students jump on a mountainPhoto: The 9th-grade class on the summit of Cascade Mountain. 

It was a memorable final week of the Spring Term, one that included two of our most beloved annual events. In its 20th year, Pancake Breakfast welcomed more than 250 of our neighbors to campus – many of them for the first time ever! Beyond the morning’s delicious farm-to-table meal, this springtime tradition always offers a wonderful opportunity to connect with our local communities and showcase our campus and unique learning experience. Later in the week, our 9th-grade class participated in the annual senior class hike to the summit of nearby Cascade Mountain. This powerful event gives our soon-to-be graduates the chance to spend the morning together and reflect on their time as NCS students, all while looking down on our campus from the 4,000-foot mountain’s summit. It was a great way to cap off the class’s final days of the academic year, and a wonderful first step in celebrating this impressive group as we approach next Saturday’s graduation ceremony. 

*Note: In order to include photos of Endersession, the Spring Term production of “Puffs, (Two Acts For Young Wizards),” and next week’s many other end-of-year celebrations, the final This Week at NCS will be posted on Monday, May 27.


students discuss articles a student lessona student presentationscience students with baby salmon a baby salmonTop: Global Issues students talk about their independent research. Middle 1: River and Orrin talk about their independent research. Middle 2: Matt gives a Spanish presentation. Middle 3: The 8th-grade Environmental Science class with their salmon. Bottom: A baby salmon is released into the wild. 

Our oldest students wrapped up their learning this week in ways that put them in expert roles with their peers and in caretaker roles with our local wildlife. In 9th-grade Global Issues class, students presented their spring independent research projects using a similar model to the one they have employed all year for current event discussions. Each student took turns introducing their research to their peers. They then read, annotated, and discussed prepared articles that related to each research topic, which included declining population growth rates, the impact of climate change on the ski industry, and the use of AI in gene editing. During their final Spanish presentations, our 9th-graders also used skills they’ve been working on all year, employing complex sentence structure and specific vocabulary to tell their peers about their self-selected Spanish reading books. 

Meanwhile, our 8th-grade Environmental Science students culminated their own multi-month learning on native species and conservation efforts by releasing the Atlantic salmon they raised in their classroom to the fishes’ new home in the nearby Ausable River. The group was thrilled to bring the tiny baby fish with them on the field trip down the road, where they carefully placed each young fish in the water. The “Salmon in the Classroom” project aims to increase the population of this endangered species with the help of young people, and we wish these tiny swimmers well as they make their new home away from our mountain campus. 


a set piece students build a seta painted floora student builds a ukulelea student builds a ukuleleTop: Anika with a set piece. Middle 1: An in-progress set piece. Middle 2: Jack, Luke, and Wyatt work on a set piece. Middle 3: The floor painted for the theater performance of “Puffs.” Middle 4: Danny builds a ukulele. Bottom: Dennis builds a ukulele. 

Next week the majority of our student body will participate in the Spring Term theater production of “Puffs, (Two Acts for Young Wizards)” and class time, afternoons, and weekends have been filled with prep for this exciting show. Stagecraft students have been particularly busy putting the finishing touches on intricate and innovative set pieces so they can be used during the full run-throughs and dress rehearsals taking place over the next five days. We are so excited to see everything come together during Wednesday’s opening night, and look forward to welcoming guests to campus to participate in this “magical” viewing experience. 

Meanwhile, our Exploration of Musical Instruments students have been completing their own construction projects as they finish up the ukuleles they’ve been building over the past several weeks. The group put into practice what they’ve been learning about instrument structure to make these real, working instruments, which will become part of our campus music program!


setting up a tentstudents go campinga student on the lake hill
students canoestudents on a camping tripTop: Evalyn celebrates setting up a tent. Middle 1: The 4th- and 5th-grade campout. Middle 2: Leo jumps in front of Round Lake. Middle 3: Laurie and Vivián canoe. Bottom: Students on the four-day overnight trip. 

