Berkshire School - Review #4

Berkshire School
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled St. Lawrence University
Home Town, State (Country) Weston, MA
Years Attended Boarding School 5
Activities During Boarding School At Berkshire you are required to participate in afternoon extracurricular activities. I as a student in the fall i was part of the mens soccer program. Throughout my five years i played on all four possible teams, freshman, thirds, junior varsity and varsity. At each level i was given motivation and great coaching. My senior year i ended up making the varsity soccer team and winner an athletic award at the end of the season. My freshman year i decided to continue to ski race. After my winter season i decided that i wanted to try something new and started to play squash. My ski coach was not upset by my decision to switch sports and actually supported me to try something new while i was at school. My senior year i was elected the captain of the squash team and also won an athletic award. In the spring season at Berkshire i was part of the lacrosse program and was on the both the junior varsity team as well as the varsity team. At every level, much like in every sport offered at Berkshire, the coaches where extremely supportive and fun to play for. Competition is important but you play sports to learn more than just that, the Berkshire school athletic department understands that and knows how to model their student athletes. Outside of both academics and sports i was a member of many different clubs trying to be a part of the Berkshire community. During all my five years i was a member of the Green Key Society, which is being a tour guide, as well as being a member of the philanthropy society. In the philanthropy society we ran food drives for the homeless before thanksgiving, collected presents for children during the winter and did numerous acts for the local community, such as raising money for the Sheffield Fire Department. During my senior year i was a prefect of Eipper Dorm as well as starting a new club with a young faculty member called the "Wolf Pack." The Wolf Pack was created to take more advantage of the mountain the Berkshire has such great access too. We as a group, open to the whole school community, would wake up before the sunrise on Thursday mornings and hike to different parts of the mountain, trying to see the sunrise before school started.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Their are many different aspects of Berkshire School that makes it different from the majority of boarding schools in the country. I would have to say that the interactions between students and faculty are extremely unique. It is not considered unusual to stop and talk to a teacher for extended amount of time in the middle of the day during your free period. The faculty are energetic and excited to help each student succeed in every aspect of life. The second aspect of Berkshire School that makes it unique is the mountain. Berkshire is surrounded by a mountain that is considered part of the school. The faculty, especially the science department, uses the mountain to its advantage. The mountain is pioneered by students almost every weekend in the spring as they hike up to gilder pond to a nice cool swim. I also used the mountain in the winter multiple times as i climbed the trails and skied down. Berkshire separates itself from every other boarding school in the country and it all starts with the faculty who are compassionate and it is followed with the student body who is extremely energetic and determined to succeed.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
As an individual and as person i grew over my five years more than i would have grown at any other school. Academically, athletically i was able to become much stronger and learn from role models over my five years.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
If i was going to school again i would take every opportunity that came up to try something new right away. As a student i waited to long to take advantage of what Berkshire had to offer. The Mountain program at Berkshire school is one of the best of its kind and i would encourage every student, even if you dislike the outdoors, to try something new because you never know what you will learn.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The friends i made. Over the course of my stay at Berkshire i made some of the best friends i will ever have in my life. The friends you make at boarding school will remain your friends for the rest of your life.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Enjoy every day while you are a student at Berkshire. You will not realize how much you like it until you graduate.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics at Berkshire are extremely diverse giving students the ability take classes in every aspect of academics. But most important the classes depend on how active your learning experience is created by the teachers. The teachers at Berkshire are extremely determined for each of their students to reach their peak in academic performance, then go higher. teachers are available at all hours of the day and night for extra help. It would not be considered unusual to go to a teachers house at 9pm for extra help. Every door at Berkshire School is always open.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Athletics at Berkshire School allowed me to grow as an individual through competition and the physical education. The greatest attribute of playing a sport at Berkshire was the ability to get outside every day for two hours. But in your teammates and coaches become your family for that season. Your are tested constantly by your friends and coaches to achieve your best on the athletic field, but also your surrounded by an amazing group of individuals. Team sports teach kids valuable lessons that they can take farther in life. Having to be a leader in tough situations, and pushing yourself mentally along with physically lets a teenager grow as a person dramatically.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
