Academics and Support Programs
Is there academic support for students with learning differences or special needs?< Do I need to take physical education or participate on an athletic team? How much homework will I have each night? What is it like for students to have classes in a semester schedule? What is a block schedule and why do we believe it prepares our students for the college class room? What classes am I required to take?
Can students have cars? How does the dining program work? Is there food available at night? Can students go into a student house (dorm) of the opposite sex? What are house closing and lights-out policies? Are there required religious services? What is a "workjob"? Is there a dress code?
Vacations and Breaks
Is there a standard score that you need to have on SSATs and/or other standardized tests to be considered for admission? How does NMH select the students it admits? Does NMH accept the Common Application? Is an interview required?
Of all of the school's United States citizens (including those with dual citizenships), 18% are students of color. These students of color represent 15% of the total population of the school, when including the international students.
NMH students come from 28 states and US territories and 24 countries. Many of our students hold dual citizenships; NMH students hold passports to 39 countries.
Each year, students enter the school at various grade levels. The ninth-grade class typically numbers 100 students. Additional students join each year, bringing the senior class size to about 220 students, including approximately 40 postgraduates who have graduated from high schools elsewhere.
For the academic year 2009-2010 we have 630 students (504 boarders and 126 day).
The nearest international airport is Bradley International Airport, which serves the Hartford, Connecticut/Springfield, Massachusetts area and is 70 miles south of the school. Students also fly into and out of Logan Airport in Boston (a two-hour drive from campus) and JFK Airport in New York (a four-hour drive from campus
The school is about two hours west of Boston and three hours north of New York City.
We offer financial aid based on a family's demonstrated financial need, not on merit alone. However, because the number of applicants typically exceeds the number of awards we can offer, a student's talents or achievements may play a role in our determination of which applicants will receive an offer of financial aid.
Total endowment is $123 million.
On-campus overnights for prospective students are not a regular occurrence and are not arranged through the admission office. Traditionally, prospective students who spend a night on campus have made arrangements with a friend or family member who is a current NMH student and has received the necessary permission. On rare occasions under special circumstances, teachers, coaches, and house directors may make arrangements or allow a prospective student to spend the night on campus.
Upon receiving an offer of admission to NMH, prospective students are invited to Class Visit Days at the end of March or early April, giving them a chance to attend classes and other activities. In order to preserve the normal flow of classroom work, the Admission Office does not offer visits to classes at other times. Independent of the admission visit, visitors are welcomed as guests of NMH students with whom they are acquainted and who would make arrangements directly with their own teachers.
The visit consists of a 50-minute tour with a current student followed by a meeting with an admission counselor. We will be happy to try to connect visitors with faculty from a program of particular interest, upon request and availability. Overall, the regular visit will last approximately two hours.
Academics and Support Programs
The NMH Learning Skills Program offers both individual support and minor courses to help students achieve academic success. All students are eligible to participate, but the program is geared to helping students with documented learning issues such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or specific learning disabilities. In order to provide the best support for a student with learning differences, it is extremely beneficial that parents provide as much information as possible during the admission process.
To encourage optimal communication, an accommodation form (which includes strengths, challenges, and recommendations) will be written based on the testing and sent to teachers each term. Accommodations such as extended time can only be provided if such a recommendation is made within current documentation. Through the program, students may receive support for time management, organization, reading, writing, test preparation, and/or general study skills. Generally, students meet with a learning specialist once a week, free of charge. For students who need help in specific courses, the director coordinates a tutoring network, and tutoring fees are charged to the student's tuition account.
The school requires that each student participate in a physical education class or an interscholastic sport each term. There is a requirement each year for students to participate on at least one team sport a year (which includes dance and outdoor education).
The faculty adhere to strict guidelines regarding the amount of homework that can be assigned daily. Based on these guidelines, 9th-grade students should expect to spend at least 2.5 hours on homework per night; those taking honors classes typically find that more time is required. Upperclassmen spend on average 4 hours on homework on a given school night; the load is greater if a student is enrolled in all upper-level and honors classes.
Being able to focus on three subjects at a time allows students to fully invest in their learning in those particular subjects. In addition, they are being well prepared for college academics, as many colleges and universities operate on semester schedules. Especially important to note is the student-to-teacher ratio. As most teachers work with only 30 students in the academic setting (average of 13 students per class), they are able to give each student one-on-one attention in and out of the classroom.
Students find the longer classes more interesting, because they incorporate discussion, in-class projects, simulations, oral presentations, lab sessions, and a myriad of other activities. Our block schedule allows students to be focused on their academic endeavors. NMH students take three major courses for an hour and thirty minutes each day for a semester, along with electives. In an NMH classroom, where the average size is 13, students are unable to passively sit by for a whole class period. Everyone must be engaged and prepared for class each day. Furthermore, the relationship that your child will have with their teacher and peers is far more dynamic due to their time together compared with most schools where kids take five or six forty-five minute classes each day.
Today's college classroom is not a series of forty five minute classes. Students are taking hour-and-a-half to three-hour-long courses two and three times a week. The NMH block schedule prepares your child for these college academic blocks.
See the curriculum guide for specific graduation requirements.
Boarding students may not have access to a car or drive a car unless they are signed out for the weekend and off campus, except when accompanied by parents. Only day students are permitted to use cars while school is in session, and once on campus, cars must be parked in designated areas and remain there until the student leaves campus. Only with special parental permission may boarding students ride with anyone who is not a family member or a member of the NMH faculty.