It was an eventful final week of the Spring Term in our outdoor program, with our avid outdoor enthusiasts taking part in several new and annual traditions that showcased their hiking, camping, and paddling skills. Our 4th- and 5th-grade class participated in the event they’ve been working toward for several weeks—their overnight Lake Hill campout. The group has been learning how to set up tents and build campfires, and this past Friday night they slept on the tent platforms that overlook Round Lake. Everyone had a great time, and we are so proud of our youngest campers for what was, for some of them, their first ever overnight trip! Meanwhile, some of our more experienced campers took part in the annual four-day overnight camping trip, which this year was a canoe adventure on the nearby Raquette River. The trip was a great bonding experience for the group, who explored this special part of the Adirondack region while practicing their paddling (and teamwork!) skills.

students hikingstudents on a mountainTop: The 9th-grade Cascade Hike. Middle 1: The 9th-grade class. Middle 2: Orrin and Marley on the 9th-grade hike. Bottom: Melissa and Tina on the Cascade hike. 

The upcoming week will be filled with events that recognize and celebrate our graduating 9th-graders, and this week the entire class took part in the first big end-of-year activity, the annual hike up Cascade Mountain. Cascade, one of the 4,000-foot peaks we can see from the North Country School campus, is an iconic peak for anyone living in the High Peaks region of the Adirondack Park. Each May our graduating class hikes up to the towering summit of this mountain, and looks down on our campus from the wide open viewpoint. It is a powerful moment of connection and reflection for the oldest students in our community, and a great way to begin a week filled with celebratory moments leading to next Saturday’s moving graduation ceremony. 


potato planting groupa student marks potato rowsstudents plant potatoesa student plants potatoespotatoesa student with potatoesTop: Kim explains potato planting to the community. Middle 1: Jack marks the potato field for planting. Middle 2: Planting potatoes. Middle 3: Cat plants potatoes. Middle 4: Potatoes in the field. Bottom: Wyatt—the graduating senior who has been at NCS the longest—holds a crate of seed potatoes at his last potato planting. 

While our 9th-grade class took part in one of their first end-of-school traditions, this Wednesday our entire school population participated in the final all-school farm event of the year—potato planting. Each May we gather in Dexter Pasture and plant the seed potatoes that, over the course of the summer and early fall, will grow into the thousands of pounds of tasty tubers we use in our dining room meals and Edible Schoolyard recipes. Everyone pitched in for the fun event, and, just as it is each year, potato planting was the perfect display of our ethos “many hands make light work.” Hundreds of pounds of cut up potatoes were planted in under 40 minutes, and we can’t wait to join together again at the beginning of the upcoming academic year to harvest the new bounty of potatoes as a community.


a crowded dining rooma hay wagon ridestudent waiters face paintinga student plays musica plant salerock climbingpeople look at a horseTop: The dining room on Pancake Breakfast. Middle 1: A hay wagon ride. Middle 2: Student-waiters at Pancake Breakfast. Middle 3: Ivy paints faces during Pancake Breakfast. Middle 4: Orrin plays music at the barn. Middle 4: The Pancake Breakfast plant sale. Middle 5: The Pancake Breakfast climbing station. Bottom: A visitor looks at the horses in the Garden Pasture. 

This past Saturday we celebrated our 20th annual North Country School and Camp Treetops Pancake Breakfast event, and the day was a huge success! Over the course of the morning we welcomed more than 250 guests from our surrounding community, and everyone enjoyed a delicious breakfast of pancakes, campus maple syrup, and local meat. After enjoying their meals—served to them by enthusiastic student waiters—guests visited different spots around campus and explored other student-led activities that were connected to our signature programs. Excited visitors scaled our outdoor climbing chimney, bought greenhouse-grown seedlings from our 4th-graders, toured our barnyard and met our animals, took a hay wagon ride, saw in progress stagecraft pieces coming together, and more! Thank you to the many guests who visited our campus this past weekend for the joy and wonder they brought with them, and to the many students and teachers who participated in the planning and running of this beloved event.

Read more about this year’s Pancake Breakfast event here.