Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the top questions we are asked.

Application Process

What are the deadlines for the application process?

Squaw Valley Academy has rolling enrollment, and students may enroll each month of the school year. Squaw Valley Academy is open year-round with the exception of the two-week Winter Vacation. There is no application deadline.

What documents are required for admission?

To be considered for enrollment at Squaw Valley Academy, you must:

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Submit letters of recommendation from a teacher and counselor.
  3. Submit a current copy of your high school transcript.

What happens if I cannot make it to campus for a personal interview?

We require interviews for all domestic applicants – by meeting you we will gain a sense of your interests and potential that we cannot get from your application file. If we cannot meet in person, a phone call or Skype interview may substitute.

When can I visit campus?

We welcome admission visitors Monday-Friday during academic hours. When students and families come to visit, our admissions staff will walk you through campus and you will have an opportunity to speak with teachers and students. A full visit usually lasts around two hours. To schedule a tour, please call our office at (530) 530-9393.

Dorm & Student Life

Student Dress Code

Squaw Valley Academy introduced a school uniform for the 2017-18 school year. Please see the link below to see the uniform order instructions.

Additionally, Squaw Valley Academy hosts Formal Dinners four times during the school year. Boys are expected to wear jackets, shirts, and ties. Girls are expected to wear skirts and blouses, or dresses.

How to Order a Uniform

Can I have a cell phone on-campus?

Yes, students may have cell phones on campus. As part of our electronics policy, there are some appropriate limitations to phone use for students.

If you plan to purchase US mobile phone service please purchase the service from Verizon or Sprint. These two companies provide strong mobile phone signals at Squaw Valley Academy.

T-Mobile, Vodafone, and AT&T do not have strong mobile phone signals at Squaw Valley Academy.

Please note: Squaw Valley Academy provides Wi-Fi service for student’s personal laptop computers and personal iPads.

Squaw Valley Academy does not provide Wi-Fi service for student’s smart phones.

Will I need to bring my own laptop?

Students are not required to bring a laptop computer. Each student is issued a MacBook Air computer at the beginning of the school year.

Do you have internet connectivity on-campus?

Yes, we have WiFi connectivity throughout the entire campus. Use of the network is limited after 11:00pm school nights, and there are strategic content restrictions.

What are the rules?

Squaw Valley Academy’s rules are consistent and reasonable, and are designed to promote independence and safety for every student. We expect students to treat staff and each other with respect. We offer clear guidelines for behavior in our Student Handbook.

Will I have roommates? How are roommates decided?

The vast majority of students live with a roommate. The Director of Admissions and Dean of Students work together to place new students in living arrangements based on age, similar interests, and class schedule. Returning students may select their own roommates, and room assignments are given based on seniority. Students can have a private, single room for an additional fee.

What are my responsibilities in the residence hall?

Boarding students’ responsibilities are similar to expectations they may have at home. Students are required to keep their rooms tidy and there is a checklist to complete each day. Sunday night is reserved for deep cleaning, and students are expected to vacuum and remove trash during this time. Boarding students are also responsible for checking in with faculty members on duty at required times.

What happens during the weekend?

We offer dynamic weekend activities designed to reinforce our commitment to a seven-day boarding program. Each Friday and Saturday night during the year, a variety of social events are available for all students. Friday nights are typically reserved for movie trips, visits to restaurants, and attendance at other cultural events that appeal to the community. We often plan all-school trips to various locations around the Tahoe area. These activities may include cultural excursions, mountain biking trips, and sporting events. Squaw Valley Academy also has recreation rooms on-campus complete with ping-pong tables, air hockey, and billiards for students to use during their free time.

What if I am homesick or have trouble adjusting to life at Squaw Valley Academy?

Dorm parents and counselors are important sources of support, helping boarding students deal with homesickness issues. Students are also encouraged to talk to their teachers and advisors about any concerns they may have.

What sports are offered?

Squaw Valley Academy has a basketball team, cross country running team, big mountain ski team, and a ski race team. During the fall months, students may participate in soccer and other outdoor recreation such as hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. In addition to snowboarding and skiing, winter gives opportunities for indoor rock climbing, ice skating, and ice hockey. Spring snowboarding and skiing are favorite activities for students, and when the snow subsides, one can participate in everything that Lake Tahoe has to offer. Stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and fishing are some of the other spring activities students particularly enjoy.

How often can I ski or snowboard?

Students in good academic standing have the opportunity to ski or snowboard seven days a week. During the ski season, classes end at 2:00pm to accommodate an afternoon of winter sport.

Can I join the Squaw Valley Ski Team during the academic year?

Yes. Students who have an interest in joining the Squaw Valley Ski Team may do so as long as they are in good academic standing. The academic day can be arranged to accommodate a team practice schedule.

May boarding students have a car on-campus?

No, students are not permitted to bring vehicles to campus. Squaw Valley Academy staff organize fun activities and drive students in school vans to off-campus activities, medical appointments, shopping, and other chaperoned events.

Where can I do my laundry?

Students are responsible for their own laundry; there are washers and dryers – free of charge – in each dormitory building. Off-campus laundry services are also available.


How many Advanced Placement (AP) classes do you offer?

We teach 16 AP courses, which are offered with valid student interest and staff qualification. Students may earn college credit with successful completion of AP classes and the national AP examination. We may also offer electives teaching subject matter beyond the AP level to qualified students. 

What times are classes offered?

Check out our daily Academic Schedule to learn more.

What if I need extra help?

We have an excellent system in place when students need extra help. We have a Learning Specialist who meets individually with students in order to determine areas of difficulty and to develop a plan to better manage the workload. This may involve time-management skills or methods to improve focus during study time. Our teachers often offer study sessions and extra help in the evenings in order to allow students who are struggling to seek help as needed. We also provides a teacher-proctored study hall for all students to ensure they are staying on-task. Teachers and dorm staff routinely keep check on student progress. Finally, our afternoon Academic Support Center is intended to give students a chance to complete assignments they may not have finished in class. 

Where do your seniors typically attend college?

Our students are accepted to a wide range of excellent universities. On average, each senior is accepted to three colleges and/or universities. Check out our recent college acceptances.

Parent Questions

How do parents and SVA staff keep in touch?

Parents are given contact information for key administrators, teachers, and advisers so that we may be able to respond to all of your questions. In addition, parents have access to all of their child’s grades throughout the school year. A bi-weekly e-newsletter is sent to all parents in order to keep them updated on school news. Our website also provides access to our weekly menu, current news, and an updated calendar.

How often may parents visit their children?

We welcome parents to campus as often as they wish to come! SVA families are always welcome at sporting events, in the dining hall, at lectures and concerts, or just to spend unstructured time with their daughters and sons. We do ask that parents use the Sign-Out Book in the dining hall to check students on and off campus.

When can students visit home?

Aside from regular school vacations, we do not have a set number of open or closed weekends as some boarding schools do. We do, however, require that students not go home for the first four weeks of enrollment so they can adjust to to campus life. We require that parents bring students back from weekend trips no later than 6:30pm on Sunday for study hall.

How are medical appointments arranged for boarding students?

Our Dean of Students coordinates medical, orthodontic, dental, orthopedic, chiropractic, and eye appointments, etc. as needed or requested. Transportation is arranged by Squaw Valley Academy.

How are medications and prescriptions handled?

All medications, prescriptions, and/or supplements must be checked in with our Dean of Students and dispersed by the School Nurse. Our staff will distribute medications and make sure students are taking them at appropriate times daily.

How do students obtain money?

Although, activities and weekend excursions are included in the tuition, most students like to have extra cash for shopping and restaurant trips. We recommend an allowance of $15 – $25 per week. Most of our students use debit or credit cards. We suggest that parents prearrange card limits. We do not distribute weekly allowances to students.

How do you know if my child is ready for boarding school?

Squaw Valley Academy has been helping students reach their full potential for 39 years, and our staff have seen hundreds of students excel in a residential setting. During the admissions process, we will talk to your child about his/her fears and expectations related to boarding school in order to ensure he/she understands the kind of commitment involved.

As a parent, how do I know if I'm ready for my child to be away from home?

At Squaw Valley Academy, we know that sometimes boarding can be tougher on parents than on students. After all, through the years you have spent countless hours devoting your life to your child. The teenage years can be rough on parents and can include periods of conflict between parents and children. Many students report that they become closer to their families by living apart from them during this stage in their development. Time apart also allows parents to appreciate the growth that their child is experiencing while boarding at Squaw Valley Academy.