Balancing School and Skiing


SVSA Support Staff

Beginning the moment the snow begins to fall, Sun Valley Ski Academy student athletes receive individualized support from a tutor who tracks their progress and challenges. Whether the tutor is working one-on-one with our skiers and snowboarders, creating study halls before trips to get work done in advance of a big competition, or even traveling with students, the athletes have a point person to whom they can always turn. When needed, our tutor travels to competitions to help students carve out time to study, to provide curriculum-based learning support, and to prepare students to return to school with work completed or a plan to complete the work. Our tutor will do whatever it takes to help our student-athletes succeed and has the flexibility to support the needs and demands of SVSA competitors.

An Understanding Faculty

Whether they are parents of competitive skiers or snowboarders, or previously competed themselves, our faculty understands the schedules and complicated lives of our student-athletes. Teachers have supported winter sports athletes in a variety of ways for decades and with more than 40% of our Upper School currently competing as members of the Sun Valley Ski Academy, they understand the importance of remaining flexible and creative. Faculty members enthusiastically welcome SVSA student-athletes and work hard to help them keep up in class even while they are on the road. Upper School teachers film and post all of their classes, take notes on SmartBoards and download the notes to PDF files for students to review, create weekly summary videos of classes, and even schedule video chats with students who are away for longer than a week. Upper School teachers report that students come back from competitions fully caught up with the class and ready for whatever comes next. With over 40% of our Upper School students competing as members of the Sun Valley Ski Academy, our faculty has been supporting students in a variety of ways for decades.

Diverse Summer School Programs

The majority of SVSA student-athletes take advantage of the broad offering of Community School Summer Term classes. In 2015, nearly every Sun Valley Ski Academy athlete enrolled in at least one summer course, allowing them to receive an entire term’s worth of academic credit for high school-level courses. Students taking summer, for-credit courses can lighten their load during the regular school year when their ski and snowboard schedules are most demanding. Students may also use credits earned in the summer to advance in the curriculum to ensure that they are taking the most challenging program Community School offers. By taking advantage of summer school, our skiers and snowboarders have been able to reduce down to as few as two courses during their high-travel competitive ski and snowboard seasons while still meeting all their graduation requirements.

Online Support Systems

Skiers and snowboarders can stay on track academically by utilizing Community School teacher created online modules to help athletes keep up with work while they are on the road. The online modules are videos that faculty members have produced to cover important concepts that summarize each week in the winter term. Our teachers are also committed to posting homework assignments in advance as much as possible. Our online support systems also enable student-athletes to stay connected to, and progress, in the curriculum without attending each class.