The SVSEF recognizes that strong academic achievement is important in creating a well-rounded athlete who is best positioned to be successful in life. To that end, the SVSEF established an Academic Program in 2000 to support academic success.
The Academic Program has three primary components.
- The first is to communicate with the school systems to identify the goals of SVSEF programs and help schedule appropriate programming to facilitate both athletics and academics.
- The second piece is to establish a minimum grade requirement for traveling and to monitor the academic progress of athletes.
- Finally, the academic director is available to provide assistance in finding a tutor that suits the student athletes needs.
Academic and Career Development Director – Erika Rixon (Hogan)
Place of Birth: Holmes, New York
Sport: Alpine Skiing
B.S University of Utah, Sociology
M.A University of the Rockies, Sport Psychology
USSA Coaches level 300 certification
National Coaches Academy graduate
First aid, CPR certified
Certified Personal Trainer (youth fitness, senior fitness, nutrition, strength and conditioning)
Erika began her love for skiing at the age of three, when she would have it no other way then chasing her brother down the slopes. Her youth consisted of many sports but for some reason she was drawn to the cold, snowy winter days, in search of fast skiing filled with adrenaline rushes. At the age of 13 she realized that she had outgrown the small hills of Southern New York and had to make the transition to the “mountains” of the east in Stratton, Vermont at Stratton Mountain School. From that day until now sport had become her passion in all aspects the lifestyle has to offer.
She attended the University of Colorado and the University of Utah as a student athlete racing for the NCAA Ski Team. There she received a B.S in Sociology (2006), attended World University Games two times with a 3rd place finish in 2002 and a four time NCAA participant receiving First Team All-American honors in 2003 with a second place finish. After her college career and a few years of coaching under her belt, the realization was that there is so much more information that she could benefit from so she embarked on a M.A in Sport and Performance Psychology in 2010 from the University of the Rockies, completing it in 2012.
Her first years here at SVSEF she started as assistant coach of the U18-U21 program moving into the Head Women’s FIS coach. Following her Head Womens’s FIS season, during the 2014-2015 ski season the opportunity arose to travel the Word Cup Slalom circuit in pursuit of not only an amazing experience but capturing a wealth of knowledge that is only conceivable through hands on experience at the top level of ski racing.
After gathering all this knowledge at the highest level that ski racing has to offer she brought it back to the SVSEF program. Erika headed up the North Series Team in the 2015-2015 season, implementing a World Cup curriculum into a deliverable suitable for the North Series Team.
Erika is once again excited to shift roles and adapt her knowledge into the Director of Academics. Her and her family, Carl, Ford and Riggin Rixon, look forward to her overseeing the academic component that SVSEF has to offer. This is a very important program for SVSEF and the kids that partake in SVSEF.
The summer of 2015 she married alumi of SVSEF, Carl Rixon.
She was honored and fortunate to be the recipient of the Life Coach Award recipient in 2013.
Email: Erika@svsef.org • Cell: 845-234-2780
The Academic Center hours:
The SVSEF Academic Center is located on the 3rd floor of the Warm Springs Engl Training Center. Student athletes are welcome to utilize the academic center however, there will not be academic support unless an appointment with a tutor is previously made per your “academic recovery plan”.
|3:30-5:30 PM||3:30-5:30 PM||3:30 – 5:30 PM||3:30 – 5:30 PM||2:00 – 5:00 PM||Closed||Closed|
- Required Attendance – Attendance from the Academic center may be required as part of an academic recovery plan developed in conjunction with teachers and staff at the local school systems.
The SVSEF requires every athlete to maintain at least a “C-“ letter grade IN EVERY CLASS to be eligible to miss school and travel to an SVSEF training camp or competition. **For year-round SVSEF programs, these policies are in effect for the entire academic year.
Grade Reporting & Teacher Communication
If they will be missing school for a competition or training camp, athletes are required to communicate with their teachers and fill out a Pre-Excuse Travel Grade Report 3-DAYS prior to a traveling competition or camp where school days will be missed. The forms are available at the front office of WRHS and WRMS.
- WRHS – SVSEF provides a list of traveling athletes to the school so students DO NOT have to turn in the the high school forms to the attendance secretary. The SVSEF Pre-Excuse Travel Grade report (or copies) should be handed to your coach or the Academic Director.
