Case Study

Teammates on the Ice and in the Classroom

July 11, 2021
Northern Cyclones Junior Hockey Academy, MA


As the Northern Cyclones youth hockey program expanded from a small organization of mostly local skaters—almost all of them high school graduates—to a five-team junior hockey league with student athletes from across the U.S., providing educational support became a priority. The family-owned program is committed to college and career preparation for long-term success both on and off the ice. Many of its players will go on to play hockey in college or in semi-professional leagues around the world, but for many others, the sport will not be their primary focus as young adults.


The Northern Cyclones partner with Apex Learning Virtual School (ALVS) to offer a private online high school option for families whose student athletes live near its rinks in New Hampshire, just north of the Boston metro area. The flexibility of ALVS courses accommodates the skaters’ busy practice and travel schedules. And the Northern Cyclones’ Director of Learning and Academics, Janet Sisson, is able to monitor students’ progress 24/7 via an online dashboard.


ALVS integrates seamlessly into the educational side of the Northern Cyclones program, offering a diverse and challenging array of courses plus the support and scaffolding to ensure that student athletes can handle the academic rigor. Families who are balancing the cost of ice time, room, and board appreciate the financial options ALVS offers. Most importantly, the college acceptance rate for ALVS students is 100%.

ALVS Solutions

  • Full-time virtual high school
  • Flexible options for student athletes and educators
  • College and career readiness

School Profile

  • Location: Boston metro area
  • League: Eastern Hockey Federation
  • Student athletes: 100


  • College acceptance rate for ALVS student athletes: 100%
  • In 2017-2018, students scored 200 points higher on SAT® than national average


“The ALVS curriculum is diverse and challenging—and never easier than a traditional brick-and-mortar school. There is a wide range of AP, Honors, and elective courses. Their teachers are professional and responsive.”


Janet Sisson

Director of Learning and Academics