Millbrook School - Review #2

Millbrook School
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled Syracuse University
Home Town, State (Country) Katonah, NY
Years Attended Boarding School 3
Activities During Boarding School -Freshman dorm leader -Upperclassmen dorm leader -All school Prefect -Leader of singing group -Voice lessons -Musical Theatre -Assistant director of the play -Dance (Irish Step Dance, Ballet, Interpretive, Hip-Hop) -Tennis

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
One obvious factor that made my school unique was the on-campus zoo. This had an incredible range of animals from baby red pandas to otters. It has also an incredible amount of endangered animals as well. Freshmen are required to work with the zoo, and students can then study and work in the zoo after their freshman year. Our school also had a mandatory volunteer program where everyone needed to do some sort of community service every year. This may have been recycling, being a dorm leader, or even working in the zoo! Millbrook is heavy on community service, it was even the schools theme for the 2015/16 school year.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
One incredible thing I did at Millbrook, was give a chapel talk. This is where you get up in front of the school and speak for about 15-30 minutes. The whole night is about you, and what you say. I signed up for this thinking it would be healthy and force me to speak to everyone. When the time came I regretted it and was extremely nervous. I had no idea what to write about or say to anyone. Then I came up with the idea of talking about my five siblings. Rather than writing a speech, I wrote down talking points, and made it casual. I put together a power point and had videos. Overall, I made everyone laugh and was told by multiple people that I had the best chapel talk anyone had seen. This made me realize how dumb I was for being scared. Millbrook helped my confidence and helped me grow as a person. After that night, I was proud and exited for the next moment to speak in front of everyone. When I became a Prefect I found myself in front of the school every Monday, running assemblies. These moments helped me in becoming a leader, and becoming less self conscious.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would change some of the safe choices I chose. I would try to be more adventurous. I stuck with the musical side of things, but if I could redo it I would try something new. I would maybe step into JV hockey or try tennis. Trying something completely out of your comfort zone is important, and I did this when I auditioned for the musical, but I wish I did it more. My advice would be to take advantage of every opportunity given to you. There are so many things to do, and I would advise people to try as many new things as possible. Sometimes new is scary, but new can also be really good.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The sense of community. I felt so welcomed and warm from the moment I stepped onto campus. This was something that stuck with me until I left. I valued the amazing faculty and students that I was able to be with throughout my journey. I had so many people believe and support me throughout my three years at boarding school. I am so thankful for that.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
I would tell people to check out the roof of the arts center. It is difficult to find but well worth it if you do. Also If you're a girl, West dorm is the place to live, because it is the newest dorm. If you prefer more of a "homey" dorm then I would encourage you to choose Abbott.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I really enjoyed the small class size, and the passionate teachers. It was really obvious, coming from a public school, that there is an emphasis on personal aid. I actually found myself often enjoying classes because it was obvious that my teachers enjoyed teaching the classes. My Mandarin teacher would bring in foods and play music that made us fall in love with the culture. She loved the subject so much and wanted us to love it as well. The class is also set up in a shape where there is so back row. Everyone is forced to pay attention and participates. Some days this was difficult, but overall this was extremely helpful in absorbing material. Something that I also valued was the tutoring system at Millbrook. There was a program where you could pay for a tutor, but there was also a student based program("S'tutors= student tutors). This was extremely useful and I loved that this was a program at our school. It was beneficial to the tutors, students, and teachers.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Personally, I was not involved with many athletics at my school because I am not an athletic person. I do know that the athletic program caters to those who may be interested in competitive or non-competitive teams. There are levels like varsity, JV, and even thirds within almost all sports. Our varsity leveled sports are very competitive and many teams usually make it into the "New Englands". A lot of these teams can be difficult to make varsity on if you're not pretty talented in the sport already. The lower levels focus more on enjoying yourself, learning, and training. Most teams at Millbrook take beginners in the lower levels, and many people have told me this is incredibly fun and rewarding. Most students have raved about the coaches and most of the coaches are also teachers, so I can attest to the love.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Millbrook has an amazing artistic program. For visual art students there is everything from a drawing and panting studio, to a print making studio, to a photographer lab, to a dark room for developing photography, to a ceramics studio with both and indoor and outdoor kiln. Students in advanced drawing and painting get their own workspace in a special room where they can work in private and create incredible pieces. The photography and ceramics studio see a lot of kids everyday because it is open to anyone who wants to get a taste (not just classes). I have personally never taken a ceramics class, but I was constantly attempting to make pieces on the pottery wheel. The music program is also pretty impressive. There are lessons in almost every instrument and voice, and if there is not, the school will usually make accommodations. I am aware that a student was able to get accordion lessons last year. There is also a school jazz band, which gives you credits. For voice students, there are two voice groups. One of the groups traveled to Vienna last year to perform and work with diverse students. There are also many opportunities for anyone to perform. There are four arts nights (variety shows) a year, where students put together bands or sing solo in front of the whole school. There's also assemblies and chapel talks where students will often play music for the whole school. I only participated in the Musical my last two years at Millbrook, and I loved it. It is incredible how students operate everything. There are students running lights, sound, creating the set, playing in the pit, and even helping direct. There is a fall play and winter musical and they are both incredibly fun. The teacher running this program, Mrs. Lifter, is amazing and inspiring and teaches fun classes as well (play writing, improvisation, etc. )

