Franconia Ski Club Slopeside Academy at Mittersill

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It used to be that students either excelled at sports or excelled at school. This generation is learning how to excel at both, and the amazing gift of winterm shows students how to take ownership of their learning. Students enrolled in our winter academy will face academics at a high-bar, challenging them to learn the academic skills they need to balance their athletic pursuits with high academic standards.

— Catherine Knower, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Knower Academics

FSC Endorsed Academics
for Snow Sport Athletes

Stay up to speed on and off the slopes.

Based at the beautiful Mittersill Performance Center (MPC) at Cannon Mountain, our FSC/Knower Slopeside Academy offers a range of learning and enrollment options. Our goal is to partner with schools and coaches to support academic excellence within the demands of elite athletic training. From immersive, credit-bearing winterm semesters, to structured independent study environments, we have worked closely with FSC directors, coaches, and families to design a range of academic options for club members. Whether you are looking to enroll, with FSC peers, for a winterm semester at our Slopeside Academy, or just need a little extra support for an online class, Knower can help keep academics at the forefront of the skiing experience. We’re right there on the upper floor of the MPC!

Win•term (n): contraction /ˈwinˌtərm/

  1. winter term
  2. an academic period that runs in tandem with the ski season
  3. alternative academic options used by snow sport athletes to accommodate rigorous training and competition

Many of our students return home from winterm ahead of their peers and with new ownership of and passion for their learning.  Knower will spearhead communications with schools to align curriculum or coordinate work exchange — keeping families updated with regular reports and lesson summaries. All of our programs are designed to dovetail with FSC training and racing schedules. Families also have options to customize their program to fit each student’s academic goals and needs. Knower educators, in addition to their expertise in teaching specific subject material, are experienced in supporting diverse learning profiles, executive functioning, study and organizational skills, and standardized test preparation.

Proceed to registration or set up a consultation ▸

Winterm Timeline


Winterm Academic Programming Options
for Franconia Ski Club Athletes

grades 6-8

Immersive academic term with FSC peers; designed to return in synch with sending school
U12, U14, U16

Guided study group to manage time & tasks; communication with families & coaches
all ages

Fully custom curriculum and learning plan to fit each student's resources & educational needs

GRADES 6 – 8
Middle School Slopeside Academy

Right at the base of Mittersill.

Complete middle school experience, including core courses and slopeside classroom, for students 6-8.  

Program Components


& Project-based learning

Guided Study


Small Group Classes

✔ English     ✔ History     ✔ Science     ✔ Project-based Learning     ✔ Language Arts

The curriculum question…

Knower Academics has extensive experience aligning our curriculum with schools from all over the country. We use Common-Core aligned and Next-Gen standards to provide sending schools with a detailed record of the skills students learned and the level of mastery they achieved. Narrative grade reports paired with learning artifacts provide a paper trail of assessments. Together with this documentation, the winterm transcript we share with sending schools provides clear illustration of the substantive education students complete during Winterm. Knower will spearhead communications with schools to align curriculum, coordinate work exchange and keep families updated with session logbooks and frequent reports.

Students in our dedicated middle school program engage with peers in small-group classes at the Mittersill Performance Center. Total class time includes:

  • English – two (2) 45 minute classes per week
  • History – two (2) 45 minute classes per week
  • Science – two (2) 45 minute classes per week
  • STEAM Lab – two (2) 45 minute classes per week – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math – for group projects, extra help, VLACS support, and/or individual school-aligned content

For the majority of winterm, class time focuses on an immersive, standards-aligned curriculum that draws connections to the physiology, science, history, and metal discipline of training in the alpine environment. Students build skills and match competencies universal to middle school education and tested on state exams. The classes wrap-in individual project learning components, which requires students to research and explore content from their own sending schools.

The final weeks of winterm classes are fully dedicated to individualized research, projects and presentations to ensure familiarity with key content taught at the sending school while they were away.

