North Country School

4382 Cascade Road,
Lake Placid, NY 12946
Tel: 518-523-9329
Gr: (Boarding) 4-9 | 85 students
North Country School offers a hands-on approach to academics, outdoor education, and family-style living.
Our community nurtures self-confidence, resourcefulness and the acquisition of knowledge.
With a 3:1 student-teacher ratio, we employ talented adults who teach and care for our children.
 Founded in 1938, North Country School (NCS) offers a traditional curriculum for boarding and day students in grades 4-9.
NCS students come from diverse backgrounds, cultures and countries, and they are known well by the dedicated, multi-talented adults who teach and care for them.
NCS' unique programming - demanding academics, extensive offerings in studio and performing arts, family-style residential living, and outdoor activities from horseback riding to ice climbing - provides a variety of venues through which every child can find success.
The spectacular North Country School campus is in the Adirondack Mountains near Lake Placid, NY, a popular resort destination and site of two Winter Olympic Games.
 Our 200-acre campus features a working farm, extensive gardens, and alpine wilderness that provide hands-on opportunities for learning and growth.
Here boys and girls in grades 4-9 benefit from a literal and metaphorical breath of fresh air; our children thrive in a carefully paced program that features equal parts academics, arts, work, and play.
The guidance of talented, committed adults and a strong, diverse community instill in students values of simple living and environmental responsibility.
With a unique mix of inspiring people, place, and programs, North Country School helps students flourish.

Definition of Terms 
2014 School Data
North Country School
School Focus Junior Boarding School
Grades (Boarding) Grades 4-9
School Type Co-ed
ADD/ADHD Support Yes
Supports Learning Differences (LD) Yes
Religious Affiliation Non-denominational
Year Founded 1938
Campus Size 200 acres

Student Body

Enrollment 85 students
% Students of Color 25%
% International Students 30%
% Students Boarding 80%

Academics and Faculty

Saturday Classes No
Classroom Dress Code Casual
Average Class Size 12 students
Teacher : Student Ratio 1:3
ESL Courses Offered Yes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree 35%
Summer Program Offered Yes


Endowment Size $11 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
Tuition international students $57,900
Yearly Tuition
(5 Day Boarding)
% Students on Financial Aid 33%
Avg. Financial Aid Grant $28,100
Merit Scholarships Offered No


Application Deadline None / Rolling
Accepts Standardized Application Yes
SSAT Score No
Acceptance Rate 65%
Director of Admissions David Damico
Associate Director of Admissions Libby Doan

Course Listings

List of Courses Offered Link to List of Courses


# Interscholastic Sports Offered 13 Interscholastic Sports
Sports Alpine Skiing, Basketball, Climbing, Drill Team, Equestrian, Freestyle Skiing, Mountain Biking, Mountaineering, Nordic Skiing, Rock Climbing, Snowboarding, Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee


Total Extracurricular Organizations 22 Extracurriculars
Extracurriculars Alpine Skiing, Art Club, Basketball, Camping, Ceramics, Chorus, Fiber Arts, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Ice Climbing, Mountain Biking, Nordic Skiing, Photography, Private Music Lessons, Rock Band, Rock Climbing, Snowboarding, Student Government, Studio Art, Theater, Theatre Arts, Theatre Tech

College Matriculation

Year: 2013-2014 10 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
Dublin School 2
Grier School 2
Gould Academy 1
Holderness School 1
Kimball Union Academy 1
Milton Academy 1
Northfield Mount Hermon School 1
Putney School 1
St. Paul's School 1
Wyoming Seminary 1
Link to Matriculation Data

School Notes:

