Experience

Travel Permits & Leaves

Schedule your student's major leaves request online in Boardingware (app.boardingware.com). New parents will receive a welcome email with a link to create a Boardingware account.

Buses are chartered based in student reservations; therefore, space may not be available for students who fail to indicate a need prior to the deadline. Students who request a bus seat after the deadline or appear at the departure or return points or do not cancel will be assessed a $25 late fee. 

Because the buses are often filled to capacity, we must limit each student to two pieces of luggage. Excess baggage should be shipped UPS prior to vacations. Trunks and skis are not permitted.

Students are expected to ride the Academies' transportation to and from the airport. Taxis are only permitted under special circumstances and with the approval of the Dean of Girls/Commandant or their designee.

For security purposes the responsible adult must be present to sign out the student.

Chartered Bus Transportation for Vacations / Breaks

Culver offers chartered bus transportation to the South Bend, Chicago, and Indianapolis airports for scheduled vacation periods.

  • It is recommended that parents make airline reservations as early as possible to ensure that flight times do not conflict with the Academies’ transportation. Questions regarding bus transportation may be directed to the Student Life Office at 574-842-8140.
  • The cost for one-way bus transportation: South Bend Regional Airport, $50; Indianapolis International Airport, $75; and Chicago O’Hare and Midway airports, $75. These charges will be billed to the student’s charge account. 
  • There will not be any special stops made at any other points to pick up or drop off students.
  • Students who wish to ride the Academies’ chartered transportation should indicate this on the student leave form. This form must be submitted by the student to the CMA counselor or CGA resident director two weeks prior to the departure date.

Emergency Travel Card

Whenever Culver provides leave buses to an airport, there will be a chaperone assigned to each bus. Each student will receive a card listing the cell phone numbers for the chaperone, the Student Life Transportation Coordinator, and the Officer in Charge on campus. The chaperone will remain at the airport until a designated time. Students should check their flights upon arrival at the airport and report any changes to the chaperone immediately.

For the return trip to campus, the card indicates where to meet the chaperone at the airport. If the student misses his/her flight or bus, they are to call the emergency number immediately.

Major Leaves

Schedule your student’s major leaves request online in Boardingware. New parents will receive a welcome email with a link to create a Boardingware account.

Buses are chartered based on student reservations; therefore, space may not be available for students who fail to indicate a need prior to the deadline. Students who request a bus seat after the deadline or appear at the departure or return points or do not cancel will be assessed a $25 late fee.

Because the buses are often filled to capacity, we must limit each student to two pieces of luggage. Excess baggage should be shipped UPS prior to vacations. Trunks and skis are not permitted.

Students are expected to ride the Academies’ transportation to and from the airport. Taxis are only permitted under special circumstances and with the approval of the Dean of Girls/Commandant or their designee.

For security purposes the responsible adult must be present to sign out the student.

Allow for Travel Problems

Airlines frequently overbook flights and are often behind schedule. Therefore, please schedule your child’s flights to arrive at the airport at least one hour before the bus departure time, which is when the bus will leave the airport.

Buses depart airports as follows:

O’Hare 3:00 p.m. (Chicago time)

Midway 3:30 p.m. (Chicago time)

Indianapolis 4:00 p.m.

South Bend 5:30 p.m.

All times are local airport times.

Students who arrive later than the scheduled bus departure time will need to arrange their own transportation to the Academies at their own expense.

At O’Hare Airport, Coach USA boards from the Bus Shuttle Center, and at Midway Airport, it boards just east of door M1. The charge is approximately $75 in cash. Upon arriving at the South Bend Regional Airport, students will need to arrange for a taxi to Culver. No shuttle service is offered from Indianapolis or South Bend, and students arriving late will need to arrange for a taxi to Culver.

Travel Delays

If there are changes in travel plans, especially cancellations, please notify the Student Life Office before the start of the trip by calling during business hours at (574) 842-8140 or the Officer in Charge after business hours at 574-842-8324. We do not want to miss anyone, but we cannot be responsible for failing to pick up a student who is not at the appropriate location on time. From Indianapolis or Chicago to Culver, a taxi costs approximately $300. The cost is approximately $80 from South Bend.