As a student i was only involved in the ceramics program. I took four semesters of ceramics and it was a lot of fun. Ceramics gave me a break from the normal academic structure from other classes and let me relax during the school day.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
At Berkshire School the students and faculty alike were completely committed to the school. Everyone was involved leading to great participation in all of the student organizations. This involvement led to great growth and bonding as a community.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Staggered living, having seniors in the same dorm as freshman, allows for the Berkshire community to become extremely strong. Immediately all seniors are put in a leadership role to help freshman through the first few weeks of boarding school. This creates a community where freshman, sophomores, juniors, seniors and post-graduates are all together on the same page. During my five years at Berkshire school i say with confidence that i had friends in every single grade. A community that understands each other is a community that is extremely strong. At most schools you will not find the quality of life found at Berkshire. This quality of life is so high because the lack of a social ladder at Berkshire. Everybody is friends with one another.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Twice a week during the fall the school would have community dinner. During community dinner students along with faculty would wear class dress and sit at assigned tables with a faculty at the head. During the winter due to athletic scheduling community dinner would not occur, but in the spring community dinner would only be once a week. The dinning hall at Berkshire was one of my favorite places on the whole campus. Every lunch and dinner you would sit down with your best friend and enjoy a meal, some of the best times i had at Berkshire was while i was in the dinning hall.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The surrounding area of Sheffield and beyond provided a perfect landscape for kids who wanted to take advantage of what was available to them. A beautiful place for a long bike ride on the weekends and some students took advantage of the roads and went on runs. At Berkshire their are buses into town on the weekends and twice during the school week. As a student i never went into town once, but on the other hand multiple of my friends enjoyed escaping campus for a few hours and walking around town.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
At a school of roughly 375 kids it is pretty easy to know everyone. At times one might think that it is unfortunate, but in the long run having a small and close students body is amazing. Being able to hangout with everyone is a very nice experience. Since the community is small you are forced as a individual to go out of your comfort zone and meet new people from around the world. Saturday nights at school where spent mostly hanging out with your best friends and socializing with the rest of the school in the student center. Throughout the year Saturday night activities are planned bringing much anticipation to the weekend. The most anticipated weekend of the year would be the dodge ball tournament that would gather the whole school.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:30 AMBreakfast
8:45 AMClass/Art/Free Period
9:45 AMSchool wide morning meeting
10:45 AMClass/Art/Free Period
11:45 AMLunch/Class/Art/Free Period
12:45 AMLunch/Class/Art/Free Period
1:45 PMClass/Art/Free Period
2:45 PMClass/Art/Free Period
3:00 PMSports
8:00 PMStudy Hall
Weekend
7:30 AMTeam Breakfast
8:00 AMClass/Art/Free Period
9:00 AMClass/Art/Free Period
11:30 AMClass/Art/Free Period
12:00 AMTeam Lunch
2:30 PMAthletic Contest
6:30 PMLunch
8:00 PMSaturday night activity, hangout in student center
11:00 PMCheck-in
12:00 AMlights out

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Berkshire School Alumni #1
    Class of 2013
    5 Stars   8/14/2014
    Columbia University
    I wouldn’t trade my time at Berkshire for anything because of the extraordinary community that I joined. The students, teachers, faculty, and alumni I met at Berkshire were amazingly genuine and inspiring. Teachers are invested. . .
  • Berkshire School Alumni #2
    Class of 2011
    5 Stars   11/24/2011
    Gettysburg College
    One of the most unique aspects of Berkshire is the strong sense of community, which forms in a natural manner from year to year. Both faculty and peers provide a sturdy support system that enables. . .
  • Berkshire School Alumni #3
    Class of 2011
    5 Stars   8/14/2014
    Northeastern University
    Berkshire is more than a school: it is a lifestyle, a culture, and a family environment that makes you want to be successful in and out of the classroom everyday. Every person at Berkshire is. . .
  • Berkshire School Alumni #4
    Class of 2010
    5 Stars   12/16/2010
    St. Lawrence University
    Their are many different aspects of Berkshire School that makes it different from the majority of boarding schools in the country. I would have to say that the interactions between students and faculty are extremely. . .
  • Berkshire School Alumni #5
    Class of 2009
    5 Stars   2/1/2011
    Bates College
    Berkshire School is a fantastic boarding school. The campus is secluded beneath Mt. Everett and the rest of the Berkshire Mountains. It has no main roads traveling through the campus which gives the students an. . .
  • Show more reviews (4 reviews)
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