For Rising 5th – 7th Grade Students

Your Summer of Discovery Awaits

MITY’s ExplorSchool provides rising 5th-7th grade students a unique opportunity to investigate new topics and dive deeper into their passions at a level that is challenging and motivating.  Intellectually curious students take two classes, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, enabling them to explore different disciplines, experience things that are not possible within a normal school setting, and forge new friendships.

Summer 2020 Program Dates:

June 15 – 26 (M – F) – Cancelled due to COVID-19

Program Hours: 

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Program Location: 

St. Paul Academy & Summit School – Randolph Campus

Program Highlights:

  • Half-day, full-day, and extended day options
  • Over 20 unique course offerings designed specifically for advanced learners
  • Master teachers who are creative and enthusiastic
  • Small class sizes (each limited to 16 students) to ensure individual attention
  • Field trips to places students would not otherwise typically visit
  • Inquiry-based and experiential classroom activities so students stay excited about learning
  • Opportunities for students to socialize with other children who love to learn
  • Rec Time, a midday break when students can get outside, do crafts, or play games with a diverse group of peers

Family Involvement:

  • ExplorSchool families are invited to visit classrooms on the last day of the session. Specific course information will be given by the teacher during the session.
  • Parents and guardians are encouraged to discuss class content and activities with their student.

ExplorSchool At-A-Glance:

  • Format: Academic summer program with full day and half day options
  • Ages: Students entering grades 5 – 7 in the fall
  • Cost:
    • Full Day: $795
    • Half Day: $440
    • Extended Day: $80 before or after classes; $150 for both
    • Financial aid available
  • Application Date: Now accepting applications
  • Application Fee: None (non-refundable deposit required with application)
  • Supervised care is available for our families in the morning from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM and after classes from 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Students can play games, read, or do crafts during this time. The cost is $80 for before OR after care, or $150 for both. Students who need extended care must sign up for the entire session; we do not have drop-in care available.
  • A late fee of $15 per 15 minutes will be charged for students picked up after 5:00 PM. Your invoice will reflect if you have signed up for extended day.
  • Students NOT enrolled in extended day need to arrive after 8:45 AM and be picked up promptly at 4:00 PM.

Each day after lunch, students participate in a variety of activities that enable them to socialize with students outside of their classes. Led by MITY interns, students can choose quieter activities such as crafts (including painting, drawing, knitting, and making friendship bracelets), reading and board games, or more active things like soccer, basketball, and Capture the Flag. There are also opportunities to participate in group games such as Charades and Moose, time to get outside and enjoy Minnesota’s lovely June weather, and the option to participate in the annual chess tournament. This 30 minutes is vital to the success of student learning that occurs both before and after the break. After Rec Time, students return to the dynamic engagement of serious learning.


MITY seeks applicants who demonstrate both academic talent and a passion for learning. Students must be entering grades 5 – 7 in the fall of 2020 to be considered for admission. All requested materials (application, report card, teacher recommendation, and student essay) are considered. Students who attended ExplorSchool last summer only need to submit an application and current report card.

Application Process:

  1.  Apply Online.  Students take one class in the morning and one class in the afternoon. Remember to apply early as classes fill quickly!
  2. Send Required Materials to mity@macalester.edu.
    1.  Current Report Card / Grades (All Students)
    2.  Short Student Essay: Write a 200-word essay about yourself, why you want to attend MITY and why you want to take the classes that you selected. (New Students Only)
    3.  Teacher Recommendation: Send this link to your teacher. They should submit the completed recommendation directly to MITY. (New Students Only)
  3. Pay deposit or submit financial aid form. (See section below)
  4.  Acceptance Email from MITY.  Once MITY receives the deposit and all materials, you will receive an official confirmation email.  Please allow two weeks for MITY to review your completed application.
  5. Complete Health Form. All students must have a completed health form on file one week prior to the start of the session or they will not be allowed to attend class.
  6. Tuition balance due May 15.  Families will receive a statement in the mail in late April.

Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, disability, national or ethnic origin in administration of its education policies, admission policies, or financial aid program. 

ExplorSchool 2020 Tuition Rates:

  • $795 for full day
  • $440 for half day
  • $80 for before OR after Extended Day; $150 for both

Tuition Includes:

Tuition includes all instructional costs, field trips and an ExplorSchool t-shirt. A couple of classes have an additional $50 course fee as noted in the class description. Tuition does not include lunch. Students should bring their own nut-free snack and lunch. Juice boxes are available for purchase for 25 cents.

Methods of Payment

  1. Check payable to MITY. Please write the student’s name on the memo line.  Send the check to our address below.
  2. Pay by credit card using PayPal. You do not need to have a PayPal account.  Select the correct amount by using the drop down menu.  Note: To add multiple items, please select “Continue Shopping” before checking out. Please enter the student’s name in the space provided.

