February 26, 2016
9th grader Abby Allsopp shares her digital portfolio with her parents at SLCs
Greetings Osprey Community,

Many thanks to our families for engaging in important conversations during Student-Led Conferences this week.  SLCs provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their learning an growth midway through the semester and to make plans moving forward that set them up for success, and we appreciate parents taking time to be part of the process.  Thank you, too, to Osprey parents Janet Wolf and Lucy Bryson for providing a fortifying and delicious dinner for our staff during SLCs!

If you would like to learn more about the potential changes to the daily schedule for next fall, please join us on Monday evening of next week, from 5:30 to 6:30 in Lori Fisher's classroom.  Yesterday, we discussed the proposed schedule with all students in math classes; the response was very positive, with students excited about the way this schedule would give students more choice, support college preparation and deepen project-based learning.  The AHS Board of Directors will discuss the schedule change at their meeting next Wednesday evening, 5:30 to 7:30, in Ashley Carruth's classroom.  All are welcome.

Head of School Sean Woytek at the Colorado League of Charter Schools conference this week, where he presented about building positive school culture
Students enrolled in the iAM Music Exploratory will showcase what they've learned during lunch next Thursday in a mini-concert--hopefully outdoors if the weather cooperates.  Speaking of musical Ospreys, if you're looking for something to do this Saturday evening, drop by the Irish Embassy for a barn dance with old time music from the Six Dollar String Band, featuring Humanities teacher Stephen Sellers on the upright bass and Brendan Shafer, who taught Algebra at AHS last fall, on the banjo.  Nice article in today's Durango Herald about the gig!

Mark your calendar now and please plan to join us on Monday, March 7 at the Animas City Theatre, when we will screen the highly impactful documentary film Most Likely to Succeed.  When we first showed the film in the fall with Mountain Middle School at Fort Lewis College, those who attended were so inspired that we decided we wanted all our students to view it; our second screening was during POL prep in December.  AHS founders are sponsoring this third screening so that more families and community members can see for themselves just how High Tech High's use of project-based learning is helping students build the 21st century skills and knowledge our changing world requires.  We'll kick off the event at 6:00 with a reception, featuring examples of Animas student work, with the film starting at 6:30.  After the movie, we'll have a seminar-style conversation with parents, students, founders and staff, diving into how AHS has made HTH's model our own and discussing where we are heading next as a school.

the first official meeting of the fledgling Animas Alumni Association, earlier this week
With just three months left until the Class of 2016 leaves the nest, the time has come to begin planning for graduation activities.  All seniors and their families should plan to attend the Graduation Meeting on Tuesday, March 8 from 5:30 to 6:30 in Noble Hall 130 on the Fort Lewis College campus to learn important information about graduation week events, ordering announcements and gowns and more.

The annual AHS Parent Survey will close this Sunday night.  Please make your voice heard!  It takes just a few minutes online and you can access the Parent Survey here .

Many thanks for all you do to help the Ospreys soar!
Upcoming AHS Events
  • View the 2015-16 AHS School Calendar here  

LINK Internship Spotlight: GRNM Law

LINK Internships are ONE WEEK AWAY for all our juniors!
This week, the focus is on Keiran Eagen, who is interested in a career in business or law. For the first half of the school year, he was planning to learn about business by interning at a bike shop but second semester he decided to push his comfort levels and intern with a local law firm instead. At GRNM Law in downtown Durango, he'll have the opportunity to work with multiple lawyers in a diverse areas of criminal and civil law as he explores this as a potential field of study for the future! Good luck, Keiran!

Remember to pencil in the dates for the LINK Exhibitions to hear more about the juniors' experiences while they spread their wings in March!

Tuesday, April 26: Business Internships
Wednesday, April 27: STEM Internships
Thursday, April 28: Arts Internships

Schoola Clothing Drive
by Lyle Bryson

Animas High School's Student Council will be hosting a Schoola Clothing Drive the week of February 29 through March 4. Schoola collects "pre-loved women's and children's clothes," which are then prepped and sold online at a discounted price. The best part is, Schoola gives 40% of the proceeds back to Animas High School to help fund programs for our students. It's a win-win!  