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Kids are very excited about different clubs at Millbrook. There is a chess club, knitting club, tech club, Singing group, Improv group, Diversity group, LGBTQ group, environmental group, and many more. These are all student started groups, and have incredibly passionate students running them. There are many opportunities for these clubs to shine as well. The singing group often takes trips to perform. The tech group has gone to competitions. The improv group performs during intermissions of shows. They are all supported widely by the faculty and are fun to be a part of. There are usually discussions and presentations within the groups, which are followed by trips.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life is very diverse at Millbrook. Depending on whether you're in a new or old dorm, your opinions could change on dorm life. I loved it. With the help of Dorm Leaders there are so many activities for students every week. Dorms will often partner together to create activities for dorms together, like a movie night, dance night, pizza making, or even board game night. The room is set up with a dresser, bed and desk. There are only singles, doubles, and triples. The triples are usually include a day student. If you request a student as your roommate, and they request you, you almost always get that student. Getting a single is more difficult but usually achieved by talking to dorm heads. The harder part of the selection process is choosing which dorm to be in. This is not always guaranteed to students. Overall, with the help of dorm leaders, peer councilors, and dorm parents, the transition into dorm life is usually easy and most students end up loving it.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
I cannot personally speak of the dining experience because it has recently changed. Millbrook has recently gotten a whole knew dining hall, which I have heard is amazing. People have told me that the food caters to everyone and is very enjoyable. There is a wide variety. There is not assigned seating, unless it is Thursday which is formal dinner. This is where everyone dresses formally and gets assigned table to sit at, in order to meet new people and foster the sense of community. The cafeteria has specific hours but is always open to students who want to make a sandwich, grab a drink, or get some cereal (it is not open very late at night).

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The town surrounding Millbrook was not very impressive. People do not usually spend a lot of time there. There are trips to restaurants, movie theaters, and malls which are incredibly enjoyable, but most of peoples time in on campus. My personal favorite part of the surrounding area was the marsh. When it was warm we would always go and swim or tan out there. There was one day where a group of us grabbed sandwiched and music and spent the whole day out on the marsh. Most of the surrounding area is rural, which was incredibly rewarding and relaxing.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
At Millbrook social life was very interesting because everyone always seems to find their nook. With the help of student leaders and lots of campus activities, meeting people and connecting was easy. I loved how there were always things to do. Whether it was a themed dance, or it was an open skate, Millbrook always had something planned for people to do. If there was genuinely nothing, relaxing in the student center was never a bad call. I never saw or experienced bullying either, which was refreshing. People were naturally nice and accepting and social life was a breeze.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:15 AMBreakfast
8:00 AMChapel (All school assembly)
8:45 AMClass
9:30 AMCommunity Service
12:00 AMLunch
12:45 AMClass
3:15 PMSport
6:00 PMDinner
8:00 PMStudy Hall
11:00 PMLights out
Weekend
8:15 AMClass
12:00 AMLunch
12:15 AMSport-usually a game
2:00 PMWatch other games/Free time
4:00 PMFree time
5:30 PMDinner
6:30 PMFree time
8:00 PMAll school activity (Dance, Karaoke, etc. )
11:00 PMBack at dorms
1:00 AMInternet shuts off

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Millbrook School Alumni #1
    Class of 2016
    5 Stars   12/28/2016
    New York University
    When I think of Millbrook, I think of the overwhelming support from the student body and faculty. Millbrook to me is special in that it maintains a strong and connected community, that continues as you. . .
  • Millbrook School Alumni #2
    Class of 2016
    5 Stars   12/3/2016
    Syracuse University
    One obvious factor that made my school unique was the on-campus zoo. This had an incredible range of animals from baby red pandas to otters. It has also an incredible amount of endangered animals as. . .
  • Millbrook School Alumni #3
    Class of 2016
    5 Stars   12/3/2016
    Washington University in St Louis
    Millbrook's biggest differentiating factor from all other boarding schools is the Trevor Zoo. The Trevor Zoo is located on Millbrook's campus and is the only AZA accredited zoo on a high school campus in the. . .
  • Millbrook School Alumni #4
    Class of 2015
    5 Stars   12/28/2016
    Cornell University
    One of our school mottos was everyone is known and needed. That couldn't have been more true. With such a small student size, every student was truly known and valued. The faculty was amazing and. . .
  • Show more reviews (-1 reviews)
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