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Alpine Skiing/Snowblading/Snowboarding

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Elementary - Curricular 2018

This activity page must be presented to the activity provider prior to the activity taking place. The activity provider must meet the minimum requirements listed on this page. For more information on planning trips using outside providers, consult Appendix O - Outside Activity Providers.

A teacher must be the supervisor in charge of the alpine skiing/snowboarding/snowblading trip/activity.

A volunteer supervisor is an individual who is 18 years of age or older who is approved by the principal and has received instructions on their duties as a supervisor on the alpine skiing/snowblading/snowboarding trip/activity.

OSBIE/OSRA’s School Board/Snow Resort Safety Guidelines for Out-of-School Trips for Winter Sports Education Program is a resource that can assist in planning ski/snowboard trips.

Equipment

A fully stocked first aid kit must be readily accessible. (Consult Appendix D – Sample First Aid Kit)

A working communication device (e.g., cell phone) must be accessible.

Determine that all equipment is safe for use (e.g., no sharp edges, sharp corners, cracks, or splinters). Students must be encouraged to report equipment problems to the teacher.

When skiing/snowblading or snowboarding at facilities both within and outside of Ontario a properly fitted (as per manufacturer’s guidelines) and properly worn snow sport helmet certified by a recognized safety standards association (e.g. ASTM F2040, CEN 1077, Snell RS98, CSA Z263.1) must be worn.

Parents/guardians must be informed:

  • that their child/ward must wear a properly fitted (as per manufacturer’s guidelines) and properly worn snow sport helmet certified by a recognized safety standards organization (e.g. ASTM F2040, CEN 1077, Snell RS98, CSA Z263.1) as appropriate for skiing/snowblading or snowboarding;
  • of the importance of their child/ward wearing wrist guards for snowboarding;
  • that when their child/ward uses their own personal equipment or borrows equipment:
    • of the importance of instructing their child/ward on how to wear their helmet properly;
    • an equipment inspection by a knowledgeable equipment technician must take place prior to the activity to ensure:
      • skis, snowboards and poles are appropriate for the size and ability of the student;
      • all bindings are in working order and set to the proper tension;
      • all bindings meet current guidelines;
      • boots and bindings are thoroughly compatible.

When renting equipment, the facility operator must provide:

  • boards, skis and poles appropriate for the size and ability of the student;
  • boards and skis with edges in good condition;
  • an inspection and adjustment of boots and bindings by a knowledgeable equipment technician on-site;
  • snow sport helmets that are in good condition and are certified by a recognized safety standards organization (e.g. ASTM F2040, CEN 1077, Snell RS 98, CSA Z263.1);
  • a check that rental helmets are properly fitted (as per manufacturer’s guidelines) and properly worn.

Clothing/Footwear/Jewellery

Appropriate clothing and footwear for outdoor activity must be worn (e.g. use layering principles, hats, mitts or gloves). (“Comfort Tips” guidelines from the Ontario Snow Resorts Association can assist skiers/snowboarders in determining appropriate clothing for a comfortable outdoor snow sport activity.) Long scarves are not permitted.

Long hair must be secured. Devices (for example, hair pins, clips and barrettes) used to tie back long hair must not present a safety concern.

Facilities

Determine that all facilities are safe for use. Students must be encouraged to report facility problems to the teacher.

Commercially-operated ski facilities with suitable teaching areas (gentle slopes) must be used.

The area must be patrolled by members of a recognized ski patrol.

The facility provider must define skiing area to the students so they are aware of the boundaries and hazards for the activity.

When running takes place off school site for a warm, conditioning run and/or is an integral part of the activity:

  • Coaches must do a safety check ‘walk through’ in order to identify potential problems prior to initial use of route or course.
  • Coaches must outline to the students the route or course (e.g., notice of areas to approach with caution) before the start of the run.
  • Coaches must determine that students are not crossing busy intersections unless directly supervised.

Special Rules/Instructions

Be aware of students whose medical condition (e.g., asthma, anaphylaxis, casts, previous concussion, orthopaedic device) may affect participation. (Consult Fundamentals of Safety)

Students must not participate in the activity until they receive information on concussion prevention specific to the activity, inherent risks of the activity (e.g. outline possible risks and ways to minimize the risks), and procedures and rules for safe play. Students must receive instruction on the importance of reporting symptoms related to a suspected concussion.

Activities must be modified according to the age, ability level, language, and experience of students and the facility available.

Previous training, fitness level and the length of time and intensity of physical activity must be taken into consideration.

Activities must be based on skills that are taught.

Skills must be taught in proper progression.

A proper warm-up and cool-down must be included.

All students must be tested and grouped appropriately as determined by a qualified skiing/snowblading or snowboarding instructor.

