“I haven’t yet lost the sense of wonder that comes from walking through our unique ‘building without walls’ for grades 3-12 on 81st Street, taking in the sounds of students engaged in learning with all their senses. Giggles might erupt from one corner while music drifts over from another. In one area a teacher might be engaged in an intense discussion with a small group of students about the life cycle of brook trout, while in another, students are buzzing amongst themselves trying to unravel a puzzle or a brainteaser. A group of middle schoolers might be heading out to the Museum of Natural History just four blocks away, while at the same time upper schoolers are returning from a service project with a community partner in our Upper West Side neighborhood. A fourth grader might stop me with a “Hi Steve” and proceed to tell me about what she’s reading in class. It’s a cacophony of joyous learning, and our website doesn’t begin to do it justice.”
-Steve Solnick, Head of School (since 2017)
“I had such an amazing time at Calhoun. It hasn’t really hit me yet that today was my last day. If I could come back on Monday, I would. I’m definitely interested in coming back over the summer for Jazz Camp and visiting again if I come back to the city for college visits/interviews/auditions.”
-2016 Network Visitor from the Bentley School, CA
The Calhoun School is a preK-12, progressive, coeducational day school of about 750 students, with 260 in the UpperSchool. The school offers a unique physical plant, an open space school, in the heart of New York City’s Upper West Side. Students coming to the school will be able to take advantage of the many cultural activities and learning opportunities that the city has to offer. The school offers a range of courses in a rolling, six-day schedule over five mods or terms.
The Calhoun School is deeply committed to a responsive curriculum that values interdisciplinary, experiential and placebased learning. Given this, visiting students are encouraged to think about how they might shape and explore their own learning track inside and outside of the school building. The advisor is available to help visitors plan unique opportunities that make the most of our school and community resources.
Early Childhood Internship
Students will work in our Early Childhood Center (2.5-5 year olds) under the supervision and guidance of a faculty member. This will be an appropriate experience for any student who enjoys working with children or who wants experience for future work with children. As this school is in a separate building from the Upper School, students may choose to get involved with the high school by participating in an extra-curricular activity or one academic/elective class.
Food Service Internship
Students will work with our Executive Chef and the Food Service team to menu-plan, prepare and serve meals to our 81st Street community. This will be a hands-on experience for any student who enjoys learning about food and who wants to garner appropriate experience in the field. This is an opportunity for high-energy individuals who have a lot of stamina and who may be looking at food studies in college and beyond.
Independent Art Project
Working with art faculty at the Network student’s home school and Calhoun’s art faculty, a student will identify an independent project in the visual arts and work on it for the period of time at Calhoun. As a part of their program, students will visit the city’s world famous art museums and galleries. These include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the American Folk and Craft Museums, the Guggenheim and the Frick Collection. Students may work on projects with the art classes and attend the related field trips when they occur. Network students may also arrange their own museum visits and projects in consultation with the art faculty and their host family. Students will usually participate in one or two academic classes, as well, so as to become better acquainted with the school and its students.
Music Studies Project
Students who are keen about music are invited to consider immersing themselves in Calhoun’s Music Program. The Program offers opportunities for a wide variety of instruments and for players with different capacities. Visiting students may challenge themselves in one or more of the following areas: Winds/Brass, Chorus, Jazz, Percussion, and Strings. There are also opportunities for composers and singer/songwriters to sharpen their skills with the support of our music faculty.
Service Learning Project
Working with the Community Service Director, visiting students will identify issues that impact New York City and the service and advocacy organizations that work to ameliorate these dilemmas. Students will identify community leaders and community based organizations and will work with these individuals and organizations to learn more about the issues and to lend efforts to support under-resourced New Yorkers.
Urban Studies Project
Students interested in urban issues may work closely with Lavern McDonald and other members of the Upper School Social Studies faculty to identify key readings, site visits, and research questions that they will explore while on study visit at Calhoun.
Living Arrangements and Travel
Ideally, network students are housed in the homes of Calhoun families. Network students who have family or close family friends in the area may elect to stay with them (with parents’ prior approval) but should take commuting distances into account. Students who are considering the Calhoun School may also ask their home school coordinators to mine their alumni networks for potential host families.
New York City offers a wide range of cultural, historical, scientific, and service activities in which students can participate. Students should realize that they are coming to a complex urban environment and be both responsible and independent. Comfort with travelling on public transportation (sometimes alone) is an important requirement for prospective students. It is also necessary to have sufficient pocket money and budget it for the length of the stay. Weekly unlimited-ride subway/bus passes are available for a fee. To learn more about the public transit system, see http://www.mta.info. Most museums have admission charges of $8-$20. See City Pass for discounts: https://www.citypass.com/new-yorkcomparison.
LaGuardia is usually the best airport to use, but do consult with the host family before purchasing a ticket. A student can get into town by cab or public transportation depending on the location of the home-stay. Kennedy and Newark are farther from most Calhoun family apartments, and the cab ride is more expensive. Alternately, students traveling from other schools in the Northeast might elect to take Amtrak or a bus line, such as Greyhound or Peter Pan. See the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s website for more information on transportation to and from our region: http://www.panynj.gov/.
Students should complete the Network Student Information form and return it to the home school Network Advisor. The programs are open to all high school students, especially those in 10th-12th grades.
Individually arranged one to two week stays. On occasion, we may be open to more extended stays.
School Blog: https://www.calhoun.org/blog
|Advisor Name:||Lavern McDonald|
US Director of Special Projects and Network Exchange Coordinator
|Advisor Name:||Daniel Isquith|