Reflections and Advice:
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
The Storm King School offers a diverse cultural experience for boarding students as a majority of the students living on campus have an international background. The school embraces this diversity in allowing students a multitude of opportunities to socialize, interact, and share experiences from around the globe frequently, whether through volunteer work in the greater Hudson Valley area or competing in sports of the students choosing.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Overall, my experience at the Storm King School was an incredible one that I look back on fondly. I've never been the most extroverted individual, but the smaller community of the school helped me feel like I could come out of my shell to a certain degree. There isn't any particular moment that I feel shows this, just many small moments with friends such as joking around in Calculus, suffering longer cross-country workouts together, or bantering while on headset backstage for a play production. I feel that the environment at the school encouraged me to develop stronger collaborative mindset and networking skills which have proved incredibly valuable for university.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Honestly, I would have been more outgoing in my first year there. While I felt like my senior year was truly where I came into my own and had the best experiences, the year prior was definitely quiet. I simply went with the flow and didn't really reach out or make any connections until the very end of that year, and I regret not leaping at the opportunity to interact with all the interesting people and activities made available to me at the school. I definitely made up for it come senior year, but I'm always curious how different my high school experience would have been if I was just a little more outgoing that first year.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I loved the sense of interconnectedness that was attached to the small community at SKS. While it could feel like a hassle at times when all school meetings would fall on a day you were planning to grind out some schoolwork, overall, the experience made it feel like the entire student body was cohesive and got along well considering the diverse cultural backgrounds of the students. Being able to spend time with your friends throughout not only classes, but sports, and community service as well made this union feel even stronger.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
The best advice I can give to someone attending SKS is to be patient and open to new experiences/people. The school is filled with so many intelligent, interesting people, from the teachers and faculty to your peers. Reach out to the teacher you really like! Talk with Chef Andy about the menu, which desserts you like, or just anything about food. SKS is a wonderful chance to interact and get unique perspectives from all the people working/living there. Also be sure to check out the benches/swings behind Ogden Hall if you're ever on campus. It was my favorite quiet place to go hang out.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
From my perspective, the best part of academics at SKS is the close relationship you get to develop with your teachers over the course of your time there. If you have a favorite teacher there's no shortage of opportunities to get to know them better; whether they are in a dorm adjacent to yours, offer community service opportunities you can join, as a coach of your team, or just sitting down and saying hi in the dining hall. The teachers and students are interconnected in a way I had never experienced during my freshman and sophomore years in public school. The relationships developed make classes and learning feel like less of a chore and more of a collaborative experience where teachers can better understand their students. It is worth noting that there is a mandated study hall period after dinner from 19:45-20:30 on weekdays if I remember correctly. This period is undergone in the large Ogden hall but can be a hassle for students who work better in a more private environment. Fortunately, if you are able to demonstrate a high level of academic performance you can be exempted from these evening study halls.Issues are primarily in the curriculum. It can be difficult to press for accelerated or higher-level courses as the course structure is somewhat rigid, but there is some customization available.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The athletics at the Storm King School are rigorous and allow students to participate in a number of different sports. That being said, participation is mandatory, which may rub some students the wrong way. There is little lenience on skipping practices, and on weekdays expect your time from 15:00-17:00 to be occupied by whichever club or activity you have signed up for. For students less inclined towards competitive sports, clubs such are available which see no forced competitions but tend to be more niche, such as focusing on the arts, music, etc. These clubs will also typically have schoolwide presentations of work, so if you're shy and aren't interested in competitive sports, you may be caught between a rock and a hard place. Sports I recall being available- Cross-country, wrestling, soccer, basketball, ultimate frisbee, lacrosse, volleyball, mountain biking.
Art, Music, and Theatre:
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The arts programs at SKS were a wonderful experience for me personally. The department is definitely on the smaller side, but the passion of the staff and students help it shine regardless. Whether you are passionate about painting, dancing, singing, or set design, there were a multitude of opportunities to partake in all disciplines. The arts programs culminate in showcases, such as an art week, winter/spring dance recitals, and the typical drama + musical winter spring performances in the theater. All students are heavily encouraged to attend these performances, so it is a great opportunity to showcase what you've been working on to your peers. It was also a great chance to get to know and interact with people with similar interests!
