March 29, 2024

Greetings Ospreys,

Here we are, in the final stretch between Spring Break and Summer! It's a busy couple of months, with lots of special events in April and May before All School Exhibition, Graduation and Transitional Presentations of Learning close out the 2023/24 school year. Seniors are just 8 weeks away from graduating, juniors leave for LINK Internships in just over a month, sophomores begin Sophomore Inspire Week in late April and freshies have a grade-level trip to the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park in early May. These last two months of the school year are some of the sweetest, as we begin to see "the fruits of our labor," as Rebecca put it in her Spring Head of School Letter earlier this week.

Tonight, Student Council has invited all students to Ospreys on Ice, our annual skating party at Chapman Hill Ice Arena. It's a good opportunity for students to gather to mark the passing of winter. Admission is free--just be sure to bring your AHS student ID!

Next Week's Events

Seniors begin their Senior Project TED Talks on Monday, and they've been hard at work this week preparing slides and practicing. We got a bit of a TED Talk preview from Zoe Ramsey and Niko Peterson in this week's NEST Meeting, where they shared information with their peers about harm reduction, an evidence-based approach of engaging with people who use drugs and equipping them with life-saving tools and information to create positive change and save lives. Both Niko and Zoe did a deep dive into researching the impact of harm reduction strategies in their Senior Project research papers, and will continue their work starting next Thursday, by co-facilitating the Safety First drug intervention curriculum in sophomore classes with our dean of student wellness Erin Skyles.

The range of topics covered in the class of 2024's Senior Project TED Talks is, indeed, varied and impressive. We strongly encourage our current and incoming families, as well as interested community members to review the Senior Project TED Talk Schedule and pick one or two to attend that interest you if you can. TED Talks run April 1 through 10.

Ninth and 10th graders will spend a bit of time in core classes next week getting ready for the PSAT8/9 and PSAT10, respectively. PSAT/SAT testing will take place April 15 through 17. See full details in our spring testing letter.

Ninth grade Career Site Visits take place next Wednesday, with students in the class of 2027 venturing out to multiple locations that morning to see various professional environments and to talk with community partners about their educational and professional paths.

Next Friday is opening night for the Osprey Theatre Company's latest production, An Evening of Original One-Act Plays at the Durango Arts Center. Purchase tickets here to see two plays penned by AHS seniors Maddie Tharp and Caleb Bates, performed by students in Joy Kilpatrick's theater elective class. All are welcome to attend, with discounted tickets for AHS students.

Sophomores Launch Energy Project at Powerhouse

Devin Osman '26 and Violet Basley '26, Animas Quill

The sophomore class walked down to the Powerhouse Science Center Wednesday to launch into their spring Energy Project.

On the field trip, they learned about how energy is transformed into electricity, from sunlight to the grid. They enjoyed a demonstration of this transformation from retired FLC professor and Science Center manager Dr. Joe Lounge.

The Energy Project is a collaboration between Humanities, Math and Science.

In Humanities, the 10th graders are learning about the societal implications of how we produce and manage our energy and the connection between environmental issues and existing inequalities. In Math and Physics, they are studying the science and efficiency of how we generate, transmit, and consume electricity.

Hannah Luzietti shared, “I am pretty excited about the project. It just fascinates me how energy works and how it changes and how much it impacts us personally.”

Avery Colclough commented, “It was epic! I learned about how the river used to cool down the boilers, so it was an oasis in the winter time.” 

The sophomores are super energized to keep learning about this very important topic!

See the video this year's juniors made last spring to learn more about the sophomore Energy Project!

Adiós, Jenny!

At this Monday's Professional Development Day, Jenny McKenzie shared the news that she will not be returning to Animas next fall. Of course, in true creative and sweet Jenny style, she delivered the news via song, accompanying herself on

her uklule while plugging a great teaching tool she'd recently discovered over break, to boot!

Jenny's contributions to the Animas community have been huge. She's not only an outstanding instructor, she's a trusted advisor to students, a partner in raising young adults for families, a dedicated and generous colleague and a force of positivity. Her commitment to engaging and supporting students in and out of the classroom has led to her becoming a truly beloved member of our faculty. From her trips to Baja with students to her hiking XBlock classes (where just this week, she made a pit stop with students at her house to hold baby chicks--big smiles ensued!), Jenny inspires students to find joy and beauty in the world surrounding them.

"Congratulations to me, I'm graduating! Well, not exactly but after 13 years of teaching Spanish, I have made the extremely difficult decision to transition out of the classroom into something new. It is with a heavy heart that I say good-bye to AHS. I will be forever grateful to my colleagues, who inspire me every single day, to families, for your endless support, and, most importantly, to my students, who have perhaps taught me more lessons than I have them. Animas High School is such a special place, and while I may not be here physically, it will always hold a place in my heart And who knows? I came back once before...perhaps I'll be back again. Until then, I look forward to seeing you all in town and on the trails, and I wish all of my students and colleagues the very, very best in their own professional, educational, and personal journeys."