Time Zone

Culver, South Bend, and Indianapolis are in the Eastern Time Zone. Chicago is in the Central Time Zone. The times indicated for picking up and dropping off students indicate the time at that location. For example, when we indicate we are picking up students at O’Hare Airport at 3:00 p.m., that is 3:00 p.m. in Chicago (CST), regardless of what time it is in Culver.

Cars

Boarding students may not keep or store a car (or other motorized vehicle) in the town of Culver or elsewhere.

Boarding students on permit or parental overnight leave are permitted to ride in cars only with the adult who has signed them out. They are not to drive unless accompanied by their own parent(s).

Except for those on parental overnight leave, a student may drive a car while away from campus on weekend leave provided the student is properly licensed. He or she may ride as a passenger in a car driven by another student who is also on weekend leave, unless written instructions to the contrary are provided by the student’s parent or guardian to the Dean of Girls/Commandant.

Students on other leaves may not depart or return driving a car unless accompanied by their own parent(s).

Permits, Leaves, and Vacations

In the interest of the shared obligation between parents and Culver for the safety of students when they leave the campus, the following guidelines should be adhered to:

  1. Students can only be signed out by a person 21 years old or older. The person signing a student out assumes full responsibility for the student during the student’s absence from campus.
  2. For students departing campus via bus or taxi, there must be an adult 21 years old or older to assume responsibility for the student at the travel destination.
  3. Students should not travel to/from campus via limousine, but by taxi instead. This requirement is in place because problems requiring campus disciplinary action have occurred with students traveling via limo.
  4. Leaves shall be determined and granted at the discretion of the counselor and/or resident director (CGA). Students may not depart campus earlier than the agreed upon time, as assessments and obligations will continue until that time. When students leave campus for a weekend leave, a request must be submitted through Boardingware, (Culver's leave request system) and approved by the resident director in CGA and the counselor in CMA. Vacation leaves are submitted for approval to the Student Life Office and any leave necessitating an absence from classes requires clearance from the student’s counselor.

Following is a list of the types of leaves:

  • Weekend Leave (WEL)
  • Normally, WELs begins after a student's last obligation on Friday and ends at 7:30 p.m. the following Sunday (12th graders in good standing and not accompanied by underclass students may remain on an approved WEL until 9:45 p.m.). WELs may be granted for shorter time periods.
  • Students may request leave on weekends when no classes or special programs are scheduled and may be granted leave only if they have no duty or responsibility to perform on campus.
  • Students on WEL may not return to campus during the course of a WEL. Once a student returns to campus, the leave terminates.
  • Normally, WELs will not be granted on special weekends such as Fall parents WeekendeFestival, Spring Parents Weekend, CMA Annual Inspection (CAR), CGA Culver Women's Celebration (CWC), and Alumni Reunion Weekend. To help students adjust to boarding school life, WELs normally will not be granted to new students until the first weekend following Fall Parents Weekend.
  • A WEL may be denied if the counselor feels that being away from campus at that time may hinder the student’s progress.
  • Approval for leave is granted by the counselor (CMA) and resident director (CGA). If an absence from class is requested, please contact your son’s/daughter’s counselor.
  • For CMA only, cadets are authorized to miss only one parade per season (fall/spring) while on WEL.

Emergency Leave (EML)

An EML is reserved for family emergencies such as a severe illness or death. A student’s counselor (CMA/CGA) or resident director (CGA) grants approval.

Medical and Dental Leaves (MDL)

Medical and dental leaves need to be arranged for all students that will be leaving campus with their parent or designee to attend medical or dental appointments and need to be off campus during the day or overnight. Parents MUST call the Health Center to obtain the Medical or Dental Leave PRIOR to the student’s departure date from campus. A medical or dental leave will be completed by the Health Center to arrange absence from class.  Failure to obtain a medical or dental leave may result in unexcused absence(s) from class or other required school functions. 

When a student returns to campus from a medical or dental leave, information from the appointment needs to be returned to the Health Center by the parent or student before they return to their dorm or barrack. This information may be the doctor’s office note (electronic or handwritten) that contains information regarding the student’s appointment. If needed, the Health Center can provide to parents the standard form that is used to obtain such information for doctor’s appointments and contains needed information. 

