December 21st, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 51
Livingstone Ski Academy hits the slopes
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Anna Kroupina Photo
The LSA students, staff and coaches pose for their inaugural photo at Castle Mountain Resort on Dec. 16.
Pass Herald Reporter
Who says school isn’t fun? A partnership between Castle Mountain Resort and Livingstone School has created a Ski Academy that looks like pure fun on the outside, but digging deeper, the day-time ski program allows a unique and innovative way for students to blend their studies with something they’re passionate about: skiing.

Students enrolled in the Livingston Ski Academy (LSA) get to improve their ski skills on the slopes of Castle Mountain during school hours. The LSA, a program that has been in the works for two years, officially kicked off at the resort on Dec. 16, coinciding with the official opening of the season at Castle Mountain.

The program is divided into ski training and dry land training during months when skiing is not possible. Peter Stewart, the Head Coach for LSA and the Snow School Director at Castle Mountain, explains that the dry land training involves a CrossFit system and physical testing established by national sport bodies. In addition to Stewart, three coaches and three assistant coaches will be instructing the LSA.

“The dry land training and on-hill components of the LSA promote physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle,” says Jason Clifton, the Director of the LSA. “It also helps the kids make connections with possible careers in recreational alpine sports.”
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Students in grades five to 12 hit the slopes on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, while grades seven to 12 have an additional full day at the hill on Fridays.

It’s not only fun and games, however. The program is designed to complement the students’ mandatory learning, so the LSA is an optional course and does not interfere with their core subjects.

Clifton will be working very closely with the student athletes, meeting with them individually and setting goals that will be monitored throughout the year.

“Although skiing is obviously a large part of the LSA program, we wanted to offer the kids more than just athletic training and instruction,” says Clifton. “We wanted to take a holistic approach to developing and working with LSA athletes and students.”

Students are required to create goals in five domains: academic, personal interest, career preparation, personal wellness and contributing to the community. They will create portfolios of evidence to demonstrate the progress.

“When we talk about development of the whole child and this being a year-round program, that’s part of it,” adds Chad Jensen, the principal at Livingstone School. “There’s the ski skill component, but also that one-on-one time that is monitoring their progress in those domains as well as their overall academic progress.”
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Regan Kuzyk is a grade eight student part of the LSA program. Everyone in her family skis, and Regan herself was only two years old when she first began. Beyond tuning her technique on the slope, she looks forward to gaining valuable teaching skills. “Our coaches are really good and they can probably show us some of their experience on how to teach for later careers,” says Kuzyk.

There are currently 23 kids participating in the program, which is open to all students from grade five and up, regardless of skill level. “We offer programming ranging from beginner skiers to the elite, and all types of genres,” says Jensen. “We consider ourselves unique in that manner, that we are really focused on being inclusive and personalizing the program.”

According to Jensen, the LSA program is the first of its kind in North America for a public school. The cost of the program is $2,500 for students in grades seven to 12 and $1,000 for grades five and six.
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December 21st ~ Vol. 85 No. 51
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