Frequently Asked Questions: Summer@IMSA

Summer@ IMSA FAQs

Please note: due to construction this summer at IMSA’s main building, the programs at our Aurora campus will take place in IMSA’s residential buildings. Specific information about drop-off location and procedures will be sent to you prior to the program’s start.

Q. What are your COVID protocols?

A. We will work within State of Illinois, CDC, and American Camp Association recommendations to provide a COVID-Careful camp experience.  We will keep registered families updated as to what our policies and expectations will be as we get closer to summer. Please note, due to its residential component, IMSA is considered a congregate setting and as such may have different expectations compared with a typical school setting.

Q. My student lives outside of Illinois, can they attend your program?

A. Absolutely! If you can provide the proper transportation and authorize other family members to drop off and pick up your student, we would love to learn with you.

Q. When is the application deadline for these programs?

A. Summer@IMSA programs are first-come, first-serve and programs fill quickly, so register as soon as you select the best program for your student. Our website details a registration deadline for each program.

Q. I tried to register online, but my preferred program is full. What are my options?

A. You may opt for an alternate program, or elect to join the waiting list (online) for your preferred program.

Q. My student is accelerated or gifted, can they attend a program for a grade level beyond the one they are entering?

A. No, we have found making exceptions to this guideline is not successful. Our programs are great opportunities to learn and have fun with other students of similar ages.

Q. What is the refund policy?

A. Full tuition refunds (less the non-refundable $50 registration fee for in-person programs) will be honored through April 15. Any cancellations after April 15 and through May 15 will receive a refund of 50% of the tuition (less the $50 non-refundable registration fee for in-person programs). No refund requests whatsoever will be granted after May 15.

Q. My student is going to be picked up by someone else, how do I authorize that?

A. Please authorize the other driver on the Emergency Contact and Health form during online registration. It’s also helpful to speak to your child’s group leader so they are aware that a different person may be picking up your child.

Q. My student has a friend or relative registered in the program, can you arrange for them to be in the same section?

A. For select programs, there may be more than 1 pod (classroom) for each program. IMSA will do its best to honor one mutual friend request to pair two students in the same program pod. PLEASE NOTE ONLY ONE MUTUAL FRIEND REQUEST TO BE PLACED IN THE SAME POD— THE FIRST ONE WE RECEIVE–WILL BE HONORED. NO EXCEPTIONS. DUE TO THE SMALL POD SIZE, WE WILL NOT HONOR REQUESTS TO PUT GROUPS OF 3 OR MORE STUDENTS TOGETHER. Friends will still need to maintain masking and social distancing measures.

Participants must request each other for the request to be fulfilled. Requested parties must be registered for the same program (i.e. a participant in the 3-4 program cannot be grouped with a participant in the 5-6 program).  The form must be completed again for multiple events/registrations. The form is due 2 weeks before the program starts. We cannot accommodate requests made after this date. Please note we reserve the right to separate friends if their pairing results in disruptive behavior. This form can be filled out online by logging in to your account after completing registration. This information will also be communicated in the confirmation email you will receive right after you register.

Q. I’m interested in a financial scholarship for my student, how do I apply?

A. Limited need-based scholarships are available for students. Scholarships are based on financial need and not academic performance. Click the “Apply” link under the program description to initiate an application. Applying and qualifying for a scholarship does not guarantee an award or registration into the program. To qualify for a scholarship, the student’s family is required to submit proof of financial eligibility: if you qualify for SNAP or Free/Reduced Lunch, you qualify, but we need you to submit proof of eligibility. If you do not have a form in your possession or have difficulty getting it from your school or IDHS, you may submit a screenshot showing eligibility. Please contact us at if you have difficulty with this requirement. Alternatively, a 2020 or 2021 federal tax return showing proof of family income may be submitted. WATCH YOUR EMAIL and CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER! Award recipients will be notified via email and must reply to the scholarship offer within the time period indicated in the email. Some programs require a scholarship administration fee, which will be due within the time period indicated in the email.NOTE: You may choose to either pay for program registration OR apply for a scholarship and await award notification. Your scholarship application will not be considered if you also complete a paid registration.

Health and Other Questions

Q. My student has allergies or food concerns. How is that addressed?

A. All campers will be bringing their own lunches this year. Please let us know about your child’s allergies via the online Participant Information Form and we will share that information with the nurse’s office.

Q. What should I do if my student has health issues or concerns?

A. Tell us about your concerns on the Health and Emergency Form during registration. We cannot allow students with acute contagious conditions to attend our programs, but students with conditions such as asthma or ADHD can attend enjoy our programs. Students with Epi-pens and inhalers are required to carry their own medication. Our nurse is on duty from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and other personnel are trained in first aid.

Q. How should I handle medication?

A. We do not administer prescription medications during day programs, and will only provide children with over-the counter medications (i.e. ibuprofen) if you give permission to the nurse. If your child has a prescription that they need during the day, and it is not a narcotic, they must carry it and administer it themselves. If your child requires a narcotic prescription during the day, a parent/guardian will need to come to campus to administer this, unless advance, specific arrangements are made directly with the IMSA health office.

Day to Day Procedures

Q. What should my student wear?

A. Students must wear closed-toed shoes that fully enclose the foot (sneakers, boots, etc.) for safety in a lab environment. Students should be able to tie back long hair. Please wear comfortable clothes that are appropriate for the weather – we do go outside! You may also want to bring a sweater or light jacket as the AC is stronger in some areas of the building.

Q. What sort of items should my student bring to the program each day?

A. For day programs—just lunch and a refillable water bottle. Materials and equipment are all provided. You will receive a pre-program email with more specifics. Students change classrooms frequently and it is easy to lose things or leave them behind.

Q. What is your policy on devices?

A. Our policy on devices is similar to many schools—they are not allowed during the program day except at lunch (for all students). Teachers may confiscate phones if they are being used inappropriately.

Q. What should I expect on the first day of the program?

A. You will receive a more detailed letter with additional information before the start of the program, but for day programs, be prepared to check in with program personnel and meet your students’ group leader on the first morning.

Q. Is extended care available before or after hours?

A. We do not provide extended care. Please be timely and prompt with drop-off and pick-up for the best and safest experience for every participant. IMSA day programs end at 3 p.m.  Any parent/guardian picking up a child late will be assessed a fee of $15 per child for any pickup 15 minutes late and $5 per 5-minute period thereafter (i.e. 15-19 mins late = $15, 20-24= $20, 25-29=$25, etc). Late fees are due on the child’s next day of camp.

Q. I’d like to carpool with someone; can I have information on other participants in my area?

A. We cannot give out personal information about other participants. In the past, parents have introduced themselves to others to connect and form carpools.