Alumni Hall, our dining hall, is located centrally on campus and meals are available throughout the day, allowing students to dine at times that suit their schedules. Students like small meals through out the day, so "grazing" allows students to come and go whenever they feel hungry or like to meet up with their friends. A snack bar in Blake Student Center is also open during the day.
Alumni Hall offers a 5-week repeating cycle menu with our students' favorite offerings. We include a deli bar, salad bar and cereal offering at every lunch and dinner. Students enjoy "make-your-own" waffles, eggs and omelets to order, the taco and noodle bars, and the stir fry and pizza stations. Nutritional information is always available in the dining hall and on-line.
In houses, students can visit with guests of the other gender in public lounges, according to posted hours. Students in good standing in grades 10-12/PG can visit in rooms during visiting hours, after checking in with the on-duty faculty member.
Houses close at 10:30 pm Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays at 11:30 pm (except 9th graders) and 9:30 pm on Sundays. Students are also required to be signed into their houses or checked into an appropriate study location during Study Hall, which lasts from 7:30-9:30pm on Sunday and 8 to 10 pm, Monday through Thursday. At closing time, faculty check to see that students are present in the house or to verify that they are absent with permission. Students may not leave the house between closing and 6 am the next day.
After house closing at 10:30 pm on Sunday through Thursday evenings, students other than ninth graders may study or socialize quietly in public areas of their houses until 11 pm, at which time all students must be in their own rooms. Ninth-grade students must be in bed with their lights out by 10:30 pm. All other students must be in their own rooms by 11 pm and in bed with lights out by 12 am. On Friday and Saturday nights, lights must be out at 1 am (ninth-graders must have lights out at midnight).
The computer network and phones are shut down at 12 am on Sunday through Thursday, and at 2 am on Friday and Saturday nights. E-mail messages sent to student accounts outside of these hours are accepted by the system and can be viewed once access is provided starting again at 6 am the next day.
There are no required religious services. At NMH, all cultures and religions are respected, and students are encouraged to pursue their own spiritual beliefs and practices. Regular worship services are offered in a number of faith traditions. Read more about spiritual life.
Every student participates in the daily work of the school for four and a half hours per week. Jobs are assigned each term to fit with a student's schedule and some require an application. The jobs tend to be in dining or custodial services, administrative offices, the library, on the school farm, or providing peer support in education, mediation, technology, and residential leadership.
Our dress code allows for individual choice in clothing, following guidelines which prohibit frayed, torn, or tattered clothing and any item which displays offensive or inappropriate language. We believe that this allows students to express their individuality while maintaining respect for community.
Closed weekends provide students with opportunity for quiet study and/or required attendance at all-school events. During a closed weekend, students are expected to remain on campus and may not have overnight guests. Other weekends, students may go to their own home or that of another student if parents give permission.
Because NMH is primarily a boarding school, the majority of students are on campus during most weekends. Multiple activities [4.6] are planned to appeal to a variety of interests including the ever-popular dances, current movies, special performances including hypnotists, musical groups, and other entertainers, crafts, fairs, and more.
Student Houses or school organizations will also host themed events such as Halloween Haunted House, Mardi Gras, Casino Night, Disco Night, International Carnival, and other special dances, performances, or activities. Some houses host activities with other houses after house closings.
Most Friday nights at NMH you will find the entire school gathered and cheering on their housemates during intramurals. Intramurals start at 10:30pm. Intramurals entail the boys and girls houses competing against themselves for points. Events include dodge ball, basketball, broom hockey, indoor soccer, and swimming just to name a few. At the end of each year there is a girls and boys champion crowned. Intramurals are a fun and competitive way for NMH students to start off their weekend.
On Saturdays there are usually sporting events, and a regional shuttle bus goes to Greenfield, a nearby town, every Saturday afternoon, returning in the evening. Additionally, the school will provide access to shopping, museums, or musical performances in Boston, Northampton, and other destinations.
For those seeking religious services, Shabbat services are held on Friday nights, church services are held in one of the chapels every Sunday morning, and transportation is available to other religious services, as well.
Vacations and Breaks
During the vacations that happen between semesters and at Thanksgiving break, students must make arrangements either to go home or to stay off campus. During the fall and spring semester long weekends, students may remain on campus.
Computers are used in many courses both in class and for homework.The school year is broken into two semesters, with long weekends in October and April for family days, Thanksgiving (when all students leave campus), and two-and-a-half week long breaks in December and March. The NMH calendar can help you plan.
Is there a standard score that you need to have on SSATs and/or other standardized tests to be considered for admission?
There is not a standard test score that a student must attain in order to be considered for admission to NMH.
Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their academic abilities, their character, and the contributions they have made to their previous schools, their communities and their homes. The admission committee also seeks evidence of independence, resiliency, involvement, maturity, and concern for others.
Yes, we do. Although we prefer to review applications presented in our format, we realize that completing applications for multiple schools in multiple formats may present an obstacle for some applicants and those that provide references. Therefore, we are happy to accept the Common Application. Please know that we may request additional materials upon review of an application if the committee feels we are missing pertinent information.
Applicants living within a 200 mile radius of the school are required to have an on-campus interview and tour. All students outside of this area are welcome to visit campus. For those applicants unable to visit us in person, we offer alternative ways to get to know us better. If you would like to speak with an alumus/alumna in your area or schedule phone interview, please contact your admission counselor.
Yes, with network ports for each student in their rooms and ports in every classroom and in most public work spaces.
Computers are used in many courses both in class and for homework.
All students at NMH are required to have a computer that can be used on the school network.
Go to our athletics section, where you can select a team and read about it.