If you are interested in donating clothes and getting a head start on spring cleaning, this is the perfect time to do it. Nothing says "I'm ready for spring" like getting rid of that winter-closet clutter! Plus, Schoola ensures that every step of the donation process is as simple as possible.

Interested in donating? Grab all the old, clean, CHILDREN'S and WOMEN'S clothes from  the depths of your closet, and pack them nicely in a garbage bag. Bring your bags to the collection bins across from Roxy's classroom in the Jesse Hutt wing and get a label from Ashley Hein at her desk to attach to the bags. BOOM! You're done.

Student Council will handle all shipping/waiting in long post office lines so that you don't have to. If this drive is successful, we will strongly consider hosting more in the future. Thank you in advance for your participation!

Spanish 3 Exhibition
by Kate Hallin
With multilingualism an increasingly valuable asset in an increasingly connected world, modern schools such as Animas are putting a large effort into locally-relevant language classes.  One class in particular stands out as a notably good example of effective language study.  Taught by Crystal Pennington, Spanish 3 has recently completed a comprehensive speaking, writing, and cultural studies project which was initially scheduled for an in-class exhibition in Crystal's classroom on February 26.  

In this project, students were required to research a traditional Hispanic festival of their choosing, and from this festival to select either a traditional dance, type of music, or type of food and decoration.  After researching both their festival and an aspect of the festival, students wrote instructions in Spanish describing how to either dance a traditional Latin baile, play a piece of Hispanic folk music, or cook a Latin dish and make Latin decorations.  Crystal admits that writing directions was also a great way for her to teach her students the more technical aspects of the Spanish affirmative tense.  The students were then required to memorize the description of their event as well as their instructions, then present these to the public in Spanish with the help of a visual component.  The exhibition itself was initially scheduled for all Spanish 3 class periods on Friday, February 26, but was postponed due to technical difficulties and Crystal's own absence from school due to illness.  The new exhibition is scheduled for Tuesday, March 1, and is now a student to teacher presentation; however, the students seem most enthused about the class party that comes along with the unit. When asked about the level of student enthusiasm during this project, Crystal answered as every teacher must; "Depends on the day."  Make sure to stop by on Tuesday and learn about multiple cultures and festivals!

College Corner

Deadlines are coming up next week for a wide variety of community and foundation scholarships. Please see college counselor Jess Adams' digital portfolio here for more details!

An admissions representative from University of Colorado Colorado Springs will visit AHS during lunch on Tuesday, March 1.

Deadline for current sophomores and juniors to apply to the Colorado Rural Health Scholars summer program is March 4. Please see a list of other summer opportunities on Jess's DP here.
2016-17 Schedule Change
by Lia Henriksen

As many people already know, much talk has been going around about the possible schedule changes for next year. The point of this schedule change is to allow students to take more math and science classes as electives, as well as to make math and science classes more project-based by intertwining them with humanities work, which is how High Tech High meant for project-based learning to be taught. This is basically what the new schedule is going to look like: all students in the same grade level will be taking math, science and humanities together daily, as is already the case for humanities and science. In addition to core classes, all students would be offered the opportunity to take up to three electives per semester-- this aspect of the schedule gives space for students who are currently in advanced classes to continue to pursue these subjects. Exploratory classes would be replaced by electives. In this proposed schedule, students could opt into math electives, beginning in 9 grade, which would add to our math program and provide more opportunities for all students.  This allows our accelerated students the opportunity to continue their studies in more traditional math instruction alongside the project-based approach they would get in their core math class.

Durango High School Spring Sports
Many Osprey student-athletes play for Durango High School teams and we are grateful for the relationship we have that allows this to happen. DHS spring sports--baseball, lacrosse, track, boys' swimming, girls' soccer, girls' golf and girls' tennis--officially begin on Monday, February 29.  Today is the deadline to submit paperwork.  For more information, please refer to the DHS website here .

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