Though material is designed to be engaging, challenge and rigor abounds with additional classwork, applications, projects, assignments and assessments leading to a summative midterm exam just before parent conferences. KA instructors draw upon sources and content relevant to the winterm experience, but teach and assess students with Common Core aligned standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Our curriculum structure takes advantage of the immersive learning environment of winterm, while providing rigorous academics, documentation, and credible record-keeping that is easy for sending-schools to translate. Our winter academy students are building the same core skills as their peers at home, while the lessons learned in training on the mountain transform their mindset and ignite their motivation. Instruction, lesson planning, homework and assessment is further differentiated by grade to ensure that we meet each student where they are.

Looking for an English or history class that is precisely aligned with your sending school?
Not a problem. Contact us to discuss how our specialists can accomplish this with additional one-to-one instruction, or custom winterm options.

Individualized Coursework for Scaffolded Content

✔ Math (included)     ✔ World Languages* (added cost)     ✔ Other Electives* (added cost)

The Zoom question…

Back in 2005, Knower Academics introduced a blended model of in-person and online-interactive sessions to support snow sport athletes. We love working with students in person, and do so as much as possible. Due to competition and training schedules, though, we also need to ensure we can continue instruction during travel or when race dates change.

Through our years of working with students, we have seen our best results from cases where we incorporate some Zoom sessions to maintain consistency in our schedule and find the best fit of instructor to teach specialized subject material. Our proven, blended model integrates Zoom as one of many possible learning tools. Like any tool, it works well when used appropriately and with skill. Our program introduces Zoom systematically, with demos, guidelines and clear expectations. Our instructors are skilled at using interactive teaching tools. For example, screen sharing, annotation tools, interactive documents and whiteboards, allow student and instructor to actively discuss problems and topics together. If you would like to see a demo of how we use Zoom, please contact our office.

Scaffolded coursework refers to material that builds on itself so classes that need to be taught in the same sequence and progression as the sending school. For example, math and foreign language, students need individualized curriculum to match their abilities and successfully return to the classroom. Our winterm program ensures that all students have their own math curriculum, as aligned with their sending-school as much as possible.

Families have the choice of two models & price-points for scaffolded courses such as math and foreign language:

  • NEW! VIRTUAL OPTION: VLACS or online math and language coursework

This option allows students to complete math, world language, or other electives through VLACS or your district’s preferred online program. The upside of virtual coursework is lower costs for families, and it also offers a sense of familiarity for schools. The drawbacks of online coursework can be significant for some learners; our program mitigates these by requiring any student using the online option to complete their math coursework during our STEAM Lab class time. We also encourage families to take immediate and decisive action if their child begins to fall behind by purchasing a-la-carte sessions from Knower to provide direct instruction or skills support for the online content.

  • PROVEN! ONE-TO-ONE OPTION: direct instruction, 1:1 teacher to student ratio, school-aligned curriculum

If workable for families, Knower recommends our proven individualized academic method of teaching of winterm Mathematics, Languages & Electives in a one-to-one environment. The higher price point allows us to provide the best possible model of direct one-to-one instruction, school-aligned curriculum, and scaffolding for the content that students will build upon in the spring. Individualized Academic (IA) sessions are designed to mirror the scope and sequence of a specific class at the sending school.

Each student enrolled in the one-to-one option will receive 24 one-to-one Individualized Academic (IA) sessions. This works out as two(2) hours of instruction each week that class is in session. The instructional format may be in-person or interactive online in our zoom classrooms, which allow us to find the best-fit of schedules and teaching styles. Knower Academics will reach out to establish a work exchange with the sending school and teach each week’s material. If the school requires the student to unenroll, Knower will use common core aligned curriculum and our own depth of teaching experience to mirror the scope and sequence of sending-school topics. In between instructional IA sessions, students will complete a mix of flipped classroom assignments, active retrieval practice, projects, applications, and homework assignments.

Most students use their IA sessions for math instruction, though Knower can use them for a different class or type of support if the family prefers. Students who are also taking a world language, or other unique elective, can add more one-to-one sessions of IA instruction, or work with us to find a low-cost virtual online option.

