Every Tuesday and Thursday, for five weeks, the halls of Knowlton Academy are filled with ski boots, skis, students and volunteers in their skiing clothes. The Knowlton Academy Ski Program is back after a three year break due to COVID. The entire school is involved. Students spend a day a week for five weeks on the slopes at Mont Sutton. The school is divided into two groups. Half ski on Tuesdays and half on Thursdays. All equipment, skis, poles, boots and helmets are provided by the school. The $90 fee includes, transport, ski passes and instruction. In effect there are no barriers for participation.
“Because the program lasts for five weeks, what happens on the hill has time to make a long lasting impact on the school. In week one, there were 50 students on the “Bunny Hill”. Now there are only five,” said Fred Noirfalise, the principal. “These younger students have discovered how to tackle a difficult task and are learning how to take charge of their learning. I see this growth already in the classroom. Secondly, many of the volunteers are teachers. On the hill, teachers and students have discovered another dimension of the other. I see how this experience has brought more trust and warmth into the school. Above all what I notice is more joy here. There is a buzz that extends beyond the ski days.”
The program is organized by teacher, Nicholas Lemaitre, who is assisted by up to 30 volunteers and teachers.