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Q. Can I expect the same courses to be taught to the same age groups every year?
A. Not necessarily, although we do try to offer a core of traditional courses. Depending on faculty availability and interests, some courses alternate every other year and occasionally new courses are introduced.

Q. Can I sign up for only part of a course?
A. No. Our faculty work very hard to plan each course as an entity. The courses are not divisible.

Q. Can my child participate in the course only two or three days a week even if we pay for the entire course?
A. No. We expect our students to commit to an entire course (3 or 6-weeks, 5 days/week)

Q. Can my child sign up for more than one class?
A. Many students find the minutes of CSS class to be exhausting and exhilarating. For this reason, we discourage young students and first time CSS students from enrolling in more than one class per day. Older students (over 10 years old) may sign up for two classes per day.

Q. When does school begin and end?
A. CSS traditionally begins the week of July 4 and ends on the Thursday of the second week of August. The school day begins with classes at 8:30 AM and ends at 3:15 PM. Each class is 1 1/2 hours.

Q. If my child is gifted should I sign him up for an older age group?
A. In Woods Hole, ALL children are gifted. We rigidly adhere to the age group for each class. There are NO EXCEPTIONS.

Q. Can my child miss a week for camp or to visit relatives in the middle of the summer?
A. No. If your summer plans do not permit your child to spend a full three or six weeks, we cannot enroll him/her for the summer. The spot should go to a child who can make the full commitment.

Q. What are the expectations for the parents?
A. CSS cannot operate without parent involvement. Every family is REQUIRED to give a minimum amount of time to drive on a field trip or to work at the front desk during their child’s enrollment. Of course, everyone is also encouraged to give more time if possible on one of our many committees.

Q. How do parents get involved?
A. In addition to your driving or desk assignments, the best way to get involved is to pitch in. Let our Administrator or your child’s teacher know you are willing to drive extra trips or take over the desk when we need a substitute; attend all events (Back to School Open Houses, open Board meetings).

Q. Are kids allowed to swim during their class?
A. No. With the exception of our Advanced Marine Biology class, (offered every two years) our teachers and assistants are NOT trained lifeguards. Swimming in any other class is NOT ALLOWED.

Q. Do the classes use boats for research?
A. CSS has an arrangement with Patriot Boats that permits several of our classes to enjoy research-oriented field trips on their vessels. Our Nautical Science class is invited to visit SEA’s tall ship, Corwith Cramer, at the dock. Our fishing class makes several trips on board the patriot boats. CSS has no boats of its own.

Q. Must my child know how to swim?
A. No. With the exception of Advanced Marine Biology, this is not a requirement.

Q. What kind of footwear should my child have?
A. Shoes with BACKS (e.g. no Flip Flops) that can get wet and/or dirty.

Q. How does the school protect against deer ticks?
A. Children are asked to wear light-colored clothing with long pants, long sleeves and socks pulled over pant leg bottoms whenever they go on field trips. Every class does a “tick search” before returning from field trips.

Q. Can my child bring home animals they find on field trips?
A. No. We collect very selectively for our classroom aquaria and terraria. At the end of our program, all specimens are released into their original environments.

Q. If there is a problem, whom do I contact?
A. During the summer, the Administrative Director is the person to contact with all questions and concerns.

Q. How is CSS policy set and who can change it?
A. The policy is set by the Board of Directors. Most of our members have been involved with CSS for many years as students, parents, grandparents and/or volunteers on our committees before they are invited to serve on the Board. We have two Open Board meetings each summer when anyone can make comments and suggestions. Our Board members and officers are also frequently at school or available by phone.

Q. Do parents pay for lab equipment, boat trips and field trips throughout the summer?
A. No. Certain courses that use large amounts of disposable materials (Photography and ROV) require a Lab Fee in addition to tuition, but there are no ongoing costs.

Q. If my child applies to a popular class, how is the decision made on who gets in that class?
A. Preference is given first to students who have registered by the deadline, next to returning CSS students with greatest number of years of attendance, and finally to older students in the eligible age range. Any remaining spaces are filled by lottery.