Earn Your Turn (EYT) Guided Study

✔ Structure     ✔ Supervision     ✔ Community     ✔ Study habits     ✔ Executive skill building

Flipped classroom assignments, active retrieval practice, projects, applications, and homework assignments all happen in Earn Your Turn (EYT). This guided study period, offered a total of six(6) hours per week and aligned with the training schedule, offers a consistent structure of dedicated, in-person learning and serves as a scheduling window for 1:1 IA sessions. Knower’s EYT lead instructor circulates among the students on the upper floor of the MPC, checking their planners and calendars, directing them to resources, and verifying work completion.

Please scroll down the page for more information about Earn Your Turn. 

“Thirty Flip” Coaching Communication

✔ Communication     ✔ Accountability     ✔ Character

The opportunity to ski for FSC and other elite race teams is a privilege earned by hard work and dedication to both athletics and academics. A key learning objective for our middle school winterm is building a foundation of academic responsibility. Ready for a real life lesson in time management? Just as skiers must “make the thirty flip” to qualify for a race final, students enrolled in our Slopeside Academy must verify that they are up to speed academically before they progress to Friday training. If, by Thursday, all their work is submitted, we notify their parents and coaches that they have made our “Thursday Thirty Flip”. This means that all of their homework is complete for the week, and they are free to focus on skiing for the weekend. If they have more work left to do, that’s okay, but there is also a consequence: students who did not make the Thirty Flip miss an afternoon free-ski on Friday, so they finish their work. Families are encouraged to check the “authorized contingencies” box at the bottom of our enrollment form, which allows Knower to add a 1:1 session, if needed, for students who were unable to complete their work. We typically use this “magic carpet” session to brainstorm about how to adjust planning for next week and ensure all work is complete before heading into the weekend. Students who would benefit from consistent additional 1:1 instruction or skill-building may register for a-la-carte 1:1 sessions with Knower, or seek support from family or other FSC parents.

Please scroll down the page for more information about “Thursday Thirty Flip” Communication. 

Proceed to registration or set up a consultation ▸

See additional details on program costs, communications, rates, payment and refund policies.

Important Dates, Eligible Students & Example Schedule


Attend school on the mountain, all winter long.

Our dedicated, small-group middle school winterm runs concurrent with the FSC winterm training schedule, from late November/ early December to the end of March. The specific dates will be finalized as the details of competition and training schedule solidify. The academic schedule allows time off for both NH & Massachusetts vacation week, as well as holidays, training camps and competitions. Though fully optional, Knower encourages families to consider adding a-la-carte 1:1 sessions for pre-season and post-season transition, to provide the best possible runway to and from winterm academics.

Need a different start date?  Not a problem. Some students join the program after the start date, or depart early, to best align with sending schools. We have designed curriculum with this in mind. Also, we can adjust 1:1 sessions and/or record classes to provide a smooth transition.


2023-2024 Winterm Academic Timeline
All dates below are subject to change.

  • Admissions Consultation & first outreach to sending schools
  • Enrollment open: July 1, 2023
  • Enrollment deadline: October 1, 2023
  • Check in meeting with sending schools
  • Payment-in-full deadline: October 20, 2023
  • Optional “pre-season” one-to one sessions for smooth transition
  • Orientation week (Meet & Greet by zoom or in person): November 27 – December 1, 2023
  • Classes begin: December 4, 2023
  • No class* (Winter break): December 18, 2023 – January 1, 2024
  • Classes resume: January 2, 2024
  • No class* (Martin Luther King Jr. Day): January 15, 2024
  • Progress reports & parent conferences
  • Midterm Exam week: February 12 – February 16, 2024
  • No class* (MA & NH break weeks): February 19 – March 1, 2024
  • Project based learning begins: March 4, 2024
  • Eastern Champs
  • Final presentations: March 20-24, 2024
  • Transition week (one-to-one only): March 25-29, 2024
  • Optional “post-season” one-to one sessions for return transition

*IMPT! Even when class is not in session, instructors may set up 1:1 individualized academic sessions in order to keep students on pace.

