As part of our commitment to preparing our graduates to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world, Berkeley Carroll encourages Upper School students (generally 11th graders) to spend a semester or year living and studying in an alternative educational environment. The school also supports educational programs that transcend the traditional walls of a brick-and-mortar school. Following is a sample of some of the more popular options. If students are interested in a program not listed below, they should discuss the program with their grade dean.
An offshoot of the Milton Academy, the Mountain School provides high school juniors the opportunity to live and work on an organic farm in rural Vermont. How are the Berkeley Carroll students who have attended the Mountain School affected by this experience? The academic credits they accrue from their semester in Vermont transfer back to Berkeley Carroll but the friends they make during their four months away are theirs for life. Working and living collaboratively and being responsible for livestock and crops -- these are experiences that most city kids would never be able to have back home in New York City.
The High Mountain Institute Semester isn't for everyone. It's for those who want to combine academics and backpacking, who want to travel through and study in the mountains of central Colorado and the canyons of southeastern Utah, and who want to hone their outdoor skills while sharpening their academic abilities. The gorgeous terrain of the southwest is only a dream for most east coast teenagers -- for those who have attended the Rocky Mountain Semester it's their daily vista.
At the Chewonki Semester School (also known as the Maine Coastal Program) each day integrates academics, work, community, and learning about the natural world. A recognized model for the sustainable management of natural resources, the program emphasizes farming, working with one's hands, recycling, and a commitment to renewable energy. Sustainability is as much a part of the the Chewonki Semester School as is academics.
Located in California's beautiful Napa Valley, the Oxbow School is a one-semester program combining visual arts with academics. Studio time along with visits to museums, galleries, and artist studios are built into a typical Oxbow day, which also emphasizes time management skill building. The Oxbow student becomes thoroughly enmeshed in activities he or she loves.
Traditional academics, supplemented by a hands-on study of marine biology, are the hallmarks of the Island School's program. Located in Cape Eleuthera in the Bahamas, the Island School's program emphasizes classroom work with that done in the ocean, tide pools, and along the beach.