Frequently Asked Questions & Camp Policies

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Overview of DNALC COVID-19 Safety Net Guidelines (updated June 4, 2021)

Current COVID-19 Safety Net Guidelines PDF–DNALC, Long Island   Current COVID-19 Safety Net Guidelines PDF–DNALC NYC, Brooklyn

To provide a safe environment for students visiting our labs we have adopted the following safety procedures and precautions:

Students will:

  • receive a temperature check prior to building entry.
  • sanitize hands upon entry to the building.
  • wear masks at all times, with the exception of designated lunch breaks.
  • adhere to social distancing guidelines, which are clearly marked throughout the building.
  • be grouped into cohorts with staggered drop-off and pick-up times.

Parents will:

  • submit the Daily Health Screening for their child electronically each morning of instruction.
  • provide proof of full vaccination (two week post final dose) for COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 test prior to the first day of camp - PCR or rapid test, performed within 5 days of camp start - for EACH week student is registered.
  • wait until they are notified their child is cleared before leaving student check-in.
  • remain outside for drop-off and pick-up, which will take place curbside in front of the building.
  • contact the DNALC at dnalc@cshl.edu or (516) 367-5170 if they can not consent to the Daily Health Screening forms, or if their child is unable to attend for any reason.

Educators and staff working on site will:

  • follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks at all times.
  • be fully vaccinated.

Within the building, a number of precautions have been implemented:

  • Signs and floor markings have been put in place to assist your child with finding the correct classroom, finding the appropriate seating in the classroom, using the restroom, and exiting the building. 
  • A maximum of two students will be seated at each lab bench, socially distanced three feet apart with a maximum of sixteen students per class, or 50% occupancy.
  • Up to 5 classes may use the building at one time.  Each class will be an independent cohort that uses a single unshared classroom for the week.
  • Students will have individual sets of materials and equipment for personal use while in class .
  • A camera will be used for teacher demonstrations so a close-up view of lab techniques can be projected and easily seen.
  • The building will be cleaned twice daily.
  • Between classes, classroom surfaces and equipment will be cleaned/disinfected in accordance with CDC guidelines using the product PeroxigardTM.

Before Class:

You will receive an email with the following important information:

  1. Participation Agreement: This document details what is expected to participate in our on-site classes. If for any reason you can’t agree to the terms of participation, contact us and we will explain what other options may be available.
  2. Important information about which cohort your child belongs to, drop-off and pick-up procedures, daily health screening and reminders about required documents.

Day of Class:

  1. Submit the Daily Health Screening; children cannot participate without this. A link to electronically submit the survey will be emailed and texted each day of instruction. A new health survey needs to be submitted EACH day of participation.
  2. Encourage your child to use the restroom and eat before they arrive on-site. Lunch will be held out doors in a tented area. Cohorts will have assigned lunch times. There is no eating or drinking in laboratory classrooms. Children are encouraged to bring an extra Ziplock bag with their name on it to store their masks while eating.
  3. Parents are not allowed in the building.
  4. Drop off and pick up times will be staggered to prevent overlapping of multiple cohorts.
  5. For drop-off, park curbside on 25A in front of the building, and remain in your car. When a staff person is ready to check your child in, they will walk to your vehicle. Once receipt of required documents is confirmed, your child may exit the car. Once your child has passed the temperature screening and you are notified your child is cleared to participate, you may leave. You and your child should BOTH wear masks during check in.  If your child has a temperature of 100.4°F or higher, they will not be allowed to participate.
  6. If your child becomes sick during class you will be notified right away.  Children who report that they are not feeling well will be quarantined in an isolation area until they are picked up. Pull in the parking lot with the “Quarantine” cone, and call the front desk when you arrive. Your child will meet you at your car.
  7. For dismissal, please park curbside and wait in your car for your child. Upon exiting the building, students will be dismissed from the front patio of the Learning Center.

After Class:

If you or your child test positive for COVID-19, please remember to inform the contact tracer that your child was at the DNA Learning Center so that we are notified to take the appropriate precautions to protect the students and staff.