If any of these dates pose a conflict for your school or family, Knower instruction is well-tuned to travel with students and meld with their availability.  Inquire here to schedule a consultation and design your learning plan.


The FSC/Knower Middle School Slopeside Winter Academy is open to a maximum of twelve students, grades 6-8. Students must also be members of FSC and confirmed by coaches to be ready for the athletic demands of a skiing winterm. Students may join us from any state or nation, and students may enroll with us regardless of the level of sending school participation. A minimum of eight (8) students must enroll, prior to the commitment deadline of October 1st, 2023, to run the program. If the program does not fill, Knower will adjust the duration of the offering or otherwise adjust services, while keeping the price point constant.


Individualized Academic Scheduling Windows
sessions in math, world language, or elective
Earn Your Turn
guided study
Individualized Academic Scheduling Windows
sessions in math, world language, or elective
FSC Training
❄️ on snow
Earn Your Turn
guided study
Individualized Academic Scheduling Windows
sessions in math, world language, or elective
FSC Training
❄️ on snow
LunchThirty Flip
with coaches & parents
Health Science Class
small group
Humanities Class
small group
skills, standards & project-based learning
FSC Training
❄️ on snow
Health Science Class
small group
Humanities Class
small group
skills, standards & project-based learning
FSC Training
❄️ on snow
Earn Your Turn MAGIC CARPET*
makeup session
for students with missing work
*added cost
Individualized Academic Scheduling Windows
sessions in math, world language, or elective
Individualized Academic Scheduling Windows
sessions in math, world language, or elective
Individualized Academic Scheduling Windows
sessions in math, world language, or elective
Individualized Academic Scheduling Windows
sessions in math, world language, or elective
Individualized Academic Scheduling Windows
sessions in math, world language, or elective

Ms. Blais, our Lead teacher for Winterm, talks about an “invisible backpack” that students carry when they start to get behind in their work. Each week, we front load the class schedule to prioritize academics Monday through Thursday, allowing for Friday to be a lighter day and opportunity to prepare for weekend races. Throughout the week, in Earn Your Turn (EYT) study group, students are supported in using time management strategies and planning tools. The goal: have all homework complete by Thursday afternoon. After they have verified work completion with the EYT lead, students earn free ski time on Friday afternoon and their ticket to weekend races, unburdened by that invisible backpack of academic worries. Parents and coaches receive our Thursday Thirty Flip updates, so they know which students are up to speed academically, and which need to dedicate Friday to academics.

Additional Tools for Middle School


Additional Classes & Supports

✔ Support for learning differences     ✔ Standardized test prep     ✔ Challenge & enrichment

Families may fully customize their winterm program with additional one-to-one classes. For example, students might add more rigor to their schedule, such as a foreign language or special tutorial to bring their coursework to an advanced level. Additional one-to-one sessions are also the perfect opportunity to add focus on developing study and organizational skills at a foundational or advanced level, or to receive extra support in a challenging subject. Knower Academics instructors also specialize in standardized test preparation, so families looking for a jump start of SSAT, PSAT, SAT or ACT preparation can find that here as well.

Optimal Transitions

✔ Pre-season front-loading    ✔ Post-season gap-filling

Though the official program runs from early December to late March, if possible, Knower encourages families to register for additional one-to-one sessions to be used before and after the program. These extra sessions create a smooth takeoff and landing to and from winterm. The pre-season sessions allow us to find the best fit of instructors, build a better connection to sending-school curriculum, get ahead in schoolwork, and avoid the lull between Thanksgiving and the start of the winterm classes. Continued one-to-one sessions after winterm, in the spring, help fill any gaps in content, and often improve rapport with sending school for future winterms.  Though at added cost, Knower instructors are available to schedule sessions, one-to-one, at any point in the program or transition, to help ease the shift as needed.

Learning Materials

✔ Session calendar     ✔ Study & organizational skills     ✔ Transparency

  • We will provide students with their own account with access to email and Google suite applications.
  • Instruction will integrate the use of time and task management tools, such as kanban boards, planners, task lists and calendars.
  • All students are required to use an approved homework planning tool, either electronic or paper planner.
  • Homework assignments and study-guides will reinforce the importance of daily review and systematic preparation for assessment, with methods such as Knower’s ARC Review™ and unit-based filing.