- WRMS – WRMS has a similar form at the front office, but they won’t give it to students until they have been excused for a travel event by parents. For SVSEF a copy of either form will suffice.
- SVSA – These forms are specific to the Community School and are collected on campus by Community School.
- SAGE – These forms are specific to SAGE and should be turned into the appropriate person.
If a student falls below the C- grade requirement, they will not be eligible to travel with SVSEF teams. Attendance with any SVSEF program activity may be suspended if the student does not make an effort to bring up their grades. This can include the turning off individual ski passes. Please refer to academic recovery plan for further information.
Monitoring procedures are:
- Academic monitoring at Community School and Sage School happen in-house and any issues are reported to the SVSEF academic director. An academic recovery plan may be developed if necessary.
- WRHS and WRMS students and parents will receive an “alert” email if any grade falls to a “C-“ or below in any class including IDLA. These emails are intended to help PREVENT a student from travel restrictions.
- Students will have one week to improve any grade below a “C-“ before travel/training restrictions go into effect. A follow up email will be sent if necessary.
- WRMS policy requires students with a GPA below 2.0 or any grade below a “D” NOT be allowed to skip class for regular training.
- In addition, the Academic Director will follow up with teachers in order to better understand and have perspective on the Academic issue
Academic Recovery Plan
An academic recovery plan will be put in place once communication is established via the “follow-up” email with parents, athlete, teacher and coach. Each recovery plan will be on an individual basis due to the circumstance of athlete in question. An “academic recovery plan” will include resources provided by SVSEF and Blaine County Schools as well as effort put forth by the athlete to bring grades back to travel and training standards. These resources are required and if not met then travel will be prohibited. After a realistic time frame, established by all cohorts involved in the email, the student’s travel and training privileges will be discussed and disciplinary means may or may not need to be discussed.
Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDLA) and other online classes are subject to the same eligibility and reporting policies stated above.
Wood River High School continues to work in close partnership with Erika Rixon and the SVSEF to accommodate the needs of our athletes. During spring registration, students can sign up for “release periods” in the spring and fall semesters to free up afternoon training time and lighten their academic load during the competitive ski season. It is important, however, for students to communicate clearly with their individual teachers when they will miss school for a SVSEF event. Here are some useful links.
WRHS teachers continue to build and develop their online web pages. Some are better than others at posting coursework and other information on these sites. This can be in invaluable tool for athletes who are on the road to pull assignments off the teacher’s website. Below is a link to the teacher website page on the Blaine County website. Take a moment to get familiar with your teacher’s website to see how you can utilize them this season.
WHRS 2015/16 Registration Info
WRHS Daily Schedule – What time do we get out?
Here is the WRHS daily schedule for 2016/17 school year
Rather than skip classes like we did at WRHS, students at WRHS drop classes altogether by signing up for “Release Periods.”
- Nordic Athletes need only one release period to accommodate afternoon training.
- Alpine/Freestyle/Snowboard athletes need two or three releases to accommodate afternoon training.
WRHS Annual Calendar
Here is a visual representation of the WRHS Annual Calendar. Download the WRHS Master Planner file here:
There are two important points to realize about how the semester schedule overlaps with SVSEF competition seasons:
- Students have to take release periods in BOTH Fall and Spring semesters in order to cover the entire competition ski season.
- This means that students/athletes will be getting released from school early during the Fall and Spring shoulder seasons when there is often no official SVSEF training.
Registration & Release Period paperwork
WRHS no longer requires the old yellow Release Period paperwork. When registering for courses simply request the number of release periods you want by writing “release” in your list of course selections. It would be good to also indicate the period for which you are requesting the release ie. “release – 5th.”
Release Periods – Are SVSEF athletes allowed 3 release periods?
Public school students need to be enrolled in 5 classes a day for the school to receive “full-time” compensation from the state. Anything less than 5 classes results in the school district getting only “part-time’ compensation.
A work-around was created by enrolling SVSEF athletes in and IDLA Lab for their 5th period. They are required to sign into their 5th period class (for attendance purposes) but are then allowed to leave to for training.
It is not recommended for 9th and 10th graders to take 3 release periods, but certain exceptions exist in each SVSEF discipline. The most important thing to do when requesting your courses is to write “SVSEF” in bold on top of your course request sheet so it will be flagged during the scheduling process.
