After classes, we play soccer and basketball, Pictionary and Ping-Pong. We make music and shoot movies. We celebrate birthdays (complete with baby pictures sent from home) and many holidays—from Thanksgiving to the Chinese Spring Festival.
On weekends, we head out for a museum or a baseball game, and serve our community by tutoring school kids or volunteering at a local soup kitchen.
Most importantly, over the course of our years here, we build strong friendships that span across cultures.
Campus and Town—PRISMS is located on a beautiful campus just two miles from the center of Princeton, one of the nation’s most lovely and historic university towns. This location puts us within reach of many events and resources locally and in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.
Day and Boarding—The 85 percent of our students who take part in residential life as boarding students stay in bright, comfortable residences staffed by full-time faculty dorm parents. While our day students, of course, go home at night, they can take part in all our events and activities, including weekend trips.
Activities and Events—Students join clubs ranging from Scholastic Bowl and the Digital Video Club to Yearbook and Debate—with offerings changing to reflect their interests. Weekend trips take us to a range of destinations—from “Communiversity” (a community fair hosted by Princeton University) to a Phillies game or sculpture garden.
Fitness and Fun—PRISMS offers activities on campus such as basketball, soccer, badminton, running, cycling, and Frisbee plus the chance to take part in rowing, swimming, and weight and cardio training nearby. We don’t have interscholastic sports, but we do provide plenty of options to unwind, stay fit, and have fun.
Care and Support—All students (day and boarding) have access to excellent health services and can take part in our dining program. They also have the guidance and support of faculty advisors, each assigned to a small group of up to five advisees.
On May 18, 2018 PRISMS put on its first ever prom! Inspired by both Van Gogh’s masterpiece and our student’s love for the cosmos, the theme was “Starry Night”. The Party Planning Committee assembled for the first time to plan a special evening for the student body, and worked tirelessly to transform our school into a celestial wonderland. The decorations featured plenty of twinkle lights, and thanks to our talented art students, a hand-painted photo backdrop that Van Gogh himself would surely be proud of. The evening featured the musical styling of DJ PiLab, aka the legendary Mr. Kemp, and a three-course dinner crafted by our extraordinary kitchen staff. This was a night of first, as many of our international students had not experienced this American tradition before. It was also a night to kick off some unique traditions of our own: PRISMS faculty and staff were honored to serve dinner to our beloved students. PRISMS students, all gussied up for the occasion, danced the night away and made some final memories to wrap up a beautiful school year.
The PRISMS Party Planning Committee is thrilled to be reprising their prom efforts for this year’s Candy Land-themed extravaganza on May 25! Our committee has practically doubled in size for this event and is hard at work engineering a night that the PRISMS family will not soon forget. This year, planning the prom has been a team effort like never before. With the assistance of our artists extraordinaire, a number of creative projects are in the works to transform our school into a confectionary, Technicolor paradise; the fabulous Cookilcious club is partnering with Chef Phil to develop a menu that will surely please; our beloved Student Government is partnering with the PPC to provide some extra special sweet treats; and, with the legendary DJ PiLab back behind turntables, we’re sure to dance until we drop! This year the PPC’s goal is to decorate sustainably. We aim to reduce waste, reuse what we have, and repurpose recycled materials to create new decorations. Get excited to see the best of PRISMS’s ingenuity on display and plan to take home a Polaroid souvenir, and a whole heap of memories!
“On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me…” The sweet voices of our choristers burst forth from desperate parts of the great hall, passing the traditional melody from one group of singers to another. It’s a PRISMS Choir flash mob! The buzz of excited students—still reeling from the ornament exchange that happened moments before—dies down as the choir takes their place standing before the majestic PRISMS Christmas tree and sings their final “Partridge and a Pear Tree.” As a school community, we have spent the week leading up to winter break festooning our school to get into the holiday spirit, and this final ornament exchange and choir performance is the perfect send off to a joyous winter break.
This year we enjoyed the presence of a towering Christmas tree in our great hall, and gathered as a community to trim the tree with colorful ornaments and hand-made popcorn garlands. We cut paper snowflakes, each one unique like its maker, and decorated the walls and windows to represent the beauty of individuals existing in harmony. Throughout the week the students and faculty created hand-made ornaments to give to a member of the PRISMS community, Secret Santa style. By the end of the week the array of ornaments hung anonymously on the tree awaiting the big reveal. It was a blast to survey the new additions each day and guess which ornament belonged to which PRISMSer. When the cacophony of joy and laughter melted into the Choir’s melodious refrains, the school enjoyed a performance of holiday music that celebrated cultures from around the globe. Our dear seniors even prepared an a cappella performance of “That’s Christmas To Me,” arranged by our very own Ethan Li! What a way to celebrate our PRISMS family before spending some much-needed time at our homes away from campus.
For a week PRISMS’s campus found itself transfigured into the legendary Hogwarts Castle. This February the PPC partnered with Student Government to hold PRISMS first Harry Potter Spirit Week and Winter Ball. Suddenly Intramural teams became Hogwarts Houses, and one of our teachers turned into a cat before our very eyes (or at least she really wanted to). We kicked off the week with a sorting ceremony at lunch. Each of our esteemed teachers donned the legendary Hogwarts Sorting Hat to discover where their students think they belong: in Gryffindor with the “brave at heart,” in Ravenclaw with the “ready minds”, in Hufflepuff with the “just and loyal,” or in Slytherine with the “cunning folk”. That afternoon the students gathered during activities period for an exciting game of capture the dragon egg (think capture the flag, but with dragons!). 50 points to our victors, Hufflepuff and Slytherine! On Tuesday the students found themselves building replicas of Hogwarts Castle out of candy. Their creations were most impressive and were awarded points by an esteemed panel of celebrity judges (Mr. Kemp, Mr. Nalbani, and Mr. Li) based on artistry, structural integrity, and general Harry Potter-ness. Wednesday afternoon saw an epic game of Wizard’s Chess. Our resident chess masters, Rishi and Cici helped us create life-size chessboards to accommodate our human chess pieces. 50 points to Gryffindor and Hufflepuff! On Thursday the students took to the mysterious Hogwarts grounds for a grand scavenger hunt in search of the Sorcerer’s Stone. 50 points to Slytherine and Gryffindor! Finally, on Friday afternoon, our wiz(ard) kids tested their Harry Potter knowledge in a heated game of Harry Potter Jeopardy…and Slytherine took home another victory! The week culminated in PRISMS first Winter Ball on Saturday night. The PPC worked late into the night and all day before the big event crafting decorations to transform our school into the magical wonder that is Hogwarts dressed for the Yule Ball. Imagine floating candles on the ceiling, twinkling lights, and cascading snow displays. Not to mention a make-your-own wand station and plenty of Harry Potter-themed games. PRISMS students even came dressed in their house colors to win some extra points for their house! It was a week that celebrated the magic of community, ingenuity, and creativity to be sure!