Features & Tuition



  • Integrated communications with family and schools
  • Schedule dovetailed with FSC training and competitions
  • Differentiated math curriculum (either 1:1 or via virtual course, such as VLACS)
  • Common Core, and Next Generation Science, standards aligned curriculum
  • Small-group classroom instruction in English, history, and science skills and standards, as well as STEM lab
  • Small group executive skills support and/or school-aligned activities
  • Guided study and executive skills support in Earn Your Turn
  • Individual session logbooks
  • “Thursday Thirty Flip” communications to track work completion
  • Parent/teacher conferences and progress reports
  • Graded summative assessment and learning artifacts
  • Narrative report card and transcript

Support for winterm transitions, additional subjects and other Knower 1:1 offerings, available at added cost.


  • Middle School Slopeside Academy Program, with ONE-TO-ONE, school aligned math instruction: $7500 per student 
  • Middle School Program, with VLACS or other virtual math course: $5000 per student 
  • Non-refundable $500 deposit
  • Commitment deadline of October 1, 2023
  • Minimum fill of eight (8) students

Proceed to registration or set up a consultation ▸

See additional details on program costs, communications, rates, payment and refund policies.

Earn Your Turn Guided Study

Study with us slopeside, whether you are doing a full Knower winterm, or not! 

Earn Your Turn (EYT) is available as a cost-effective, stand-alone offering for students not otherwise working with Knower. EYT is also included in our Slopeside Academy enrollment, and pairs perfectly with a Knower Custom Winterm. 

Slopeside Learning Environment & Academic Support

✔ Accountability    ✔ Study Skills     ✔ Slopeside study environment

Communication with coaches…

Knower has been working with elite snow sport athletes since 2005. As these athletes progress to high school and set their sights on skiing for their college of choice, the best success comes to those who learn how to front-load academics. Once the season is underway, nothing slows down until it ends. Getting ahead of the academic curve, and staying there, is where we see our student athletes thrive! If we “water down” academics to accommodate athletics, it hurts students in the long run. We aim to show our students – no matter how fast they ski – that deadlines are real and school work matters.

FSC coaches are paying attention. If students are not up to speed academically on Thursday afternoon, we notify coaches and families, and students miss a coveted free ski window Friday afternoon. This weekly “Thursday Thirty Flip” status update, paired with a consequence that is clear, fair, and immediate, sends students a direct message that getting tasks done early is the best way to make the flip!

Earn Your Turn (EYT) is a guided study group, that meets on the upper floor of the Mittersill Performance Center, twice weekly, around the FSC training schedule.  Lead by a Knower Academics learning specialist, EYT provides structure, seat time, and supervision for independent academic work. But, it is so much more than a study hall! EYT is an optimal, supportive study environment to learn and build executive functioning skills, with scheduled check-ins to help students front-load their academics and manage their racing schedule. Students get help organizing their week, explore task management tools, and practice using calendars. As they finish their assignments, all students in EYT share what they have done.

In EYT, rather than teaching a subject, Knower instructors help students learn to use their resources and take ownership of their academics. EYT does not include direct instruction in any specific subject, and it typically does not count toward credit on a transcript. Instead, EYT is designed to help students stay on track with whatever curriculum they are using for winterm.

What happens when they fall behind? Our Thursday Thirty Flip Communication from Knower to parents and coaches shows students the benefit of front-loading their academic week.

Thursday Thirty Flip Communication

Athletic training and academic learning are BOTH important; we teamed up with FSC coaches to design a simple, yet effective, way to show students that this is true.

Every Thursday, Knower sends an academic status check to coaches and families. We call it: Thursday Thirty Flip. Just as ski racers have to “make the thirty flip” to qualify for finals, our students have to earn their turn in the academic realm. Each student in EYT receives support to track and maintain their schedule and work list for the week. Our EYT lead helps them plan out a timeline, and verifies the work they have submitted. If, by the Thursday Thirty Flip, students are totally up to speed on their deadlines, they earn a free ski or open break on Friday. However, if students fall behind, we can do something about it.  On Thursday afternoon, we notify coaches and families and, if needed, we host a special “magic carpet” edition of EYT on Friday.