  • ACADEMICS - Our traditional core curriculum, enriched by hands-on projects and activities, focuses on the acquisition of solid academic skills. Small classes allow for attention and instruction that challenge each child according to his or her ability. We have high expectations for our students. NCS founder Walter Clark wrote, “This whole school was built on this thought: children need direct experience if they are to grow and learn most effectively.” Years later, our focus on direct experience remains at the heart of our program. Children learn by doing, and they grow by exploring new things, all with the guidance of caring, creative adults. In our academic program, the emphasis on experiential learning is evident in hands-on projects and lessons that focus on our location. In North Country School classes, math students learn about measurement and acquire new computer skills when they record and track the weights of newborn lambs in the barnyard. Science students study anatomy by reassembling chicken skeletons using bones from birds they harvested in the fall. Students learn the physical properties of snow pack during a winter term unit on avalanches. In English class, students write persuasive letters to elected officials about current issues they have researched; they create hand-bound, hard-cover journals of their writing and artwork. In arts electives, students paint barn murals, renovate a rowboat in disrepair, or dye wool from our sheep to use in knitting and felting projects. To help students acquire the basic and advanced skills they need in all core academic disciplines, NCS teachers employ a mix of instructional strategies. From collaborative group work to lectures to hands-on labs and projects, students experience innovative teaching strategies on a daily basis. A variety of support services is also available to meet students’ needs. Finally, North Country School embraces the use of computer technology as a critical learning tool. Homework and other class projects are posted on NCS' Google Apps platform, facilitating student-teacher communication. The computer lab is equipped with modern video and photo editing software. While NCS keeps current with technological advances, the school takes pride in a judicious use of technology in order to minimize students' unproductive computer time.
  • RESIDENTIAL LIFE - Students at NCS live with a roommate in one of 7 small houses of 8-12 children. A team of faculty houseparents works carefully to support and supervise each child. Sharing living spaces and the daily routines of morning wake-up, evening study hall, and bedtime creates strong relationships among the children and adults in the house. The house becomes the place for much of each student's learning and growth. "Home nights" every Wednesday - when each house prepares and eats dinner together and enjoys special activities - help students feel a sense of family and a "home away from home."
  • ARTS - “Art every day” are words we live by at North Country School. For a school our size, we have an unusually large group of arts teachers (more than one-third of the faculty teaches an arts class) and an impressive array of course listings. All students have the equivalent of at least one art class every day, with younger students rotating through core classes in music, theatre, dance, painting and drawing, ceramics, fiber arts, photography, and woodshop. Eighth and ninth graders choose from electives that provide opportunities for advanced mastery of core arts, as well as exposure to new offerings that range from documentary filmmaking to wooden boat restoration or trash fashion. Students of all ages have opportunities to submit their work to juried art shows sponsored by local arts organizations. Intersession is a week in March dedicated to arts and crafts, and the annual spring play is a decades-old tradition that involves nearly everyone on campus. Every year the production features original sets, music, effects, and costuming that are remarkable for both their creativity and sustainability—most staging and costuming are made from recycled materials from years past.
  • OUTDOORS & ATHLETICS - Taking full advance of our spectacular mountain setting, the Outdoor Program offerings range from a walk in the woods to ambitious multi-day hiking and backpacking trips. We offer team sports: soccer, basketball, cross-country skiing and ultimate frisbee, as well as an equestrian program with two dozen horses, two riding rings and miles of mountain trails. In the winter months we have extensive snow sport offerings: skiing and snowboarding on our own ski hill and at Whiteface Mountain, Nordic skiing, skating, and ice climbing. The outdoor program encourages students to take risks, acquire new skills, and gain confidence. All gear, except for personal clothing, is provided so that all children have the opportunity to participate in all offerings.
  • SUMMER PROGRAM - North Country Summer School (NCSS) welcomes international students ages 9-13 for English language an American culture immersion. Our four-week session offers intensive language instruction in the morning and enriching activities and excursions in the afternoon. Our campus offerings provide an exceptional opportunity to improve language proficiency and experience memorable summertime activities. North Country Summer School is appropriate for young students seeking a first educational experience in the U.S., as well as students planning to continue their studies at American Schools. North Country Summer School is designed around individual language needs within small group instruction. Summer students engage in projects and activities the require them to utilize their rapidly developing English language skills. Summer students become proficient speakers, readers and writers. We carefully balance academics and recreation to ensure that language learning is enjoyable and applicable.
  • LD types supported: ADHD, mild to moderate learning differences
  • School accreditations: The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) and NY Association of Independent Schools
  • Sample of notable school alumni/alumnae:
    • Andrea Gruber - American dramatic soprano
    • Adam Guettel - American composer-lyricist
    • Yasmin Aga Khan - philanthropist
    • David Loud - American musician and conductor
    • Richard Rockefeller - physician, philanthropist
    • Eileen Rockefeller Growald - author, philanthropist
    • Matt Salinger - American actor
    • Robel Teklemarian - Olympian
    • David Sloan Wilson - American evolutionary biologist

Nearby Schools:

The nearest boarding school is Northwood School (6.1 miles away)
  • School Location Miles Students Grades
  • Lake PlacidNorthwood School
    P.O. Box 1070, 92 Northwood Road
    Lake PlacidNY 12946
    6.1 mi | 173 students | Gr. 9-12
  • BurlingtonRock Point School
    1 Rock Point Road
    BurlingtonVT 05408
    802-863-1104 x12
    37.5 mi | 40 students | Gr. 9-12
  • BrockvilleFulford Academy
    280 King Street East
    1 613 341 9330
    91.4 mi | 60 students | Gr. 7-10
  • HaverhillOliverian School
    Mount Moosilauke Highway - Route 25
    HaverhillNH 03765
    92 mi | 50 students | Gr. 9-12
  • St. JohnsburySt. Johnsbury Academy
    1000 Main Street, PO Box 906
    St. JohnsburyVT 05819
    93.6 mi | 960 students | Gr. 9-12
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