Failure to return information to the Health Center for medical appointments may result in a lapse of coordination of care for Physical Therapy or Rehabilitation by the Athletic Trainers, a delay in returning to athletics for students who have been released from injury or other required activities.

**Appointments for students arranged through the Health Center and utilizing the Health Center transportation will receive a permit for leave on the day of their appointment.  Medical or Dental leaves do not need arranged by parents for these types of appointments.**

When a parent picks up the student for medical or dental leaves they must be signed out through the Officer in Charge (OC) for cadets and CGA through their dorms.

Parental Overnight Leave (PONL)

Students may be granted a PONL to stay only with their parents in the vicinity of Culver without having previously submitted a WEL request.

Approval is granted in CGA by the resident director and in CMA by the Officer in Charge. A Friday PONL terminates at closing on Saturday, unless the student has obligations on campus, in which case the leave terminates when the obligation begins. A Saturday PONL terminates Sunday in time for Religious Observance, inspection, parade (CMA), or other obligations. Exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the Dean of Girls/Commandant.

PONL vs. WEL

The primary distinctions between parental overnight and weekend leaves are 1) the duration of the stay (one night as opposed to two), 2) the timing of the request (on-the-spot as opposed to the previous Wednesday), 3) the accompanying adult (one’s own parents as opposed to other students’ parents or approved hosts).

Procedure for Applying for WEL

Students will:

  1. Plan well ahead. The Weekend Leave request must be submitted via Boardingware by Wednesday preceding the planned weekend leave. Leave requests for vacation will have established due dates announced by the Student Life Office (normally two weeks in advance).
  2. Include specific times and flight/bus information.
  3. Supply invitation and parental consent unless departing and returning with own parents.
  4. Attach invitation if visiting as a guest.

Procedure for Leaves is:

  1. Students must check out with Resident Director in CGA or at Main Guard in CMA, and sign back in upon return.
  2. Travel by the means indicated on leave forms. Students who depart or return by means other than those approved will be subject to corrective action.
  3. Wear civilian attire that appropriately represents the student and Culver. The Dean of Girls/Commandant may prescribe standards for such attire.
  4. Students unavoidably delayed in returning from vacation or leave must call their resident director, counselor, or the Officer in Charge. A message transmitted from a third party is unacceptable.

Other Leave Conditions

  • Weekend Leave requests submitted after Wednesday may not be approved.
  • Unapproved early departures or late returns are subject to corrective action.
  • Academies’ rules apply to all students while they are traveling on leave.
  • Host families assume responsibility for students on leave.
  • Someone at least 21 years old must assume responsibility for students throughout the leave. Signing out a student in an effort to circumvent this expectation is not allowed.
  • Culver reserves the right to deny any leaves that do not meet the leave stipulations or that concern the staff.

Permits

A Permit allows a student to depart campus for a short period of time during the day for official business or during non-school hours. A permit is not for any type of overnight leave. In order to protect our students as well as the adults that sign for responsibility of the student, there are limitations placed on the permit request. At the beginning of the school year, parents fill out a permit card that designates with whom a student may leave campus. If someone other than a parent is requesting the permit, in most instances it will be required that there be 2 students or 2 adults present when on permit. The exception to this is if the adult is a relative over 21 or if the adult is listed by name on the permit card.

General guidance for permits:

  • During the class day when students don’t have a class, which normally is after 3:00 p.m. until 7:15 p.m. Sunday - Thursday
  • Anytime during the day until closing on the weekend.

Permits are not required for:

  • Sponsored group trips when the trip list or memorandum authorizes the absence.
  • Visits to the town of Culver when it is on limits.
  • Supervised team/group activities.
  • Permits over the lunch period with faculty members, during the class day, provided faculty notify the counselor by phone or email for approval. (2 person rule)
  • Visits to faculty homes bordering the immediate campus grounds (North Terrace, Academy Road, and the faculty apartments to the west of the dining hall), provided the student properly signs out. (2 person rule)
  • There is a two student requirement for any adult other than the parent requesting permit. This is a safety measure for all involved. 

If there is a question at the time of the request, the OC maintains final authority.