Programs Designed to
Retain Figure Skaters

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San Diego Figure Skating Communications

Skating Actively During School

Achieving Full Potential in Skating Sports and Academics
      It is possible to achieve your full potential in achieving skating and academic goal. The key is to identify what needs you have, interest in pursuing, while matching your personality and other traits to insure that you have a natural aptitude for success in these areas.

      A middle or high school counselor or private physiologist can administer tests to help a student athlete focus on aptitude areas with a high probability of achieving success.

      There is no reason to sacrifice your education in order to skate. Education is a life long asset and it is an endurance race, not a sprint. Skating fame is brief and rather transitory in contributing to life goals and a career.

      To coordinate school and skating, start planing early in the spring for next fall. This is especially true when the athlete is changing from elementary school, to middle school, high school, or to attend college. It is the responsibility of the athlete and his/her parents to educate school officials about the opportunities afforded by participating in figure skating and the needs of a student/athlete.

      Ask around the rink - parents, skaters and coaches, to obtain help with many school related issues. It is very possible that skaters may have previously established a precedent with school officials while attending a school in your district.

      Ask your figure skating club to help intervene with local school principals, district administrators, and state Interscholastic Federation to recognize figure skating as legitimate athletic endeavor that helps athletes develop training habits that transfer into increased success in academic pursuits.

      Ice athletes who have similar, but differing training needs, would like to have a flexibility school schedule. Sports included are:
     The accommodations athletes seek from schools include:
  • Credit towards graduation for training at the rink in lieu of participation in the traditional Physical Education Classes.

  • Arrangement of school class schedule to allow starting school later or leaving early by reducing schedule to core academic courses.  Skaters would need to arrange to take classes necessary for graduation during summer sessions. Check local community colleges to see what courses are available to provide high school credit.

  • Guidelines for Independent Study for P.E.  (PDF)
  • Independent study home schooling programs affiliated with the local public school system.
  • Charter schooling programs affiliated with the local public school system

Approaching School Administrators
     Help the school and counselors help you plan in advance to organize your schedule, arrange for physical education credit, and legally take time off to compete in competitions. The goal is to receive the same treatment as other school athletes - make up tests and have teachers assign homework that can be completed through independent study. 

     One approach is to ask to establish a figure skating club at the middle and high school level. It would be very helpful if other USFS clubs, in close proximity in the region, would join in an effort to establish a similar proposal so a schedule of meets could be included in the proposal.  Don't attempt to have an ice skating team (hockey, speed, curling, or figure skating) as a varsity sport at your first meeting.  The expenses of the club teams will have to be the responsibility of parents due to the extreme budget constraints facing most school districts throughout the USA.

     Don't setup the school administration to refuse to help. Inquiries that are made at the start of a new school year are likely to encounter administrative resistance because they are busy with urgent problems about student schedules, balancing classroom numbers, and possible reassignment of teachers. It is not surprising that they can not spare the time to deal with sports related issues at this time.

     Policy changes can take six months to a year to navigate through the necessary channels. If someone has previously established a precedent, you generally will encounter far fewer problems. It is very helpful if someone, who has an elementary, junior or senior high school teaching credential, can be recruited to monitor the skaters at the rink and complete the paperwork the district requires.

     If the school does not allow credit for participating in an independent skating program, there is a packet of materials on independent study for physical education that is available from the USFS School Programs Committee. It may help if you present this easy outline to your physical education department. Contact Ian Macadam, National Vice Chair, School Programs  eMail.

Individual Skating Competitors

     Qualifying competition (regional) announcements are available after Sept. 1.  Increasingly clubs hosting regional competitions are including non-qualifying events to defray expenses.  Rinks that have double sheets of ice can reduce the need to begin regionals on Wednesday or Thursday. This reduces the interruption of the skaters school attendance to one day.

     After skaters qualify for sectionals and national competitions, school administrators are more likely to work with the relatively smaller numbers to receive an independent study program to allow the athletes catch up with their classmates for the time they will be absent.

     Novice-level skaters and above can fill out a request for USFS Headquarters to send a letter of support for the student's absence. USFS club officers should prepare a letter for all other skaters to use to support their case. Teams should ask for a letter supporting the team members absence.

     If your skater qualifies for sectionals and again for the U.S. Championships, you can download the School Absence Support Letter on this page to take to your school. A letter of congratulations addressed to your skater's school is sent to the skater's home address. Parents can then take the letter and certificate to the school for recognition.

School Absence Support Letter (PDF)

Synchronized Absence Support Letter (PDF)

Theater On Ice School Absence Support Letter (PDF)

High School Seniors Letters Supporting College Admissions
     Graduating senior letters applied for in the spring of your junior year could be prepared by U.S. Figure Skating in time for college entrance applications if the information is provided in a timely manner.

     An athlete can print the form in their junior and/or senior year and write a summary of all their skating accomplishments. If they are requested in the fall of your senior year, they will be sent to your school for the school to present you at an appropriate time in the spring.

2010-11 Graduating Seniors Program Info and Application (PDF)

Personal Copy of USFS Rulebook
     This publication contains all of the rules and regulations that govern the sport of figure skating in the USA. Part of the publications received is a U.S. Figure Skating directory that contains current listings of all the committees, their members and their phone numbers. Call Headquarters (719) 635-5200 to order a rulebook. It is a wealth of information and an absolute necessity for any skater or coach.

School Programs are under the auspices of the Program Development Committee.

Source 2011 USFS Website

Recommended Reading:

Prioritize an Athletes Education


Learn to Skate Program

Table of Contents - Basic Skills Bridge Program Handbook

Team Ice Skating Sports

High School Skating Clubs


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

High School Skating Clubs
USFS High School Skating Clubs & Teams
Skating Actively During School
Ice Skating During High School
High School Team Skating Programs
PDF  Member Application School Affiliated Club
PDF  How to Start a High School Program

All materials are copy protected. 

The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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