Grier School - Review #5
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||1997-1999|
|Sports and Activities:||Choir Triple Trio Dance Theater Horseback riding "Gold" intramural team captain|
|College Enrolled:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Home Town, State:||Coudersport, PA, PA|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Grier is a school that develops young women with the confidence to be their best and be themselves. Grier values and supports each individual student. Its hallmarks are community, diversity and focus on developing each girl to her potential. Grier is an all-girls boarding school with students from all over United States and the world. This creates a diverse community where girls grow to understand different cultures and make friends from many countries. Most girls live at the school and these friendships extend well beyond the classroom to opportunities to visit families and maintain relationships even beyond graduation. This focus on diversity also extends to an appreciation of each girl's individuality and contributions. The administration, faculty and staff get to know each girl and help her to develop to her full potential. This helps each girl to identify and build her strengths and talents, as well as get the support she needs in areas where she's not as strong. Students are recognized for a wide range of talents, from the academics to the arts to athletics to leadership. Each girl is encouraged to focus on becoming her own unique best. Be sure to check out the videos on Grier's website (Grier.org) to get a feel for the school, the academics and the amazing programs in riding, dance and the arts.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Grier really helped me become who I am and opened the door for so many amazing experiences beyond graduation. At Grier, I discovered my confidence as I learned to live away from my family and had the opportunity to focus on trying new things and finding out what I could do and what I loved to do. The all-girls environment created a low-pressure, supportive atmosphere where girls formed close friendships and worked together to lead and shape the school. The teachers helped me to discover my love of performing and gave me the skills and discipline to succeed in college and beyond. The international students gave me insight into other cultures and helped me feel "at home" in many countries and with many different people during my post graduation travels, school and work experiences.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
This is such an amazing opportunity for a high school age girl. I came to school excited to take advantage of all the opportunities the school offered, to meet new people and take on a more challenging academic environment; it met all of my expectations. I wouldn't have done anything differently. If this is your first experience living away from home and family, be prepared for a couple of bumpy days or nights when you will miss your home. You are not alone. This will pass and the Grier housemothers and school staff are wonderful and always there to help girls through the transition to life away from home. Grier offers a really special mix of new and challenging with supportive and safe --- there's so much to do and so many people focused on helping you succeed. Take advantage of it all.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The teachers and faculty at Grier are committed to excellence, passionate about their fields, and really appreciate each girl and want to help her be her best. This creates an environment where learning is both challenging and fun -- from academics through to extracurriculars like music, writing and dance. Importantly, teachers also make it clear the role each girl plays in her own success. The small school size and the all girls student body contribute to the supportive family environment, while the diversity of the student community opened my eyes to many different experiences and cultures. I loved my time at Grier but, most importantly, my time at Grier prepared me to graduate and confidently take my next steps into the world.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Check out the library, the coffeehouse, the rehearsal spaces and the workout room. . .
