Principal’s Message: Our Ski Program Guidelines

Dear Parents and Guardians,
We are halfway through the NWS Ski Days program for Classes 4-7, and it is time for an update. We have had two Fridays at the Whitewater Ski Hill and have two more Fridays ahead. The snow conditions are wonderful. The students are engaged and learning from their instructors. Our staff and parent chaperones are enthusiastic. We are grateful to Vanessa and Vincent for leading these valued days of our Outdoor Education program!
The NWS ski program gives students the freedom within the rules to explore areas of the ski hill according to their age and ability level. We provide the following chaperone/student ratios:

  • Class 4: five chaperones per class of 20, plus one “bunny hill attendant.”
  • Class 5: five chaperones per class of 23 children (with extra chaperones as needed to escort children to Summit side).
  • Classes 6 & 7: two chaperones per class of 7-10 children (one for check-ins, one available for taking groups to Glory side, as needed).
  • There is a lodge chaperone/attendant for all students.

Ski days end after all children have been picked up. There is then a check-in by Vincent Deslauriers with Phil Fertey and Diana Finley to review the events of the day, and ensure follow up as needed.

Risk Management: An Ongoing Process

Skiing and snowboarding entail natural risks and we are dedicated to ongoing review and vigilance to making improvements wherever possible. Our intent is to have well defined and clear safety measures to mitigate these risks. We recognize and acknowledge that even with the best protocols in place, risks remain. We have appreciated parent feedback, the written feedback from Class 4 students (collected through a short survey), as well as the verbal feedback from our older students to help address these areas.
The single most important risk reducer to ensure your child knows and does is: ALWAYS SKI WITH A BUDDY. The school will respond accordingly if this is not followed.
There are several key organizational areas, including safety and communication, to which we continue to make improvements. This week, for example, we are:

  • Reviewing the rules with students this week at school, especially ALWAYS SKI WITH A BUDDY.
  • Clarifying Whitewater rules while instructing – eg, trees skiing during class?
  • Reinforcing the roles and responsibilities of chaperones at a chaperone meeting during the Friday morning ski lessons.
  • Ensuring our “ski days” are aligned with our Field trip policy and protocols.
  • Strengthening a communication protocol between NWS and Whitewater staff when a student leaves the hill after being seen by a first aid attendant

Important links to review with your child:

Please see the revised Student Rules that teachers will review with their students before Friday. We ask you to also review these with your child:

  • Please re-watch the Whitewater Mountain Safety Video (10 min) with your child. They are already familiar with it, however, this can serve as a good conversation starter around safety and self care.

Your support and participation as parents/guardians is always appreciated. If you have any feedback or questions, we are happy to hear from you.
May the powers of nature continue to bless us with bountiful snow!
Warm wishes,
Diana Finley, Principal
Phil Fertey, Education Director
Vincent Deslauriers, Co-Leader of Ski Days program
Vanessa Kuran, Co-Leader of Ski Days program

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