An instructional component is mandatory for all students at all levels of ability.

Students must be taught the importance of controlled skiing/snowblading/snowboarding at all times.

Students must ski/snowblade/snowboard in areas identified as appropriate by the qualified instructor.

In order to ski/snowblade/snowboard in more challenging areas of the facility/site, specific instruction must be given (e.g., instruction on the mogul hill, instruction on the half-pipe/terrain park).

Students must be instructed to keep a safe distance from each other (e.g., 2-3m) to prevent interference/tripping one another.

Review with the students prior to the trip:

  • Emergency procedures
  • A properly fitted (as per manufacturer’s guidelines) and properly worn snow sport helmet certified by a recognized safety standards association (e.g. ASTM F2040, CEN 1077, Snell RS 98, CSA Z263.1) as appropriate for skiing/snowblading or snowboarding must be worn
  • The importance of wearing wrist guards for snowboarding
  • Possible risks of the activity (e.g., the dangers of impact with obstacles, notably: trees, lift towers, fences and snow-making and –grooming equipment) and the ways to minimize them and participate safely (e.g., watching a safety video such as A Little Respect: ThinkFirst).
  • An instructional component, that includes the proper wearing and use of equipment, is mandatory for all students at all levels of ability.
  • All students must be tested and grouped appropriately as determined by a qualified skiing/snowblading/snowboarding instructor.
  • The importance of:
    • skiing/snowblading and snowboarding only on designated trails commensurate with ability as determined by snow resort teaching staff
    • selecting proper clothing for the activity and weather of the day (e.g., no jeans)
    • taking rest/breaks during the day and not getting overtired
  • Safety procedures related to cold weather conditions (e.g., temperature, wind chill) and methods for preventing, recognizing and treating frostbite and hypothermia
  • Ways to protect themselves from environmental conditions (e.g. use of hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, personal water bottles)
  • Activities that are not permitted including no jumping activities no and inversions (hips must be below head level at all times)
  • The Alpine Responsibility Code
  • Lift use guidelines
  • (Where appropriate) freestyle terrain information

Refer to the school board’s transportation procedures related to communicating with parents/guardians the location of an off-site activity and the means of transportation used as well as to the need for obtaining parent/guardian permission.

Parents/guardians must be informed of the following:

  • location of activity is off school property
  • means of transportation
  • education program content:
    • assigned groups by ability
    • mandatory lesson
    • designation of trails commensurate with ability as determined by snow resort teaching staff (e.g. progressive sticker procedure, opportunity to upgrade)
  • importance of wearing suitable clothing
  • importance of sun protection
  • The Alpine Responsibility Code
  • (Where appropriate) freestyle terrain information

Adequate liquid replacement (personal water bottles, water fountains) must be accessible for students before, during and after physical activity to prevent dehydration.

Environmental Considerations

When environmental conditions may pose a risk to student safety (e.g. thunderstorms [lightning] or student(s) with asthma, triggered by air quality), teachers must take into consideration their board/school’s protocols and procedures related to:

  • environmental conditions (consult Appendices F-1 to F-6: Lightning Protocol, Sample Air Quality Index, Sample Temperature, Tornado, Ultra Violet Index, and Wind Velocity Preparedness Guides]); and
  • snow conditions (e.g. snow/ice storms) and visibility.

Students must receive instruction on safety procedures related to environmental conditions and be made aware of ways to protect themselves (e.g. frostbite, hypothermia).

The school board’s weather procedures are the minimum standards at all times. In situations where a higher standard of care is presented (e.g., outside activity providers, facility/program coordinators), the higher standard of care must be followed.

Supervision

In-the-area supervision is required.

Responsibilities of all supervisors must be clearly outlined, including circulating to all hills/terrains that students are using for skiing/snowblading/snowboarding and in the chalet facility.

All supervisors must:

  • be familiar with applicable elements of this activity page; and
  • be aware of risks of the activity and the ways to minimize them and participate safely (e.g., watching a safety video such as A Little Respect: ThinkFirst.

A process must be in place by which supervisors can contact students (e.g., check-in time).

Supervisor Ratios

  • Grades 1-3: 1 supervisor per 4 students
  • Grades 1-3 Chair Supervision: 1 adult on every chair
  • Grades 4-6: 1 supervisor per 10 students
  • Grades 7-8: 1 supervisor per 12 students

First Aid

Follow the school's first aid emergency response (consult Appendix E - Sample First Plan and Sample First Aid Emergency Response) and the school board’s concussion protocol (consult the Concussion section).

An emergency action plan and response to deal with evacuations and lock downs must be followed and communicated to students.

Also see Fundamentals of Safety section to view complete safety requirements.