Cancellation Policy:

If the DNALC has to close, you will be notified right away. If a camp or class is underway, you will have the option of continuing that class when it is safe to do so, or to request a partial refund. Rescheduled classes will be given new dates on the same day and time schedule as originally established. If you do not wish to continue the class on the new dates, you will be issued a partial refund for the camp or class. If a cancellation occurs before a camp has started, you will be offered the option of a full refund or to reschedule. If a child cannot continue a camp due to illness, you will be issued a partial refund. In certain cases, you may be able to choose an on-demand option to complete the camp at home with kits and pre-recorded video.

Please note these exceptions to our normal cancellation policy only apply to a COVID-19-specific situation involving one or more students in the camp or class.

Enrollment

What is the grade level of campers?
When a student has completed fifth grade they are eligible to apply for Fun with DNA, the first of the summer camp series. We offer courses through grade 12 and higher. Please refer to the Camp Quick Reference panel found on the home page and several other pages on this site.
My child is extremely bright and advanced for their age. Can they be enrolled in a higher level camp than their grade level?
The majority of our campers are very intelligent and camp levels are structured accordingly. For this reason, we do not make exceptions.
Can my child enroll in more than one camp?
In some cases, your child will be eligible to take more than one camp. Please read the list of camp prerequisites and grade levels (see Camp Quick Reference panel.)
I enrolled online and did not receive confirmation of enrollment or payment.
Confirmations are automatically generated and sent to the email address you entered during registration. Please confirm that you have entered the correct address.
How will I be notified that my child has been accepted into the camp of choice?
After receipt of your application and payment, you will receive a confirmation email with all pertinent camp information.

Payment

How do I pay for a space in a camp?
Payment is by credit card only. Camp space is held immediately upon payment.
The charge will appear on the statement as "DNA Learning Center". Please remember to inform credit card users reviewing the card statement that it is for a camp payment. If you contact your credit card company because you do not recognize the summer camp tuition charged to your account, the funds are then held and are not available to us to cover tuition. Due to the expense and time involved to resolve these disputed charges, it has become necessary to cancel a camp enrollment if tuition payment is disputed. You will have to re-enroll, and we cannot guarantee that your original camp choice will be available.
Are there scholarships available?
For students accepted into the STARS camp, tuition is waived.
For all other camps, a limited number of scholarships are available upon request for those with a financial need, or who are Underrepresented Minorities in STEM (defined by the National Science Foundation as Black or African American; American Indian or Native Alaskan; Hispanic or Latino; and Native Pacific Islander). To qualify for a scholarship, please provide:
  1. A letter of recommendation from a teacher demonstrating the child's interest in science.
  2. If applicable, proof of free or reduced lunch status from the school's administration office.
Complete a camp application and on the Tuition Payment page, click the link to "Request Financial Need Scholarship" at the bottom to continue to the request page. Review scholarship criteria and submit the request. Please email documentation to dnalc-camps@cshl.edu and be sure to include the four digit code of the application in correspondence. The camp application will show as pending and scholarship request pending in your account.

Changes After Registration

How do I switch a camp date?
If you have not yet paid for a camp enrollment, it can be cancelled on your My Account page, and you can enroll in a different camp. To switch a paid camp enrollment, please contact us at dnalc-camps@cshl.edu to make a switch.
What is the camp cancellation policy?
All cancellation requests for paid applications must be in writing (email or letter), include camper's name, camp, camp date, unique four character code, and signed by parent or guardian.
  • To request cancellation by email, write to dnalc-camps@cshl.edu
  • Send printed letters to DNA Learning Center – Summer Camps, 1 Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724.
To be eligible for a refund, cancellation requests must be received by the DNA Learning Center a minimum of three weeks prior to the session start date—with no exceptions. You will receive confirmation of your cancellation.
If your child is sick and cannot return to camp, refunds will only be given if a doctor's note, on official letterhead, is received before the end of the registered camp week—with no exceptions.
No partial refunds will be issued if a camper misses one or more days of camp—with no exceptions.
We are closely following CDC recommendations with regard to COVID-19. This may mean the necessity to cancel camps. If camps are cancelled due to these recommendations, you will receive a full refund as expeditiously as possible.
When will I receive my refund after cancellation?
The DNALC can issue refunds directly to your credit card if it has been less than 60 days since your payment. Please allow 2-4 business days for processing refunds to your credit card. If it has been more than 60 days since your payment, we will issue a check.

