Kitsap Ski School Students Caught Off Guard by Decrease in Attendance

Kitsap Ski School was started in 1969 by the Kitsap School district for students to sign up for ski lessons and a bus ride up to Stevens Pass, however has recently experienced a decrease in attendance.


Ryder Swellington

Kitsap Ski students sitting on a slope, enjoying a snow-soda (snowda) concoction

by JJ Jenkins, Reporter, Copy Editor

Kitsap Ski School is a program run through the Central Kitsap School District that allows students to take a bus ride up every Saturday in January through February to Stevens Pass Ski Resort to learn to ski or experience skiing. Kitsap Ski School provides students with opportunities to meet new people and have a unique experience on the slopes.

The 2023 Kitsap Ski School year was the first since COVID outbreak in 2020. Kitsap Ski School had been canceled in the years 2021 and 2022 due to quarantine restrictions. The subsequent cancellation of Kitsap Ski School resulted in a vast decrease in students who attended.

In previous years of Kitsap Ski School there were six buses: three for middle school students and three for high school students that were always completely packed two to a seat. The 2023 Kitsap Ski School year had a vast decrease in students, downsizing to two buses for the entirety of the students and chaperones. One bus for middle school students and one bus for high school students.

“It’s a problem,” said CKHS senior Noah Walsh. “If we don’t have enough students I don’t know how long ski school would continue for considering how little people there were this year compared to last years.”

Kitsap Ski School is also not advertised inside of schools a noticeable amount, many students have never heard of ski school due to this. Due to the coronavirus outbreak forcing Kitsap Ski school to cancel the 2021 and 2022 ski school years, many students had graduated that used to attend ski school.

“I had never heard of ski school before until 7th grade,” said Walsh. “I actually heard of it through one of my friends, also the fact that quarantine happened it didn’t exactly help with the amount of students, there used to be like six or seven buses full of students but this year there were literally two. What happened?”

Students are afraid of Kitsap Ski School shutting down due to the large decrease in students who attended the 2023 ski school year and the lack of advertising at their school.

“I think it would be a great idea if the schools would advertise ski school,” said Walsh. “I legit only heard about it through my friend so I definitely don’t think they advertise it enough, maybe putting up fliers before it happens or having an assembly about it maybe, or treat it as an actual sport.”

Kitsap Ski School is not an official sport of any Kitsap schools.

“I would like to see skiing as an actual sport run through the school eventually,” said Walsh. “I graduate this year but I think it would be really cool to see our school have a ski team, I mean a lot of people attend ski school anyways or used to, maybe when they get more students.”

Kitsap Ski students celebrating at bottom of a slope after a successful trip (Savannah Fourier)
Kitsap Ski students on top of a slope heading down the mountain (JJ Jenkins)