North Country School
|North Country School|
|4382 Cascade Road Lake Placid, NY 12946|
|Type||Private boarding school|
|Headmaster||David “Hock” Hochschartner|
|Average class size||12|
|Student to teacher ratio||3:1|
|Campus size||200 acres (81 ha)|
|Accreditation||New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS)|
North Country School (also called NCS) is an independent junior boarding and day school for boys and girls in grades four through nine. Its 200-acre campus is located in Lake Placid, NY in the High Peaks Region of the 6 million acre Adirondack Park. North Country School’s campus includes a beach on Round Lake, a ski hill, gardens and a working farm. At the center of campus is the “Main Building,” which houses classrooms, a computer lab, dining room, Quonset gymnasium, art studios, dark room, music practice rooms, and administrative offices. North Country School shares its property with Camp Treetops.
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.
Walter and Leonora Clark, both progressive educators, founded North Country School in 1938. The year the school opened, the Clarks’ six students and two teachers lived in Camp Treetops' buildings while the first school building was under construction. The property was owned by Mrs. Clark’s sister and brother-in-law, Helen and Douglas Haskell, who ran Camp Treetops starting in 1929 following its founding by Douglas Slesinger in 1921. The Clarks envisioned a school that would extend Treetops’ ideals of “personal choice balanced by vibrant community” and “time outdoors for meaningful work, unstructured play and discovery” into classroom learning. Today, North Country School enrolls 90 students and offers a rigorous and progressive academic curriculum and opportunities for students to engage with the natural world, including: garden and farm projects, maple sugaring, chores, wilderness trips, and horseback riding.
Buildings and facilities
Many buildings on the North Country School campus are considered to be architecturally significant. Douglas Haskell (1899-1979), an American writer, architecture critic and noted champion of modern architecture in America, owned the property for over 40 years and designed many of the original buildings with their natural surroundings in mind.
The Main Building built in 1938 and expanded in 1946 owes its design to Douglas Haskell and Henry Churchill. It houses classrooms, a computer lab, dining room, Quonset gymnasium, art studios, dark room, music practice rooms, and administrative offices. Students live in family-style houses (opposed to dormitories). The campus has undergone recent upgrades including the construction of a Timber frame art and dance performance pavilion (2002), the construction of student residence Clark House (2010), the addition of a high-efficiency biomass heating plant (2013), and an award-winning renovation of an 1880’s barn (2013).
- Algonquin House – Harwell Hamilton Harris, 1967–68
- Balcony House – Douglas Haskell, 1938
- Bramwell House – Harwell Hamilton Harris, 1967–68
- Cascade House – Harwell Hamilton Harris, 1967–68
- Clark House – Stephen Tilly, 2010
- Farm House – 1800’s
- Glass House – Harwell Hamilton Harris, 1944
- Mountain House – Harwell Hamilton Harris, 1967–68
- Road House
- Woods House – Douglas Haskell, 1942
- Art studios
- Biomass heating plant
- Music rooms
- Riding ring
- Round Lake
- Quonset gymnasium
- Ski hill with six trails
- Timber Frame pavilion
In addition to a traditional core curriculum with experiential learning in five subject areas plus foreign language and learning support, North Country School offers 27 studio arts and 17 performing arts classes.
- Alpine skiing
- Ice climbing
- Ice skating
- Mountain biking
- Nordic skiing
- Rock climbing
- Ultimate Frisbee
North Country School shares a campus with Camp Treetops. It also offers North Country Summer School (NCSS), an English language and American culture immersion program.
North Country School and Camp Treetops are governed by a 25-member Board of Trustees. The school and camp are one 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that receives charitable gifts from parents, friends and alumni/ae.
- George Bolton (Thoroughbred racehorse owner, Investor)
- Andrea Gruber (American dramatic soprano)
- Adam Guettel (American composer-lyricist)
- Yasmin Aga Khan (philanthropist)
- David Loud (American musician and conductor)
- Guillaume de Ramel (Philanthropist)
- Richard Rockefeller (physician, philanthropist)
- Eileen Rockefeller Growald (author, philanthropist)
- Matt Salinger (American actor)
- Robel Teklemariam (Olympian)
- Jessica Tuck (Actress)
- David Sloan Wilson (American evolutionary biologist)
- David Stein (Investor, philanthropist)
Memberships / Affiliations
- National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) 
- Junior Boarding Schools Association (JBSA) 
- The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS)