Squaw Valley Academy

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Coordinates: 39°12′19″N 120°12′17″W / 39.20528°N 120.20472°W / 39.20528; -120.20472

Squaw Valley Academy
Olympic Valley, California
United States
Type Independent, Coeducational, Boarding School, and College Preparatory School
Established 1978
Founder Donald Rees
Campus 3 Dormitory buildings on 2.8 acres
Color(s) Navy and gold
Mascot Brown bear

Squaw Valley Academy is an international, college-prep boarding school located in Olympic Valley, California near Lake Tahoe. Squaw Valley Academy offers rigorous academics coupled with outdoor sports and activities, to give students the foundations for academic and personal success. SVA is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and uses the approved high school curriculum[1] provided by the University of California. Squaw Valley Academy graduates earn 100% College Acceptance.

About Squaw Valley Academy and the Area[edit]

Squaw Valley Academy was founded in 1978, by Donald Rees, who also founded the Yosemite Institute in Yosemite National Park, and the Headlands Institute in the Marin Headlands near Sausalito, California. For over thirty years, Squaw Valley Academy has been a staple at Lake Tahoe and has enrolled students from all over the world.

The school is located on 2.8 acres and has five on-campus buildings, four of which students have access. Three buildings have ground level classrooms and offices, while the second and third levels are dormitory rooms. The fourth is the administrative building, with offices and the Dining Hall on the ground level, and offices and classrooms on the second level. The fifth building, located at the rear of the property is the Maintenance building. Adjacent to the school is a county-owned recreational park, which includes a full-size AstroTurf soccer field, children's playground, tennis courts and picnic area.

Located less than two miles from the school's campus is world-renowned ski resort, Squaw Valley Ski Resort, home of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Located less than five miles from the campus is another, smaller resort, Alpine Meadows (ski resort). Located less than ten miles from the campus is Lake Tahoe.

School Mission[edit]

"We challenge with rigorous academics; we support with consistent behavioral standards; we train in life-long sports."


The Academy's primary focus is on college-preparation for coed high school students. SVA uses the approved high school (a-g) curriculum provided by the University of California and is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

SVA provides students with rigorous academics as well as Advanced Placement (AP) Courses, ESL for international students, an Academic Learning Center for struggling students, college counseling throughout the whole college application process, and SAT Prep. SVA is also a Certified SAT Testing Location. Students enjoy breakfast before attending morning classes Monday through Friday, eat lunch, and depart campus for supervised afternoon activities. Students return to campus for dinner, and after a brief rest, they gather for mandatory, two-hour Study Hall, Sunday through Thursday nights. Students use Study Hall to finish their coursework from the day, prepare for the coming class the following day, write and research reports, and gain further instruction on course topics from teachers.

Graduates of Squaw Valley Academy maintain 100% College Acceptance.


Squaw Valley Academy offers a wide range of sports for students . Students may participate in intramural soccer, basketball, and ice hockey teams. The school mascot is the brown bear. Students who wish to compete on a recreational level may enjoy other athletics during the spring, summer, and fall seasons including: tennis, golf, disc golf, ultimate (sport), field hockey, road cycling, mountain biking, skateboarding, rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding, rafting, kayaking, and dry-land training for competitive ski and snowboard racers.

Due to the location of Squaw Valley Academy, students who meet or exceed set academic standards, may ski or snowboard daily at Squaw Valley USA ski resort. Announced in September 2011[2] Squaw Valley Ski Resort and Alpine Meadows (ski resort), came to an agreement[3] to merge mountain access to their customers. Ticket holders may now choose two ski resorts to ski or snowboard, and Squaw Valley Academy students now have access to two amazing ski resorts located less than ten minutes away from campus. Squaw Valley Academy encourages students to "ride" (ski or snowboard) at the resort of their choice, and Squaw Valley Academy makes arrangements to transport and supervise students while they enjoy skiing or snowboarding. Students return to campus following skiing or snowboarding to enjoy dinner and prepare for their mandatory, evening study hall, Sunday through Thursday nights (after dinner).

Many students find that continuous skiing or snowboarding may become monotonous and Squaw Valley Academy offers a variety of alternative activities and sports such as Yoga, Weight training, trips to a local Health center, and Opportunity Study Hall. Squaw Valley Academy accommodates most student needs and will work with the student to find an appropriate and enjoyable alternative to skiing or snowboarding.

Squaw Valley Academy requires students to be safe in all circumstances, especially extreme sports. Students may not enjoy many activities such as mountain biking, skateboarding, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, or any other hazardous sport, without the proper safety equipment, including a helmet. Students who do not follow safety procedure will be re-instructed to follow our safety procedure or will not be able to participate in the sport or activity until they do so.


  1. ^ University of California Curriculum Integration (UCCI) Institute. Accessed 2012-03-12. http://www.ucop.edu/a-gGuide/ag/welcome.html
  2. ^ Sierra Sun Newspaper. Shueh, Josh. "Tahoe resorts Squaw Valley USA, Alpine Meadows to join forces". Written 2011-09-27. Last accessed 2012-03-12. http://www.sierrasun.com/article/20110927/NEWS/110929926
  3. ^ "Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Merger Completed" (Press Release). JMA Ventures, LLC. November 16, 2011. Accessed 2012-03-12. Archive Copy available through JMA Ventures, LLC.