Craftsbury Outdoor Sports Academy

What is COSA?

The Craftsbury Outdoor Sports Academy (COSA) is now headed into its third season in 2019-2020. Craftsbury Academy, the public school in Craftsbury Common, and the Craftsbury Outdoor Center started the program in 2017 as a joint academic and athletic venture. 

COSA student-athletes have the opportunity to combine their Nordic ski training at the Outdoor Center with the academic program at Craftsbury Academy. The Outdoor Center provides coaching support through its existing Nordic programming and the Academy supports those goals by offering participating students academic flexibility. By providing a schedule that allows for specific, scheduled morning free periods and some longer-term accommodation for competition travel, COSA allows for more time on snow to pursue training and racing goals in tandem with the Academy’s public school curriculum. There are online class options and tutoring available to accommodate the times students miss regular school periods for morning training.

Five high school students and two middle school students took part in COSA in the first year, and skiers had a number of outstanding results in its first two seasons, including multiple All-American and podium performances at Junior Nationals. 

Headed into 2019-2020, coaches and school administrators chose not to add new students to the COSA roster to be able to focus instead on adjusting and developing the program for existing students, including a number of rising freshmen. We expect to solicit new applications again in the spring of 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year. All interested students are encouraged to apply, both within the Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club community and beyond. 


Our mission is to provide expanded educational and athletic opportunities to Vermont students by integrating Craftsbury Academy and Craftsbury Outdoor Center programs.


  1. Attract more students to Craftsbury Academy and the excellent academic opportunities that it offers.

  2. Enable athletes to further their athletic goals while remaining in local public schools.

  3. Further cement the life lessons taught through training and competition in outdoor sports.

  4. Simplify daily academic/athletic schedules for families and improve communication between coaches and school staff.


The program will be primarily staffed by current Craftsbury Outdoor Center and Craftsbury Academy employees.


Students must be entering at least 7th grade to apply. Students not yet in high school will typically not participate in morning training but will participate in afternoon training. Admission as a full-time athlete to the Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club is a prerequisite to attending the Craftsbury Outdoor Sports Academy.

Applications will require the following:

  • Academic transcript

  • Letter of recommendation from a current teacher (for applicants not already attending Craftsbury Academy)

  • Interview with CNSC coaches and participation in a training session (if student does not already ski for the club)

  • Personal essay

  • Current training log for U16s and up

Click here for the COSA application.
Click here for the teacher recommendation form.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Late February: school choice request forms due to your home school (deadline varies depending on school—for many it is March 1, but some are earlier)

  • March 1: school administrators must submit school choice requests to Winooski Valley Regional Public School Choice Collaborative

  • March 20: COSA applications due

  • April 1: COSA decisions sent out and school choice lottery results announced

  • April 15: Winooski Valley Region Public School Choice Collaborative commitments

  • May 1: commitments due to COSA

Structure and schedule

Academic and training schedules vary depending on the individual. Freshmen and sophomores usually have two hour-long morning training periods per week. Upperclassmen and students who complete summer coursework tend to have more flexibility for extended and more frequent morning training periods. 

Teachers and students work together to make up missed class time, whether through online study or tutoring.

Tuition and fees

Out-of-town students without school choice will be required to pay tuition set at the real per-student cost to Craftsbury taxpayers. Tuition for 2018-2019 was $15,500, and generally fluctuates slightly around that amount every year.

Craftsbury Academy has two lottery spots available in 2020-2021. Applicants are welcome to apply via the lottery system, but know that this option is open to any student whose school participates in the Winooski Valley Region Regional Public School Choice Collaborative. Selection via the lottery is based on a random draw done by the Collaborative; results of that draw are usually announced in early April.

Additionally, program participants will be expected to pay regular program fees for Outdoor Center programs. Craftsbury Outdoor Sports Academy students will pay a higher cost for ski programming due to the extra sessions. For COSA high school students, the winter fee won’t exceed $1,000. The middle school winter fee is expected to be approximately $500.


The Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club currently offers scholarships for program participants in need. The club intends to continue to make those scholarships available for the skiing portion of the program. 

Funding has not yet been identified for families hoping to offset tuition costs, but we will continue to explore possibilities. The Craftsbury School board is highly motivated to find opportunities for academic scholarships to become a reality.


Depending on home locations of students, there are various options. Craftsbury Academy buses currently pick up students in the morning in Wolcott (at Wolcott Elementary and at the Mennonite church on Route 15), Hardwick (at the intersection of Routes 14 and 15), and Greensboro (at the Lakeview school). Craftsbury Academy and the Outdoor Center will work together to transport students between the school and the Outdoor Center. We are also looking into other transportation possibilities with various local transportation organizations. The intention is to minimize the driving burden on parents.


  1. Maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA per quarter

  2. Maintain and update a training log

  3. Regularly attend training sessions year-round, including summer

  4. Participate in a fall sport (cross-country running, independent mountain bike races, or a combination of the two)

  5. Maintain satisfactory communication with teachers and coaches

  6. If appropriate, conduct a relevant independent study to earn PE or elective credit


Merri Greenia, Craftsbury Academy Principal:  or 802-586-2541 

Anna Schulz, CNSC Coach: or 802-586-7767 x344 

Audrey Mangan, CNSC Coach: or 802-586-7767 x344


1. As a COSA athlete, would I be able to compete in the VPA for the Craftsbury Academy fall and spring sports teams?

Yes. We highly encourage students to participate in cross-country running races, if interested, in order to stay in touch with racing intensity throughout the fall. Students interested in playing soccer will need to discuss their fall training plan with both skiing and fall sport coaches.

2. As a COSA athlete, would I be able to compete in the VPA for the Craftsbury Academy ski team?

It depends. Seventh and eighth graders in the COSA program may compete in middle school VPA races as they will not exceed the maximum number of practices per week (five) in which VPA athletes are allowed to participate. Ninth graders and above, however, will exceed this limit between morning and afternoon training, and may not compete in VPA ski races.

3. What happens if I apply for the lottery spot via the Winooski Valley Region Regional Public School Choice Collaborative but don’t get it?

You may still pay full tuition to attend Craftsbury Academy, and you may always apply to the lottery again in future years.

4. If I live in a town like Wolcott, Stannard, Walden, and others who currently have school choice, will I be able to continue to use school choice to attend Craftsbury Academy?


5. Can I just buy property in Craftsbury in order to attend the Academy without paying full tuition?

In order to attend Craftsbury Academy without paying tuition, Craftsbury has to be your primary residence.