At North Country School, working together to care for our farm and garden is part of everyday life. Each morning and afternoon, a rotation of students head to the barn for chores, where they help our farmers make sure our animals are happy, healthy, and safe. In addition to working together for our community, our students had plenty of playtime this week as well, skiing and snowboarding on campus and at Whiteface Mountain, enjoying a local theater production, baking tasty treats, and enjoying the festivities at the Winter Carnival in nearby Saranac Lake.


Our 7th graders were provided multiple opportunities to learn alongside their peers and share findings this week, both in their English class and as part of their chemistry unit in science class. In Isaac’s English class, students are studying informational writing techniques. The students read humorous articles in class before practicing their summarizing skills, determining the importance and each piece of information. The class, which includes students Alejandro, Daven, Tyler, and Paula, then worked in pairs to sequence the events and information in their articles by assembling deconstructed summaries.

In Rob’s science class, students have been learning the foundations of chemistry and studying the periodic table of elements. To culminate this unit, each student completed a research project on a specific element and created a “wanted” poster on that element, detailing facts about the element and its past and current uses. The group then held an exhibition in the Main Building Dining Room during morning snack time to present their posters to the larger student body, allowing them to share their interesting and often surprising findings with a broader audience.


In one of our culinary arts classes, Non-standard Lunch, students have been creating their own versions of the to-go lunch offerings (or Standard Lunch, as it is called at NCS) provided to our off-campus weekend trips. This past week the class, which includes students Alex, Eliza, Amon, and Colton, made homemade Oreo truffles as their “non-standard” dessert, and made from-scratch granola and energy bars.

This past Friday evening North Country School hosted a dress rehearsal for a dinner murder mystery play put on by local Gem*Boy Productions in our theater. The NCS student community gathered to watch the play, which will be performed at the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival and features NCS 8th grader, Ella. After the first act, students were invited to interview the show’s actors for clues about “who done it.” The audience submitted their guesses before a fun second act that revealed the killer.

Ceramics students worked on their hand-building and glazing skills this week, creating functional and decorative pieces using the coil technique. Teagan, Hanna, and Josh coiled and smoothed out clay to make boxes and wall hangings, while Summer glazed her already bisque-fired work. Completed ceramics were unloaded from the kiln after a glaze firing, and students including Silvia were able to enjoy their colorful and carefully sculpted finished projects.


This week saw our students venturing off campus for a wide variety of adventures. Our student and teacher community enjoyed a great Tuesday afternoon skiing and snowboarding at Whiteface Mountain, while several groups of students traveled to nearby Saranac Lake to experience the annual Winter Carnival. Students participated in a competition to build a mini golf hole out of snow, won second place in a “largest icicle” competition with an icicle they brought along, and explored an ice palace adorned with giant mythological figures.

A group of students watched with excitement this past Saturday as NCS 5th grader Duncan participated in the Empire State Winter Games at Lake Placid’s ski jumps, where he competed in a Nordic Combined event and won second place in his age group for the 20 meter jump. Another Saturday trip traveled down the road to the Adirondak Loj—the headquarters for the Adirondack Mountain Club—where they hiked up Mt. Jo, earning a spectacular view of Heart Lake below.


The barns at North Country School are home to sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, and horses, and part of the NCS experience is learning how to care for these creatures during twice-daily barn chores. Students have the opportunity to rotate through these different animal jobs, as well as help the barnyard as a whole in the barnyard maintenance (BYM) role.

This past week our students on horse chores and BYM met down at the barn for afternoon chores, making sure our animals were fed and cared for before heading off to their own dinner. Students including Sweety, Azalech, Eliza, and Tyler led the horses into their stalls to groom them for the evening. Members of the BYM team including Steven, Kentaro, and Amon measured out grain and brought flakes of hay to each horse’s stall for their evening meal.

Check back next week to see what we’re up to on our mountain campus.

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