    ExplorSchool: Pay Online Now
    Please enter student’s name.

    Cancellation Policy

    All applications must include a deposit of $300 or a completed financial aid application. One hundred dollars of the deposit is non-refundable. After March 31, the full deposit of $300 is non-refundable. The balance is due by May 15. After June 1, there is no tuition refund.

    Financial Aid

    There is limited financial aid available for students applying to MITY’s programs. There are two ways to apply for financial aid:

      1. For Minnesota residents who qualify for free or reduced lunch: You are eligible to apply for the Summer Academic Enrichment Grant offered by the MN Department of Higher Education.  You will need to complete the Summer Academic Enrichment Grant Form. You will also need to include a copy of the free/reduced lunch qualifying letter you received from the student’s school in the fall.
      2. If you do not qualify for free or reduced lunch: You can apply for financial aid through the MITY giving program.  Complete the financial aid form and return it to the MITY office along with the first page of your most recent federal tax statement.
What do students do for lunch?

Lunch is not provided. Students should pack a lunch and a nut-free snack for each day. Juice boxes are available for purchase for 25 cents.

Is transportation available?

MITY does not provide transportation. Families who are interested in carpooling are given a list of other interested families so that they can arrange ridesharing.

What does “grade level” refer to on the application?

The grade the student will be entering into in the fall.

Will exceptions be made to the grade level (age) requirements?

No. ExplorSchool is only for students who will be entering grades 5 – 7 in the fall.

Should all the application components be sent together?

All the application components do not need to be sent together; however, we will not review your application until all the materials and deposit are received.

Who teaches the ExplorSchool courses?

MITY hires master teachers for each course. Most of them have been teaching in our program for several years and know how to work with gifted students at this age.

How many students are in each class?

The maximum class size is 16 students.

Can you accommodate students with food allergies and other special needs?

Yes, students will be asked to provide health information and details on specific needs. MITY staff will work with families to plan the necessary accommodations.

What if a child gets sick or injured during the program?

The MITY staff strive to maintain a safe environment for all participants. If a student becomes sick or injured, parents will be contacted immediately. In an emergency, students may be taken to either Aspen Clinic at Ford Parkway or the Children’s Hospital at United in St. Paul.

Can parents and guardians visit their student’s class?

ExplorSchool parents, guardians, and family friends will have an opportunity to visit their student’s classes on the last day of the session. Students will display or perform what they have been working on for the past few weeks. A schedule for that day will be sent home with each student during the first week of the session.

What kind of supervision is provided?

Students are supervised by the instructional staff and interns. MITY hires 5 to 6 interns to assist teachers, chaperon field trips, and help supervise Rec Time. Our interns are college students or juniors and seniors in high school who go through the same background checks as our teachers.

Carpool Information:
Families who indicated an interest in carpooling on the application form will receive a contact list of students in May. Families can then contact one another to arrange carpools.
Code of Conduct:
All admitted students must read and agree to abide by the MITY Code of Conduct during their time in the program. You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of this code on the health form.
Daily Schedule:
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Morning Class 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch and Rec Time 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Afternoon Class
Drop-off & Pick-up:
Students should be dropped off between 8:45 – 9:00 AM unless they are pre-registered for Before Care. There is a parking lot on the west side of the building at the corner of Randolph Avenue and Wheeler Street. There will be signs to direct families into the building through the courtyard. Students may also be dropped off at the east entrance which is located off the intersection of Randolph Avenue and Davern Street. All students should be picked up at 4:00 PM except those pre-registered for After Care. Drop-in care is not available before or after classes.
Teachers will evaluate each student at the end of the session.  This evaluation will be sent to your home address.
First Day of the Session:
All students should arrive at 8:45 AM on the first day and go directly to the opening program. MITY staff will show you where to go. Parents are invited to attend, but are not required to do so. There will be a short program that includes introductions and logistical information. Students will then meet their morning course instructor, who will accompany them to their classroom. Note: Students should report directly to their classrooms at 9:00 AM for all subsequent days of the program.
Health Form: 
All admitted students must submit a completed health form one week prior to the start of the session or they will not be allowed to attend class.  This form must be updated annually. Your typed name is your signature.
Last Day of the Session:
The program ends at 3:00 PM on the last day. Families are invited to visit classes, see performances, and view exhibits. A schedule for this will be sent out once the program is in session.
What to Bring:
Students do not need to bring supplies to class. Students should bring a snack, lunch, and water bottle labeled with their name. MITY classrooms are NUT FREE. Please avoid any snacks that contain any form of peanuts or tree nuts.

Ready to Join the MITY Family?

Start your journey of discovery and summer fun today!