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Extra-curriculars at the school tend to be less prioritized than sports and arts activities, making them fall on weekends or the weekly all school meetings rather than a more regular schedule. Opportunities to make clubs are abundant for students with passions, so if there is something you are interested in that doesn't have representation at SKS, a simple discussion with faculty can lead to its implementation. Examples include the creation of a sports club tracking football, tennis etc, as well as a gaming club. Volunteer work is mainly on the weekends for off campus opportunities such as assisting in science programs for youths in Newburgh or aiding in the running of fairs/events in the greater Hudson Valley area. Though mandated, the community service is usually a good time to get out with your friends as you can all try to sign up for the same service opportunity to make it a weekend hangout with friends as well as service time.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life at SKS is a largely mixed bag. Some of the dormitories are of a higher quality than others, and priority is typically given based off of seniority at the school, so freshmen and sophomores are typically situated in the Lower dorms. These buildings are perfectly suitable, but the population density is much higher seeing around 30 students per building rather than around 15 in the upper-level dorms. Dorm parents are your teachers, which provides a unique opportunity for getting to know your professors on a much more personal level than I was used to. There are two students to a room, with the beds being bunked. Roommates weren't selected during my time there; however, if issues did arise between roommates the school would do it's best to swap roommates for a more amicable arrangement. When it comes to late night food it is best to pack snacks, as typically after lights out (10pm on weekdays, 12am on weekends) students are expected to remain in their respective room for the most part. Lights out also constitutes the main overhead light in the room, so small lamps may be kept on with approval from the dorm parent. On weekends there is some larger allowance for moving between rooms within a dormitory so long as students remain quiet and courteous. Another note from my time was internet access being disabled at 2 hours after lights out. This could cause issues if you are more of a night owl when it comes to completing assignments or are attempting to contact international friends/family in the morning their time.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The food at SKS was delicious! I spent my first two years of high school in a public school and the difference was night and day to me. On weekdays breakfast, lunch, and dinner are offered from 7:00-8:30, 12:00-13:30, and 18:00-19:30 respectively. The food is typically on a preset menu which students can check prior to the week and plan ahead if they know they won't enjoy a certain meal offered. On weekends, there is a brunch as well as dinner, where the highlight of brunch is the omelet station. Make sure to eat a BIG brunch if you tend to be on the hungrier side at the gap between this and dinner is around 6 hours, so either be prepared to snack or fill up while you can! I'm not sure if the monthly formal dinners are still in place, but during my time at the school there would be a formal dinner once a month where students would be pre-assigned as servers to a table with other students and share a higher quality meal together.
Social and Town Life:
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The town of Cornwall-on-Hudson is rather small but incredibly quaint. The school itself is on a hill overlooking the town and river itself, providing lovely scenery, especially in Autumn when the leaves turn. A big plus for many students is the general proximity to NYC. The school is only an hour and a half by car, whereas nearby train lines can be used to get into the city as well. The largest downside to the location is that commutes to sporting events aside from NYMA can be on the longer side.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The social life at SKS is great due in no small part to the large amount of time you will be spending with your peers. Between classes, sports, and community events, you'll be seeing a diverse pool of people very regularly. This helps more introverted students find their niche quickly as they have broad exposure to different groups. This exposure can definitely be daunting at first, but given the novelty of the experience for everyone, I found it working out well for me. The school also provides early opportunities for bonding in the form of the Color Games and Mountain Day, which see students collaborating in competitions and hiking up the titular Storm King Mountain together. The community size, around 200 total, also helps interconnect everyone. It is very possible to know the names of at least half your peers without even intending to.
I would wake up on the earlier side, dorm parents would come wake students around 7:00 I believe.
Back to Class
Start Cross-country Practice
Freetime Until I would go to bed around 22:00
Get up and head to community service
Get back and go to brunch
Freetime until dinner (hangout with friends, read, schoolwork, whatever you enjoy!)
More freetime until going to bed, sometimes plays/sporting events would take place on these days so keep that in mind. Might not always be complete free time.
Alumni Reviews Review School
The Storm King School Alumni #1
Class of 2021
George Washington University
Class of 2021
George Washington University
Two most unique things about SKS when I went there were the size and diversity of the student body. The largest number of students the school had while I went there was only 190 students. . .
The Storm King School Alumni #2
Class of 2020
ArtCenter College of Design
Class of 2020
ArtCenter College of Design
Our campus and community are small which creates many opportunities to be fully familiar with almost every aspect of life at SKS. The arts (theatre, visual, film) and sports were heavily emphasized and had very. . .
The Storm King School Alumni #3
Class of 2020
Florida international university
Class of 2020
Florida international university
Storm King is a wonderful second home with a wide assortment of clubs and activities. The school gets students out of their comfort zones with opportunities to get involved with new sports or arts. . .
Show more reviews (1 review)
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