Summer programs, generally taken one or two summers prior to enrollment, enable parents and students to get a taste of the boarding school experience.
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Lake Placid, New York, USA view map
Co-Ed, No Religious Affiliation
Our 200-acre campus features a working farm, extensive gardens, and alpine wilderness that provide hands-on opportunities for learning and growth. Here boys and girls in grades 4-9 benefit from a literal and metaphorical breath of fresh air; our children thrive in a carefully paced program that features equal parts academics, arts, work, and play. The guidance of talented, committed adults and a strong, diverse community instill in students values of simple living and environmental responsibility. With a unique mix of inspiring people, place, and programs, North Country School helps students flourish.
At NCS, 95% of ninth graders are accepted to their first or second choice secondary schools. The Secondary School Placement Program advisors assist students and their families in selecting appropriate schools for grades 10-12 and guide students through the application process. Students receive coaching in SSAT test-taking strategies, application essay writing and interview skills. Additionally, the school hosts admissions representatives from secondary schools throughout the year.
4382 Cascade Road, Lake Placid, New York, USA
Director of Admission:
Admissions Phone:518-523-9329 ext.6000Fax:518-523-4858
Families and friends of students are welcome to tour the campus and attend exhibits and performances that showcase students' work.
Intersession is NCS' week of elective courses. The aim is for students to try something new, stretch their imaginations and become part of a productive team. Faculty offer full and half day courses, and most of them are arts-related.
Parents and family members are invited to an evening performance of the annual spring show.
Posted on September 4, 2014
All students participate in an experiential academic class on nutrition, farming, plants, physiology and cooking.
Summary: Our traditional core curriculum, enriched by hands-on projects and activities, focuses on the acquisition of solid academic skills. Small classes allow for attention and instruction that challenge each child according to his or her ability. We have high expectations for our students.
NCS founder Walter Clark wrote, “This whole school was built on this thought: children need direct experience if they are to grow and learn most effectively.” Years later, our focus on direct experience remains at the heart of our program. Children learn by doing, and they grow by exploring new things, all with the guidance of caring, creative adults.
In our academic program, the emphasis on experiential learning is evident in hands-on projects and lessons that focus on our location. In North Country School classes, math students learn about measurement and acquire new computer skills when they record and track the weights of newborn lambs in the barnyard. Science students study anatomy by reassembling chicken skeletons using bones from birds they harvested in the fall. Students learn the physical properties of snow pack during a winter term unit on avalanches. In English class, students write persuasive letters to elected officials about current issues they have researched; they create hand-bound, hard-cover journals of their writing and artwork. In arts electives, students paint barn murals, renovate a rowboat in disrepair, or dye wool from our sheep to use in knitting and felting projects.
To help students acquire the basic and advanced skills they need in all core academic disciplines, NCS teachers employ a mix of instructional strategies. From collaborative group work to lectures to hands-on labs and projects, students experience innovative teaching strategies on a daily basis. A variety of support services is also available to meet students’ needs.
Finally, North Country School embraces the use of computer technology as a critical learning tool. Homework and other class projects are posted on NCS' Google Apps platform, facilitating student-teacher communication. The computer lab is equipped with modern video and photo editing software. While NCS keeps current with technological advances, the school takes pride in a judicious use of technology in order to minimize students' unproductive computer time.
Department Director: Nick Perry
Average Class Size: 10
Full Time Teachers: 26
Teachers Holding Advanced Degrees: 30.00%
Student/Teacher Ratio: 3:1
Summer Programs Offered: Offered
Summary: Students at NCS live with a roommate in one of 7 small houses of 8-12 children. A team of faculty houseparents works carefully to support and supervise each child. Sharing living spaces and the daily routines of morning wake-up, evening study hall, and bedtime creates strong relationships among the children and adults in the house. The house becomes the place for much of each student's learning and growth. "Home nights" every Wednesday - when each house prepares and eats dinner together and enjoys special activities - help students feel a sense of family and a "home away from home."
