Tag Archives: Field Courses

Supporting Inquiry and Engagement at The White Mountain School

chomas-trio-blog-post

By David and Natasha Chomas, P ’19

We first discovered The White Mountain School when searching for a summer program to allow our son, Justin, to explore his new-found interest in rock climbing.  It was Justin who discovered what an exceptional place White Mountain is and set about convincing us to allow him to apply for admission!

We were not a “boarding school family” but quickly recognized the uniqueness of WMS. We were particularly drawn to the school because of its values, size, and culture. We worried that Justin would disappear in our town’s large high school but were confident that there would be no place to hide at the School.  White Mountain seemed to be the perfect fit.  Justin felt it and we felt it – none of us were wrong.

Our hopes were realized on drop off day! We quickly got the, “you can go home now,” signal from Justin – we knew he had found the right fit.  We love the frequent, open, and honest communication we receive from the staff and faculty which further cemented our feelings about White Mountain.  Justin enjoys his breaks at home but always looks forward to returning to his school and his friends.  When we first learned about supporting White Mountain, we were so happy to do so that we each, individually gave money to the Annual Fund without realizing the other had done so already!

The White Mountain School has provided Justin with insight and experiences he never would have had in our local school system.  From the Student-Driven Inquiry based learning and LASR projects to academic immersion experiences on Field Courses, White Mountain has given Justin the space he’s needed to truly discover what he is passionate about and find meaningful direction for the next phase of his life. Thanks to White Mountain, our son has become more confident and skillful, while also developing his love of climbing and discovering other outdoor activities like backcountry skiing and ice climbing!  His experiences at White Mountain have fostered his love of nature and the outdoors and exposed him to a wealth of career opportunities he never knew existed.  After graduation, Justin will be pursuing a Forestry degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism. His goal: a career in conservation law enforcement.  We are so proud of him and 100% confident that we made the right choice by investing in our son’s future with a White Mountain education.

The White Mountain School has exposed Justin to so many positive opportunities and we feel lucky that he, and we, are a part of the White Mountain community.  For these reasons and so many more, we are very happy to support The White Mountain School today and beyond Justin’s graduation with gifts to both the Annual Fund and Now is the Time Campaign.

The White Mountain School, like all independent schools, relies heavily on alumnae/i, parents, neighbors and friends for support. The very foundation of independent education in America is based upon charitable support, and The White Mountain School has been part of this tradition for more than 125 years. Independent schools are sustained by the good work and charitable resources of the community it serves. Gifts help White Mountain continue to thrive, improve the School’s offerings and directly impact the School’s immediate and long-term fiscal well-being.

Field Course Highlight: Giving Back Through Service & Community Development

imgp4195

Twice a year, The White Mountain School offers its students a variety of opportunities to gain mastery of topics that are best learned out of a classroom setting during week-long Field Courses. Each of these immersive experiences allows an in-depth, academic exploration of a specific topic and occurs within a geographic setting ideal for authentic study. These memorable excursions provide an incomparable means for students to explore and develop their passions beyond the walls of the traditional classroom.

imgp4085One of the eleven Field Course offerings this March – Exploring the Culture and Social Justice in the Developing Caribbean Nation of the Dominican Republic –  brought White Mountain students to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where they completed community development projects in the community of La Sabana Perdida. Lead by White Mountain Faculty member Matthew Toms, the students explored poverty, social development and social justice in the Dominican Republic through direct service learning work and preparatory & reflective class sessions and discussions. The service learning component included working on a construction project and providing support to a local elementary school.imgp4229

In addition to the aforementioned trip to the Dominican Republic, White Mountain students also participated in the following Field Courses – Green Living in the Urban World: Sustainability and Service in Montreal; Leadership in the Natural World: Practical Applications of Leadership and Communication; Intersectional Feminism: An Examination of Gender, Power, and Race; Maine Coast Independent Student Project; The Physics of Climbing; Winter Photography in The White Mountains; Buddhism and Mindfulness: The Study and Practice; Economics: A Case Study Through the Ski Industry; Ekphrastic: Exercises in Art and Writing; and Avalanche Science and Education: Exploring the Mountains of Idaho.

imgp3999The White Mountain School has dedicated its academic curriculum to stimulate student inquiry and engagement.  Oftentimes, students further pursue passions inspired by Field Course in other areas like their LASR project. Learn more about our Field Courses and LASR on our website.

You can see some photos taken during this exciting Field Course opportunity below.

imgp3957 imgp3985 imgp3973 imgp4005 imgp4008 imgp4029 imgp4035 imgp4048 imgp4094 imgp4241 imgp4233 imgp4220 imgp4213 imgp4168 imgp4146 imgp4138 imgp4099 imgp4096 imgp4253 imgp4254 imgp4266 imgp4274