North Country School

  • Founded in 1938, North Country School is a boarding and day school for children in grades four to nine, located on a 220-acre farm on beautiful Round Lake in the Adirondack mountains of Lake Placid, New York.
  • North Country School offers an experiential academic curriculum, small classes and residential family-style houses.
  • North Country School strives to create a community that gives children the self-confidence, knowledge, skills, and values to lead satisfying and productive lives while contributing to their world.

Top Placements

North Country School places among the top 20% of private schools in New York for:

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS)
New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades 4-9
ADD/ADHD SupportYes
Learning Difference ProgramsYes
Learning Programs Supportedmild-moderate learning differences, ADHD/ADD, Executive function challenges
Year Founded1938

Student Body

Total Students69 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 29%
Students by Grade North Country School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers25 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio3:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size8 students
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$62,600
Tuition NotesComprehensive fees, including all weekend activities, skiing, music lessons, computer and laundry fees, etc.
% on Financial Aid
Average Financial Aid Grant$38,000
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions DirectorDavid Damico
Admissions AssociateRachel Carter
Endowment Size$13 million


Total Sports Offered13 sports
SportsAlpine Skiing, Basketball, Climbing, Cycling, Drill Team, Equestrian, Freestyle Skiing, Mountain Biking, Nordic Skiing, Rock Climbing, Snowboarding, Soccer, Ultimate FrisbeeAlpine SkiingBasketball,
Drill TeamEquestrian,
Freestyle SkiingMountain Biking,
Nordic SkiingRock Climbing,
Ultimate Frisbee


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.16 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Club or Organization:
Cooking, Robotics

Arts and Music Programs:
Art Club, Choir and Band, Music Lessons, Theater Program, Theater Tech

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Canoeing, Hiking, Horseback riding, Ice Climbing, Mountain Biking, Nordic Skiing, Rock Climbing, Skiing, Snowboarding

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.

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in New York is $12,864 for elementary schools and $25,237 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in New York is 77% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).