Rather than a punishment or criticism, this is a timely, clear, fair, real-world consequence. It’s also smart time management! Friday is the hard deadline, so we are showing students how to build a buffer and finish early, to create space to focus on their skiing over the weekend. EYT paired with the Thirty Flip offers an amazing opportunity for students to take ownership of their learning, avoid falling behind, and fix it if they do.

Eligible Students

  • U12, U14 & U16 athletes
  • home-school students
  • students in VLACS or other virtual classes
  • students enrolled at local schools who miss classes for training
  • all FSC students regardless of their curriculum or provider
  • included for students enrolled in the FSC/Knower Slopeside Academy
  • recommended for students in Knower Custom Winterm

Earn Your Turn (EYT) is helpful for students of all grades, and works well in the training and racing schedule for U12, U14 and U16 athletes. Some students in EYT are already working with Knower for their coursework, but students can also join EYT as a stand alone offering. This means that students who are enrolled in virtual or home-school classes, or still attending school locally, can benefit from the structure and support of this supervised study time after training.

Features & Costs


  • access to six (6) hours per week of guided, supervised study group
  • twice weekly meetings around the FSC training schedule
  • school environment on the mountain
  • structure and accountability for work completion
  • coaching for executive functioning skills
  • supervised homework time
  • “Thursday Thirty Flip” communication informs family and coaches of late work


  • We are currently working to determine a price point based on the number of interested families.
  • EYT is budgeted to price out at $200 to $350 per week, advance payment required, depending the number of students who enroll.

Earn Your Turn is the perfect base upon which to build a custom winterm!

Scroll down to read more about our new “Curriculum Choice”  academic model, designed to meet educational needs while offering families a range of price-points. 

Proceed to registration or set up a consultation ▸

See additional details on program costs, communications, rates, payment and refund policies.

Custom Academic Winterm

Many paths to the summit…

Our Curriculum Choice model provides top-tier educational opportunities, side-by-side with more affordable options.

Custom Winterm Design

✔ Schedule Alignment    ✔ Credit-Bearing Classes     ✔ Sending-School Coordination

Knower can adjust the curriculum we use for each subject, according to priority.

For example, as a way to lower the cost of winterm, Knower might teach challenging subjects one-to-one with sending school curriculum, but use a virtual curriculum for other classes.

Families can choose from these three curriculum options, listed below in order from most to least expensive…

  1. Knower’s Align Curriculum Architecture
  2. Sending-School Informed Curriculum
  3. Virtual Online/Homeschool Curriculum

Whether you are looking for a complete academic winterm experience, or only need support for some classes, consider having Knower design a Custom Winterm Learning Plan. We specialize in custom semesters and extended absences, and have a variety of options to find the best academic solutions for snow sport athletes. The process begins with a consultation. From there, we will design your learning plan and quote costs individually. All of our custom winterms include sending-school outreach, communication, and documentation.

Ideally, a custom winterm for FSC athletes uses the learning environment and structure provided by Earn Your Turn (EYT) as a starting point for seat time, learning environment, and supervision. From there, we fine tune the curriculum and amount of additional teaching needed for each subject.

As a standard formula, students need two hours of instruction per week, per subject, when working with a specialist one-to-one. If they struggle in a specific subject, or to complete work independently, more than two hours of instruction might be needed to stay up to speed. On the flip side, students who are strong in a subject area, or comfortable working independently, may be fine with a single session of one-to-one instruction per week. Knower often recommends Earn Your Turn guided study as part of your custom winterm, as it is the perfect venue for students to make the most progress in between their one-to-one sessions. We can also adjust which curriculum we use for each subject.

Learn more about our Custom Winterms ▸

Proceed to registration or set up a consultation ▸

See additional details on program costs, communications, rates, payment and refund policies.