DeBusk Enrichment Center for Academically Talented Students

Additional Information:
Director: Pat Shotland (214-957-0057)
Assistant Director: Jeff Solomon (972-672-4472) Mailing address: 8559 South Mediterranean Circle; Dallas, 75238 Fax: 214-553-8719 Website: E-mail:
Mission Statement: 
  • To identify and challenge young scholars at a critical period in their lives
  • To encourage and motivate scholars to accept the social responsibility that accompanies intellectual giftedness
  • To make direct impact on the learning environments of participants and positively influence the lives of other students with whom participants interface
  • To be a valuable partner of the elementary schools participating in the identification and motivation of the nominee 

Criteria for Admission:
Enrollment is limited to students who have completed the sixth, seventh or eighth grades prior to June
  • Former attendance in either Junior DECATS or Senior DECATS with a confirmation of acceptable behavior and attitude (behavioral updates completed by home school) 
  • Achievement Test Scores: Minimum of 115 Composite Total on CogAT and 97th percentile in two or more curricular areas on ITBS
  • Outstanding Achievement or giftedness in Music, Art or Drama even though test scores may not meet the rigorous standards of the academically talented candidate. For this candidate, a nominating teacher must submit a letter of support. This type of nominee is considered for acceptance only if there is space available
  • Sibling of a Senior DECATS Alum – this criteria is unique to Senior DECATS; relationship must be noted on application 
Nominees make application to the program. Final selection is dependent upon application information, student’s behavior report and availability. Application does not assure acceptance.

  • Students are challenged cognitively with relevant tasks that promote critical thinking and synthesis
  • Students are challenged to use their talents to develop leadership and social skills resulting in contributions to the outside community 
  • Students study several courses intensely during the session. These courses address the needs of an academically talented student to have a qualitatively different educational experience 
  • Hands-on, cooperative, student-directed learning and extensive use of outside resources are key components in making the experience meaningful. Students must be self-starters and ready to explore various academic domains. 
  • Areas of intense daily study include, but are not limited to: Culinary Arts, Drama, Fashion Design, Journalism, Mock Trial, Psychology, Science, and Visual Arts (students choose ONE of these areas and studies in this area for the entire three week period) 
  • Areas of exploratory electives include one hour classes that change each week. Each student chooses from a catalog of classes. The goal is to give scholars opportunities to try new areas of interest. 
  • Suggested for all eighth graders: one week (15 hours) of Community Service, credited in many high school programs. This class is open to seventh graders, but not mandatory. 

Bus service is provided by Bishop Lynch transportation department.  Bus stops are determined by demand – if there is enough interest, there will be a bus provided from a specific area.  In the past, bus stops have been Bishop Lynch, St. Rita, St. Mark, Prince of Peace and Mary Immaculate.  Cost this year will be $150.00.  Riders may sign up on line using SignUp Genius when registering for classes.  Fee is due by May 1, 2017.
  • June 6-22, 2017 Monday-Thursday; 9-4; Friday 9-12 
  • Staff is on campus from 8am-5pm; students dropped off earlier or staying later are not supervised 

Parent Handbook:

  • $600 total tuition (includes $150 deposit) 
  • $150 deposit (part of total tuition) due with application 
  • $450 (balance for 2017) due by May 1, 2017 
  • Partial scholarship assistance available: please submit request along with application; form is on website under “FORMS”

  • Nominations due from schools: November 23, 2016 
  • Invitations e-mailed to nominees: December 12, 2016 
  • Applications, all requests for tuition assistance, $150.00 non-refundable deposit due: February 28, 2017 
  • Acceptance and tuition awards sent via email: March 6, 2017 
  • Course catalog posted on website:  March 15, 2017 – no registration possible, but can view course offerings 
  • Saturday, March 25, 2017, 8AM course selection begins for pre-registered scholars
  • Saturday, April 1, 8AM course selection begins for all new applicants and those alum who did not pre-register 
  • Complete tuition due: no later than Saturday, May 1, 2017 – after due date, late fee will be assessed.  If tution is paid, but student has not selected classes, a schedule will be created for that student by an administrator – please choose the classes YOU want prior to May 1, 2017.
  • Parent/Student Orientation Meeting for students NEW to DECATS- Monday, June 5, 2017; 4-5PM (All Saints)