This week the NCS community began to ready campus for next week’s special holiday-week programming and the cold season ahead. Students pitched in by decorating building spaces, preparing food for next week’s Holiday Banquet feast, and stacking wood that will be used to heat our buildings throughout the winter months. In our academic and arts classes students engaged in fun, creative lessons that took advantage of our newest building spaces. Classes cooked up lessons for Spanish class in our Teaching and Learning Kitchen, while band class and music production recorded musical compositions in the Walter Breeman Performing Arts Center (WallyPAC).


In Math Lab, a math elective class, students are presented with fun hands-on activities that challenge them to solve creative math quandaries. This week the class was given the task of discovering the radius of a toilet paper roll halfway through the total number of sheets in the roll. They predicted that at the halfway point, the volume of paper used and volume of paper leftover would be equivalent. Using this assumption, the group worked together toward finding the unknown radius.

As part of their units on present-tense verb conjugation, our Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 classes joined together in the Teaching and Learning Kitchen for a fun cooking activity—translating recipes for turning soft tortillas into tortilla chips. By following their translated instructions the students were able to cut tortillas into pieces, fry them to golden brown, and add a dusting of cinnamon and sugar. Everyone was able to taste their end result as a reward for successfully following their translations.


Our new WallyPAC performing arts center provides students in music, theater, metalshop, and stagecraft classes with intentionally designed spaces where they can learn and create. This week, Joey’s band class, which includes students Tsinat, Koga, and Alejandro, practiced music by bands The White Stripes and Muse, recording and listening back to their performances.

Dave and Bryan’s robotics class continued building their foundational knowledge of design and control this week as they began constructing their robots. Students in the class will continue their bot construction when they return from winter break in early January, personalizing their designs as they get ready for the ultimate robot battle, held at the end of the term.


Though rain and warmer temperatures have melted most of our snow cover, this past weekend students took advantage of the still ideal winter conditions to hike, ski, snowboard, and sled around campus and the greater Adirondack region. On Elie’s annual Crag Cabin overnight trip, students including Evie, Brian, and Steven hiked up to our rustic campus cabin on Friday evening, cooking meals beside the woodstove before bundling up for the night in their sleeping bags.

While the overnight group spent Saturday sledding on campus trails, another group including Nate, Piers, Justin, and Helen ventured off campus, completing some shorter hikes in the surrounding area. The group ended their day by hiking Belfry Mountain, taking in the views of Lake Champlain and Vermont’s Green Mountains from the top of the firetower. Back on campus, a group of students including Amon, Cocona, and Tony skied and rode through the fresh powder of the NCS ski hill, hitting some jumps and working on their turns before heading into the dining room for a hot lunch.


At North Country School, our commitment to sustainability and connection to our land extends beyond our barn and gardens. As a Certified American Tree Farm System, NCS carefully manages our forest land to best maintain the health of our surrounding land. Trees that are cut down as part of this management plan are chopped into smaller pieces and used as fuel for the biomass boilers that heat our buildings all winter long.

As part of our tenet that “many hands make light work,” one out-time this week brought students together to move some of that chopped wood from the campus woodshed down to the Hill House boilers where they will be used to heat our living spaces.

Check back next week for a special holiday edition of the This Week at NCS blog.

For more information about the #This Week At NCS blog, contact Becca Miller at .