CUNY Employee Discounts

As an employee of CUNY, am I eligible for reduced tuition?
A 20% tuition rebate is available to children of CUNY employees attending a virtual camp or an in-person camp only at the DNA Learning Center NYC at City Tech location in Brooklyn. The discount does not extend to grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc.
As an employee of CUNY, how do I apply for a rebate?
Once you have completed an application, pay for the camp in full. If you have indicated that you are a CUNY employee, there will be a link on the Parent/Guardian Account page to request a 20% rebate. You will be required to enter your department and employee identification number. DNALC staff will then verify your employment and your My Account page will be updated with the status of your request. The deadline to request the rebate is within two weeks of the completion of the camp.
When will I receive my rebate?
After the student has completed the camp, the rebate will be credited to the credit card used if it has been less than 60 days since payment. A check will be issued if it has been more than 60 days since payment.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Regeneron Employee Discounts

As an employee of Regeneron, am I eligible for reduced tuition?
Regeneron employees should use their Regeneron email address when creating a parent/guardian account. A 20% tuition discount will be applied at registration to children of Regeneron employees attending a virtual camp or a camp at the Long Island or Brooklyn locations. The discount does not extend to grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc.
As a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory employee, am I eligible for a discount?
CSHL employees should use their CSHL email address when creating a parent/guardian account. The discount will automatically be applied at the time of payment. A 50% discount will be applied at registration for children of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory employees attending a virtual camp or an in-person camp only at the Dolan DNA Learning Center in Cold Spring Harbor. The discount does not extend to grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc.

When Camp Begins...

Who do I notify if my child will be absent or late?
Please call the main DNA Learning Center office at 516-367-5170 by 9:45 a.m. and provide your child's name and the name of the camp and location they are attending. We will notify the camp instructor. Please understand that we cannot give prorated refunds for missed camp days.
Where are the camps located?
In 2021, camps will be held virtually as well as at the Dolan DNA Learning Center in Cold Spring Harbor Village (which is not on the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory main campus) and DNALC NYC at City Tech, Brooklyn. (Directions to each location are linked on those pages.) Be sure to note the location of the camp for which your child is registered.
Can my child purchase lunch at the camp locations?
Food and drinks are not available for purchase at the camp locations. Students should bring lunch in a container labeled with their name and the camp they are attending.
To protect students with peanut allergies, we ask you not to send lunches or snacks that contain peanuts, peanut oil, or any tree nut.
Do you offer transportation?
Parents/guardians must provide transportation. Students should be dropped off and picked up curbside. A staff person will be in attendance each morning and afternoon to assist students. Please do not enter or block parking lot driveways at the DNALC in Cold Spring Harbor location. If your camper requires a handicap/accessible entrance to the Cold Spring Harbor camp locations, contact us and we will provide a pass to drop off at an accessible entrance.
Are there guidelines for attire?
For safety reasons, all in-person campers are required to wear closed-toe shoes (no sandals) when in the laboratory. There are no attire guidelines for virtual camps.
What should my child bring to camp?
In-person campers only need to bring lunches; campers will be provided workbooks and supplies. Avoid bringing valuables as the DNA Learning Center is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Virtual Live and On-Demand campers will receive kits with instructions on materials that will be needed each day of camp.
When is Parent Day for the middle school camps?
Parents will be invited to special activities on the final day of each Fun with DNA, World of Enzymes, Green Genes, and Forensic Detectives camp.
  • How: Parent Day will be held LIVE on Zoom! Zoom sessions will be recorded and shared with parents who cannot attend.
  • When: Day 4 of each middle school camp at the camp’s normal dismissal time (2:00 or 2:30 depending on camp) for 1 hour.
  • Where: Campers will remain in class and give their presentations virtually from the lab. Families will be provided a Zoom link to view the presentations from home, work, or any convenient location with Internet access!
  • Dismissal: Camper pick up will begin as soon as the presentations are finished (3:00 or 3:30 depending on camp), and will continue for 1 hour, as needed.
    • DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor site: Please follow regular dismissal procedure; wait in your vehicle curbside until your child joins you.
    • DNA Learning Center NYC,  Brooklyn site: Please follow regular dismissal procedure; wait at the designated pick-up location outside  until your child joins you.