Welcome to the Mountain School blog! If you are looking for information about the school, the online application, or other admissions-related topics, visit the Mountain School website: http://www.mountainschool.org
If you want to hear from the students directly, you are in the right place. This blog is a mix of many things – student journal entries, reflections, interviews, videos of evening performances, photos, student artwork, etc. The blog is a way for students to capture their experience at the Mountain School for their own benefit, and for interested alumni and potential future students. Have a look around!
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Wondering what it’s like to be a serious musician at the Mountain School?
Worried that a semester at TMS would hurt your chances of getting recruited to play sports in college? Hear from one of our serious athletes.
Nervous about the transition home after your semester? Hear from our graduates about their experiences.
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For those who are unfamiliar, here are some quick facts about The Mountain School of Milton Academy (known as “TMS”)
TMS is a 4-month long semester program.
There are two semesters, fall and spring.
Fall semester runs from late August to mid December. Spring semester runs from early February to end of May. Students come for one semester only.
TMS is located in Vershire, VT in the heart of the Green Mountains. Vershire is just over the border of NH into VT, about 30 minutes from Hanover, NH.
There are 45 students each semester, from all across the country. The program is co-ed. Most students are juniors in high school, but there is often one senior in the fall semester. Students come from public, private, charter, co-ed, single-sex, boarding and day schools.
Students live in 5 single-sex houses on campus: Miles, Tobold, Derby, Underwood and Conard.
Students take traditional junior level high school classes such as math, Spanish, and US History. Everyone takes English and Environmental Science.
Students participate in a work program. There is no janitorial staff – everyone (including faculty) works together to keep the school clean and running smoothly.
Students also learn about and participate in growing food on the school’s organic farm and harvesting wood through the forestry program.
Students learn basic outdoor skills through the outdoor program, and participate in a 3-day solo camping trip.
Some terms to know:
Work period: From 1:30 – 3:50 every afternoon – a non-academic part of the day. This is the time when students go on outdoor program and wood crew (one day a week each). Students will also spend work periods doing maintenance jobs around the campus (mopping the dining hall, vacuuming dorms), preparing food in the harvest kitchen (washing and cutting carrots), and working on the farm (moving the sheep to a new pasture, harvesting potatoes, weeding leeks). Students also get to choose and activity of their choice once a week, led by faculty members. Popular activities include art, knitting, animal tracking, zumba, and “AP Farming.”
Wood crew: part of the afternoon work period. Once a week, you will go into the woods and harvest trees. All students do it. You learn how to fell trees using an axe and saw and how to process the tree to make it usable as firewood.
Humble: every day, a student signs up to lead morning meeting. At the end of morning meeting, the student shares a story or poem or thought with the community. Before dinner, the same student gives a “Humble,” which is a sort of offering. Students this semester have sung songs, played piano, acted out movie scenes, recited poetry, danced, read favorite quotes or lines from books, or cooked a food that is special to them for their Humble. Included on the blog are videos of a few student Humble performances to give a flavor.
Chores: Every student is assigned a chore, which they must do every morning to keep the school running. Some chores are farm related (collecting eggs from the chickens, feeding the cows). Many are cleaning related (bathrooms in the academic building, common rooms in the dorm). Chores take about 15 minutes to complete. They switch every two weeks.