Because WRHS athletes drop classes when they take a Release Period, they have to make up those credits in order to stay on track for graduation. All told, WRHS students accumulate credits by:
- WRHS – Credits accumulated while in class at the high school.
- IDLA – State certified online curriculum called Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDLA)
- Pass Through Credits – High School credits accumulated while in Middle School (Math/Language)
- Zero-Hour – An early AM period for PE/Band/Orchestra etc.
- Advisory – Part of WRHS daily schedule. Students receive .5 credits/year or 2 credits/in 4 years.
Here is on example of pure credit accumulation of an SVSEF athlete taking 3 Release periods.
There are several different credit accumulation scenarios outlined in the WRHS Master Planner:
Putting it all together – WRHS 4-Year Plan
Part of the registration process is to fill out a 4-year plan the takes into account all WRHS graduation requirements AND your college aspiration/NCAA requirements. For SVSEF athletes this process is complicated by the Release Periods/IDLA options. There are many different ways to do this. I have provided an MS Excel 4-year plan in the:
For rising 9th graders, the WRHS counselors will visit WRMS to help with this planning process. For 9-11th graders already at the high school, this is done in the Advisory Class blocks on Tues & Wed.
Feel free to contact me with any questions. Your WRHS advisors are the primary point of contact within WRHS.
Jeff Fork (Last Names A-GL) • 578-5020 ext. 2126 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharma Thornton (Last Names G0 – N) • 578-5020 ext. 2125 • Email: SThornton@blaineschools.org
Kristen Swafford (Last Names O-Z) • 578-5020 ext. 2128 • Email: KSwafford@blaineschools.org
Mille Reidy • College & Career Counselor • 578-5020 ext. 2129 • Email: MReidy@blaineschools.org
Is there a monitored IDLA lab at WRHS?
Yes, there is a monitored IDLA lab class. Students are typically signed up for a 5th period IDLA lab and should do their online course work in a daily monitored environment.
- Fall & Spring IDLA Lab – During the early Fall and late Spring when there is no daily training, athletes are REQUIRED to stay in their 5th Period IDLA lab.
- Winter IDLA Lab – Some athletes may be finished with courses by December (August 12-week). If not, students can skip the IDLA lab (after signing in) for after school training and complete their IDLA coursework at home.
- Minimum Grade Requirement – Students need to maintain a minimum grade of a C- in order to skip the IDLA lab for winter training. Otherwise, they need to stay in the 5th period class.
Jeannie Bradshaw (email@example.com) is the IDLA coordinator at WRHS. You should contact her with any questions related to the IDLA lab class or signing up for IDLA courses.
The link to the IDLA website is: www.idahodigitallearning.org.
Are My Course Selections Final at This Time?
The courses you select now are not set in stone. While I highly recommend choosing courses based on your 4-year plan, it will be possible to tweak your course selection later this spring. One of the most important things you can do now is to highlight SVSEF in bold letters on all of your pre-registration materials. This will help the counselors identify the block of ski team athletes who may need scheduling accommodations.
What is IDLA?
“The Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDLA) is a state-sponsored, accredited, online virtual school created through the Idaho State Legislature (Title 33 Chapter 55) to provide Idaho students with greater access to a diverse assortment of courses and to highly qualified faculty. This virtual school was created to address the educational needs of all Idaho students: traditional, home schooled, at-risk, and gifted students” (from the IDLA website)
As WRHS students take their “release periods” during the fall and spring semesters they will fall behind in their overall credit accumulation. It is necessary for students to take IDLA online courses both over the summer and during the first half of the fall trimester to stay current with the rest of their class and on track for graduation. For more information and course catalog visit the Idaho Digital Learning Academy.
Since IDLA is a statewide institution, the courses offered are consistent with the state and Blaine Country curriculum. They appear as IDLA online courses on your college transcript and provide a convenient way for students to make up credits they missed during the competition season. IDLA is currently offering three different types of courses: Standard, Flex Recovery and Flex Mastery.
Students have to sign up for IDLA courses through Jeannie Bradshaw, the designated IDLA coordinator at WRHS. You can email here: firstname.lastname@example.org
The cost for IDLA courses are typically $75. If an SVSEF student takes 4 IDLA courses a year that adds up to $1200 in IDLA fees over a 4-year period.
