The Academic Program has three primary components.


Communicating with local school systems to identify the goals of SVSEF, and helping schedule appropriate programming to facilitate both athletics and academics.


Establishing a minimum grade requirement for traveling, and monitoring the academic progress of athletes.


Providing assistance and support in finding tutors whose skill sets suit the needs of our student-athletes.

SVSEF has partnered with The Wisdom Nest to provide free academic tutoring to SVSEF athletes throughout the winter season.

Located in Ketchum, this boutique learning center provides our SVSEF middle and high school aged athletes access to subject specific tutors across all subjects, three days a week, throughout the ski season. They also offer personalized tutoring sessions and targeted test preparation classes at a discounted rate for athletes in SVSEF programs.

Learn More

SVSEF Academic
Program Resources

Helpful links and contacts to help your athlete's learning.


Erika Rixon, Academic Director

Wood River High School

Jeannie Bradshaw, IDLA Coordinator at WRHS

Jeff Ford, Counselor (last names A-GL)
578-5020 ext. 2126

Sharma Thornton, Counselor (last names G0 – N)
578-5020 ext. 2125

Debbie Greenberg, Counselor (last names O-Z)

Mille Reidy, College & Career Counselor
578-5020 ext. 2129

Wood River Middle School

Holly Coiner, Counselor (6th and 8th grade)

Stani Malmgren, Counselor (6th and 7th grade)

Sun Valley Ski Academy

Jonna Mendes, SVSA Program Director
208-720-0512 (cell)

The Sage School

Matt Leidecker, 10/11 Team – Human Ecology and Mathematics

Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation & Blaine County School District

Together We Achieve Success

Download the handbook here:

BCSD & SVSEF Handbook >

Sun Valley Ski Academy Contact: Jonna Mendes
School Phone: 208-622-3955
Cell Phone: 208-720-6952


Sun Valley Ski Academy, established in 2011, pairs the best of a Community School education with the proven coaching power of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Together, we provide snow sport athletes with an academic program that gives them a solid foundation for college and the flexibility to pursue intensive training and competition schedules.

Sun Valley Community School is an independent pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade school that accommodates both day students and boarding students. Total enrollment averages 375 students; about 150 of those students are in the Upper School, and roughly 50 Upper School students are enrolled in the ski academy program.

Schedule and Training
Sun ValleyCommunity School is on a four-term plan (fall, winter, spring, and summer), which includes dismissal at 1:30 p.m. for four days a week, starting on Dec. 2 and running through March 14. This schedule allows time for students to train both on and off the mountains, which are located very close to the school’s facilities.

Academic Accommodations
Teachers work with student athletes to plan for competition-related absences, and online learning modules allow students to keep up with work while on the road. Sun Valley Community School teachers use a mix of technology (including digital SMART Boards, video recording, and Skype) to ensure students can access class lectures, summary presentations, and other materials online. A Sun Valley Community School intern also travels with the team to help with schoolwork, and students find they can jump right back into the classroom without feeling left behind.

Students can also take advantage of Sun Valley Community School’s Academic Calendar Flex Plan. This program allows snow sport student athletes to take up to three courses over three weeks in the summer, significantly lightening their winter course load. Students have more time for travel and training without compromising the quality of their education.

SVSEF Academic Program
Though Sun Valley Community School provides full academic support for all Sun Valley Ski Academy students, SVSEF’s resources are available to them as well. SVSA athletes can and should take advantage of the foundation’s academic center and other resources, including mandatory study periods at SVSEF if Sun Valley Community School staff deems it necessary.

SVSA website

Sage School Contact: Sara Berman
School Phone: 788-0120
Cell Phone: 720-3542

The following information is from the Sage School’s “Guidelines for Sage/SVSEF Student-Athletes” (download at bottom):

“Part of The Sage School’s approach is to “… help students see themselves as an integral and essential part of their communities and of society… Navigating this world requires compassionate guides and respectful mentors. Navigating this world also requires academic skill, social adeptness, and emotional confidence.”

The SVSEF’s mission is “The primary goal of the program is to assist each participant in reaching his/her athletic potential, while developing a positive attitude and strong personal character.”

We believe that the goals of The Sage School and The SVSEF are complementary in the growth of strong, competent, self-aware young adults.

By creating these protocols for our student-athletes, we hope to facilitate and foster ongoing academic, athletic, and social/emotional success. In doing so, we hope to make The Sage School a viable, reputable option for competitive winter athletes, while bringing SVSEF pride to The Sage School community, and Sage School pride to the SVSEF community.

Our schedule allows students flexibility for afternoon training, exemption from their service commitments one afternoon per week, and the opportunity to use Friday afternoons to refine their understanding of their athletic commitments and development. Students who train three days a week, and who take full advantage of all opportunities that Sage offers, may leave Tuesday through Friday at 12:50 and only miss 2 periods of classes.”

For more details about the Sage School guidelines and policies as they relate to SVSEF please download the following PDF documents:

SAGE/SVSEF General Guidelines (coming soon)
SAGE/SVSEF Travel Form (coming soon)

Life After SVSEF

Helpful links for athletes, coaches and parents who are making their college, skiing and scholarship plans.

Top Colleges for Skiing – This is a quick summary of 18 colleges that are good skiing schools. Most schools in the list offer opportunities for varsity competition in the Alpine and Nordic disciplines.
NCAA Sports Skiing page – This is not terribly informative. It is basically a blog about skiing related NCAA stories. – Start digging here for information about NCAA programs
Wikipedia Skiing List – This is a list of NCAA skiing programs separated by division – This is the official website for the United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association. It is a good place to start digging, but you might also want to check out some of the general USCSA links below.
College Snow – This site has provided a nice summary of what the USCSA is all about.
College Snow – has created another good summary comparing the USCSA to NCAA programs in college ski racing. NCAA vs USCSA
USCSA Handbook – This includes a list of participating schools at the end. Most importantly, the colleges that offer USCSA scholarships are highlighted in bold. – This site has put together a quick primer on skiing and snowboarding scholarships.
College Sport – Another brief primer about NCAA recruiting for skiing scholarships.
College Sport – This is a slightly different primer about ski scholarships in general