topper About VSSA - Ski and Snowboard Club Vail - Ski Academies - SSCV



Admission as a full-time athlete to Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) is a prerequisite to attending Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy (VSSA), an Eagle County School (ECS) and the first public ski & snowboard academy in the country.  As a college preparatory school, the goal of VSSA is to challenge its student athletes with a rigorous academic curriculum while supporting a world-class training and competition schedule.  Since every VSSA student is a full-time SSCV athlete, every aspect of the school, including academics, scheduling and academic support infrastructure, is structured to accommodate the needs of the full-time student athlete.

A great number of VSSA student athletes compete on a national and international level, which entails extensive travel during the school year. VSSA is specifically tailored to provide for the education of its oftentimes widely geographically spread student body. Every student travels with a laptop computer for easy access to schoolwork at all times. The use of innovative internet technologies allows teachers and students to remain in close communication.

Flexibility is key in the VSSA environment as is individualized planning and monitoring of each student’s course work and progress.  VSSA offers a wealth of resources in support of the needs of its full-time student athletes, including the following:

    1.     Schoology, a web-based learning management system, which includes assignments which VSSA teachers are required to post two weeks in advance to support traveling athletes and other academic resources, all accessible by teachers, students and parents;

    2.      Naviance, a comprehensive web-based college and career readiness platform for middle school and high school students that helps connect academic achievement to post-secondary goals, accessible by the college counselor, students and parents;

    3 .    Power School, a web-based, real-time grading system accessible by teachers, students and parents;

    4.     Special education services for those students who qualify under the ECS guidelines;

    5.     A full-time counselor providing college counseling and support services, along with age appropriate cross-age and team building activities and a variety of enrichment opportunities, including community service and internships;

    6.     A team of 4 academic coaches hired by SSCV who support 5th and 6th grade foreign language as well as supplement the VSSA classroom teachers, in particular for athletes with extensive travel and competition schedules;

    7.    A trimester oriented bell schedule built around supporting the unique needs of full-time snowsports athletes throughout the school year, including built in times for advisory which is a 0.5 credit life skills course that focuses on character and leadership development, after school strength training and conditioning sessions,  training in the acrobatics room for freestyle, freeski and snowboard athletes and on-snow training sessions during the winter term, none of which conflict with class-time.

VSSA’s student to staff ratio of 10:1 allows for individualized attention.  VSSA’s students develop a level of independent learning and life skills that are unusual among 5th through 12th grade students.  The college acceptance record of VSSA graduates includes many of the top colleges and universities in the country.

Click here to view the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy brochure.


VSSA provides a rigorous secondary and college preparatory academic program while supporting the athletic and personal goals of our students. In partnership with SSCV and ECS, VSSA facilitates the attainment of our students’ dreams by offering challenging academics, flexible scheduling and individualized attention.


In 1992, Teres Herbst created an academic arm of SSCV called Vail Valley Academy (VVA); six students and five teachers attend. By 1996, VVA had an enrollment of 36 student-athletes. In, 2007 SSCV and ECS created the first public ski and snowboard academy in the country, Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy (VSSA). Enrollment for the first year was 31 students. In 2008, Geoffry Grimmer became VSSA Head of School; 9th-12th grades were supported by Battle Mountain High School and Minturn Middle School supported 6th-8th grades. With the support of ECS, in 2009 VSSA opened as the first 6th-12th public ski and snowboard school in the United States with 7 full time faculty, an Office Manager, a Director of College Placement and a Director of Admissions. In the 2010-2011 school year, VSSA opened with over 90 students. In the 2013-2014 school year VSSA grew to 150+ students in grades 5 through 12, increasing in 2015-2016 to 170+ students and in 2016-2017 to 190+ students in grades 5 through 12.


To access current resources available from the VSSA Office Manager please click here.


Admission as a full-time athlete to Ski & Snowboard Club Vail is a prerequisite to attending Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy. Click here for more information on the SSCV Admissions process. If an athlete is accepted as a full-time athlete at SSCV and has completed the additional admission requirements for attending VSSA, they may be eligible to attend VSSA. To learn more about the SSCV application and admissions process please contact the SSCV Director of Academics & Admissions, Sharon Schmidt, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by calling (970) 790-5161.

Since admission to SSCV is highly competitive, we encourage you to complete the application process as soon as possible.  SSCV accepts applications for full-time athletes from November through March 31 on a rolling basis to the extent space is available.  The Admissions Committee will review applications on a rolling basis to determine if they will accept, deny, defer or wait list a candidate.  If spots remain available after March 31, the Admissions Committee will continue to review applications through April 30 on a rolling basis and thereafter on a case by case basis.