IDLA Standard Courses
These are nationally accredited courses that meet all WRHS curriculum requirements. The full semester credit course is offered in a 12-week and 16-week format. (** Please note that the 12-week course has to follow a more intense work schedule in order to accomplish the necessary work in just 12 weeks). Students are typically expected to “attend” class and finish work on a regular schedule. There is flexibility within this format, however, and students are encouraged to communicate with their teachers when they will “miss” class for summer camps or other travel events.
IDLA AP & Dual Credit Courses
IDLA is beginning to offer more AP and Dual Credit classes. Currently, these are offered during the September 16-week term (Sept 9 – Jan 16). As of now, there are no AP or Dual Credit courses offered during the summer term.
IDLA Flex Courses
Flex courses are designed to be delivered on a flexible schedule that is driven by the student’s needs. These self-paced courses allow students to work at their own speed and on their own schedule. While this seems like a great option for SVSEF athletes, please be aware that currently ** FLEX COURSES ARE NOT ACCEPTED BY THE NCAA ** as part of the core course requirement for eligibility.
The flex Computer Applications and Health courses, however, are the two exceptions. They fulfill WRHS graduation requirements but are not courses considered by the NCAA so they are an option for our athletes.
Download the full Flex Academy 2016-17 Flyer for complete information and offerings.
IDLA Summer & Fall Course Info
The IDLA website will have a lot of general information about the various courses and programs. SVSEF athletes at WRHS are highly encouraged to take 2 IDLA credits over the summer and 2 more during the regular school year (ideally in the fall). SVSEF Athletes need to sign up for both the summer AND fall courses with the IDLA coordinator Becky Duncan (email@example.com) BEFORE THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR.YEAR.
Here are some important IDLA Summer & Fall term dates:
- Early March – Registration opens for Summer courses
- Early June – Registration closes for Summer Session
- May 1 – Registration opens for Fall Session
- May 23 – Aug Sept 9 – Summer Flex term
- June 13 – Aug 19 – Summer Standard term (called Summer Cohort)
- Aug 25 – Nov 21 – Fall 12-week term
- Sept 8 – Jan 16 – Fall 16-week term
Here are some important IDLA spring term dates:
- Late Sept – Spring registration opens
- Early Jan – Spring registration closes.
- Jan 11 – May 16 – January 16-week term
- Jan 25 – May 20 – January 16-week late term
- Feb 29 – May 22 – Feb 12-week term
Custom IDLA courses
Sometimes the Summer and Fall course offerings don’t provide the ideal combination of online courses to match your 4-year plan. It is possible to schedule a custom IDLA course in the subject matter you are looking for in one of the regular 12- or 16-week windows. Custom scheduled courses require nine students to keep the course fee at $75/person. If there are fewer than nine students the full $500 cost of the course will be split among however many students sign up. Please contact either Jeannie Bradshaw (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Erika Rixon (Erika@SVSEF.org) to discuss setting up a custom IDLA course.
IDLA Schedules & WRHS Semester Schedule
Here is a color coded look at the WRHS Semester Schedule (middle orange/green) overlaid with typical SVSEF competition schedules (top blue) and IDLA standard (bottom yellow) and flex course (bottom purple) offerings. Download the IDLA course catalogs (link above) to determine which courses are offered in the Summer Cohort, Flex, Fall 12-week, and Fall 16-week that best fit your 4-year plan. If you are an excel geek and want a copy of this to use for planning your 4-years at WRHS you can download a copy here: WRHS Master Planner 2015-16
Wood River Middle School – General Information
Wood River Middle School is part of the Blaine County School district. It is one of several schools that SVSEF athlete have the option of attending in the Wood River Valley. The campus is located in Hailey, ID. Here are some useful links:
How does the Skiing/Training/Traveling/School conflict work at WRMS?
We all know that there is an inherent conflict in being a ski/snowboard athlete AND going to school. In order to attend afternoon training sessions and travel to regional competitions athletes will miss school. While athletes at the Middle School level have a fairly light travel load, they can train up to four times a week. The following Q&A section will help parents understand how this conflict plays out at WRMS.
How does daily afternoon training work for SVSEF athletes at WRMS?
SVSEF athletes who attend WRMS are allowed to leave school early so they can attend daily training sessions. Depending on the team and discipline, training sessions happen anywhere from one to four days during the school week. Students skip classes on training days are responsible for keeping up with their classwork. Parents need to fill out an “early release” form in the front office each year to allow their child to leave for training.
