a student pets a newborn lambPhoto: Nadya pets a baby lamb. 

This past week may have marked the start of Spring Term, but a fresh snowfall made for a wintry return to our mountain campus following the recent break. This offered students one last opportunity to enjoy their favorite winter activities before springtime events get underway in full force. Maple sugaring is still going strong after an early start, and the beginning of lambing season has been a joy for our community to observe and take part in. Welcoming the first newborn lambs to the barnyard always serves as a reminder of the beauty of new life and the many things we have to look forward to—warmer days, green life sprouting from the earth, and countless traditions that make the final term of the year one of the most exciting for our community.

ACADEMICS

Top: Emily talks to Lilly about density and volume during 4th-grade science. Middle 1: Elizabeth weighs a container of rocks in 4th-grade science. Middle 2: Evalyn, Elizabeth, and Lilly weigh maple syrup in science class. Middle 3: Kim talks to the 7th-grade science class about maple sugaring. Middle 4: Kim explains how pressure and gravity help sap flow through tubing. Bottom: The 7th-grade science class visits the sugarhouse. 

Our 4th-grade scientists kicked off the Spring Term by learning the difference between density, mass, and volume, all while connecting back to the maple sugaring season. The group first made predictions about the density of different liquids including water, oil, honey, and maple syrup, before measuring out the same volume of each liquid. They then weighed the different substances, determining their mass, and ranked how dense the liquids were based on those results. After recording their calculations, the students concluded that honey and maple syrup were the most dense, and oil was the least dense.

Meanwhile the 7th-grade science class also connected what they’ve been studying to the sugaring season during a visit to the maple sugarbush. There they learned about how the seasonal changes in temperature impacts the pressure and volume within maple trees, causing  sap to flow through the trees. They also discussed how we run sap lines instead of hanging collection buckets on a few of our higher elevation maple trees, which allows us to take advantage of how gravity creates a partial vacuum and moves the sap downhill through the tubing to the collection tank. 

ARTS

play rehearsalstudents run lines togetherstudents design a set piecea student interviews a cast member a student takes a photo Top: Courtney leads a Puffs rehearsal. Middle 1: Laurie and Claire run their lines during Puffs rehearsal. Middle 2: Jack and Luke design set pieces for Puffs. Middle 3: Keira interviews Wyatt about his role in Puffs for the yearbook. Bottom: Ziggy photographs Puffs cast member River for the yearbook.

Opening night of the Spring Term Production of Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic is less than two months away, and students are hard at work getting the many elements of this fun show in order. The cast has been busy rehearsing in the Walter Breeman Performing Arts Center (WallyPAC) theater during classes, afternoon out-times, and weekend activities, while the crew has been designing the breathtaking set pieces and backgrounds that will create the show’s intricate fantasy world. Meanwhile, our intrepid yearbook writers and photographers have started interviewing and photographing the lead cast members of the production so that our current student body can revisit their time working together on Puffs for years to come. 

OUTDOORS

students backcountry skiingstudents backcountry skiingstudents celebrate while skiingstudents snowshoea student goes over a jump on skisTop: 9th-grade students on their White Mountains trip. Middle 1: Students go backcountry skiing in the White Mountains. Middle 3: Jack and Anika on the White Mountains trip. Middle 4: A Saturday trip group snowshoes to Whiteface Landing. Bottom: Kingston skis on the NCS ski hill. 

This past weekend a group of 9th-graders participated in one of the Outdoor Leadership program’s capstone experiences—backcountry skiing in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. The two-day trip offered the group the opportunity to put into practice the outdoor recreation and leadership skills they’ve learned throughout their time as NCS students, supporting one another while enjoying the inches of fresh snow that blanketed the forest floor. Meanwhile, students on campus broke out snowshoes, downhill skis, and snowboards to take advantage of the recent Adirondack snowfall. While we know warmer days and a full thaw are just around the bend, we loved getting to recreate in the perfect powder around our greater North Country region, and on our very own campus ski hill!

FARM AND GARDEN

students learn about lambingstudents see a newborn lambstudents watch a lamb birtha student holds a lamba newborn lamb sleeps in hayTop: Erica explains signs of lambing to Edible Schoolyard students. Middle 1: A group of students watch a lamb being born. Middle 2: Students watch the lambing process. Middle 3: Kevin holds a lamb. Bottom: A newborn lamb sleeps in a pile of hay. 

The cycles of life on a farm are always in motion, which means that the ways in which we engage with our gardens, greenhouses, and barnyard are also always changing. This week our ewes gave birth to the first newborn lambs of the season, marking the start of this special time of year on our NCS farm. Students were able to take part in the experience of witnessing several of the lambs being born during classes and afternoon out-times, and groups and classes visited the space to learn some signs of labor including pawing, nesting, and restlessness. So far 8 of our 14 pregnant ewes have given birth to 11 baby lambs! In the coming days our 9th-graders will have the opportunity to get even closer to the process during their Lamb Watch overnights, during which small groups of our oldest students sleep in the barn and radio the farmers if a ewe needs help with the birthing process. 

To learn more about this memorable opportunity, click HERE.