This week we saw our first big snowfall of the year at North Country School, with nearly a foot of fresh powder blanketing our trails and fields. Students got in on the snow-fun by building snow people of all shapes and sizes, engaging in snowball battles, and sledding down our campus sledding hill. With the snow came the first truly cold temperatures of the season, providing us with the opportunity to have conversations about how to stay safe and warm in our rugged mountain climate throughout the winter season. As we leave autumn behind we look forward to the many fun-filled days of skiing, sledding, winter hiking, ice climbing, and ice skating to come.
Last week’s town meeting, run by our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee (DEI), focused on recognizing the many different food traditions and eating practices represented within our community. Each table of students and teachers was given conversation starters about how we eat and what we eat, both within our individual family-units and in our different home countries. The group then shared their thoughts on sticky notes placed on plate posters that will be displayed in the Main Building hallway.
This past week our 7th grade class celebrated the completion of their first poetry anthology with a cafe-style poetry reading. Each student contributed poems to the bound anthology over the course of the fall term, and the group joined together in our “Community Lounge Cafe” to read their work aloud and celebrate one another’s unique voice. A copy of the bound anthology will be kept in the library to make the collection of original writing available to the larger community.
In Selden’s 7th grade history class, students are learning about New World exploration life on ships. In order to gain a better understanding of sustenance in those harsh sea-faring conditions, the group sampled hardtack (very hard, simple biscuits made from water, flour, and salt) alongside apple cider (which stood in for grog made from rum and water). Hardtack and grog were important staples of life on ships for more than 500 years, as they were unlikely to spoil or become contaminated despite a lack of refrigeration.
At North Country School, our youngest students rotate through different arts electives throughout the year, allowing them to sample the creative avenues available to them as they continue their academic journeys. This term a group of students including Wyatt, Piers, and Samantha have been down in the fiber arts studio working on their weaving skills. The class has been learning how to make colorful belts and pillow covers on the looms, and their finished projects will be displayed around the Main Building during our upcoming Family Weekend celebrations.
Our older students are able to select their own arts electives each term from a varied list of options. Students Darren and Ella have been working down in our darkroom to develop final versions of their prints, while students in the woodshop have been putting the finishing touches on their own designs. Daven made headway on his wooden cart, while Koga spent some time sanding the edges of his original bench seat made from campus-cut pine.
This past weekend our 9th grade class was given the opportunity to learn first aid and CPR lifesaving skills from North Country School nurse and trained first aid/CPR teacher Jess Jeffery. The group of students, which included Julia, Emily, Bladen, Sally, Evan, Silvia, David, Rebecca, and Sam, spent the morning learning and practicing the many aspects of basic lifesaving including administering CPR to medical manikins. At the end of the training each student in the group was issued a first aid and CPR certification through the American Red Cross.
On Saturday our students ventured off campus in groups to explore our surrounding region. One group, which included students Alejandro, Duke, Isabella, Paula, and Frank, ventured out in search of waterfalls. The group crossed bridges, found the season’s first giant icicles, and admired several impressive waterfalls throughout the day including towering Beaver Meadows Falls. Meanwhile, the “Adirondack Sampler” group took a more literary tour of our surrounding Adirondack Park. The group first visited two libraries, obtaining library cards and checking out books, before hitting the Wilmington Thrift Store to see what treasures they could find with only one dollar each. They ended their day at the Adirondack Carousel in nearby Saranac Lake, which features whimsical seats representing animals native to the Adirondack area including snowshoe hares, river otters, red squirrels, bald eagles, and black bears.
The first big snowfall of the year arrived this week, covering our campus in nearly a foot of fresh, fluffy snow perfect for sledding and cross-country skiing. Students hiked out to our campus sledding hill behind Mountain House for a fun (and cold) out-time, taking runs down the hill on their own and in pairs. Student Alejandro brought a snurfer (the predecessor of the snowboard) out with him, strapping on a helmet for his own runs down the hill.
FARM AND GARDEN
The low temperatures and heavy snowfall this week may mean the end of our fall riding season, but this past week students were able to steal a little more horse-time before the inches accumulated, taking a picturesque ride through our garden pasture. The arrival of winter also marked the final produce harvest of the season for our farmers. Garden Manager Tess and Farm Intern Nick spent some time in the greenhouse cutting the season’s last lettuce that was served to the community as part of our dining room salad bar.
As part of our special Wednesday evening homenight schedule, each week a different residential house rotates through the responsibility of completing afternoon barn chores. This past week the students and adults in Algonquin House headed over to our barn through the snowy garden pasture to care for our animals before cooking up their own homenight meal. Waters were refilled, grain troughs were topped off, hay bales were tossed into animal stalls and brought out in the pasture, and horses were groomed as students including Steven, Rebecca, Sally, Tristan, and Edie made sure that our barnyard creatures were safe, warm, and well fed for the evening.
Note: Next week’s This Week at NCS update will be posted on Monday, November 25th in order to include our annual Family Weekend and Thanksgiving celebrations.
For more information about the #This Week At NCS blog, contact Becca Miller at .