Co-ed Boarding School & Sports Academy - SVA
Institution: Squaw Valley Academy
Level of study: Co-ed Boarding School
Type of program: Boarding Preparatory Program
USA / Squaw Valley, California
Other locations: none
Program Description
Program Courses
Founded: 1978

Location: Squaw Valley Academy is located 200 miles east of San Francisco and 45 miles west of Reno, Nevada. SVA sits at the foot of Squaw Valley ski area, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. At an elevation of 6,200 feet in a superb Alpine setting, the Academy offers easy access to Lake Tahoe and nearby forests, meadows, lakes, and rivers. The Academy is located within the small residential community of Olympic Valley, with commercial centers easily accessible within 5 miles.

  • We challenge with rigorous academics
  • We support with consistent behavioral standards
  • We train in life-long sports
  • We provide outdoor adventure
  • We foster self esteem through real accomplishment

Climate: Temperate - 4 seasons, snow in winter

Student Body: Co-ed; 80 students; 95% students Boarding

Average Class Size: 8 students

Faculty: 11 full time; 60% with advanced degree

Student/Faculty Ratio: 8:1

Academic Center: Learning support comes in many forms at SVA, so we can individualize each student's program. Proctored evening study hall is held every school night for two hours.
Quiet study conditions prevail, and students have wireless Internet as needed. Students who have achieved the appropriate level of academic honors are not required to be in evening study hall and may study in their rooms.
Proctored afternoon Academic Center is required of any student who falls behind in course work. Additionally, students may request afternoon AC to receive assistance in college counseling or with academics.
Some students benefit from additional academic support to realize their full potential. For an additional fee, we offer private or semi-private academic tutoring for students.

ESL Program: Squaw Valley Academy is an international school and offers an individualized academic program for international students. Incoming students should have at least basic English-language skills; if required, ESL is offered. International students' class schedules are determined according to their English-language abilities.

Extra Curricular Activities: All students are required to complete 15 hours of community service. The goal and spirit of the school's community service program is to provide each student with the lifelong experience of helping those less fortunate than themselves and to give unselfishly to the local community or environment. Educational day trips are organized periodically for the purpose of providing a relevant and supplement academic classes. On-campus activities, formal dances, recreational and adventure outings, theater, movies, music/concerts, cultural activities, shopping, and sporting events are scheduled by dormitory staff and the Activities Director. Dormitory staff, through the use of school vans, provide transportation to take advantage of the many activities in the Tahoe-Reno area.

Athletic Life: Interscholastic Sports include: Fall sports: Alpine Skiing, Cycling, Freestyle Skiing, Mountain Biking, Snowboarding, Ultimate Frisbee, Kayaking, Rock Climbing, Soccer, and Volleyball. Winter & Spring sports: Basketball, Golf, Tennis, Rock Climbing, Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Fly-Fishing, Kayaking, and Swimming.

Campus Features: A primary Schoolhouse was constructed in 1985. The main building houses various classrooms, faculty and administrative offices, and kitchen-dining facilities. SVA's campus also includes a fully equipped science laboratory, an art studio, and a photographic darkroom, and a music studio. The school has three well-built dormitory structures. The third dormitory and classroom building opened during the 2010-11 school year. The first three-story boys' dormitory and the newest girls' dorm built in 1997 have private bath with a tub or a shower. Wireless Internet is throughout the campus. Dormitories have live-in house parents. The campus also has storage for ski/snowboard and bicycle equipment. A fully staffed medical clinic is located 2 miles from the school and serves the local area during the winter season. A full-service hospital is 10 miles away.

Marking System: Squaw Valley Academy is composed of two semesters. Students receive letter grades, A-F. Grades are issued four times per year. Written comments supplement all grade reports. Teachers' comments identify specific strengths and weaknesses in each subject area, indicate the quality of a student's effort, and offer encouragement for improvement. Grades are based on class participation, labs, quizzes, papers, tests, and a 2 hour final examination.

Accreditation: Fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, AdvancED, and the National Independent Private Schools Association 5. On Frequently Asked Questions under the bold Are you Accredited it should read: Yes, Squaw Valley Academy is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, AdvancED, and the National Independent Private Schools Association.

Program of Study: To graduate, students must successfully complete a minimum of 26 academic credits distributed as follows:
  • English 4 years
  • Social Science 4 years (including U.S. history and American government)
  • Physical Education 4 years
  • Mathematics 3 years
  • Science 3 years
  • Foreign Language 3 years
  • Outdoor adventure program 4 years

Honors & AP Courses: Classes with honors and AP option: 
Advanced Placement classes are available depending upon enrollment in biology, chemistry, physics, AB calculus, English literature and composition, Spanish language, Spanish literature, studio art, and U.S. history.

Special Programs: Winter program: During the winter months, the academic schedule provides time each day for students to ski or snowboard at Squaw Valley USA, two miles from campus. Developmental ski and snowboard classes, from the novice to the advanced level, are offered to help students improve and refine their skills and enjoyment of the sport. Advanced athletes may train and compete with the Squaw Valley USA Ski Team or at Alpine Meadows nearby.
All students participate in the school's Outdoor Adventure Program. Students learn leadership, team building, and outdoor skills and experience personal growth through such diverse endeavors as backpacking, rafting, kayaking, mountaineering, backcountry skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, fly-fishing and other activities.

College Placement: 100% of graduates attend accredited colleges and universities, including UC Santa Cruz, Colorado University Boulder, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, Pepperdine University, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Purdue University, University of Notre Dame; Michigan State University and others.

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