Department Director: Luke Hudak
Number of Dorms: 7
Average Students Per Dorm: 10
No. of Girls Dorms: 3
No. of Boys Dorms: 4
fireplaces, pianos, dining rooms
Dress Code: Casual
Summary: Learning at NCS takes place not just in the classroom. Helping a younger housemate with math homework; packing for a weekend overnight; enjoying a Wednesday "home night" activity with housemates: these are the opportunities for recreation and sharing that round out the North Country School experience.
A full weekday schedule, close-knit house life and a robust weekend program provide students with enriching experiences and help build the strong community that gives every child the vital sense that he or she belongs.
Balancing academics, arts, work and play includes making time for physical activity, socializing with friends and quiet or alone time for reading and music. We do not view students as small adults; our children need and deserve time for fun, play and invention.
Clubs and Organizations
“Art every day” are words we live by at North Country School.
For a school our size, we have an unusually large group of arts teachers (more than one-third of the faculty teaches an arts class) and an impressive array of course listings. All students have the equivalent of at least one art class every day, with younger students rotating through core classes in music, theatre, dance, painting and drawing, ceramics, fiber arts, photography, and woodshop. Eighth and ninth graders choose from electives that provide opportunities for advanced mastery of core arts, as well as exposure to new offerings that range from documentary filmmaking to wooden boat restoration or trash fashion. Students of all ages have opportunities to submit their work to juried art shows sponsored by local arts organizations.
Intersession is a week in March dedicated to arts and crafts, and the annual spring play is a decades-old tradition that involves nearly everyone on campus. Every year the production features original sets, music, effects, and costuming that are remarkable for both their creativity and sustainability—most staging and costuming are made from recycled materials from years past.
OUTDOORS AND ATHLETICS: Taking full advance of our spectacular mountain setting, the Outdoor Program offerings range from a walk in the woods to ambitious multi-day hiking and backpacking trips. We offer team sports: soccer, basketball, cross-country skiing and ultimate frisbee, as well as an equestrian program with two dozen horses, two riding rings and miles of mountain trails. In the winter months we have extensive snow sport offerings: skiing and snowboarding on our own ski hill and at Whiteface Mountain, Nordic skiing, skating, and ice climbing. The outdoor program encourages students to take risks, acquire new skills, and gain confidence. All gear, except for personal clothing, is provided so that all children have the opportunity to participate in all offerings.
Summary: At NCS, 95 percent of ninth graders are accepted to their first- or second-choice school. The Secondary School Placement Program assists students in selecting an appropriate high school and supports them through the application process. The Placement Advisor works with students throughout the process. He provides coaching in SSAT test-taking strategies, application essay writing, and practice interviews.
Department Director: Todd Dowling
Colleges attended in the past 5 years by our graduates:
Middle Percentile of SAT Scores
Andrea Gruber (Class of ) American Dramatic Soprano
Adam Guettel (Class of ) American Composer
Yasmin Aga Khan (Class of ) Philanthropist
David Loud (Class of ) American Musician
Richard Rockefeller (Class of ) Physician, Philanthropist
Eileen Rockefeller Growald (Class of ) Author, Philanthropist
Matt Salinger (Class of ) American Actor
Robel Teklemariam (Class of ) Olympian
David Sloan Wilson (Class of ) American Evolutionary Biologist
Summary: North Country Summer School welcomes international students ages 9-13 for English language an American culture immersion. Our four-week session offers intensive language instruction in the morning and enriching activities and excursions in the afternoon. Our campus offerings provide an exceptional opportunity to improve language proficiency and experience memorable summertime activities. North Country Summer School is appropriate for young students seeking a first educational experience in the U.S., as well as students planning to continue their studies at American Schools.
North Country Summer School is designed around individual language needs within small group instruction. Summer students engage in projects and activities the require them to utilize their rapidly developing English language skills. Summer students become proficient speakers, readers and writers. We carefully balance academics and recreation to ensure that language learning is enjoyable and applicable.
Department Director: David Damico
July 19, 2015 to August 16, 2015
North Country Summer School offers one, four-week session from July 19-August 16. Students ages 9-13 may apply. Our teachers have high expectations for their students and employ a variety of teaching methods and innovative uses of technology.
Registration Deadline: May 01, 2015
Financial Aid Available: No
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