Thursday Is the New Saturday

Alzar School | 17.02.21

For the month of February, “weekends” at Alzar School look unique. Our staff, teachers and students have all shifted their schedules so that the “weekend” falls over Thursday and Friday. Taking advantage of minimal weekday crowds, students and staff have spent their new weekends demonstrating continual learning and improvement by skiing and snowboarding down snow-covered mountains at local resorts.

Students preparing to ski down the mountain at Tamarack Resort. Photo by Laura Bechdel

For many of our students, skiing and snowboarding are familiar sports. In fact, some members of the Spring 2021 class participate in ski teams back home and others are from mountain regions with terrain and weather conditions similar to those we experience here in West-Central Idaho. For some, however, our ski days have been an opportunity to engage in the sport for the first time! No matter a student’s familiarity with sliding on snow, our sessions this semester have left participants feeling fulfilled and challenged. Whether that be the physical challenge of learning to operate skis and snowboards or the geographical challenge of navigating new terrain, students have been leaning into the pursuit of knowledge on the ski slopes.

When asked to describe their experience in one word, students said: joyous, jam-packed, woohoo! and POWDER!

Students having lunch at our bus-lodge.

When prompted to reflect on their ski day experiences, students have wonderful things to say. Here is what some had to say about memories of skiing at Tamarack Resort and Brundage Mountain:

  • “I have never seen anyone so happy after falling over before!” – Lucy
  • “A perfect blend of strenuous and great fun.” – Aiden
  • “Best day of my life! [smiling ear to ear]” – Laura

Our faculty and staff joined students for these excursions and also had a blast, both skiing and getting to know our cohort members in an exciting new setting! English and Spanish teacher, John Bengsten, said “it was really cool seeing students apply the skills they brought from other sports–surfing, skateboarding–to what was, for them, a new sport. Specifically, Marri and Lulu seemed to excell due in part to their backgrounds.”                Math teacher, Gillian Wilcox, said her favorite moment was “getting to know Janiyah more on the chairlift and watching her practice impressive patience in the pursuit of parallel turns!” Director of Studies, Laura Bechdel, shared how it was memorable seeing Fiona challenging herself throughout the afternoon, giggling all the way down.

Up the mountain they go! Photo by Lucy.
Fiona giggling in the powder. Photo by Laura Bechdel.

As we enter mid-February, we are approaching the top of the snow-depth bell curve. There will be plenty more fun in the snow to come here at Alzar School!  

About the author: Rachel Ackerman is a Science Teacher and a Blog Coordinator at Alzar School. Feel free to contact her at with comments, concerns, and interesting topics for future blog posts!