While clearly Jenny is irreplaceable, we do need to fill her position in our World Language Department. Please help spread the word if you know of a Spanish teacher that might love working at Animas! See the Spanish Teacher Job Posting for full details.

2024/25 Student Schedules

Erin Cummins-Roper and Elliot Baglini took a break from the one-on-one academic advising they've been doing for all students in 9th through 11th grades to bring a group of students to San Juan College today for a visit to check out the amazing, affordable postsecondary programs available just one hour south of us.

We encourage students to consider postsecondary plans when selecting classes. The 2024/25 Course Catalog is out, though we are still finalizing Osprey Block choices for next fall. Once Erin or Elliot meet with a student for academic advising, families will receive an individualized email that includes their postsecondary goals and initial course selection plans. Course requests will happen via Infinite Campus starting April 22 for current students, with support from staff during school hours.

Registration for fall Fort Lewis College dual enrollment classes has opened. Read more here to learn about dual enrollment opportunities and what steps to take to sign up. Students who do not yet feel ready for an FLC class have the opportunity to pursue additional rigor in their course selection at AHS through Advanced, Honors and concurrent enrollment electives offered on our campus in partnership with Pueblo Community College. 

Students and families who are transferring to AHS or joining our 9th grade next fall are encouraged to attend the New/Transfer Student Academic Advising Session for Fall 2024 on Wednesday, April 10 at 5pm. We will send out instructions about the process for new students submitting course requests following this session.

2023/24 AHS Yearbooks

The Animas High School 2023-2024 Yearbook is officially on sale! Purchase a yearbook directly from Jostens for $40. The deadline for ordering yearbooks this year is May 20. This year’s book will include late spring events such as prom, LINK, graduation, grade-level trips, and more! Everyone who orders a book will receive the signing pages by the end of the school year, and the Quill will host an August distribution party when the complete book arrives.

Fall 2024 Enrollment

Fall 2024 Enrollment is now open for incoming 9th through 12th graders, with limited seats in each grade and a waitlist for our 9th grade. Families considering AHS for next school year are strongly encouraged to visit our campus or attend an online information session. The next Campus Tour is Thursday, April 11 at 8:45am. View all dates and RSVP here.

Current 9th, 10th, and 11th grade families, please complete re-registration as soon as possible to ensure we have an accurate count of open seats for next year.

Email [email protected] with enrollment questions.

Team UP La Plata has launched a youth transportation survey, gauging the needs and barriers of parents in getting their children to/from afterschool programs. They also ask about transportation barriers in general, including to/from medical appointments. Learn more here and complete the survey to be entered in a drawing for a $50 gift card.

Durango Devo, which is co-located on our campus, has their annual Bike Swap coming up April 26-28. We love our partnership with this homegrown youth-supporting organization and want to encourage folks to sign up to volunteer at the swap, drop off gear you'd like to sell or attend to find some of the best deals in town. Devo coaches work with our Mountain Biking Team and teach XBlock for Animas students, and we know hoards of Ospreys have benefited from their positive impact over the years.

Have a great weekend and thanks for all you do to help the Ospreys soar!

Upcoming Events

StuCo Presents Ospreys on Ice: Fri. 3/29

Senior Project TED Talks (12th grade): Mon. 4/1 through Wed. 4/10; see TED Talk Schedule

Osprey Theatre Company presents An Evening of Original One-Act Plays: Fri. 4/5 and Sat. 4/6, 7pm at the Durango Arts Center

CMAS Science Test (11th grade): Wed. 4/10

AHS Campus Tour: Thurs. 4/11, 8:45am; RSVP here

TWIGS Parent Coffee: Fri. 4/12, 8:30am

Application Case Study Workshop: Sat. 4/13, 9am to 12:15pm

Professional Development Day (no school): Mon. 4/15

PSAT10 (10th grade): Wed. 4/17

SAT (11th grade): Thurs. 4/18

PSAT8/9 (9th grade): Fri. 4/19

Animas Wilderness Experience: Fri. 4/19 through Thurs. 4/25

TWIGS Event: Increasing Protective Factors to Support Teens: Tues. 4/23, 6pm

AHS Prom: Sat. 4/27

Sophomore Inspire Week (10th grade): Thurs. 4/25 through Wed. 5/1

TWIGS Happy Hour: Fri. 5/1, 6pm at 11th Street Station

LINK Internships (11th grade): Wed. 5/1 through Tues. 5/21

Class Trip to Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park (9th grade): Tues. 5/7 through Thurs. 5/8

Professional Development Day (no school): Mon. 5/6

Teacher Appreciation Week: Tues. 5/7 through Fri. 5/10

TWIGS Parent Coffee: Fri. 5/10, 8:30am

All School Exhibition: Thurs. 5/16, 4-7pm

Graduation: Fri. 5/24, 4pm at Community Concert Hall

Transitional Presentations of Learning: Tues. 5/28 through Thurs. 5/30

Last Day of School: Thurs. 5/30

AHS 2023/24 School Calendar
23/24 Daily Schedule
AHS Events Calendar
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

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