Squaw Valley Academy

Squaw Valley Academy
Squaw Valley Academy

Squaw Valley Academy is a grade 9-12 California boarding school and day school in the beautiful Sierra Nevada near Lake Tahoe. We offer a rigorous academic program that emphasizes close interaction between faculty and students and focuses on each student’s individual needs. Supervised two-hour study halls each school night, along with our average class size of eight students, assure individual attention and create a climate of academic success for every student.

Our team and individual outdoor sports in the fall and spring include soccer, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, yoga, running, and weight training. During the winter season, if school work is up-to-date, students may ski and snowboard daily at Squaw Valley USA, 2 miles (3.2Km) from school. Squaw Valley was an International Olympic site and features 3,500 skiable acres with over 30 lifts and 170+ trails.

Squaw Valley Academy

Weekends at SVA see a variety of staff-chaperoned activities including movies in Tahoe City, Truckee, or Reno; dinners on the town; shopping excursions to Reno; kayaking on Lake Tahoe; beach time; rock climbing; skiing/snowboarding; and occasional trips to Sacramento or San Francisco.

Summer students may earn credit for one semester in three weeks or for one school year in six weeks. Students attend intensive, two-hour classes in the mornings and enjoy summer fun at Lake Tahoe in the afternoons at the local pool, the local soccer field, one of Lake Tahoe’s many beaches, or in the Tahoe National Forest.

International students enjoy an immersion ESL experience to improve their English-speaking skills. Squaw Valley Academy typically hosts students each year from many countries, including South Korea, Germany, Taiwan, China, Austria, Spain, Canada, Great Britain, Russia, New Zealand, Brazil, and Japan.

Squaw Valley Academy

Squaw Valley Academy is located in a safe and secure area with crystal-clean air at an altitude of 6,200ft/2,000m. A California boarding school, campus is 45 minutes by car/van/shuttle from the Reno/Tahoe Airport (RNO), which is 45 minutes by air from San Francisco (SFO) or 60 minutes from Los Angeles (LAX).

Squaw Valley Academy

Squaw Valley Academy at a Glance

Founded: 1978
Location: Olympic Valley, California; 200 miles east of San Francisco, and 45 miles west of Reno, Nevada, at the foot of Squaw Valley ski area.

Elevation: 6,200 feet (2000 meters)
Climate: Temperate – four seasons. 300 days of sunshine.

Spring – high: 55F or 13C; low: 39F or 4C.
Summer – high: 77F or 25C; low: 45F or 7.2C.
Fall – high: 60F or 15.6C; low: 40F or 4.4C.
Winter – high: 40F or 4.4C; low: 20F or -6.7C.

Student Body: Co-ed; 90 students; 95% Boarding.
Average Class Size: 8 to 10 students
Accreditation: AdvancED; National Independent Private Schools Association (NIPSA).
Faculty: 8 full time faculty, 80% with advanced degrees.
Student : Faculty Ratio: 8:1
Testing Services: SAT Testing Location; ACT Testing Location.
College Acceptance: 100% for all graduating Seniors.

Squaw Valley Academy


Squaw Valley Academy is proud of its long-standing ability to offer a rigorous academic program coupled with dynamic student-teacher interaction that ultimately leads to educational success. There is no more compelling argument to the validity of this practice than the 100% college acceptance rate SVA graduates enjoy. Our goal is to develop each student intellectually, emotionally, and physically. By providing such a rich variety of learning experiences both in and out of the classroom, we foster responsible choices and prepare our students to pursue a lifetime of goals and achievement. By teaching our students how they can establish small successes in their lives, they begin to realize that they can also be successful at accomplishing ever-larger goals.

SVA has a 4-year, college-preparatory curriculum, designed to prepare your child to be successful at colleges and universities in the United States and throughout the world.

Squaw Valley Academy

Our Academic Approach

Squaw Valley Academy offers:

  • A broad-spectrum, multi-level curriculum that strives to meet the unique needs of each student.
  • 16 Advanced Placement Courses approved by the College Board.
  • College counseling to assist all seniors with applications.
  • An Academic Support Center that tailors help to your student’s needs.
  • Faculty-supervised evening study halls each school night.
  • Staff that engage with students in order to help them find their own successes.
  • Teachers who promote the total growth of a student through acknowledgment of individual learning styles.
  • Faculty and staff role-modeling.

Squaw Valley Academy looks forward to helping your child achieve his or her educational goals and to ultimately become a stronger, more successful, human being.

Squaw Valley Academy

A Typical Day

On a typical school day, students wake for classes at 7:00 AM, giving plenty of time to put on their uniform, tidy their rooms and make their beds, before coming down to the dining hall for breakfast. Breakfast is from 7:30 AM to 7:55 AM on school days. Room inspection is conducted first thing in the morning while students are in their first classes. Students take all their school books and materials to classes from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM daily, with a half-hour lunch from 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM.

