On the first day of each program, we will begin at 9:00 am so that families can check that all their technology is working properly. Once you’ve checked in with our staff, you can go walk aroundhave some breakfast, or anything else you need to do, and come back at 9:30 am ready for class. 

What will the daily activities look like? 

  • Each day will involve live lessons from our educators, class discussions and brainstorming, virtual field trips, and project time. Hands-on learning, design thinking, and 2D and 3D art projects are still the core of our Summer Programs. During project time, students will not need to focus on their screen, 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.  

How many students will be in each class? 

  • Our in-person Summer Programs cap at 16 students. In an effort to make the online experience more enjoyable for all of our students, we are now limiting each class to 12 students.  

What is the program cost? 

  • Program price remains $650 per week. While the program format has changed, our costs for running the programs have increased, with online infrastructure and equipment expenses, customized material kits shipped to your door, and reduced class sizes to provide a better student/teacher ratio. We feel that this price is an accurate reflection of the costs of running the program, and very much in line with other online programs of the same nature. 

How much parental participation or supervision will be required for these programs? 

  • It is our goal to make these programs as easy as possible for parents. Your child will likely need your assistance getting their space set up and accessing the technology (at least for the first day). We will not be relying on parents to teach lessons or oversee activities. During project time, we request that all students remain logged into the classroom so that the educator can see them and their work and discuss their projects with them, and the students can build rapport with each other. 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. 

How are you making sure my child is staying on task? 

  • As mentioned above, we request that all students remain logged into the classroom during program hours. The educator and assistant will be checking in with students as a group and individually to ensure everyone understands the project and to give support so students can realize their vision. 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.  

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 the classroom community, just as in our in-person programs.  

What happens if my child is late to a class? 

  • It’s okay! We understand that things happen and that students might be late. All we ask is that you join the class as soon as you can! 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. 

Will there be final presentations? 

  • Yes! We still feel that students sharing their work with each other and families is a vital part of our Summer Programs. Students will be sharing their work with each other throughout the week and on the final day of the program. We would love to see other family members join in to see the work of their student along with the rest of the class.  

Materials

What materials will the Center for Architecture provide? 

  • The Center for Architecture will be shipping program material kits to all registrants. These will include a variety of art and design supplies to allow students to make design choices about their projects, as well as Center for Architecture customized activity sheets and handouts aligned with the week’s schedule of activities. 

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.  

What type of workspace will my child need? 

  • The location at home where students set up not only impacts their own experience, but also the experience of their fellow students. 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. It would be a good idea to take some time before the first day of the program to find the best space for your child and give it a test run on RingCentral. 

Online Access and Security

What platform will you use for the class? 

  • We will use the Center for Architecture’s RingCentral Meetings Video Conferencing for all of our Summer Programs. This service is powered by Zoom, so you are likely already familiar with its functionality.  
  • We will also use Microsoft SharePoint/OneDrive to share digital program materials with students. This will be a great way to send 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 Summer Programs, students will need a computer, laptop, or tablet that has a camera and a microphone. Steady internet access is also required. Although it’s not required, 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 3-click mouse. Tablets cannot run the digital design software used in these classes.  

Can my child attend class on their phone? 

  • The use of a cell phone is prohibited for any Digital Design class. For these programs, students must have a full keyboard, mouse, and larger screen to use the SketchUp software. 
  • Although mobile phones do work with the RingCentral platform, we do not recommend using a phone as the main means of connection to the class due to its small screen size. Students will not be able to see the whole class and the program content shared by our educators may also be too small to be properly viewed. If you choose to use this method for your main connection, you do so against our advice and at your own discretion. 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 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? 

  • All of our classes will be online, and you’ll need fairly reliable internet access to attend them.  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 RingCentral Meetings’ answers 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 RingCentral 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 password? 

  • First, do a search for emails from k12education@centerforarchitecture.org 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. 

Registration

How to I register for these programs? 

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

The program says it is “Sold Out.” Is that really true? 

  • Yes and no. We opened registration for our Summer Programs on February 14th and many programs sold out before the Center for Architecture closed its doors and online learning became the new normal. Since this new online format will not be appealing to all families, we do anticipate that spaces will open up in many of the sold-out programs. Please add yourself to the waitlist for any sold-out program you are interested in and we will be in touch if a spot becomes available. 

I’m on the waitlist, but I have not heard anything. When will I know if I got a spot in the program? 

  • We have been tracking cancellation requests as they have come in, but were waiting until we had all program details finalized to make offers from the waitlist. We will begin to fill from the waitlist in late May/early June. After that point, we will be filling spots on a rolling basis, so please continue to check your emails. Registered families have until three weeks prior to the program start date to submit cancellation requests, so the final spots for each program will be made available 2-3 weeks prior to the start of the program. 

Cancellations & Refunds

What if I registered but I am no longer interested in the class? 

  • We completely understand that this new format will not work for all families. Please submit your cancellation request via email to k12education@centerforarchitecture.org at least 3 weeks prior to your program’s start date. 

What if I registered, but I don’t have the technology required to make remote learning to work?  Can I still get a refund? 

  • Yes! We are sorry that your child will not be able to join us, but we completely understand. Please submit your cancellation request via email to k12education@centerforarchitecture.org at least 3 weeks prior to your program’s start date. 

What if my child misses a day (or days) due to technical difficulties?  Will I be refunded for this? 

  • No. It will be up to the student (and parents) to make sure that they attend classes. If you are having technical difficulties, please reach out via email or phone to let us know. We will try to assist, but we are not responsible for technology issues beyond our control. 

What happens if we start the program, but my child doesn’t like it and wants to quit? Can I still get a refund? 

  • No. We are a small non-profit and need to break even on our Summer Programs. We are unable to fill a spot in the class mid-session, and thus cannot offer refunds mid-session. 

Further questions about refunds are addressed in our Terms and Conditions and Summer 2020 Cancellations/Refunds Policy and Procedure

Miscellaneous

What if the Center for Architecture opens before my program? 

  • All of our Summer Programs for 2020 will remain online, even if the Center is able to re-open. Since we are completely changing the format of the programs, our educators are creating lesson plans and project plans that are specific to this online format. Just as our lesson plans for inperson programming cannot directly translate to remote learning, we wouldn’t be able to transfer these online programs and materials to an in-person program. Additionally, because we are offering the class online, we’ve been able to open up enrollment to students outside of New York City and are hoping to gain new students from around the country. A lastminute switch to inperson would not be possible for them!   

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