Ski Academy possible at Incline High School for 2009-2010 |

Ski Academy possible at Incline High School for 2009-2010

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. ” On the advice of the Incline Schools Reflective Task Force, Incline High School will join neighbors North Tahoe and Whittell high schools in offering an on-site ski academy next year.

The idea is that serious alpine athletes attend classes normally while not training and competing in athletics but are provided the flexibility to miss regular class time to further their ambitions.

John Clark, principal at IHS, said his school typically sees about six athletes attend classes in a homeschool-style environment because they cannot conform to Incline’s attendance standards while competing.

In essence, the students “drop out” of Incline High to study elsewhere.

“For us, being such a small school, six students can mean a pretty big dent,” Clark said.

As a result, Incline loses funding for each of those students.

To combat enrollment loss to athletics, Incline was given the go-ahead by Washoe County School District officials to set up a ski academy next year.

The academy allows students to attend class during the morning before breaking for lunch and leaving in the afternoon to train or compete.

They would complete all the work expected of WCSD students, but be allowed to complete their afternoon classes through online and correspondence courses. This, Clark said, would give them the flexibility to participate in their sport without making a decision between school and skiing.

Students will be allowed to miss more than the five days per semester they are currently allotted, provided they maintain at least a 2.8 grade point average.

“Our hope is that this allows these kids to do a blend of online work and school work and to help these kids not be so isolated,” Clark said. “This way they are able to get the school experience.”

Sue Shannon, principal at Whittell High, said the program has been a success at that school once the Douglas County School District and state waived attendance guidelines for students who were alpine athletes.

She said students who wouldn’t have normally come to school enrolled once the program is in place.

Adding a ski academy is one of the top recommendations made by the Task Force, due to its ability to increase enrollment and the fact it doesn’t cost the school district extra.

Clark said he expects the ski academy up and running by next year.

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