March 18, 2020
Dear Osprey Families,

As we shared this morning, Animas High School students and staff will not be returning to campus next week due to the coronavirus pandemic . At our Board Meeting tonight, we determined that we will extend Spring Break for students through Friday March 27 . Our staff will use next week to refine systems and adapt curriculum so we can transition to remote learning beginning Monday March 30 . AHS campus will remain closed at least through Friday April 17 , as per Governor Polis’ executive order , issued this afternoon

We do not know at this time when we will reopen Animas High School’s campus to students. Our goal moving forward is to share information with our community in an ongoing way so that families have ample time to make the adjustments we know school closures--and potential school re-openings--will require. We will not have students return to campus until we receive communication from public health officials that makes it clear this is the safest path forward, not just for our families, but for all those in our broader community who are most at risk. We are committed to being part of the global solution to this pandemic, helping to “ flatten the curve for the greater good of everyone.

This school closure and the evolving recommendations surrounding COVID-19 will impact some AHS events and programs. Current cancellations and postponements include :

  • AHS Information Session scheduled for March 25--canceled 
  • Student Council Spring Blood Drive scheduled for April 2--postponed 
  • Middle School Parent Coffees on March 27 (for Escalante parents at Durango Joe’s) and April 3 (for Miller parents at 81301--cancelled
  • Osprey Parent Coffee on April 3--canceled
  • PSAT/SAT testing on April 14--postponed
  • CMAS testing for juniors on April 21--canceled

Janae Hunderman sent out a letter to juniors and their families today about LINK Internships , which are scheduled for April 27 through May 15. Several internships have already been cancelled or postponed and we imagine others will follow suit. We may need to change the timing or requirements of LINK for the class or 2021 and we’ll keep families updated as we work our way through that decision.

With current public health recommendations to cancel gatherings of ten or more people, we are considering the best path forward regarding several other important school events scheduled in the next ten weeks, including Prom, All School Exhibition, Senior Celebration, Senior Supper and Graduation . We know that this must be particularly challenging to hear for the class of 2020 and their families, and we promise to do our very best to move forward in a way that recognizes the importance of these milestones and traditions.

Our decision to extend Spring Break through next week is slightly different from how other area schools are proceeding, as we do not plan to begin remote learning until the week after next. Fortunately, this year we have not had any snow days, and therefore we are able to cancel school next week without extending the school year. You may have concerns around AHS students being away from classroom learning for three weeks, with an extended Spring Break now following Osprey Week. We feel it makes good sense to give our staff a full week to think through the transition to remote teaching and learning so that, as much as possible, we can proceed in a way that is intentionally aligned with our unique mission, vision and values. Even with digital portfolios in place and a student body that is tech-savvy, this is no small task and we want to do it well. We are committed to creating systems and transforming our curriculum in a way that will be meaningful, accessible and equitable. 

In addition, our work in the next week and a half will be to create plans for maintaining the critical support we regularly offer students and families beyond classroom instruction. Our school provides more than just academics, and we want to be sure that we are finding ways to support students and families with access to food and technology, special education accommodations, social-emotional support and more. We will keep you all updated as these plans develop.

These are challenging times and it’s difficult to think about not having all our Osprey return to the Nest for at least the next three weeks, as we truly love our school community. That said, we know Ospreys to be solution-oriented, collaborative, real-world problem solvers, and we are sure that our school community will find our way through this challenge together, supporting one another with grace and grit. 

We’ll circle back with more information as soon as we have it. For now, please continue to reach out with ideas, concerns or questions. Spend time with your loved ones, practice safe social distancing, engage in curious inquiry about the world in which we live and keep finding ways to connect with one another safely. Our community is strong and we are grateful to you all for being part of it. 

Be Well,
Sean and Libby