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The teachers' enthusiasm, skill and commitment to helping every girl learn make Grier special. The assignments, engagement and discussion are challenging and stimulating. With classes geared toward different skill and knowledge levels, each student is both pushed and supported to achieve to her abilities. Honors English and History classes prepared me well to seamlessly transition to a University curriculum, while my math teacher insisted I could "get" advanced math (despite my reluctance and doubt). With her help, I built my skill and confidence and proved she was right! This acceptance and support for all levels of academic achievement extends through the student community as well, with many students taking classes in more than one "track." Students compete to be their own best, not against each other.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Over the past several years, Grier has made impressive upgrades to the athletic facilities, including top-notch riding facilities, state-of-the art dance space and a terrific fitness room. The horseback riding and dance programs (see below) offer opportunities for novice to advanced athletes and are receiving national recognition. Horseback riding includes recreational riding ("rec riding") and varsity teams, with varsity teams competing in inter-school, regional and national shows; both Western and English. Intramural and varsity teams include tennis, soccer, basketball, fencing and volleyball. The school is located in the beautiful central Pennsylvania mountains, so outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, snowboarding, white water rafting and even fishing are available and often offered for weekend outings. What I liked most about Grier was the opportunity to try so many different things - even as a novice - and just have fun with the other girls.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Both performing arts and visual arts are well represented at Grier and -- as with so much of the school - there really is something for every level of skill and type of interest. The school I attended before Grier had basic choir and band, but no opportunities for dance, voice or theater. At Grier, I was able to find my talent and gain confidence and experience through performances. The teachers at Grier will make sure you go as far as your interests, work and talent can take you -whether you have a passion for the arts or just want to try something new. Dance has really become a signature program for Grier. A brand-new dance/theater building was recently completed and dance has developed into an extensive and dynamic program which welcomes participation from dancers at all experience levels in all forms of dance.The school's proximity to PennState University and impressive facilities have also brought in performers from outside of Grier for performances and Master Classes. For vocal performance, there is a large choir as well as a smaller "Triple Trio" group. Private and small group voice lessons are offered, as are instrumental lessons. Theater productions and concerts throughout the year give girls a chance to perform for the school and the community. In addition, there are special programs around costume and set design and recording/sound mixing. In the visual arts, all forms and types of classes are available -- ranging from printmaking to jewelry-making to photography. AP courses are available for students interested in pursuing art beyond high school and the faculty work closely with these students to build their portfolios and prepare for art school applications in their Junior year.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
New extracurricular opportunities emerge each year as students and faculty uncover new interests and find new ways to engage in the community. Clubs and activities include those built around sharing girls' "home" cultures, personal interests or opportunities to give back to the community. Informal extracurricular activity is often centered around the on-campus coffeehouse. More than 90% of Grier's students are full-time boarders, therefore, a very complete schedule of trips is offered off campus each weekend. Girls can take trips to nearby stores or restaurants. Every few weeks a trip is scheduled to places as distant as New York City or Washington.Some of the off campus trips for students to choose from may include the following (updated list from Grier website): Shopping at the local mall Dinner and Movies A dance with a boys' boarding school Hershey Park Book Club outings Dinner at "Kim Chi," a local Korean restaurant Altoona Curve Baseball Game in the spring Downtown State College shopping and dinner Church in the local community Wal-Mart or Target Shopping trip Skiing Trip in the winter Washington, DC King of Prussia Mall Hagerstown Outlets Fly Fishing in warm weather New York shopping and Broadway show Dinner cruise in Philadelphia Horse shows Six Flags in Baltimore
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Each girl typically shares a room with one roommate and shares a "suite" with two other girls in an adjoining room linked by a shared bathroom. Most girls personalize their rooms with accessories, pictures, etc. Each grade is grouped together along the same corridor and shares a "housemother." These housemothers live in the dorm and are solely focused on creating a positive and supportive living experience in the dorm. Housemothers also conduct room inspections to ensure each girl is keeping her room neat and observing "lights out" and study hall hours. The dorm arrangements offer a good balance of privacy and community.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Grier is located within the very small village of Birmingham, PA a few miles outside of Tyrone. Many of the faculty live on campus or within the village and open their homes to girls for visits. The self-contained location is beautiful and creates a safe and low-key community environment for the campus. On weekends, there are always outings to area shopping malls, dining, or events in Tyrone, Altoona and State College.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
As an all-girls school, the best part of the social life is the relaxed environment for being yourself and making new friends from all over the country and the world. School activities - such as theater, riding, dancing and photography - and a range of other activities bring together girls with shared interests. With most girls' living on campus, students, faculty and staff are truly a school "family." It’s a unique opportunity to learn about other cultures on a personal level and build friendships that can last well beyond school. Weekend outings offer opportunities for socializing off-campus and social events are scheduled with area boys’ schools several times during the year.
|8:15 AM||Classes start|
|3:00 PM||Classes over / Sports period begins|
|7:45 PM||Study Hall Begins|
|9:45 PM||Study Hall Ends|
|11:30 PM||Lights Out|
|10:00 AM||Personal workout / dance time|
|11:00 AM||Outing to mall or other event|
|12:00 PM||Lights out|
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