What time are students allowed to leave?
Athletes skip the 6th and 7th periods (blue below). The school has requested that athlete leave at the 5th/6th period break at 1:32 in order to limit disruption to the 5th period classes. Note that during the 7th grade year, the ELECTIVE blocks DO NOT fall in the afternoon. This means that 7th graders will skip two CORE classes.
What about transportation from WRMS to Baldy or Dollar Mountain?
There is a bus that will pick WRMS students up at the school during the 5th/6th period break. The students will not be allowed to leave the school earlier then the break time as it is disruptive to the other students.
How do mid-week travel competitions work for SVSEF athletes at WRMS?
The SVSEF academic director sends travel rosters to the WRMS attendance secretary so they know who will be missing school, BUT it is still necessary for parents to call and release their students from school.
Is there any paperwork I need to take care of?
Parents need to fill out an “early release” form in the front office each year to allow their child to leave for training. This should be done in the fall before on-snow training begins.
Does WRMS accommodate SVSEF athletes in any way?
Yes. First and foremost, we work closely with the WRMS counselors in the spring to identify who will be on SVSEF teams the following school year. Each year, they try to schedule classes that are easier to miss in morning or afternoon classes for SVSEF athletes.
We do our best to communicate with the staff at the WRMS about SVSEF events and programs. In general, they are familiar with our programs and are willing to work with students who are missing school for SVSEF sanctioned training and events. It is still the responsibility of the student and family to keep in their classes. Sometimes, it is in the best academic interest of the student to selectively skip training sessions in order to keep up in school.
What can I do as a parent to help?
The most important thing parents can do is to be involved. Familiarize yourself with the schedule and curriculum at WRMS. It is very important to communicate with the counselors Holly Coiner (email@example.com – 6th and 8th) and Stani Malmgren (firstname.lastname@example.org – 6th and 7th). In particular, they appreciate the following information:
- That your child is an SVSEF athlete
- What subjects would be particularly challenging for your child to skip on a regular basis. You can use this
- What subjects your child CAN handle to miss on a regular basis. Ie. If they are strong in math, science, or language and can manage missing those courses regularly for daily training it will make it easier for the counselors to schedule.
- OR if you as a parent have specific skills in a subject and can provide additional assistance at home, that would be good to point out.
What about PE? Does SVSEF count towards a PE credit?
In some cases it is possible to get PE credit for participating in an SVSEF program (download the WRMS PE waiver policy.pdf) The main issue here is that PE is an easy course for SVSEF athletes to miss in the afternoon. By removing it from their daily schedule it will have to be replaced with an A.P. Language Arts, Tech, or Art class that may require more work to stay on top of. Students may also take IDLA online Health as a substitute to their 8th grade Health/Fitness requirement.
Please talk to your counselors if you have a specific need that would require getting PE credit for your participation in SVSEF programs. You will need a letter from SVSEF confirming your participation in one of our programs for the 2016/17 season. Click on the link to download the SVSEF PE Waiver letter (pdf).
Feel free to contact me directly at 845-234-2780 or Erika@svsef.org
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.
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
Community 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.
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. 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 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 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 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 Community School staff deems it necessary.
Here is a link to the 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/SVSA 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.
Here are some 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.||www.collegeapps.about.com|
|NCAA Sports Skiing page – This is not terribly informative. It is basically a blog about skiing related NCAA stories.||NCAA.com/sports/skiing|
|NCAA.org – Start digging here for information about NCAA programs||NCAA.org|
|Wikipedia Skiing List – This is a list of NCAA skiing programs separated by division||Wikipedia.org|
|USCSA.com – 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.||www.uscsa.com|
|College Snow Sports.com – This site has provided a nice summary of what the USCSA is all about.||Collegesnowsports.com|
|College Snow Sports.com – has created another good summary comparing the USCSA to NCAA programs in college ski racing.||Collegesnowsports.com 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.|
|Scholarships.com – This site has put together a quick primer on skiing and snowboarding scholarships.||Scholarships.com|
|College Sport Scholarships.com – Another brief primer about NCAA recruiting for skiing scholarships.||CollegeSportScholarships.com|
|College Sport Scholarships.com – This is a slightly different primer about ski scholarships in general||CollegeSportScholarships.com|