At STEP the learning environment extends well beyond the classroom; residential life nurtures and encourages the social and emotional development of gifted students. A supportive environment is essential to student success. The STEP community depends on the engagement of each student and the diversity of learning styles which each brings. By sharing rooms, eating together, participating in activities, and exploring their surroundings, students at STEP define their own community.
Because homework is not assigned to be completed outside of the classroom, students can fully engage in afternoon and evening activity periods. Students participate in activities led by enthusiastic and well-seasoned residential assistants including crafts, sports, trips to State Street, and many others. On a daily basis, students sign up for recreational activities that help them to connect with their new and old friends in a fun and engaging environment.
Students live in the Lakeshore dormitories on the UW-Madison campus with residential staff. Girls and boys live on separate floors in double or single rooms, and each floor has its own bathroom and shower facilities. Students share meals together in the Elizabeth Waters dining hall each day. Working together to learn to respond maturely, responsibly, and creatively to conflicts, this living experience truly prepares students for collegiate life. Because sharing activities and responsibilities with classmates is such an important part of our program, we request that families of residential students do not plan to visit or pick up their children for other activities. For further details on daily schedules, housing, and weekends, see the Residential Life page.
Commuter students arrive on campus each morning by 8:15 a.m. to participate in the same classes and activities as residential students. Students are welcome to remain at camp for activity periods and evening workshops in order to foster the social and emotional development for which WCATY's camps are known. However, it is not required and commuter students are welcome to leave camp after afternoon activities. For further details on the commuter schedule, credit policy, and camp experience please see the Commuter page.