Below are some frequently asked questions. Please feel free to email us or call us if you do not see your question or answer.

Are GDS summer programs open to students who don’t go to GDS?

Yes! Many of our students come from different schools around DC, MD, and VA and even internationally!

Is there public transportation to GDS?

Yes! GDS’s Campus at 4200 Davenport Street, NW is about 4 blocks north of the Tenleytown/AU metro station and about 5 blocks south of the Friendship Heights metro station. It’s also conveniently located right off of Wisconsin Avenue and is accessible by most of the 30 busses.

For more public transportation options, visit the Metro website.

What should my child bring?

CLOTHING: Because DC is hot and humid during the summer, campers should wear comfortable, light-weight clothes. They may wish to bring a sweater with them as the air conditioning can be cool. Students in certain specialty programs may have certain requirements such as the sports camps or wood-working programs.

BOOKS AND SUPPLIES: All books and program-specific supplies are included in the cost of each summer program. Students taking academic classes should bring a writing implement and a notebook with them to class each day.

TECHNOLOGY: Some classes may require that students have access to a computer or internet-enabled device. Students may bring their own device or we will provide a ChromeBook to use at camp.

My child has food allergies. What should I know?

Please let us know in advance which food allergies your child has when you complete the online health form. We are not an allergen free campus. Our policy is to put children who bring food allergens together at one table rather than making the children who are allergic to certain foods sit apart. We will do our best to plan any food-related activities around your child’s allergies so that s/he can participate fully in the class. Please discuss all questions or concerns with our nurse.

Do you offer program tours?

Yes! Summer Program tours are available throughout the year on an as-requested basis at a mutually agreeble time. Tours must be reserved at least a week in advance. To do so, please call 202-295-1091 or email

Is there financial aid available?

GDS does provide limited financial aid over the summer. To apply for financial aid, please complete the summer program financial aid application online. The deadline to apply for financial aid is February 28. Newly admitted GDS students are given an extension until May 1 to apply for financial aid.

Please be aware that preference in financial aid decisions will go to families already receiving financial aid at GDS and for specific programs. More information is available as part of the online application. Decisions about financial aid will be made in early March.

Late financial aid applications are accepted through May 1 however we may not be able to honor or meet requests that come in late

Do you have a summer nurse? What if my child needs to take medication during the day?

Yes, we will have a summer RN on duty during camp hours. Please make sure all camper health forms are completed and if you have any health related questions or more information to share, please schedule a meeting with our nurse. For students requiring an EpiPen/Auvi-Q, our practice is to err on the side of caution and deliver an EpiPen before providing Benadryl if we suspect that a child may have ingested an allergen or if we suspect an anaphylactic reaction. Please visit our health page for more information.

I’m a GDS parent. Do I need to complete a health form for my child?

Yes and no. We request that all families, even GDS families, complete the summer health form online when you register and by June 1 or your child will not be able to attend the program. However, GDS families do NOT need to send in a copy of the DC Child Health Certificate.

Do I need to notify you if my child will be absent?

While it is not required, we do appreciate notice if a child will be absent so teachers can plan ahead. You may call 202-295-1091 or email to let us know about an absence or early pick up.

Please note: If your child’s program is going on a field trip you must arrive by the time of departure. If you arrive late and miss the departure time you will not be allowed to stay as there is no child care provided. Notice and information about field trip dates and times will be emailed home.

Please check our absence policy for individual classes and credit classes.

Is lunch provided?

This year we are happy to share that our dining services, Meriwether Godsey, will be providing the opportunity to purchase lunch on campus. Our dining services offer healthy meals with options for vegetarian and gluten free meals. When you register for a program you will see an option to purchase lunch. You can also add this onto your child’s registration up until 2 weeks before the start date. Students are also welcome to bring their own packed lunch.

Please note that students, regardless of age, are NOT allowed to leave campus for lunch.

Lunch is only an option for students who are participating in a full day program.

Is snack provided?

Yes, we provide a small healthy snack for all of our programs. Full day and morning programs will receive a snack in the morning and afternoon programs will receive a snack in the middle of their program. Families are welcome to send in an additional snack with their child.

What are the telephone options for participants and parents? (cell phones, calls during the day, etc.)

We ask that summer participants not bring or use cell phones during the day as this becomes disruptive for other participants. Students who do not follow this policy may be asked to give their cell phones to the teacher for safekeeping during the day.

Important Phone Numbers:
202-295-6200 (main school phone)
202-295-1091 or 202-274-1683 (summer office)

Please be patient if you leave a message and no one answers immediately. If we are with the students, our first priority is making sure they are happy and safe. We will respond to all phone calls as soon as we are able to do so. For non-emergency calls, this may be after the camp day and carpool is over at 4:00 pm.

What happens when it’s hot outside?

For programs taking place primarily outside for the day, we train our staff to recognize heat-related illnesses. We also train staff to include mandatory breaks and hydration periods and ensure that all participants have water readily available. We may alter activities if we feel that it is necessary for the health and well-being of our students. Generally, we’ll allow outdoor recess for a maximum of 20-30 minutes at a time if the rating is not “extreme” and give students access to water during their recess periods. If heat index is 105 or over or the air quality is code red or higher, we will hold indoor recess and indoor activities as much as possible given the program. For programs involving outdoor excursions such as our hiking program, we do as much as we can to avoid extreme heat and may alter an activity for the day if it seems to be unsafe to be outdoors.

International Students?

While we are happy to welcome students from outside of the United States there are some requirements you must meet before attending our programs. Our policies are listed below:

  • We do NOT accept groups of any kind. If we find that a group has signed up for our program, we will cancel your registration and no refunds will be provided.
  • All students must be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine.
  • A legal parent or guardian must register their child and complete all of the required paperwork. The parent or guardian must also be present in the U.S. in case of emergency.
  • Students must arrive to the U.S. at least 7 days prior to the camp start date.
  • All required medical forms must be translated in English and signed by a doctor. You must also upload a copy of each child’s passport on our website when registering.
  • Travel restrictions imposed by the CDC or DC DOH must be followed. No refunds will be provided if travel is interrupted.
  • Send most recent report on each child’s English speaking ability. If a camper cannot communicate, or cannot participate meaningfully in the camp day and activities appropriate with their age/grade, they will not be permitted to continue with camp. Removals will not result in refund.
  • Student’s must start on Monday and not mid-week.
  • Food cannot be delivered for them in the middle of the day