Notwithstanding the above, for those existing SSCV full-time athletes entering 9th grade next season, regardless of where they attend school,  their 8th to 9th grade full-time athlete reapplication is due January 9 and the admissions interview with the SSCV Director of Academics and Admissions must be completed by January 23.  Further, notwithstanding the above, for those existing SSCV full-time athletes transferring between full-time snowsports next season, regardless of where they attend school, their transfer application is due March 31.

Click here to view the VSSA brochure.
Click here to view the SSCV full-time athlete brochure.


SSCV believes that no one should be restricted from participating in SSCV programs for financial reasons. Financial aid is available from SSCV to support up to 75% of SSCV athletic program fees.  Click here for details, including the financial aid application process and related deadlines.


VSSA utilizes two semester grading periods. Students take 6 academic courses in each semester with a lighter load during the most demanding weeks of their athletic schedule. Throughout the academic year Monday is a full academic day from 9:20 AM - 3:50 PM.  From November through early April, students train with SSCV on Vail Mountain (with the exception of Nordic athletes whose primary training venue is the Maloit Park Nordic Trails at VSSA) in the morning and attend classes in the afternoon from 12:50 pm - 4:50 pm on Tuesday through Friday. Spring and fall students attend classes from 8:30 am - 3:50 pm on Tuesday through Friday.  Click here for the 2016-2017 VSSA Bell Schedule.  For 2017-2018 the winter trimester schedule will go from November through mid-May and the academic year will end in mid-June to allow for periodization of academics and athletics to best support VSSA full-time snowsports athletes.  More details on the 2017-2018 calendar will be made available by early in 2017.


The lunch program offered at VSSA provides our young and developing student-athletes with the opportunity to get a balanced meal after long mornings of hard training on the mountain and throughout the entire school year. Proper nutrition becomes an integral part of the student athlete’s day, not only to begin the rebuilding process of the muscles, but also to replenish energy stores and provide fuel for the brain to excel through the academic part of the day. What these student athletes eat and drink throughout the day assures an optimal flow of fluid and energy into and out of their bodies for performance in the classroom and on the snow. This is critical for improving brain function that contributes to studying, increasing strength, conditioning development, and overall academic and athletic performance. Well-nourished student athletes will do better in school and sport, recover more quickly from unavoidable injuries, and derive more performance-improving ability through a long and strenuous season.  Food is provided by a professional chef at a reasonable cost. Click here to learn more.


Participating in the PTA is a great way to get involved at VSSA. Click here to learn more.


Please click here to view our current VSSA Directory.


VSSA is a part of Eagle County Schools. For more information on ECS please visit the ECS website.


For more information about VSSA college counseling and support services, including the college admissions process and NCAA requirements, click here.


The ECS Board sets VSSA’s graduation requirements. Close attention is given to NCAA requirements when a VSSA student athlete is interested in competing at the college level.

25 credits are required for graduation with a minimum in the areas noted below with one semester courses earning 0.5 credit.  VSSA students also take an advisory, a 0.5 credit life skills course that includes character and leadership development.  Students work within mixed grade groups and participate in activities such as mindfulness and team building.  Eighth through tenth grade advisories allow students to further pursue their academic strengths and passions, covering such topics as greenhouse, photography, Model United Nations, environmental sustainability and meditation mindfulness.  Eleventh and twelfth grade advisories include a focus on the college exploration, admission and selection process. 

  • English: 4.0
  • Mathematics: 3.0
  • Social Studies: 2.5
  • Science: 3.0
  • Government: 0.5
  • Health: 0.5
  • Physical Education: 1.5

    VSSA Class of 2016 students were accepted to the following colleges and universities:

    • Colby College
    • Colorado College
    • Colorado State University
    • Boston College
    • Montana State University Bozeman
    • Northern Arizona University
    • Northeastern University
    • Regis University
    • Santa Clara University
    • St. Lawrence University
    • University of California Los Angeles
    • University of California Santa Cruz
    • University of Colorado Boulder
    • University of Denver
    • University of New Hampshire at Durham
    • University of Oregon
    • University of San Diego
    • University of Utah
    • University of Vermont
    • Westminster College

    VSSA graduates have attended:

    • Bates College
    • Boston College
    • California Polytechnic State University
    • Colby College
    • Colorado School of Mines
    • Colorado State University
    • Columbia University
    • Dartmouth College
    • Harvard University
    • Lafayette University
    • McGill University
    • Middlebury College
    • Montana State University
    • Sierra Nevada College
    • St. Lawrence University
    • University of British Columbia
    • University of California Santa Barbara
    • University of Colorado Boulder
    • University of Denver
    • University of New Mexico
    • University of Utah
    • University of Vermont
    • University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • Westminster College
    • Williams College