North Country School

4382 Cascade Road
Lake Placid, NY 12946
North Country School Photo #1 - North Country School's 220-acre campus is located in the Adirondack Mountains near Lake Placid, New York, a popular resort town and the site of two Winter Olympic Games. Many of our buildings use solar energy and biomass heating to help reduce the school's carbon footprint and to teach and model responsible and sustainable living practices.
North Country School Photo #2 - North Country School offers students an opportunity to be outside every day. On-campus activities include soccer, skiing, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking and basketball, among others.
North Country School Photo #3 - Through a variety or teaching methods, hands-on projects, and innovative uses of technology, North Country School students acquire critical academic skills in the humanities, math, sciences and the arts. NCS has high expectations for students, and the school also recognizes that all children learn differently. Each child is challenged according to their ability.
North Country School Photo #4 - While remaining intentionally low-tech outside of the classroom, NCS still offers students the chance to take STEM courses, including robotics, coding and 3-D design.
North Country School Photo #5 - North Country School students come from diverse backgrounds, cultures and countries - and they are known well by the dedicated, multi-talented adults who teach, live with and care for them.
North Country School Photo #6 - North Country School's annual spring theatre production involves the entire school and highlights student actors and sophisticated theatre technology. Students may choose to be actors, set designers, musicians, or members of the stage crew. NCS provides students with many avenues for creative expression that promote a life-long love of the arts.
North Country School Photo #7 - North Country School's horseback riding program includes 10 horses, two riding rings, and miles of mountain trails. NCS operates a working farm and extensive vegetable gardens that teach students lessons about responsibility and community.
North Country School Photo #8 - North Country School students live with a roommate in small houses of 8-10 children. The house becomes the place for much of a student's learning and growth. Wednesdays are "home nights" when each house prepares and eats dinner together and enjoys house games and activities.
North Country School Photo #9 - Extracurricular activities at North Country School take full advantage of our mountain setting, offering students wide-ranging opportunities to try new activities, acquire new skills, and gain confidence. Hiking, backpacking and camping outings are common throughout the year. Our on-campus ski hill allows students daily opportunities for skiing and snowboarding, while students also enjoy weekly trips to Olympic ski resort Whiteface.
North Country School Photo #10 - We invite you to visit our campus and see first-hand what the NCS experience is like!
  • Founded in 1938, North Country School offers a progressive, hands-on education for children in grades 4-9.
  • Our students come from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and countries. Our unique programming includes a farm and garden program, extensive offerings in studio and performing arts, daily work jobs, and family-style residences.
  • Outdoor activities range from horseback riding, rock climbing and skiing on our 220-acre campus to hiking and camping in the Adirondack Park that surrounds us.
  • Please contact our office to learn more or to schedule a campus visit to experience North Country School for yourself.
  • Come see classes in action, meet our horses, chat with our current students and eat a home-cooked meal in our dining room. We look forward to meeting you.

Top 20 Placements

North Country School is listed among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 314 schools) for:

Definition of Terms
 | 2019 School Data
North Country School
School FocusJunior Boarding School
Grades (Boarding)Grades 4-9
School TypeCo-ed
ADD/ADHD SupportYes
Supports Learning Differences (LD)Yes
Religious AffiliationNon-denominational
Year Founded1938
Campus Size220 acres

Student Body

Enrollment70 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding

Academics and Faculty

Saturday ClassesNo
Classroom Dress CodeCasual
Average Class Size8 students
Teacher : Student Ratio1:3
Number of AP Courses Offeredn/a
ESL Courses OfferedYes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program OfferedYes
Summer Program Cost$10,200
(There is a 7-week session that costs $10,200 and a 4-week session that costs $7,500. Financial aid is available.)
Summer Program DetailsLink to Summer Program Details


Endowment Size$13 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
Tuition international students$65,550
Yearly Tuition
(5 Day Boarding)
% Students on Financial Aid
Avg. Financial Aid Grant$38,000
Merit Scholarships OfferedNo


Application DeadlineNone / Rolling
Accepts Standardized ApplicationYes
Acceptance Rate
Director of AdmissionsDavid Damico
Associate Director of AdmissionsRachel Carter

Course Listings

List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses


# Interscholastic Sports Offered13 Interscholastic Sports
SportsAlpine Skiing, Basketball, Climbing, Cross Country, Drill Team, Equestrian, Freestyle Skiing, Mountain Biking, Nordic Skiing, Rock Climbing, Snowboarding, Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee


Total Extracurricular Organizations16 Extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsArts and Music Programs:
Art Club, Ceramics Club, Chorus, Fiber Arts, Rock Band, Studio Art, Theater, Theatre Arts, Theatre Tech

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Alpine Skiing & Snowboarding, Basketball Club, Camping Club, Hiking Club, Music Theatre Club, Rock Climbing, Snowboarding

College Matriculation

Year: 2013-201410 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
Dublin School2
Grier School2
Gould Academy1
Holderness School1
Kimball Union Academy1
Milton Academy1
Northfield Mount Hermon School1
Putney School1
St. Paul's School1
Wyoming Seminary1
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, while remaining low-tech outside of the classroom, North Country School embraces the use of computer technology as a critical learning tool. Homework and other class projects are posted on Google Classroom, 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 five small houses of 8-10 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, painting and drawing, ceramics, fiber arts, photography, and woodshop. 7th-9th 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 February 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 ten 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.
  • LD types supported: ADHD/ADD, mild to moderate learning differences, Executive Functioning support
  • North Country School accreditations: The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) and NY Association of Independent Schools

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