_Many Youth Initiative students play high school sports. YIHS students have an array of options for participating in interscholastic athletics. YIHS students, girls and boys, can fully participate with the Driftless United Futbol (soccer) team and the Viroqua Blackhawk Hockey team, which have junior varsity and varsity levels. YIHS has recently started its own WIAA-certified girls volleyball team--the Lazers! Sports such as football, baseball, basketball, track and field, tennis, cross country and others are offered through the local public school. With special arrangement, YIHS students have participated in these sports.
The Youth Initiative High School was founded in 1996 when a group of high school students from the Viroqua area decided to take responsibility for their education. Today, YIHS continues to emphasize the development of student responsibility, initiative, and citizenship in all aspects of school life. Students are full voting members of the school community, serving alongside parents and faculty on the Board of Directors and on many other committees. YIHS students also take responsibility for raising a significant part of the school’s annual budget through a variety of independently organized fundraising activities. They are also responsible for cleaning and maintaining the school’s facilities.
YIHS uses the Waldorf curriculum, which is based on the ideas of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925). Waldorf schools exist on all continents, with over 700 schools worldwide. Working out of an image of the human being as a three-fold human being consisting of body, soul, and spirit, Waldorf education strives to integrate head, heart, and hands into the fabric of school life. On the basis of this philosophy, YIHS pursues a balance of academic rigor in the sciences, humanities, and foreign languages, compassion and cooperation in social life, and creativity and excellence in the practical and fine arts.
YIHS is an independent high school and does not receive substantial funds from federal, state, or local government. Tuition at YIHS is arranged on a flexible basis in order to enable students from families of all income levels to participate in the school, with several students each year working to pay their own tuition. YIHS has been recognized as a Developing Member of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and our graduates have been accepted to colleges and universities throughout the United States and overseas.
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The Youth Initiative High School is located in the Landmark Center, 500 East Jefferson Street (4 blocks East of Main Street) in the city of Viroqua (population approx. 4000) in Wisconsin, USA. Viroqua is 35 miles South of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and 100 miles Northwest of Madison, Wisconsin.