August 17, 2021
Dear Osprey Students and Families,

In the interest of the health of our students, staff and community-at-large, as well as to support as much in-person learning as possible, AHS will continue to follow COVID mitigation recommendations from CDC, CDPHE, SJBPH, and will align with our local 9R School District by requiring universal masking for all students, staff, teachers, and visitors while indoors, regardless of vaccination status for the start of the 2021/22 school year. Masks will also be required on school buses, per federal law. 

Additional COVID mitigation strategies in place at AHS for the start of the 2021/22 school year include:

  • encouragement of frequent hand hygiene
  • increased ventilation 
  • enhanced cleaning measures
  • encouragement of social distance between individuals
  • outdoor activities when possible
  • contact tracing/quarantine/isolation as appropriate

Having our students all return to school 5 days a week, with all classes, including electives meeting in-person and students able to have classes and activities with students beyond a small cohort has our staff energized and excited for the year ahead! We recognize that many of us had hoped we’d be in a different situation this fall, free from the need to implement COVID mitigation strategies. While we can understand this disappointment, our hope is that our resilient Osprey community will choose to focus on the positives.
 
We are hopeful that we will be able to sustain in-person learning, given our high AHS student and staff vaccination rates. We will meet a 70% vaccination rate for our students by the time campus opens and already have a 100% vaccination rate for our teachers, which allows us to quarantine less often than if these rates were lower.

We appreciate the unified perspective that uninterrupted in-person learning is the top priority for students, staff and families. Thank you to all who participated in our surveys. We have thoughtfully reviewed all responses and the majority of students, parents, and staff are in support of mitigation efforts, including masking, that will allow our school to stay fully open. 

As we have all experienced this last year, things can change rapidly with COVID. Please keep in mind that our mitigation plans could become more or less restrictive during the school year, depending on our local transmission rates, evolving data surrounding the Delta variant and vaccine efficacy, executive orders and/or changes in guidelines from SJBPH, CDC, and CDPHE.


Symptom Screening and When to Stay Home
Please stay home from school when having any COVID-like symptoms, regardless of your vaccination status. We are not requiring families to complete an online symptom screener at this time. Please reference this At-Home Symptom Screening for Parents and Staff to determine when it is best to stay home. 

When your student is staying home from school, please contact our Registrar/Main Office Manager Maureen Truax at mainoffice@animashighschool.com and please cc etoile.hening@animashighschool.com including symptom information.
 
We are required to follow the Return to Learn Guidance from CDPHE when students/staff are symptomatic, regardless of vaccination status. When symptomatic, please contact our health consultant, Etoile Hening, RN, BSN at etoile.hening@animashighschool.com or 970-769-9030 regardless of your vaccination status for appropriate guidance on when to return to campus after experiencing any COVID symptoms.
 

In the Event of Exposure: Updated Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines
Our hope is that, given our high vaccination rates, we will experience less disruption to learning overall this year while following the CDPHE/CDC guidelines for schools surrounding quarantine and isolation.
 
  • Both fully vaccinated and those that have provided documentation of a positive COVID test result within the previous 90 days will generally not be required to quarantine following any type of COVID exposures, unless symptomatic, in which case isolation will be required. 

  • In accordance with CDPHE and CDC, if masks are worn properly over the mouth and nose by both the case and the contact during the time of exposure, the contact should not be required to quarantine following a typical low-risk classroom exposure, regardless of vaccination status. 
 
  • Quarantine will be required for high-risk exposures (masks not worn or not worn properly/consistently, any direct physical contact, within 3 feet for extended period of time) for the unvaccinated. It is important to note that direct physical contact (ex. hugging, hand holding) of any duration will be evaluated as an exposure with quarantine required for non vaccinated individuals, regardless of masking. Direct contact does not have a time component.
 
Please see this guidance on how to quarantine and how long quarantine lasts. A person should not attend work, school, or out of school activities if they are under quarantine following an exposure in school. 
 
If a person develops symptoms of COVID-19 during their quarantine period, they should begin isolation. Isolation will be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated who become symptomatic following a known exposure.
 
Students will be asked to return home immediately if they come to campus prior to their determined quarantine/isolation end date.
 

When to Test
Even fully vaccinated students may need to get tested to avoid the recommended 10-day isolation, depending on the severity and duration of COVID-like symptoms.
Both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, regardless if symptoms are present or not, and wear a mask in all public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. It's also important to monitor for the onset of symptoms for a full 14 days as well. An individual could turn positive even after a negative test initially. 
 
Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to test weekly due to the high risk of asymptomatic spread.
 
Flu Vaccines
All students and staff are encouraged to get a flu vaccine as soon as they are available locally as transmission of the flu virus is on the rise earlier than usual. Symptoms of the Flu and COVID can be similar, but exclusion from school is required for all symptoms similar to COVID, regardless of vaccination status. Staying healthy will help keep students in school.
 
 
Thank you for your ongoing support, engagement and trust in our school community. We cannot wait to welcome students back to campus next week!
Upcoming AHS Events

AHS Board Meeting: Thurs. 8/19, 5:30-7:30pm at AHS

9th Grade Orientation: Mon. 8/23, Tues. 8/24 and Wed. 8/25, 8:25am to 3:30pm

10th Grade Orientation: Tues. 8/24 and Wed. 8/25, 8:25am to 3:30pm

11th Grade Orientation: Tues. 8/24 and Wed. 8/25, 8:25am to 3:30pm

12th Grade Orientation: Wed. 8/25, 6:45am to 3:30pm

Academic Classes Begin (all grades): Thurs. 8/26, 8:25am to 3:30pm

NEST Meeting and Student Activity Fair: Wed. 9/1, 1:40-3:30pm

Senior and Family College Information Night: Thurs. 9/2,5:30-7pm at AHS

Parent/Guardian Orientation: Tues. 9/7, 5:30-6:30pm at AHS

XBlock Classes Begin: Wed. 9/8

1st Semester Add/Drop Period Ends: Thurs. 9/9

Back to School Social: Fri. 9/17, 5-7pm
Animas High School prepares all students for college and postsecondary success by creating critical thinkers and engaged citizens through an innovative, student-centered, project-based curriculum. We accomplish this through:
Rigorous academics, where all students are prepared for college success
Culture of excellence, where students are held to high expectations
Strong student-faculty relationships, where students are well known.
Engaging learning, where students see the relevance in their education