Students take part in daily athletics from 2:15 PM to 4:15 PM. Dinner is served from 5:15 PM to 5:45 PM. Students have an evening two-hour, mandatory study hall proctored by SVA teaching staff. They work independently on homework assignments in a quiet and calm setting. Students who have earned a semester GPA of 3.5 or higher may have the opportunity to study in their dormitory rooms.

Squaw Valley Academy

Residential Life Curriculum

Students gather once weekly for dormitory meetings in which they can express concerns or issues of general interest, and dormitory parents can relay feedback to students. Students also rotate on Kitchen Crew, where they work as a team for after-meal cleaning chores. Students serve on Dorm Crew to take out trash and ensure cleanliness of shared common areas. SVA’s Residential Life curriculum is an extension of the SVA mission to foster the importance of community service and involvement.

We are grateful for the experience our son had during his time at Squaw Valley Academy. While he had his ups and downs, the faculty and staff were committed to working with him to help him focus on the values of the opportunities at school. The friendships he made with students and staff continue to be important to him. The experiences he had balancing his academic work with a variety of sports and travel, were part of learning about keeping his life in balance. As he progresses through his post-secondary education, I think he is recognizing the value of these experiences even more. I know it will be two years which he will always remember. Thanks to SVA for your help in meeting his needs for a productive high school experience.

Sincerely, Jack & Elizabeth C.

Squaw Valley Academy provided our family with an excellent college preparatory education for our child, which helped him to be successful at the post-secondary level. The small class sizes and individual attention offered to our child at SVA allowed him to excel academically. SVA is the type of academic community in which our child was not able to “slip through the cracks” as he was in his large public high school. The college preparatory education our child received at SVA was highly effective, and the night time study halls proctored by SVA teachers helped our son take accountability for his academic performance. College preparatory academics combined with daily athletics such as skiing and snowboarding made Squaw Valley Academy the perfect California boarding school for our son. In addition, boarding school allowed him to become an independent young man prepared with the necessary skills for college. In our experience, SVA was a perfect fit for our child.

Best Regards, Elena V.

After my stay at Squaw Valley Academy, I returned to my home country of Norway and worked with multi-handicapped children at one of the regional hospitals. I returned to Lake Tahoe and attended Sierra Nevada College and decided to enroll at the University of San Francisco for my third college year. During my time at SVA, I noticed a lot of people drinking bottled water when they came up to Squaw Valley. That experience sparked an idea. During my stay in San Francisco, the idea became more and more of a reality. I decided to leave USF and start my water business full-time. The company I started was Voss Water ASA. Today, I am the third largest owner in the company, but I left as an employee in 2002 and went into the family business, Harlem Food AG, where I am CEO. I would like to use this opportunity to thank all of you for making my time at SVA the greatest time in my life.

Warmest Regards, Christopher Harlem CEO, Harlem Foods AG

Being at SVA was one of the best experiences I’ve had in life. Besides the great education, friendly people, and fantastic sport opportunities, I was able to follow my passion of snowboarding. I became a professional snowboarder after I left SVA and studied medicine next to my sports career. I have started a global company which helps the progression of all sorts of freestyle sports by learning tricks in a safe environment that we call a “BagJump”; You can even see our products in the Lake Tahoe area at Boreal Mountain Resort and at the Red Bull Pro-Training events at Squaw Valley. SVA was great! I wish I could do it all again!

Sincerely, Martin Rasinger CEO, BagJump Action Sports

The benefits of my experience at the Academy can be summed up as preparatory. Upon my graduation in 1981, I enrolled in Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. My early college experience would not have been the same if I had not attended SVA. I was used to being on my own, living away from my family, and being responsible for myself and my studies. Southern Methodist wasn’t much different from being at the Academy; just more people. I was prepared for my college experience. After four years at SMU, I graduated with a BFA in Broadcast, Film and Television with an emphasis in audio production. I’ve been in that field pretty much ever since, and now live in Los Angeles. Over the last twenty-five plus years, I’ve worked on dozens of feature films and hundreds of episodes of network television. Currently, I am the Production Sound Mixer on the Fox Television show “Glee”. In 2010, I was honored with an Emmy Award for my work as Production mixer and was nominated again for the 2011 Emmy Awards. I’m proud to be an SVA Alumni!

Best Regards, Phillip Palmer

Contact Information

Telephone: 530-583-9393
Fax: 530-581-1111

US Students: [email protected]
International Students: [email protected]

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 2667
Olympic Valley, CA 96146



Under: Education
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