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Snow-covered trees

Sevison Winter Science, Survival & Stewardship

Sevison Winter Science, Survival & Stewardship (SWSSS) is a new program piloted in 2022/23 at North Tahoe School (NTS) in memory of Lance Sevison, a former NTS students who passed away in a snow storm related accident as a 6th grader on March 2, 1976.


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What is this program? Students are led through the woods on snowshoes where small groups discuss topics of climate change, extreme weather, safety protocol for blizzard conditions, how to leave the house prepared and what to do if you should get stranded in a storm.

How does this program work? Students learn important skills for building their own “quinzhee”, a snow shelter made from a large pile of snow that is shaped and then hollowed. They also learn skills to help with winter road safety, sledding hazards and tree-well dangers. The pilot was a huge success and SWEP expanded this very important and popular program in the winter of 2023/24. We see a gap in our community where underserved students do not have access to critical snow preparedness, winter survival and snow safety education and this program fills this gap to make sure all of our students are safe while recreating and exploring the outdoors in winter.

Who can participate in this program? This program is tailored to 6th grade students.

Where is this program offered? This program is offered at North Tahoe and Alder Creek Middle Schools.

For more information contact SWEP's Project Director, Ashley Phillips, at

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